duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
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"There was an odd kind of mood lift that came with privation. . . . It was something seen during long, long nights of corporate projects where no one slept and where eating was done from half cold takeaways while you worked. Sometimes the cheer was called 'punch drunk', but it was as if people began to concentrate on anything that in a seriously uncomfortable situation gave them any kind of comfort, particularly the most primal things. The intense sensory pleasure of hot coffee and the sweetness of donuts, which on an ordinary day you'd eat without noticing. A kind of pride and celebration that said this was a hell of a night, but we got through it. Dale knew the feeling too from his experience of being what Flynn and the others called grounded. When your day was severely simplified and restricted, you began to notice and take real pleasure from anything good, from the smallest of privileges that usually you'd barely notice. The human spirit, in circumstances of hardship fought back, and a little rough living cleared both your head and your senses."

--Rolf and Ranger: Silver Bullet - Ranch.


Began writing "Shot" (The Eternal Dungeon).

Edited "Forge 1: Stalked" (The Eternal Dungeon).

Edited "Homecoming" (Life Prison).

Reread Law Links (The Three Lands) in preparation to reissuing it. Cried, like I always do. It's the only story of mine that makes me cry.

Edited "Death Mask 1: Probable Danger Whistle" (The Three Lands).

REISSUED Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon).

REISSUED Split (The Eternal Dungeon).

REISSUED The Unanswered Question (The Eternal Dungeon).

SERIALIZED ONLINE Crossing the Cliff (Darkling Plain).

Photographed a heck of a lot of cover art, all in one afternoon.

Hired Pride Promotions to arrange a book blast tour in March for the reissue of "Rebirth."


I'll be updating my website with the appropriate links in April. The e-books are at the stores now (or are being added to the stores now, in the case of "Survival School").

[From "Survival School" (Young Toughs)]

Frank dipped his eyes in a sign of obedience. Mordecai said in a small voice, "Sir?"

For the first time, their guide smiled. Looking down at Mordecai, he said, "You don't have to call me 'sir.' Folks call me Trusty."

Bat exchanged looks with Joe. Mordecai said, "She spoke to me. Does that mean I have to get fifty whatevers?"

Immediately, without need for thought, all the boys glared at their guide – even Slow, who could be quick in times of danger. Ignoring this, Trusty said, "No, if staff talks to you, you should reply. And you can ask questions, if it's about your work or something important."

"Who's staff?" asked Frank, his eye on the Administration Building. Bat could guess that he was envisioning dozens of pretty girls inside, all ready to talk to him.

"Officers and employees." Trusty started walking forward in the direction of the Administration Building, and they all followed him. "Officers are the Super, Teachers, Watchmen, and Department Heads. They give you orders, and they can punish you. Employees are the rest of the staff: Mastress Bennington, who works as secretary for her father; the carpenter; the painter . . . Anyone who works here, but who isn't training you. They can't punish you, but you'd best follow their orders—"

"—because they're masters," Joe concluded wearily. "We've known that since our cradle days, right?" He held up his wrist. Like the wrists of every person in the Dozen Landsteads, it was tattooed with a rank-mark. The five boys all had the same rank-mark: a black S, showing they were servants.

Trusty, whose own rank-mark was hidden by the overlong sleeves of his uniform, gave an abrupt nod. "See you remember. They'll remind you, otherwise."

Bat, who'd received a few "reminders" since his arrest, looked again at the grazing field and the farm and the meadow filled with butterflies. It made no sense. This could not possibly be a prison or transformatory or whatever the staff wished to call it. Prisons were for punishment. This . . . this was a holiday in the countryside.

[From "Prison Food and Fondness" (The Eternal Dungeon)]

She knew in her heart that her frantic desire to cook a meal had to do with what had taken place on her wedding night.

Her musings on this were interrupted by Weldon's arrival at the master bedroom in their "living cell," as Seekers termed their apartments. He was in his shirt and drawers, rubbing dry his hair, having just completed his week's end bathing. "I saved the water for you," he said.

She grimaced, glancing beyond him at the round iron tub sitting in the middle of their parlor. Some of the sacrifices she had undergone to become a Seeker were more distasteful than others. "I'll bathe tomorrow," she said. When there was some hope that the water would still be warm out of the maid's pitcher. "My chain is snagged on my collar. Will you loosen it for me?"

He came forward quickly, eager as always to help. It took him a moment to free the chain that held the locket she wore as a traditional indicator that she was married. The dungeon's Codifier – himself a widower who wore a marriage watch to work – had ruled that it was acceptable for her to wear the locket on duty, provided that it remained hidden under the plain uniform she wore as a Seeker. It was the uniform of a female prisoner; similarly, all of the male Seekers wore the uniform of a male prisoner, as a visible symbol of the oaths they had made to live as much as possible like their prisoners.

Weldon stepped back with the chain and locket in hand. She turned her head to look at him. Even after all these months, she instinctively expected to see a familiar sight: the expression of a man who has touched the neck of a beautiful woman and who longs for greater intimacy.

What she saw was Weldon's polite smile. "I'll put this away beside my watch, shall I?" he offered.

She nodded, turning toward the mirror before he should see the look in her eyes. Her throat ached as she reached for her brush. . . .


12:25 AM: Wrote a scene in "Shot."

2:00 AM: Prepared meal while talking to Jo/e.

2:50 AM: Ate while rereading "Law Links" in preparation for reissue; made note of any typos and continuity errors that slipped past me before.

3:30 AM: Did housework while talking to Jo/e.

4:25 AM: Did research reading for "Shot."

5:50 AM: Did more housework. Prepared meal.

6:50 AM: Ate while rereading "Checkmate" as preparation for writing more scenes in "Shot"; made note of any typos and continuity errors that slipped past me before.

7:15 AM: Went to bed.

1:50 PM to 9 PM: Repeated the above schedule.

Professional hours:
3:05 hours of writing.
2:10 hours of research.
1:45 hours of editing.

Total professional hours: 7.
Words written: 5,724.

"All those I think who have lived as literary men,--working daily as literary labourers,--will agree with me that three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write."

--Anthony Trollope.

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