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On a Winter's Night
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Assuming I can write 300 words tomorrow, I'll have a total of 30,000 words written in the month of January. I can probably manage 300 words.

And even if I can't, well, 29,700 words ain't too bad.

The Bridge novel isn't done, but at this rate, it'll be done in a couple/few weeks. Then I just have to fix the things I know are broken -- that's a long weekend's worth of work -- and then I can send it to my agent, and see what the people at Blue Heaven say, and etc.

***

I wrote reviews this past weekend. Of Cell, Forever Odd (and, of necessity, Odd Thomas), and Headstone City. Turned them in today. Whoo! Today I got galleys of Triskell Tales 2 by Charles de Lint (the past six years' worth of his Christmas chapbooks) and of William Browning Spencer's new collection The Ocean and All Its Devices. Life is good

***

I met with my writing group on Saturday.

Man, I love those guys. What a great group.

They figure "Morris and the Machine" is nearabout ready for prime time. I'll give it a last revision pass and a polish this weekend (or in some other spare moment), and then send it out into the world to earn its keep.

We ate pizza. And some of us drove through the fog to Pacifica. It was nice.

One of the people in the group once took a class taught by Theodore Sturgeon. Octavia Butler was in the same class. It's such a small field, really. I like that about it.

***

I finished the January portion of my ever-evolving To-Do List with two whole days to spare. That's a good feeling!

That doesn't count the ongoing items, like "Work on Bridge Novel," but it does count all the time-sensitive stuff.

I get to pretty much relax for a couple of days before I have to get started on the February items.

***

Tonight, Heather and I have been drinking wine (a wedding gift from David Moles) and writing, Heather working on short stories, me working away (in perpetuity) on the Bridge novel. Soon we'll retire to the couch, nestle together, and watch television. This is my life in winter. I notice the warmth more, I think, in this season; perhaps because it's colder outside.

***

The Locus Recommended Reading List for 2005 is online now. There are a few things of PrattShaw related interest there: My novel, The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, made the First Novel list. My story "Bottom Feeding" made the short story list. Heather's "Single White Farmhouse" made the short story list. Some Flytrap stories appeared on the list (first time that's happened!): "The Belt" by Theodora Goss and "On the Blindside" by Sonya Taaffe. (Just a note: yeah, I work at that magazine, but I don't exert any particular influence on the list -- I'm one of the reviewers asked for input regarding stories, yes, but I recuse myself from commenting on stories by, say, my spouse, and myself, and people I've published.) There's lots of stuff by my friends and pals and peers on that list. Every year I feel like my peeps are rising higher and higher in the field, doing better and better work. Congratulations to all of you who made this list.



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