I’m making slow and steady progress on my latest WIP…averaging maybe 700 words or so a day. It’s at 4000 words now, and has about a scene and a half left on it, I think. It’s a bit longer than I originally envisioned, but I think I can keep it under 5k (or trim it back down to 5k once it’s finished). This particular project is an attempt on my part to stretch as a writer and do something a bit different — it’s a lighthearted action story involving dragons. So far it seems to be going pretty well, at least in the sense that I’ve been able to get a constant stream of words onto the page. Should have it wrapped up sometime in the next day or two.

I’ve also been doing assorted planning and outlining for my first attempt at an SF novel. (Back in January I wrote a novel-in-a-month Fantasy novel, but that was (1) fantasy and (2) purely for practice. So this is a bit different.) I may have to pretend that this is a practice novel as well, so as not to be paralyzed by the pressure to write something that’s *good*. Anyway, one nice difference between this novel and the one I wrote in January is that I’ve actually taken the time to do some prep work — pages and pages of notes on the setting and the characters (I even cranked out a short story that has the back story of one of the main characters).

Last on the list of miscellaneous things I’ve been doing lately — I’ve been going through the Hugo ballot and trying to get myself up to speed on everything to the point where I can make an educated vote. Yesterday, I went and checked out the websites for the nominees for best professional artist (Bob Eggleton, Donato Giancola, Stephan Martinere, John Jude Palencar, and John Picacio). Really cool artwork all around. My personal favorites were John Picacio (the website was titchy to navigate, but I loved the style and the emotional tone of the images) and John Jude Palencar (who tends toward more subdued colors than what I like, but many of the images have a nice dark disturbing vibe to them). The collection of websites is well worth a look. Next up (probably this afternoon) I’ll be watching Pan’s Labyrinth, the only nominee for Best Dramatic Presentation that I haven’t gotten around to watching yet.

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