29. July 2006 · Comments Off on Soooo, What About That Book? · Categories: Domestic, General, Home Front, Site News, Veteran's Affairs

It’s going rather well, which is the reason I have not posted much over the last week…umm, since being let go from the last installment of pink-collar wage slavery. Timmer has been writing about that still little voice that whispers “It’s time”, when you have to let go and move on… and I just kept thinking, as I was driving home with my personal stuff thrown into a cardboard box (and it took about five minutes to clear out all of it from my desk) “Whoopee! I can stay at home tomorrow, and finish that chapter!” Maybe it’s time to do what I really, really love doing!

They gave me a decisive push, just as I was working up the nerve to jump, and I have hardly thought of the place at all this week, although I did wonder on Monday if anyone could call the house, asking if something had been ordered, or delivered, or whatever; although frankly I can’t see how they would have the nerve, and they can figure that out from my files anyway. And I swear, I was that close to snarling, the next time someone asked me for copies of this or that, “The copier is over there, and your legs aren’t painted on!” No, time to move on.

So, another milblogger, blessed be his name, referred me to a literary agent, who read the chapter and loved it, extravagantly. (I googled him, of course… do I look like a fool? Me, who worked for an intellectual property firm for three years?) This agent wants to see more, basically about a third of the projected work, just to be assured that I can, actually carry through with it. It seems that a discouragingly large number of first-time writers have a failure of nerve at about the 15,000 word mark, and as I have mapped out an outline for “To Truckee’s Trail” of 19 or 20 chapters of 5,000 to 6,000 words…. Well, that works out to 100,000-120,000 words. Or more, if I really start to get into it.

I am working full time at this, and if I keep to my schedule and detailed chapter outline, I will have six continuous chapters by next Friday. Half a chapter a day of at least 3,000 words of polished prose, witty conversation, exciting narrative, and vivid descriptions. Piece of cake, people, piece of cake.

So, that is where I have been, back in the 19th century, coping with flooded rivers, recalcitrant ox teams, quarreling emigrants, cooking over smoking campfires, and generally keeping everything moving; all those cute children, brave women, and gallant men… and there’s a bit with a dog, too. Everyone likes a funny bit with a dog.

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