The things I have to do to get paid

August 15, 2006

It’s getting close to deadline on the next book, and I’ll be taking some down time from work to write furiously to finish up. If at some point I disappear from here, I’m in the Regency full time until September.

First, I will have to actually read my first book. Nothing wrong with it. I hope. But when confronted with the thing, I am afraid to read more than a page or two. What if I don’t like it? What if the middle hundred pages are actually blank and no one’s noticed? What if it’s the literary equivalent of one of those dreams where all of a sudden you realize that you are in public with no pants on?

But I need to suck it up and address continuity issues, since the current book is a sequel. There’s been a note on my desk for two months that says:


I can’t seem to recall where I set the first book. Devon? I think it was Devon. Better make sure. I had a map, once. I think. But the whole thing is set inside a house. All of England looks the same if you keep the curtains drawn.

And speaking of the house, where is the ballroom? In my imagination, it is on the third floor. But now I’m writing about people running out of it, straight into the garden.

What the hell?

Are they climbing down the side of the house on a ladder? I don’t know. If I’m lucky, I didn’t say anything in the first book, and then I can move my imaginary room to the first floor and save a hell of a lot of running up and down stairs and pretend it was on the first floor all along.

And then there is the matter of research.
Someone once suggested I blog about my research process. Gahhhhh. You don’t want to see it. Really. Do not do it my way.

Smart people do research before starting a book. This time, I’m doing it afterward and trying to force history to bend to me by force of will.

In the next two weeks I must relive the battle of Badajoz (possibly by listening to Bernard Cornwell books on tape)

Learn to spell Badajoz without having to look it up every damn time.

Force the family to learn whist and then force them to teach it to me. I am one of the worst card players on the planet, combining a lack of enthusiasm and a short memory for tricks and trumps with an equally short attention span. If this game takes more than 10 minutes, I’m done for. And it’s supposed to be like bridge.

Maybe they should play casino. I learned that once.

Crash a Regency dance (fortunately, I know where to find one)

And since I accidentally scheduled deadline during the annual family vacation, I’ll be the only one on the planet reading Diary of an Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey, while standing on-line at Space Mountain.

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