The Bujold Nexus

September 2006

Subject: (chat) Blackstone happiness, even greater happiness
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006

(Lois puts on small businesswoman hat)

So, there was a nice royalty check from Blackstone Audiobooks in the mail today -- quite a number of my titles with them have earned out their advances. For those of you who are following e-commerce, I note that my sales through Internet downloads, mostly through, continue to outstrip my really quite miniscule audio sales on physical media by about a ten-to-one margin. I continue to suspect the principal reason is simple availability; bookstores have little room for audiobooks of any sort, still less for F&SF, so my work is not stocked in bricks & mortar places.

I hope Blackstone gets a few more titles through production and up soon, so that they, too, can be earning some e-bread.

(Takes off business hat, puts on artiste hat)

And in other news, I finished the first draft of The Wide Green World, Vol. 1 this past weekend.

24 chapters, either 128K or 133k words depending on how the computer counts them; a full book, though still half a tale.

I have no idea why Word claims the book is 128k when I add the chapter counts separately, but reports 133k when the very same chapters are all in a linked file. Either the ways of computers are mysterious, or my arithemetic was off. Ah, well. It was enough words to reach the end, with possibly a few to spare.

This is the first of many "finishes" that a book of mine goes through. There will be revision passes on several levels -- on this one in particular, I expect to delay the last revision pass till after the second volume is complete in first draft, for obvious reasons of continuity checks. Things planted early on may not bear plot fruit, and need pruned out; late developments may require earlier set-ups. Pacing may turn out to be awry in relation to the as-yet-dimly-seen whole. And so on. Nevertheless, it's a lovely sensation to be this far along.

Better still, for a change, the timing came out even. I now have a nice between-books break falling atop my book-launch distraction phase, good multi-tasking. And I have a time window, before it becomes impossible to open windows for ventilation, to do some much-needed home maintenance things like painting walls with ten years of grime on 'em, replace worn carpeting, and other good things that will make this house a more heartening place to be shut up in, come what I hope will be a productive winter.

Ta, L. (Takes off all hats, bows.)

Subject: (chat) On Topic
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006

I am pleased to report that I finished Ch. 22 of The Wide Green World vol. 1 this evening, and mailed it out to my usual suspects. Of which one e-mailed back in an hour with a one-word critique: "Wow."

We like this...

A couple of chapters of wrap to go. I may actually submit it by that point, if they wrap nicely enough.

This one has been a most peculiar volume to write. I was rather hoping that doing the double duology would get me off the hook for writing the middle book of a trilogy -- you know, that volume that inevitably and unavoidably starts in the middle, ends in the middle, and solves nothing. By mid-way through, I was having my doubts about whether I'd succeed in ducking that bullet or not, but maybe I have. It's a very interesting technical problem, to have the overall mid-story disaster double in brass as the first volume climax, and still have any rounding or closure at all. "Look! Inside this can of worms we find... a bigger can of worms! Yay!"

Damn, this is fun. When it isn't totally maddening or wholly frustrating, that is.

I wish I knew what the happens next. More walks, methinks. September looks to be a lovely month for that around here.

Tomorrow, a haircut. And get my car's oil changed. And other life maintenance of that ilk. Also pick up a new carton of copier paper from Office Max. I so enjoy being able to buy a whole carton at a time... no artificial shortages. Although the time may come when I can no longer lift one by myself, I suppose.

Ta, L.

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Last updated: September 19th 2006