Well, it’s been almost exactly a month since I posted any word metrics. I don’t have much of an excuse – or rather, I have only the same old excuses as always – but that’s just how it goes. I’ve had a lot of balls up in the air, including the production edits for The Family Plot, some travel (Kentucky, if you’ll recall), and some medical stuff (which is now as sorted as it’s going to get). I also dedicated some time to house stuff and yard stuff. You know how it goes.
I also tried to give myself a little break, for all the good it did me. I’ve burned myself out pretty badly, but I can’t afford to do anything like a vacation; I still have two books to rewrite and send through production, one novel to finish for Tor this fall, and a novelette for one of the upcoming WILD CARDS books.
That last one’s due in July, so until rewrites for the two books land, that’s what’s on my plate. Gotta triage this shit.
Jesus, it’s already May.
* * *
Because people will inevitably ask – I do not have cancer of the nose-holes or anything. It turns out, I have a mild congenital defect that messes with the way my sinuses drain … and I also have a little bit of leftover damage from some surgery on the back of my mouth (20+ years ago). Through a convoluted conflagration of these events, an extra-bad allergy season is causing one of my sinuses to collect fluid – making it prone to the kind of infections that mess with the pressure in my right ear.
I don’t want any new surgery any time soon, but there’s not much else to be done about it. The most recent catastrophic infection has almost completely cleared up, so I’m on a new round of antihistamines and decongestants. It’s not perfect, but it’s okay.
At least it’s not cancer of the nose-holes.
* * *
The other day, I looked out the den window to see Greyson merrily snapping at some random flying things … and discovered that we had a swarm of bees the size of a human head hanging out in the hedges. I got the dog inside, did some googling, and found out that there’s a whole slew of folks you can call – folks who will be more than happy to come out and collect such a swarm.
“Nat the Bee Guy” called me back within a minute or two (I chose him for his nom de plume, yes); and within half an hour, he showed up with a bee box (or whatever they’re called) and standard bee-dude gear … but he was pleased to note that he wouldn’t need it. He declared the swarm calm and healthy, and didn’t bother with any of the sting-preventatives.
Nat has a small family farm north of the city. He keeps bees and fruit trees (among other things), and hey – free swarms are the best swarms! Or so I am told. I couldn’t believe he’d come out and take them away for free. He couldn’t believe that I was just giving him this awesome swarm of honeybees for free.
So everybody was happy. Especially the bees.
He left the box until just after dark, when all the bees were happily humming inside. Then he took it home to his farm. Good-bye, little bees! Live long and prosper.
And thanks a million to Nat the Bee Guy! You have someone like Nat somewhere near you, I bet – so please don’t take a can of bug spray to a swarm, just because it’s chilling in an inconvenient location. I spent ten seconds googling “chattanooga bee removal” and boom. Nat the Bee Guy, and about a dozen other folks who would be eager to collect and pamper any unwanted bees.
* * *
So here’s today’s progress on my wacky mystery romp that’s a little bit The Thin Man, with a splash of Haunted Honeymoon, and a dusting of Scared Stiff – featuring a pair of 60+ year old newlyweds who are playing Nick and Nora on a ghost-plagued riverboat:
Project: “Black Water” (working title)
Deadline: July 1, 2016
New words written: 1207
Present total word count: 1207
Things Accomplished in Fiction: Was unceremoniously awakened with threats of burglars and demands for guns, then apologies from fervent ghost hunters with oddball beepy equipment and a very earnest sales pitch.
Things Accomplished in Real Life: Missed the neighborhood jaunt with the dog this morning because I had a followup doctor appointment; came home and got to work, finishing up a loose outline for this one.
Other: I don’t usually outline very much, but this is a mystery and a comedy in a very tight space – and I need to keep myself from wandering off course. I’ve set the target word count at 13,500 because I was given a range of “12,000-15,000 words.” So I’m splitting the difference, but anything in that ballpark will be fine.
Dog Other: Greysongram. (Plus Luna!) I don’t know why he sometimes sits like a loaf cat. For dog reasons, I guess.
Cat Other: The ladies are still doing well.
Number of fiction words so far this year: 95,014