Day 4- Tap, tap, tedious (then burgers!)

This was the one day I didn’t mind waking up early.  Out of bed, shower and breakfast, and then settling in by eight at the computer.  That left me with nine hours to finish the story.  In the movie, this is where we would have the montage shot- I slip the earbuds of my I-pod in, crash back on my billion thread count fancy sheets with the laptop, and the fingers dance.  Hip hop plays, the camera swoops around the room, and my facial expressions are oscar worthy as they convey my doubt, excitement, desperation and grim determination.

Yeah, that’s why movies about hackers are so desperate seeming.  Watching someone type is boring as hell.


Anyway, the story came out.  So what was it about?  My one line response- It’s an urban fantasy about the black market trade in the blood of dead gods.  And yeah, I used all my elements- there are glass spheres (paper weight), tattoos (interview), mythological gods (research).  I even managed to drop in some random things from the week- phrases I’d heard people use, names, descriptions of people I had seen on the street.

I finished my rough at two.  I grabbed lunch, took a nice walk around Hollywood, came back and gave it a quick once over.  Slapped on a title- Blood & Change, which I’m not sure I’m happy with.  Then off to Author Services to drop it off.

(So is it a good story?  I’d say it’s the start of one.  It needs some serious editing and clean up though.  Right now it looks like something I hammered out in a few hours while short on sleep.)

After a long anti-social day, I got to chat with people again.  Than back to the hotel to get ready for the barbeque.

The barbeque was the first official social event.  The judges were going to be there, and it was the first official time we got to meet the artists who did our drawings.  (We unofficially met them a little earlier, when we went to the tux fittings) It was also my first chance to see my wife and eldest since we had seperated at the airport, since they were coming by.

I linked up with them in the lobby, where my daughter was exclaiming about the decorations.  She thought the hotel was very cool.  A bright lights, big city girl, and going to be annoyed as hell at us when she gets older and realizes that we voluntarily moved out into the middle of nowhere to raise her.  If you read my story, yeah, she’s one of Lilly’s inspirations.

We headed off to the bbq, which was near the hotel pool.  Along the way, the poor girl was subjected to some careful coaching from the parents, basically amounting to the traditional be seen not heard admonishments.  Which we usually aren’t so heavy about, but this was kind of a professional thing for me, and I was a bit nervous.  I really didn’t want to be remembered as the guy whose kid kicked Jerry Pournelle (or any of the other judges).  Not that I expected her to, she’s a good kid.  But plan for the worst.  Especially with children.

So of course she was great.  We got to sit with Dave Wolverton and Eric Kotani, which was a lot of fun.  Kiddo did great, even proudly telling them how I was so good at pouring her water because once, I’d been a waiter, which she considered an interesting job.  After dinner (enormous, tiger-choking burgers), we settled the kid beneath a palm tree with the i-pod (ah, modern media, how would we neglect our children without you?) , and chatted with others.


It was a lot of fun, but a bit nerve-wracking.  It was like finally being allowed to sit at the grown-up table, and constantly being afraid you were going to spill the gravy boat.  But it was great fun to meet the illustrators and the authors.  Eventually, kiddo and the wife headed out, and not too long after that they passed out our homework for the night.

Yep, homework.  K.D. had randomly picked three of the 24 hour stories, and we were to critique them for the next day.  Mine wasn’t one of them, which was a relief in some ways- I knew it had problems, but on the other hand it would have meant that I only had to critique two stories.  The party broke up soon after that, and it was back to the room to start reading.

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