Gone Away

Posted: December 3rd, 2015 under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
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Cold Welcome flew away to NYC yesterday morning,  right when it was due, but I was too wiped to post about it then.  It went off at 129.863 words,  and I think all the words are in the right order, though I suspect there are errors.   I’m still not satisfied with the formatting  for the transition signals I sent to readers, but Word was being such a pig about things that it took me much longer than it should have to mess them about and increase the clarity quotient.

Meanwhile, three more dead or partly dead trees in dangerous locations have been removed by the tree removal crew, the HVAC people put in a good stack for the furnace, roofer returned today to reset and caulk the collar for the furnace & hot water heater stacks (he had insisted we needed to get the stacks installed properly by modern standards)  and I started the toe decreases on one of the turquoise socks (the left one.)

I strongly recommend that if any of you are writing a book on contract, so there’s a deadline, that you do not choose the latter part of your writing time to re-roof a house, tear up the former living room to recarpet it and buy new furniture, have tree-removers come and remove the large mostly-dead tree that menaces your house, cars in the neighbor’s driveway, and extended (in its decrepit state) over part of the street and invite a bunch of people for Thanksgiving, having run herd on the carpet, tree, roof, and furniture people in order to provide guests with a dry, leak-free place to eat dinner and a comfortable, pleasant living room to sit and talk in.   All these other goals are worthwhile, of course, but combining them with the last 6-8 weeks of book revision/polishing and the normal Thanksgiving prep work…will strain your organizational ability and that’s if you’re better at it than I am.

The professionals (except the roofer who didn’t call back  and whom we didn’t use)  were exemplary, and the success of all this is due to their helpful attitudes and their willingness to go the extra mile to get things done by Thanksgiving.  The guests were equally helpful  and wonderful in their putting up with a hostess clearly at the end of her rope.   No pictures, alas…I had brought the camera but not the memory card.    There is one advantage to cooking for 18 and having 13, even when facing a book deadline the following Tuesday and that’s that the writer doesn’t have to cook ANYTHING between Thanksgiving and making said deadline.



  • Comment by Chris in South Jersey — December 3, 2015 @ 7:35 am


    I know the feeling. I finally finished a quilt that had been at least a year too long in the making. When an expletive is appended to the quilt’s name, it has been in the sewing room much too long. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the Vatta universe again.

  • Comment by Kathleen — December 3, 2015 @ 2:49 pm


    Congrats on getting everything done! I assume we’ll see the book in about a year based on the schedules of previous books? I look forward to reading it!

  • Comment by elizabeth — December 3, 2015 @ 2:58 pm


    Chris: Sympathies. Or rather, congratulations since you did finally finish it, but sympathies for the time and frustration it took.

    Kathleen: The tentative due date is not next December or Jan, but March 2016–however, that is tentative. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — December 3, 2015 @ 5:24 pm


    Congratulations on getting the novel out the door; I’ll look forward to it in March. It’s not a Paksworld story, but it is a Moon.

    I understand those kind of pressures. With a full time law practice, my wife and I moved from Alaska to Idaho, packing up or selling off forty years of stuff. We drove down to Idaho, towing a U-Haul trailer behind a packed picup with a cargo box on top. A modern-day Jethro Clampett, as it were. On arrival, we bought all new furniture (it isn’t cost-efective to move furniture that far), went through the utility and service drill, did some remodel work and dealt with the 44 boxes of books we moved.

    We celebrated getting (most of) it done by cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for my wife’s family and friends, a group of 16 plus two babies.

    So I share your pain.

  • Comment by Celina — December 4, 2015 @ 8:08 am


    Congratulations! I’m looking forward to the release!

  • Comment by rkduk — December 4, 2015 @ 4:47 pm


    Sounds like one of those experiences that “build character”: Hell to go through, but a definite accomplishment when looking back on it. Congratulations on being able to do that!

  • Comment by Richard Simpkin — December 5, 2015 @ 3:30 am


    March 2017?

    Wickersham’s Conscience, shall we call you Kieri now? Best wishes in your new location.

  • Comment by Butterwaffle — December 5, 2015 @ 9:02 am


    I am really happy Cold Welcome is Marching along. Will there be an e-arc?

    If you are unhappy with Word, you might consider text editors like [SublimeText]() or [Write Room]()/[Dark Room]() to write prose as plain text with some simple markup (like [Markdown]() or [reStructuredText]()). Once you are done, Pandoc can convert it to many formats, including Word’s docx or even epub.

    [SublimeText]: http://www.sublimetext.com/
    [Write Room]: http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/writeroom
    [Dark Room]: http://they.misled.us/dark-room
    [Markdown]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown#Example
    [reStructuredText]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReStructuredText
    [Pandoc]: http://pandoc.org/

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