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Who's the villainiest of them all?

Did just the bare minimum of drafting on the current story this morning. The barest of the minimum. But hey, I figure any writing is better than none at all, and I'm really close to finishing this sucker. I've almost got the protagonist and the "villain" together. I'm not sure what's gonna happen when they meet, or how (or if!) she's gonna vanquish this so-called villain, but I figure I'll figure it out when I get there.

I should have an ending tomorrow morning, or Saturday a.m. at the latest, then I'm giving myself until Monday's mail to revise. Then it's off. By Monday I plan on being in novel-drafting mode.

Speaking of novels, the fourth Harry Potter book is finally kicking into gear! Just as I suspected, the plot and and tension really picked up when the gang gets to Hogwarts. I like that Harry gets more and more ostracized each year because of his reputation and his growing powers. And I like that while everyone else almost always fails the hardest tests the wizard instructors throw at them, Harry usually makes a strong attempt, showing he's far more powerful than his peers. Which of course is setting us up for the full emergence of his powers, when his kicks some serious arse.

(This, by the way, is where Lucas totally dropped the ball with the crappy "Star Wars" prequels -- there's nothing out of the ordinary about his version of Anakin Skywalker. Other than a strong ability to whine and do dumb stuff, there's no sense that this young guy could possibly become the super-villainiest of 'em all, Darth Freakin' Vader. Which goes to show, if you're going to have a bad guy as your protagonist, you've got to show us what makes him BAD. Could've been three really fascinating movies. But I digress).

In other writing-related news, I had a nifty surprise waiting for me from Gabe Chouinard, who first published my story "Gunning for the Buddha" in the prior version of his newly revamped Web site S1ngularity. I'd mentioned to him that (at the time) we were looking for a cover artist for my collection, and he whipped up a mock-up in just a day or so. It's quite cool, and I wanted to share it here:

GUNNING FOR THE BUDDHA cover by Gabe Chouinard

I'm always impressed by people who can create visual art. Especially on short notice like this. For me, making my version of "art" takes longer, plus it takes longer for the viewer/reader to experience a work of fiction versus a painting or photo or collage. Such is the life of a fiction writer...

And finally, I just happened upon this nifty little gem -- looks like my story collection is available for pre-ordering at Clarkesworld. Nifty. So what are you waiting for? Buy, buy, buy. Talk to you later!

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