Where We’ve Been, What’s Going On Now, What’s Happening Next

I’m back. Over the last few days Krissy and I were in New York City, convincing skeptical friends that Krissy was not actually mythical and does indeed exist (the rumor of the mythical Krissy having sprung up through the fact that I’ve gone to two Worldcons solo and yet spoke of this mysterious offstage wife). Suffice to say that they are all suitably convinced. During our stay in NYC, we stayed at the palatial apartment of Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier, and very much enjoyed their hospitality; we of course extended an invitation to this marvelous couple to visit us in the rustic splendor of rural Ohio and then we all had a nice long giggle at the idea of the two of them tromping through the neighboring cornfields. Nevertheless, the offer still stands.

Aside from enjoying the pleasure of Scott and Justine’s company, we also visited other friends, saw the Blue Man Group (which was very touristy, but on the other hand was also a lot of fun, and hell, we were tourists), and swung by Tor for lunch with the Nielsen Haydens, and to pick up an Advance Readers’ Copy of Old Man’s War. I was very pleased the NHs made the time, as they were busy jamming through work prior to rocketing off to Arizona, and having lunch conversation with the two of them is always lots of fun.

Incidentally, PNH tells me that in fact Old Man’s War will be printed and on pallets by mid-November, which means it will almost certainly be in bookstores in time for the holidays. So please feel free to place it back on your lists of things to buy for Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice. Also, I see that OMW is ranked in the 34,000s on the Amazon rankings at the moment, so to the six of you who have already pre-ordered the book: Bless you, my friends.

Having a weekend in New York City to relax and enjoy the company of friends was a good thing, as I mentioned over at By The Way, because November is going to be hellacious. Here’s the deal: Because of various editorial reasons which need not be discussed here, I’ll be writing pretty much the entire Rough Guide to Science Fiction Film in November. That’s about 80,000 words. So all you people who are thinking of doing the National Novel Writing Month thingie in November: I’ve so got you beat. I’ll be using the rest of October to clear the decks of other projects and to watch lots and lots of science fiction movies; come November 1, I submerge into the inky depths and you won’t see much of me until December 1, when either the book will be off to the editors, or I will be off to intensive care for my ulcers.

What this means is that it is now official: I will be taking a hiatus from the Whatever through the entire month of November. I haven’t yet decided whether I will simply put up a “Come Back December 1” entry or if I will post “re-runs” of popular previous whatevers. Alternately, I may post a daily (or semi-daily) link to some music I’ve found online, ala the late, lamented IndieCrit, and leave the comment thread open for your thoughts on the music. If you have a preference please let me know.

Whatever I do, I guarantee it will not involve more than five minutes of my time on a daily basis, because I’ve got a couple thousand words to write daily in a book. My AOL Journal By The Way will of course be running more or less as usual, since I get paid for that. Yes, I know many of you would prefer I do the Whatever over By the Way. But one pays bills and the other doesn’t. You can’t give the bank an excuse to take your home.

The good news is that December looks rather a bit more relaxed. If I can get through the next five weeks, It’ll be smooth sailing until 2005. And I wouldn’t mind a month off.

16 Comments on “Where We’ve Been, What’s Going On Now, What’s Happening Next”

  1. I would vote for the IndieCrit Experience. It’s missed. But — that’s only if you promise you won’t spend hours Googling for bands to list. If you’re going to do that, you might as well do the usual Whatever.

    Have a productive November, see you after Thanksgiving!

  2. I vote for music too! I’ve missed Indie Crit. Good music is something one cannot get enough of. Music!

  3. Chris: Yes, I know. I didn’t see everybody in New York I wanted to. But that merely provides an excuse to go back.

  4. Have a good trip to the edge of insanity. My eyes would be bleeding if I tried to cram 80,000 words into a single month.

  5. I did 60,000 words in nine days once, and OMG would I not recommend the experience.

    But John, did you have to time this so close to Daylight Savings ending? The winter just seems so… bleak.

  6. John, apropros By the Way (since I don’t have an AOL account): please don’t vote for Nader. If you do, I will be very sad and won’t buy _Old Man’s War_ for all my friends and relatives.

    I actually am kind of sorry we don’t live in a swing state–I feel guilty about not doing more than giving money, but I can’t afford travel time just now. If we did, I might have managed my schedule otherwise.

  7. Kate: I’d rather eat razor wire than vote for Nader, so no worries on that score. It’s just that coming back from three-day trip with no less than 20 of those damn recorded political messages on one’s answering machine makes one, well, irritated.

  8. It beats the “Senior Citizens Protection Group” voice mail spam I’ve been getting. I’m 36 and when I get old enough, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna give cold, hard cash to any group that can’t manage a simple thing like purchasing a targeted phone list.

  9. Well, as much as I love Whatever, I’m also quite a big fan of Scalzi books, so I suppose I can’t bitch too much.

    My vote would be for music. I seriously went into mourning went IndieCrit disappeared.

    If I get two votes (this is a Diebold voting system, yes?) I would cast the other one for “Best Of”

  10. “That’s about 80,000 words. So all you people who are thinking of doing the National Novel Writing Month thingie in November: I’ve so got you beat.”

    Yeah, but those 80K words are your job. If I do NaNoWriMo it’s on top of 45 to 50 hours of regular employment plus the usual grocery shopping, food cooking, leaf raking, etc. that make up daily existence.

    Oh, okay, so I admit I bailed out of NaNoWriMo after just twelve and a half thousand words when it became clear that the only way I could go all the way would have been to move my remaining vacation days (that I had scheduled for Christmas week) to November. (And yet, I know people who also hold full time jobs who completed their novels last year — and one who published hers! *sigh*)

  11. John:

    I can’t believe that you will let the “day after” pass without an entry–whichever way the election goes.

  12. Ed’s right. And if the whole gets dragged into the courts until early December again, I bet we see more than one post.

    Until then, some other content-rich, effort-free ideas for John:

    – post excerpts from one or more of your books
    – Cross-post your By The Way entries (can you do that?)
    – Let Athena and/or Krissy take over for the month
    – Divide it up among your regular readers & let them “guest blog” for a few days each (you could be John “Carson” Scalzi)
    – Post trivia questions for the group to discuss (perhaps astronomy themed, with answers in the Rough Guide?)
    – photo blog

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