Sunday, February 09, 2003


My extremely ambitious goal was to reach 25,000 words on Soulless this weekend. Didn't quite make it. I'm at a little above 20,000.

Today I went to see the new romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughy. I've got to give kudos to this film. It was incredibly entertaining. The problem with this type of film is that the relationship is almost never believable. Through an elaborate scenario, they justify why these two end up with each other, and the pair have enough chemistry and personal quirks to make a charming couple. Also, I laughed my ass off.

Saturday, February 08, 2003


Well, I'm being relatively successful at keeping up on this blog so far.

The week has been a lot of work at the day job. I've had to give finals to my four classes and grade them, as well as begin on various end of term paperwork. Hectic time.

In addition, I've just found out that I'm being transferred to Prince George County, Maryland. All of the timeline and logistical information still has to be sorted out, but we're starting an office there, on a temporary basis at first, to train local teachers in our methodology. This would be an intriguing prospect if it turned into something longer-term. We'll have to see how that goes. I'll keep the world updated.

Unfortunately, I'm not quite as successful at keeping up on the writing of Soulless in the wake of all this work, but it is progressing. I'm now on Chapter Eleven, having gotten around 18,000 words or so done. My hope is to be at 25,000 by the end of the weekend, although I expect that is a bit too ambitious.

Already, I see some things that I'll want to change in the second draft. I'm having to try hard not to tinker as I go. I like to brute force my first draft of a story, then let it sit for a while before digging into it with serious revisions. This also gives the opportunity for me to do a lot more research into related areas.

Speaking of research, I just read John Horgan's fascinating book The Undiscovered Mind which outlines the various shortcomings of current psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics ... in short, the various failures of every field of science attempting to understand the human mind. He's very realistic in his treatment of these matters, pointing out that a lot of the hype they get in the media and science writing circles isn't exactly warranted by the findings that they actually obtain. Fascinating book that I must recommend.

Not much to say right now, and I'm aiming to write about 7,000 words in the next 30 or so hours, so I should probably get typing.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 02, 2003

In an effort to keep things on this site up to date, I'll be blogging more frequently nowadays.

Started the actual writing on Soulless yesterday morning. I've now got about 10,000 words (6 chapters) done on it. If I can keep this momentum, then I figure I'll be done roughly the end of March. I'm fairly impressed with how it's unfolding. A few of the narrative things I was concerned about, but I think they'll work. Some things I've had to leave out because they don't flow that well yet. Right now my plan is just purely getting the story down on paper. I'm sure there will be heavy revision.

What's happening thus far: A mysterious series of murders, a controversial legislation about to go up for a vote, and an author digging into a scientist's past. In addition, we have some family tensions. Two more subplots have been hinted at and will be developed more strongly in the next chapter. The fictional science has been outlined in theory and practice, but without a lot of tying the two aspects together ... i.e. I've been able to avoid the mechanics of how the science is working.

One reference source that had a surprisingly strong influence on the storyline is David Brin's The Transparent Society. Privacy is now a major theme in the book, and the accessibility of information is having significant impacts on how I handle the entire murder investigation.