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I'm never too busy for friends. Well, mostly. More or less. Usually.

Man, I finally found a free couple minutes to update my journal. The past few days have been pretty non-stop, from getting up at the crack of dawn to revise the Blackbeard novel, then to the gym for an hour, walking the dog, off to the always-busy Day Job, then back home after either running errands or meeting old friends. I'm lucky to read a couple pages in the quite excellent novel Carter Beats the Devil before crashing to sleep.

In other words, I'm happy as hell. Nothing better than being busy, especially when I'm getting some good writing done.

Getting up at 4:30 was a bit painful at first, but I'm already adjusting to it -- didn't need the alarm this morning. I've been getting through a chapter a day on the revising, and may just get done with it this weekend, if I can get some stuff done tonight and tomorrow night as well.

Once things get rolling on a story or novel, it's hard for me to enjoy doing anything else. I've got about 125 pages left to go.

Out of curiosity, I looked back at my journal from last year to see what I was doing while I was drafting this novel. I was on today's chapter back on April 11th, and it's interesting to see what I was obsessing about those days. This was in the middle of my monthlong Novel Dare, which pretty much left me too burnt out to do much more writing for a month or so.

I quite enjoyed my comments about The Fellowship of the Rings, though it saddens me now to see I was reading my friend Mark's novel at the time, knowing that he'd pass away half a year later. It's a great damn novel, too, and his new title THE BIG BURN was much better than his working title of DRAGON.

It's amazing how much the world can change in less than a year.

Speaking of old friends, I met up with my old News & Observer buddies last night at the Hibernian (one of Raleigh's 3-4 Irish pubs), and we had some Black and Tan's and Fish and chips and talked about what was new -- I had seen these guys in a year and a half.

I really have to do better at keeping in touch with friends; I've gotten slack lately and rely on email and this journal to communicate with folks, as opposed to actually meeting with them in person. I wouldn't have gotten to see photos of David's new house in the mountains otherwise, or hear about Joe's 700 miles of driving to go skiing (he never got on the slopes, but he wrote about it for his outdoors column!) or Todd's excellent documentary film project. It was a lot of fun, and I surprised myself by limiting myself to two pints! A new personal best. Later!

Now Playing:
"RadioIo," Acoustic

Now Reading:
Carter Beats the Devil

Today's Quote:
Mitch let Ella enter the tiny room containing the lighthouse lamp first, and then he squeezed in after her. He shut the door and threw the bolt. When he turned to her, Ella gave him a quick hug of victory.

We found our clues, she'd wanted to say to him, but the reality of what just happened hit her like a punch to gut. She let go of Mitch and slid to the dusty floor. Out for breath, she rested her back against the glass walls of the lighthouse.

"Mitch," she said, gasping for air and shivering even though the cold breeze had disappeared. "What the hell just happened?"

Mitch's only answer was to look at her for a long moment. The darkness inside the lighthouse was too complete for Ella to see what sort of expression he wore, though she could feel his disbelief and shock. Another patented unreadable Mitch Thompson look, Ella thought, but she was too tired and shaky to laugh.

"I wish I knew," he said at last, slipping through the trap door leading to the spiral stairs below. "I wish I knew."

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