Crawling Along

I’m backing down from eight shots of espresso in the morning to four. So far, it’s not going well. I feel only half awake. I’m sure restless sleep has something to do with it, though, since Atlanta Bound is heating up and I had to drag myself away from the book last night. It wants to be done, but it keeps wriggling for a dark cave while I crawl after it, stabbing.

Graphic? Perhaps. Accurate? Completely. I need to weaken and bleed out the story to the point where I can finish it off in one last convulsive effort.

The entire corpus of Roadtrip Z is coming up on 200K words, and after Season 4 is finished, there will be a re-edited omnibus/box set. Which means I’m not going to be saying goodbye to Ginny and Lee all at once, but in stages. Which is nice, with a project this large and time-consuming. I’m already tossing around ideas for the serial I want to write after RZ is finished. Current contenders include Hell’s Acre and the Robin Hood in Space story. But we’ll have to see.

So Ginny, Lee, and the gang are almost to their final destination–in more ways than one. The zombies have grown desperate, and like most desperate creatures, much smarter and more ferocious. That’s the thing with a zombie story–the stakes must raise, and you’ve got to leave them room to do so. Fortunately, I’ve known from the beginning what the endgame is, as usual, and just had to throw enough obstacles in their way to make them really work for it. A couple beloved characters are going to have to die, too. And I’ve got to figure out what happens to Traveller-the-Hound.

So my work is cut out for me. Ideally, I’d like to get this zero out by the weekend so I can turn my attention to Hostage of Zhaon, which is currently languishing with an editor. I need feedback, and not getting it in a timely fashion is part of the great dance of publishing.

*time passes*

Typing that reminded me that nobody at the publisher knows what I’m thinking unless I tell them, so I wrote a quick email asking for an update. It costs nothing to ask where the process is at, and may be a gentle reminder that I am PATIENTLY WAITING, DAMMIT. (My agent would be laughing at me now, because she knows the exact dimensions of my professional patience.)

The house is quiet, a band of rain moved through earlier, and the wind is warmer than I expected, given the weather reports. I have to run, then open up Atlanta Bound and crawl along the story’s bloody trail, clutching a knife of words and hoping to at least slow the beast down so I can finish it off in a few days’ time.

Over and out.