Progress Report 37

Greetings, fans of unfinished speculative fiction everywhere! I know you are all chomping at the bit to read Normal Heroes, if, for some reason, you are wearing a bit that is. What you do in the privacy of your own home is none of my business. I have another two chapters slapped on to the old manuscript. It is like a living, breathing monster, now. I woke up from a dream about two characters that aren’t even in the story. I think the fact that I am dreaming in the universe of my novel is a good sign. I wonder if other writers do that. I should read their blogs. If I were younger and hipper and more machine savvy, I would have inserted some cute little smiley face made of punctuation marks back there. You will just have to imagine what that would have looked like. My punctuation marks are reserved for misuse in prose. The latest chapter has a fake alien bartender, young octogenarians, a golf cart escape, and more international roller derby fun. Also a malfunctioning robot. If anyone thinks I am not having fun, well, they are wrong. Insert Mos Eisley Cantina song here. new grand total word count - 117,832 Gee, Martha, that there sure is a whole heap of words, boy howdy. Keep in mind that I come from a culture where most people won’t read a whole book, much less write one. The local bestseller is a photocopied guide on how to cook meth, published by the US government back in the eighties. Insert Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme) here. Let’s just pretend I didn’t say that last part.

Progress Report 36

Chapters 45 and 46 are finished now. Just three more chapters and Part Two is finished. Chapter 46 has alleged cannibalism, community youth roller derby try outs, amateur medical advice, virtual dentistry, and a compound fracture. Take that, traditional speculative fiction! Tell your friends about my upcoming novel, Normal Heroes. They will thank you someday. new grand total word count - 112,559 Think of all the paper you will save by reading my ebook only novel. It will be like paying a tree to survive. Well, the universe is trying to get my attention, so I will stop my feeble attempts at self promotional propaganda. For now…

Project Report 35

Chapter 44 is complete. Five more chapters until the end of part two and the beginning of part three. Chapter 44 has robots, cheap special effects, a luxury resort and sarcasm recognition algorithms. That last one is something today’s science should really get to work on. See? You can’t tell if I was being sarcastic or not, just then. chapter 44 word count - 2416 new grand total - 107,810 Want to know what my day is like? Of course, you do! I am watching Gentlemen Broncosand eating homemade peanut butter cookies. I am drinking super strong red-eye coffee. The weather is warm and mild, I think autumn is late to the party. How is your day?

Progress Report 34

I have been slacking off on my progress reports. Forgive me, I have been somewhat ill. Since my last report I have written two more chapters. I am also happy to announce that I finally learned how to put in page breaks. Now my manuscript looks a lot more like an actual manuscript and a grocery list of my own madness. The latest chapter has futuristic super cacti, a fishing trip, North America’s oldest apartment complex and talking animals. Do these little teasers make you want to read my novel? Of course they do! Act 2 is nearing completion. That leaves us with just one more act to get through. Then some editing and polishing. Then some paperwork. Then I will send out some free copies that hopefully someone will review. Then more paperwork. Then I publish, yay! Then I can get paid, hopefully. Or not. I will keep writing either way. I am better at writing fiction than I am at writing blog entries. Really. Watch. Harold was a confused boy. His mother told him to put down the dog and come to dinner. He shot the dog in the face with his dad’s .45 and said, “Okay, Mom, what’s for supper?” See? A whole short story with a plot twist and everything. I could do that all day.

Progress Report 33

Chapter 41 is done. It is a lot of fun. There is violence, sabotage, a hostage situation, a few bowls of lukewarm gruel and some action movie style tough talk. chapter 41 word count - 2172 new grand total - 100,705 Yet another milestone, the big 100k words. I would like to thank you all for your kind support and/or indifference. I may or may not have been able to get this far without you. Actually I would probably get more writing done if I spent a little less time trying to promote the project. Anyway, back to work.

Progress Report 32

Chapter 40 is in the can, now. That’s three chapters today and I am a little burnt out. I think I will drink some homemade hermit wine and be silly for a while. This latest chapter concerns farm work and corrupt judicial practices. Hopefully it will be as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. chapter 40 word count - 2245 new grand total - 98,533 Now for some old Pink Floyd, I mean Piper at the Gates of Dawn old. And some homemade hermit wine. I should write you guys a tutorial on how to build hermit wine. Just don’t screw it up, poison your grandmother, and sue me into 2040. Sorry for the short report. These fingers are tired of finding the keys. More tomorrow.

Progress Report 31

Wow, chapter 39 just did not want to end. I introduced a new supporting character and the old bastard was so excited to be included in the story, I just could not get him to shut up. I get a narrative perspective headache from him. Here I am in the present, writing a story that takes place in the future. Only, it is a novel, you know, so you tell the story in the past tense: Jack and Jill went up the hill. Jill pushed Jack into a vat of radioactive waste and he went on to become a notable, but sadly tragic symbol for super villains everywhere. Like that. So in the present, writing the future, spoken like the past. Then some old timer pops into my lovingly crafted setting and starts reminiscing about the past. He does not care how confusing this can become. He, like many of us, is indifferent to the feelings of his creator. So now I am in the present, writing about the future, using a past voice, about a guy that won’t shut up about HIS past. And now he had me writing about writing about it. It is a freaking house of mirrors in my brain right now. I may cause a temporal anomaly if I don’t just get over it. Anyway, chapter 39. What happens to the interstate highway in a post automotive civilization? How does a celebrity go about bumming a ride from a fan? Who is this old man who won’t shut up? The answers to these questions and many more can be found in my upcoming novel, Normal Heroes. But don’t take my word for it, grab a copy when it comes out. chapter 39 word count - 3103 new grand total - 96,288 Thank you to everyone who has been adding me, following me, friending me or whatever your particular social networking platform calls it. I appreciate the support, kindness, and love sent by the magic of computers to the alchemy of my eyeballs.

Progress Report 30

Chapter 38 is done! This chapter explores the night life of Normal. It has a surly pizza waitress, a sorority girl who claims not to be a zombie, impromptu roller derby matches, free beer for strangers, police bribes, gang brawls, an exploration of how infinite bandwidth can change our lives, and a sex scene. Sex scenes are really hard to write without sounding pornographic, or worse, emulating the cheesy romance novels my mother used to read. You know, all “heaving bosom,” and “glistening thigh.” I try to be more like “esoteric eye-twinkle,” and “throbbing ennui.” I think the problem lies with describing a subject so often described in prose. Every literary nipple seems to have been already tweaked. chapter 38 word count - 2208 new grand total - 93,185 I have reached another useless statistical milestone. My manuscript is on page 200! Hurray for keeping track of numbers! Hurray arbitrary base-ten synchronicity!

Progress Report 29

Chapter 37 is now finished. It has illegal camping, beer for lunch, same sex platonic cuddling, a dirigible, and a little more thinly veiled satire directed at Austin, Texas. Does that sound like ground breaking speculative fiction? It does to me. Writing these progress reports makes me feel as if I am my own John Madden. Wow, I just got goosebumps. Let’s look at the numbers. chapter 37 word count - 2215 new grand total - 90,977 And, today only, for those of us just aching for another milestone in the progress of my novel, I present to you, without further ado, grand total character count - 502,149 !! That’s right a half million imaginary squiggly lines on theoretical electronic paper(now THAT sounds like science fiction). I pat my own back, then blog about it.

Progress Report 28

I just finished chapter 36 of Normal Heroes. It takes place in Utah, one of the more beautiful places on Earth. It concerns police contractors, duck ponds, boom-town culture, streamlined justice, and mule-skinning. A western! Well, it has trains, mules, um, ducks, and a preacher. Not John Wayne, but a western nonetheless. I can see the halfway point of novel on the horizon. chapter 36 word count - 2242 new grand total - 88,762 Hopefully, I get a chance to squeeze some more thoughts on the future of roller derby into this novel. I did a little a few days ago, with some characters watching a match between North Korea’s team and Iceland’s. I like to think that in the mid-twenty-first century, roller derby will be the most popular sport on earth. I mean just do the math. Read Nostradamus, I am pretty sure it is in there.