Friday, May 13, 2011

Fun Times Ahead

Before I get started, I want to put something on the record. This weekend my sister graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Not only that, but she's already passed the Bar exam and, once she's taken the Oath, she'll be a full-fledged lawyer licensed to practice in the state of Maryland.

My little sister is all grown up, and she can get my ass out of prison if need be. I'm very proud of her.

At the end of this month I’m going to West Virginia for a few days on a fishing trip. My dad is a member of a hunt club that maintains a cabin up in The Mountains, and while I don’t hunt*, I do enjoy going along for some trout fishing and hiking.

*I spent four years on Annapolis High’s NJROTC Rifle Team, commanded it for two, and qualified for an Expert marksmanship medal, but I still don’t think my dad would trust me with a gun in the woods. Which is a moot point, because he bow hunts, and he is wise to do so. Rifle season in West Virginia always seems to end with a new batch of “thought he was a deer” stories.

If my memory serves, this will be the first time I’ve gone up to the cabin since my wife and I got married. She is not taking this as well as I would have hoped:

Wife: I just realized that it is super inconvenient for you to go to WVA the end of the month. I have a work function that I HAVE to be at... I won't even get to leave until...8? Maybe later? Who knows when I'll get home. The Corgi baby will be absolutely dying by the time I'm able to get home.

Me: That is inconvenient. Not extremely inconvenient, but inconvenient. We could always see about asking my mom or sister or someone to drop by and help the Bugbear out - it's not like I'll need my house key in West Virginia. No biggie.

Wife: Or you could just not leave me? *puppy eyes* The boogeyman will get me since you won't be there.

Me: I'll leave you a crowbar to deal with the boogeyman. He doesn't like that.

Wife: Bullshit. Boogeymen LOVE crowbars. Just one more tool that they can disembowel me with.

Me: Oh for... You have GOT to read the fucking Hogfather one of these days. Boogeymen? Not a big deal. A few quick whacks with a blunt instrument and they go running. If that doesn't work, throw a blanket on them and wipe them from existence.

Wife: In that person's world.

In the REAL world. The boogeyman rapes you and disembowels you with whatever is handy.

Also vampires. Vampires that enjoy sucking blood out of people's feet. One of those could get me!

Me: Nobody's getting at your feet when you're tucked in bed. The worst thing that's going to happen is that Lina sneaks upstairs and licks your hand again.

Wife: Lina just likes to look out for me and make sure I'm OK.

Me: I'm putting the whole boogeyman thing on the blog by the way.

I may have to build her a widow’s walk before I leave. That’s probably going to blow our security deposit straight to hell, but whatever I can do to make her feel better.

In the meantime, there’s writing to be done. I’m smack in the middle of Black Library’s open submissions window. Right now, I’m revising a pitch for a short story that I’m quite pleased with - the idea’s been percolating for awhile now, and with another week or two of polish I’ll be glad to send it out the door.

I’ve also been working on a novel pitch, but I’m starting to think that I’ll need to wait for the next window to submit it. I’m three drafts in, and I’ve got a handle on the characters, the world they’re operating in, and the general thrust of the plot. What I don’t have are all the little details that I’ll need to convince the Editor Gods that I can be trusted with 200+ pages to fill.

And, if I’m honest, I might be better served pitching a short story that includes some of the characters I’m working with and gives me a chance to show that, yes, I can write about genetically-enhanced killing machines in an interesting fashion. It certainly can’t hurt my chances.

Regardless, once July gets here and the window closes, I’m going to be switching over to my own stuff for awhile. I’ve had a book rattling around in my skull for two years now: one that I wrote a draft of, badly, for NaNoWriMo. I shelved that draft, but I’ve never been able to shake the concept. It’s stayed in my head, putting down roots and using my idle thoughts to germinate and sprout in new directions. I think by now, it might just be ready to bloom.

I might even be able to start posting word counts again.