It's been too long since I last posted here, but I have a good excuse. Parris has been off in Ireland since June 6, and I have been trying to take advantage of the (comparative) isolation to get some serious work done on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. I've only been partially successful there. It has been a good few weeks, work wise, but not the great few weeks that I was kinda sorta hoping for. I did manage to finish one especially troublesome chapter that I have been fussing and fretting over since before I split the two books, so that's good. (At least I THINK I finally finished it. Tomorrow I may reread the thing and decide, no, it's no good at all. But I hope not). Finished some other chapters too, and did some more revision, so I've been productive, but still... there's no way around it, DANCE is simply coming more slowly than me, my editors, or my readers would like.
I am trying to deal with that, in a couple of ways. First, I have gone and hired an actual assistant, for the first time in my career. Ty Franck has been fixing some glitches with my computer system, running a lot of my annoying, time consuming, but necessary errands, and putting my files on a database, which will finally allow me to phase out the extremely idiosyncratic, pen-and-paper-index-cards-manila-folders-a
Also, sad to say, I have begun to question whether or not I can make this year's worldcon in Japan. I hate to cancel, I truly do. I have not missed a worldcon, foreign or domestic, since Aussiecon II in 1985, and I do not want to break my twenty-one year streak. I love worldcons. Plus, I have never been to Japan, and I really wanted to go. Of course, I am not going to fly across the Pacific just for five days at a con. If I am going to Japan, I want to stay a few weeks and see Japan. My Japanese publisher has invited me to make some promotional appearances when I am over there as well. And my Chinese publisher has suggested I come in for a conference in China before the worldcon. And now my Korean publisher would like me to visit South Korea and do some signings after Japan. I would love to do all of this, and see the sights besides, but if I do it will mean at least a month-long trip, and maybe two months, and I just don't think I can spare the time.
A year ago, it would never have dawned on me that DANCE would not be done by the time the Japanese worldcon rolled around, but that's looking like a very real possibility now. Much as I might want to, I just can't take off for a month of Asian travel with the book undone. I have to finish if it kills me... and some days I think it may. So I think my streak is going to have to end. (And no, skipping Japan does NOT mean I will now be free add the San Diego Comicon, the St. Louis NASFic, Dragoncon, or Bubonicon to the schedule. If I cancel one con then turn around and add others, it sort of defeats the purpose of cancelling). If I decide to stay home, that's what I will do. Stay home.
Parris gets home July 2. She's having a great time in Ireland, she tells me, despite a flight from hell, being stranded in O'Hare, a bum knee that is hobbling her still, pouring rain, an auto accident that totalled two cars. Which just goes to show how much she loves Ireland and her friends there. Still, it will be nice to have her home. Our two houses both feel very empty with her gone, especially at night.