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Illuminated Eszterhaza
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Mmm. Wednesday, and the day's not half-bad after all. I had a grumpy, grouchy morning, since everything seemed to be going wrong--I'd made plans for a dog walk with one friend, was invited by a second, and for various reasons of incompatible scheduling and confusion, ended up having to go on my own after all. Grouch grouch grouch. But good writing things happened on the walk, and I came home to find some lovely emails from friends in my inbox.

The best news is that I'm 2/3 of the way through Chapter Nineteen of my novel (very, very tentatively called The Elements of Fire, as a working title, anyway). (I like it, but since nobody else does, so far, it may be tossed aside as soon as I can think of something better. It's got alchemists, Illuminati, castrati and conspiracies, and it's set at the court of Eszterhaza in 1779, with romance and adventure thrown in. Title??????) The end of Chapter Nineteen will also mark the end of Act II of the novel, putting me perilously close to the 2/3 point in the book as a whole. (Of course, the last "third" is going to be nearly as long as the first two acts put together, so I'm teetering on a very fine mathematical ledge, but what the heck.)

So, I'm feeling happy, and this morning, during Nika's walk, I even figured out how the chapter would end. I'd been planning on one ending for it until a couple of days ago, when two other possibilities suddenly popped up for consideration, all of them equally intriguing, and all with fairly radical implications for the characters and novel as a whole. So I'd been edging my way very hesitantly toward the ending, worrying the whole time about what I'd get to, until this afternoon. Nika was spinning around the field with a border collie puppy named Alfie, I was enjoying the bright sunshine, and the answer slid into my head. Man, I love it when things work out that way.

(Of course, I often find it frustrating that writing DOES work that way.... When I've been sitting at my computer for three hours, banging my head against a problem, it's highly irritating to realize that I CAN'T always just work out answers logically. Waiting until the plot sorts itself out in my subconscious is not satisfying, in the short term. But it does feel great, eventually.)

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