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A Book in a Day -- MY Book

Just finished proofing my book, Gunning for the Buddha. I read it all today (including a couple hours when I was supposed to be working at the day job, but don't tell no one, eh?). And boy are my eyes tired!

But more than retinal fatigue, I feel proud of all I've done in the past 8 years. The oldest stories in the collection date back to my stint at Clarion back in '96, and while I've revised the hell out of all three of those stories, they hold up quite nicely next to my newer stuff.

I didn't organize the stories in the book chronologically, but more thematically and by genre -- all four of the SF stories about the alien Wannoshay are together, forming the middle of the book. And I think I made a decision to mix up first-person and third-person stories, so they're almost alternating in that respect. I think that's the method to my madness. Yeah, that's it. Um-hmmm...

I found it interesting to see my writing style change, and I did some pretty cool stuff in my later stories, especially "Coal Ash and Sparrows," with its non-linear and twisty format, that surprised me. I like it when I surprise myself.

This little bolt of confidence comes at a good time -- I was feeling a bit run-down and negative about my writing the past week or so. Mostly because I've been so busy with other, non-writing things (i.e., having a Real Life).

Seems like every other month or so I look at whatever project I'm working on and think "Man, what a piece of shit!" Or, even better, "What the hell am I doing with this writing thing? Surely there is quality programming on network TV that I'm missing while I'm staring at these words on the screen!"

Fortunately, these sentiments go away the instant I get cracking and start fixing up the current writing project. I'm already getting pumped up about finishing my new couple of stories before diving back into novel revising. Proofing this book was sort of hanging over me, stressing me out. And now it's done (well, except for the write-up for all the minor errors and printing problems, about 30-40 all told -- I'll do that in the morning, once my eyes are rested).

And hey, in just a few short weeks, I'll have my first book in my hands, so I can revel in that for a while. Woo-hoo! Later. :)

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