Thanksgiving Weekend, 2013

A few more hours and Thanksgiving weekend begins. It can’t come soon enough. I have been buried at work, trying to shepard two fairly large software development projects to term at the same time, and it has become something of a nightmare. In fact, it reminds me of the fever dreams I used to have as a kid, where I’d find myself in the awkward (to say nothing of horrifyingly absurd) position of having to rewire the world.

I’m heading home around noon today, and will work the rest of the afternoon from home, mainly because there is the possibility of snow in the forecast this afternoon, and snow, combined with everyone in Washington, D.C. being let out early on the eve before Thanksgiving makes for a traffic nightmare that I would like to avoid.

My sister and her family are coming down for Thanksgiving this weekend. We went up to their place last year and so we are hosting this year. A traditional dinner, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, lots of side dishes. My sister is making grasshopper pie. Neither Kelly or I are sophisticated cooks in any way, so we took the easy way out: we ordered a pre-cooked dinner from Whole Foods, and I am so glad we did. It also eliminates the stress of cooking tomorrow. All we really have to do is heat things up.

In addition to getting in a lot of family time this weekend, I also hope to get close to wrapping up the first draft of this alternate history novelette. By the time the draft is done, it will likely have morphed into an alternate history novella, but I can already see a lot that can be cut. I’m aiming for at least 4,000 words over the long weekend, but we’ll see how things go. I’m really pushing because Sunday is December 1 and that means returning to my novel.

On Sunday, I’ll start reading the first draft of my novel for the first time. I plan on reading slowly and taking lots of notes, and I expect it to take about 2 weeks or so for me to get through the whole thing, plus another day or two to organize my notes. I won’t start writing the second draft during that time, which means that when I am not reading the novel, I can focus on writing the second draft of the alternate history. I’d like to have the second draft done by the time I start on the second draft of the novel.

I’m thinking about upping my daily word count goal beginning December 1. It has been 500 words since I started back in February. This is what I aim for each day. I don’t always hit it, but usually go beyond it. I’ve averaged just under 900 words a day. I’ll probably up my goal to 750 or 800 words and see how things go. I’m hoping it will help me push ahead on the second draft of the novel.

In addition to the big Thanksgiving dinner, I am using my family as an audience to practice reading a story. I’ve been invited to give a reading at the Washington Science Fiction Association in December, and I’m planning on reading the story I recently sold. But I should probably practice first.

I’ll probably be blogging here and there over the weekend. In the meantime, stay safe and have a very happy Thanksgiving1.

  1. And for those of you outside the U.S. who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, have a great weekend.