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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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On a dime.

So back at the beginning of October, I’d had maybe 5,000 words left to draft in no. 32, give or take, assuming an 18,000-word draft, on average: an expository acrostic to solve, and three more scenes, or four, depending, and I’d‘ve been done with the draft, and then the cutting and trimming, the buff and polish. But then, not quite four weeks later, I went and threw it all away.

(Well. Not “threw.” And not “away.” But still.)

So three weeks after that, I was right back where I’d been before, but reordered, rewritten, rejiggered, and a thousand words leaner and meaner, the expository acrostic deftly knotted up, and three scenes for certain left to write, on a somewhat firmer footing: IKEA, and not KIND bars, so Allen wrenches and Uber, and maybe one or two too many of those neatly rhyming Alan Moore transitions, that feel so good to write, but clunk a little too obviously later, when read back. But! So close, so close: I swear, it’s like pulling teeth, but when you’re pulling teeth at least when you’re done you have this handful of, well, teeth.

That was just before Thanksgiving, and now (or two weeks ago now), at the turn of the year? —19,099 read the ticker, when I tapped the last period and pushed back the keyboard.

So that’s a draft, and fifteen hundred words or so to cut. And I should probably figure out the ending of this one for real, yes yes.

A whole year later than I wanted, and even that want was late, but let’s not dwell on how we shouldn’t dwell on that.

Only one more episode to go, then, before the end of volume three, which means there’s all those decisions to finalize, reconfiguring the old paperbacks for a new, non-Amazon printer, and prepping the new; and I probably should dwell more on that.

I’ve been lighting a candle, now, when I wake up, or am woken by the cats, I should say. —I light a candle, watch the match burn down to my fingertips, and then I draw a single card; I’m currently using the Bad Girl Tarot, for reasons. Yesterday’s was the Magician, which, well, okay; today’s, as I sat down to write this post and then start setting the software up for the editing pass, today’s was the Eight of Swords, reversed:

Eight of Swords, Reversed.

A bit too on-the-nose, whoever it is you are.

—posted 36 days ago


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(Originally posted on the Patreon.)

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