Journal Entry: March 4, 2009

I haven’t posted in a week, so here’s my big update.

Last Wednesday, I mentioned that I’d just finished a major rewrite of Gods Tomorrow. I got two copies of it printed up, and had T– take them to church Wednesday night to share with a couple folks who had asked to see some of my stuff (one among them being our preacher, Rob McElroy).

I usually don’t hesitate to share my material with others (quite the contrary, I force it on them), but in this case it really freaked me out. I think that was because I couldn’t have the same confidence that these two gentlemen knew who I was, or what I was about, as they delved into the book. Rather, it was much more like a real reader picking up the book off a shelf at Barnes and Noble. I had only the material itself to defend the book.

It was terrifying.

Thursday, T– left during the day to head to Wichita, taking AB up there for the monthly Charboneau birthdays party. I stayed home (my reward for putting up with the recent remodeling project), and made some progress on several of my projects.

Thursday night after work I got a haircut, then headed over to K– and N–‘s for dinner. T– had made enchiladas for them, and they were willing to share. Afterward we watched Lost (which I had already seen with T–, but it was worth a repeat viewing), and chatted some. Even with the late start because of my haircut, I was home a little after eight.

Before I went to bed I watched a movie (I don’t remember which, but something stupid), and then spent a couple hours working on a detailed plot outline for Ghost Targets: Expectation.

Friday was my Regular Day Off, and I made good use of it. I spent most of the morning working on writing stuff. I finished up my outline, which essentially maps every significant scene in the novel, start to finish. I also got a start on an outline for the overarching series. I had already roughed out some stuff in my scribblebook, but I started the process of setting down my major story arcs into a discrete list.

Then I spent the afternoon programming. K– caught me in GMail chat, and we collaborated on an XBMC plugin that’s replacing MovieHoard (as described on my projects page). This new one is called LibraryCompare, and I’ll reserve the excruciating details for the other page, but it essentially lets each of us browse the other’s XBMC media library, as though we were browsing material on our own machines. Obviously we can’t play the files, but it’s going to be a great tool for checking quickly what we do and don’t have available between us.

Friday night D– came over and we tried to crash in on B– and E–, but they proved uncrashable (and the same again Saturday night). We ended up going to On the Border instead, and had appetizers for a surprisingly satisfying (and cheap) dinner. After that we watched stupid movies until stupid late. D– played on his guitar some, and I messed around with the XBMC plugin.

Woke up around nine Saturday morning, and had to drive D– up to Edmond to drop off his car so they could finish installing his new stereo. We grabbed some breakfast at McDonalds, and headed back to the house for more of the same. Got D– caught up on Flight of the Conchords, and I watched some Dr. Katz, all while programming with Kris via GChat.

Around four we ran back up to Edmond to pick up his car, and scrapped plans to grab some dinner on the way home when we both decided we weren’t really hungry yet. Instead we went back to the house, and installed the new grill D– had gotten for the front of his car. It attached directly to the existing one, but it was still easily a two-hour project getting it put on.

After that we were ready for dinner. We tried Texas Roadhouse, but at 8:00 on a Saturday we were looking at a ninety-minute wait. We ended up going to Belle Isle at 50 Penn Place, which was immediate seating, better food, and about the same price.

It was eerie being at 50 Penn Place, because I used to go there a lot in college (for Creative Writing assignments that took me to the fantastic Full Circle Bookstore there), but hadn’t been back since then. On the other hand, I have set a scene in one of my Sleeping Kings novels there, and it involves a car bomb and a pillaging mob. I spent some time walking the scene trying to iron out the differences between the floor plan in my head and the one that exists in the real world, and it was a truly unsettling experience. We also spent some time browsing the shelves at Full Circle, and D– ended up buying a book.

After that, we went back to the house and watched some more stupid movies while I finished up my outline. That’s right — I now have a complete outline for a 25-book series. It’s madness.

Sunday morning I went to church, then over to K– and N–‘s for lunch. We had leftovers, which for me consisted of chopped brisket from Steve’s Rib (my favorite), and some of T–‘s brownies. I’ve really cashed in on her generosity towards them.

We talked some, and then just before I headed home I got a call from T– saying she was feeling sick, and wouldn’t make it back that afternoon.

I spent much of the rest of the afternoon painting the shelves for T–‘s new kitchen island, which was a real pain. I needed to paint the top and bottom of each of them, with two coats for each, as well as the front lip of it, and there was just no convenient way to paint a coat and then let it dry without the wet paint coming into contact with something. I could have done one side at a time, but with dry time and multiple coats that would’ve taken days (and I just don’t have the attention span for that). The method I settled on left the bottom side looking pretty shabby, but the rest of it came out well. (And who’s going to see the bottom side, anyway?)

I got that done, and then D– and I grabbed some dinner from Qdoba. It was fantastic. Really, good eats all weekend. The evening was more movies and more programming, but it ended much earlier than the previous ones. I was probably in bed by 10:30, but I don’t think I fell asleep until about midnight.

Monday morning T– called me to tell me she was heading home, and we were able to meet for lunch at Freddy’s. It was fun to see both of them, and a real high point in my day.

She also called me later in the afternoon to tell me that she’d been in touch with our preacher’s wife, and they (the McElroys) would be coming over for dinner Tuesday night. I got to spend the next two days constantly reminding myself, “It’s only been a week. He probably hasn’t read the book yet. We’ll just find something else to talk about.”

Monday night I got in and AB was really happy to see me. I played with her while T– took care of some errands, running up to the mall and then stopping by Mazzio’s on the way home to pick up some dinner. We ate kinda late, and then once AB was in bed we had time to watch two new Flight of the Conchords before bedtime. We went and stayed up to watch Big Bang Theory, though, because we’re naughty.

Then Tuesday after work I caught a quick nap before our guests came over. Rob walked in the door holding his copy of the book, and told me he had taken it home from church the previous Wednesday and read 30 pages before he had to go to sleep. Then he spent all day Thursday looking forward to getting home so he could read more. He finished it Thursday night.

That’s high praise right there. Then he added to it by spending the rest of the evening talking about the book. He wanted to discuss the ideas in the book, some of the main plot elements, and my writing style, too. I’d already told him that it was a NaNoWriMo book, so he wanted to know how exactly that goes, and how much of it had changed since the rough draft, and as all of you know, those are precisely the sorts of things that I like to go on about. At length.

T– made a pork tenderloin for dinner that was a huge hit (and a cherry cobler dessert that was even more popular), and when Rob asked about the plastic drum set in the corner we got to introduce them to Rock Band. But the bulk of the evening, by far, was Book Club.

They hung around until nearly 9:00, so after they left and we got AB in bed, we had just time to watch a couple TV shows, and then went to bed.

There’s a week in my life.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.