>I suddenly have so much free time that it’s almost comical – I keep expecting someone to come snatch it away from me, but so far, no one has, and the amount of relief I feel is staggering – staggeringly delightful. Of course there are mounds of catch-up projects post-crazy-mad-season, but there’s no rush on any of them (ie: everyone procrastinates until they get tired of procrastinating, or at least until the checks stop coming in the mail, and the bosses realize we need to do more work in order to get paid, and then I get new projects), and so I spent nearly all day yesterday writing, and so far nearly half of today.

Rewrote the near end of Braeberry thanks to clever Gio’s insight, although I have mixed feelings about it. What she and I initially disagreed about was Leigh in general – Leigh’s lack of motivation, lack of ability to do anything, was what made her real to me, what made her character sing. Gio wanted the growth, the development, which typically most people want in a story, especially me – how many stories do I read (even published) and write off as mediocre because the character doesn’t do anything, go anywhere, move or change, even negatively?

Which makes me think of Paul HainesWives, in the X6 novella anthology. A near-future, post-apocalyptic story that drove me nearly mad with anger and frustration and near hatred at the terrifying gender issues (I have nothing but respect and admiration for Mr. Haines, and the unbelievable work he created – I do want to read more of his work, now). But the main character doesn’t learn from his mistakes, or what could potentially be a ‘mistake,’ according to certain people. He’s easily swayed by popular opinion. He refuses to see any other point of view. By the end of the novella, he’s jumped to the next extreme. He’s a despicable character. I suppose he does change, though, for the worse. He goes from being on the fence to taking terrible action.

Leigh’s not like that, but I liked her selfish honesty, her inability to see past her own nose – perhaps it’s because too many of us could admit to having that quality, if we’re forced to. In this new draft, she goes through the appropriate character progression, which takes away some of her reluctant charm, at least, for me. Plus, it completely changes one of the minor characters and they meet their respective end.

One more plus, though: it ups the intensity by ten. Hard to beat that. I guess we’ll see what my honest crit partners think.

Next up is mine & Gio’s Witch. It’s too quirky & elegant to be sitting in our computers without a home. Perhaps soon it will find one.

I feel so luxurious, with all this time – like Kitty stretching his paws along the back of the couch, King of the Downstairs. I even went running last night, and it was gloriously wonderful and agonizingly hard all at one time. And there are some recipes I want to make soon, too. Perhaps the cooking & baking will come back next.