Yes, I have been writing.

Dustman progress:

And there is proof. See? 39%. No, I’m not cheating with the meter. My original 120 is a little high, I think. More realistically the book is going to be around 110K, maybe even a little less. It’s hard for me to know, but as I’m hitting the halfway point very soon I think I’m about on task. While 10,000 may not seem like that much more, it can be painfully unnecessary. So, yes.

The Hand Report: Not so hot. So, the hand doesn’t hurt where the injections went in. But the sides? Holy moly, Batman. Clearly something is going on in addition to the carpal tunnel, or I’m having phantom pains or something. Typing hasn’t been impossible, but slow. Back to the doctor tomorrow for more prodding and likely to schedule a nerve conduction survey. I’ve been trying to use the dictation software again, but I went into a red rage when it wouldn’t recognize Dev’s name after I trained it and said it about 59 times. It was 59. I counted it!

Adventures in fiction and otherwise have been going along steady even if the last few chapters have been a little more difficult than the rest of the book. I’m currently poised to start a rather exciting gunfight as The Clacker (that’s an underground subway of sorts that runs on a single rail) comes to a stop, and our heroine (Marna) and her sometimes heroic guide (Ash) have just stumbled upon two people (Eris, a Sib and healer and Wolstone, a bard) who appear to actually be performing magic. Which isn’t normal by any stretch of the imagination, but given the circumstances is certainly helpful.

I’m a little in love with the character of Ash Malcom, I must admit. Sometimes he channels Han Solo. Sometimes it’s a little Seth Bullock. And occasionally it’s a bit of Malcolm Reynolds (can’t say that last name, though missing an ‘l’ wasn’t entirely unintentional). The result is that he’s terribly quotable, often unintentionally hilarious, and no end of fun to write. Every time I get to write one of his chapters, I get excited. Sure, I like the other characters. I just don’t have crushes on them.

Ahem, anyway. A little excerpt from the draft, as he and Marna are… sortakinda warming to each other.

Ash was trying to learn how to talk around her, to measure his words right. Because every time he attempted to comfort her or explain things to her, seemed he was putting his foot in his mouth and chewing on the leather rather than making any progress.

“We had a rough start,” Ash said. “Both of us. We’re all being played, Marna, but I promise I’m not playing you. And I think—feck me, but gods I hope—you ain’t playing me.”

“Your Territories is showing,” Marna said with a quirk of her eyebrow. “You do realize whenever you get angry you sound like some cattle herder on the Purney Rise.”

“That’s ‘cause I was a cattle herder on the Purney Rise,” Ash replied. She was doing it again. He held up his hand, peacefully as he could. “But that’s not what we’re talking about, is it now? I’m saying you can trust me.”

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