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February Blossoms
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I'm loving life today. It's my once-fortnightly day off, and it began with lots of coffee and writing, continued through lunchtime and a hot pastrami sandwich, then went on to more writing, then an amble over to the high school basketball courts to shoot hoops for a while, because the weather is gorgeous. It's like the best part of spring out there today -- the trees are blooming, the air smells like flowers, it's warm and breezy. Sometimes I really love living in California.

It's been a good few days musically, too. I got MP3s of several songs by one of my favorite bands from my college town, 3-five-7. Their guitarist Mark lives on the West coast now, and a while back he asked me if I still had a cassette they made way back in the early '90s. I didn't (mine melted when I left it in the car one summer), but I was able to acquire a copy of the tape from a friend, and sent it off to said guitarist, who digitized it and sent me a disc of those songs, along with lots and lots of tracks from his other bands, and the bands of other members of 3-five-7. So I've been enjoying some sweet nostalgic music, some of which I hadn't heard in years, and some good new stuff as well. (His current band is called earthShine, and they're good, too.)

And today I stumbled across an MP3 of my favorite Beck song, "Steve Threw Up" (the clearer, more clean-sounding version, even), so I no longer have to dig up a cassette player when I want to hear it. Score.

I checked the mail on the way back from shooting baskets, and had a package from Amazon with a couple of comics compilations I ordered a while back -- "Local Heroes" from Astro City and the latest volume of Fables. So I sat out on the back patio and drank a Guinness and read comics for a while. Heavenly.

I've written about 7,500 words so far today, and though I may write more before the day's over, I'm not going to feel obligated to do so. I did a good day's work, adding some crucial scenes early in the novel, which set up for later events and flesh out some character relationships. I also made some more forward progress on the plot as a whole. I think the book is going to run longer than I expected, though, closer to 90 or 100,000 words than 80,000. C'est la vie. It'll expand and contract here and there in revision, too, I'm sure.

Because I need to turn this book in for people to critique at Blue Heaven, I even have an actual deadline now -- I need to have the whole manuscript in some kind of readable form by March 15. Should be doable. I have to get the first 50 pages ready by next Wednesday, so that's what I'll work on this weekend. I want to fix the problems I already know about, so critiquers don't have to waste time telling me things I already know. Having a deadline is good for me.

Because the weather's so lovely, Heather and I aren't going to the gym tonight. Why walk on a treadmill or elliptical trainer in a sweat-smelling room when we can walk a few miles around our lovely neighborhood and environs instead? Then we'll come back home to watch Lost and Project Runway and drink beer and play with the cats and generally be happy young writers in love. Sounds like a plan to me, y'all. Hope you're having a good day, too.



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