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Saturday, June 28, 2003

Made a little more progress on Henderson this evening, with Mike going back to his apartment and collapsing from the pain of his cancer. The scene needs more work--he's listening to the radio (built into his computer which is permanently attached to his arm), picking up part of a newscast. The newscast needs to be more detailed, surprising, and disturbing--not just for the reader, but for Mike.

I also need to bring John, the dying octogenarian, into the chapter. He inspires (or provokes) Mike into making more of an effort, which will require taking the painkillers that Mike has ignored for weeks.

And that in turn will oil the hinges on some of the doors in Mike's mind, letting ideas mingle...

Friday, June 27, 2003

Just a few minutes' work done this evening on Henderson, but it takes me to the end of a chapter. It also leaves Mike feeling more pain than usual as his cancer advances. He's going to continue in some distress and will finally take the painkiller his doctor gave him back in chapter 1. At first I thought it was just that, a painkiller, but I think it's also going to affect Mike's brain just a little...and let him get some strange and wonderful ideas about how to design the virus nanobot.

I also posted the first of my "alternate reviews" on another blog site: Counterfactual. These reviews are really just a distraction from other jobs--but so was Henderson, and now it's almost 14,000 words long.

Managed to get some work done on Henderson's Tenants last night, just a few hundred words, but now we've moved into a critical area--describing how Mike and his colleagues develop the nanobots that will cure his cancer and heal Patty's damaged brain. In the process I should also be able to make some distinctions between nanomachines and the more or less organic devices that Mike's going to build.

I'm also wearing myself out trying to decide which blogging system to go with. I could stay with Blogger Pro, and upgrade...but they're switching systems right now, so would I please wait a while. Or I could get hosting through any number of other outfits, and then order Movable Type or pMachine and go crazy learning them...not sure why I do this to myself, but it's worth learning.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I'm getting a little over-blogged.

For the last few days I've been trying to acquire a hosting service, a domain, and then a blogging tool like Movable Type. Not much success so far, mostly because the hosting service is having trouble with the payment software.

So instead of getting any writing done, I'm surfing around trying to get a bunch of blogs set up...which of course will eat into my fiction-writing time. But it's like an itch--I really want to get a handle on the technical end of blogging, and get the experience of publishing four or five with different formats and content.

Then I'll feel confident enough to write about blogs in the third edition of Writing for the Web, and maybe even to run workshops on how to blog.

I'm also trying to figure out why, since I'm on Blogger Pro, I don't get the Pro features like image uploading and titles.

Nonetheless, tonight I intend to get something done on one of the novels. Reading an interesting but annoying book about nanotech. It's called Nanocosm, and it provides some good glimpses into the current state of thinking and research. But the author is so determined to be entertaining that he's just the reverse. Where's a cold-hearted editor when you need one?


Monday, June 23, 2003

No fiction today. Instead I worked on content for the soon-to-be-revised Web site of our Communications Department. Dull but oddly satisfying work: mostly just keying in URLs of sites that give advice on how to write well, a free service to anyone kind enough to pay us a visit. More such chores tomorrow.

I also spent some time trying to organize materials for an online course I'm going to teach in the fall, and running into some minor trouble with the software. You'd think that after all these years, it would be self-evident how to upload files to a Web site. Nope.

I also did some research about blogging tools. Blogger is really not very satisfactory--especially their nonexistent tech support. So I'm hoping to learn enough to create a proper blog, with lots of links, graphics, etc.--and in fact create several of them for various purposes. Just another time sink, I know, but it beats watching TV.

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