I went to my writer's meeting today. Love those guys. I finally feel as if I've started to bond with them, after--what, five years? It ain't their fault, though. I'm hard to get to know, and they are all twenty years older than I am. Hard to find common ground, outside of the writing, and I'm the only one doing that these days--and y'all know how little of that I've been doing of late.
Although, Rob (Chilson) just sold a story to Analog. It's called "Space Farmers" or something like that. We critted it in-house, and there's some interesting material in there--it's very solid speculation about how to raise produce and grains in zero-gee and zero-atmo. Stan Schmidt told him he liked it and wanted it, but they didn't have any money to pay him right now. That's terrifying, in my opinion. I don't know when it will be coming out, but I'll keep you posted.
I was the only one with any material today. I've been feeding them Trace stories in installments--they see rougher versions than I let leak to you guys. I've been writing frantically for the last few days, trying to get some material on paper so they'd have more to read, so they got to see about two-thirds, or 20 pages, of "Parlor Games." They were very approving, which is a relief because I hadn't had a chance to look back over the text I pretty much just regurgitated onto the page. The dialogue was a little rough, especially the German accent of one character, and there were some anachronisms of vocabulary, but that's what I keep them around for. We had a lovely little discussion about language and character development. They all really seem to get it and be on board with it. Jan is always first to laugh at the funny bits. Lynette said she really enjoyed how I've balanced Trace's dilemma: how he may have learned to cope with his curse but he's never really dealt with it.
Alison is a little disatisfied with Trace's reticence and wimpiness. She wants him to suck it up and tell Fairweather off--or at least ask more questions, take steps to control his own destiny. I just smile and tell her not to rush me.
By the way, can anybody provide me with a few nineteenth-century substitutions for "bitch"? And "kraut'? What was the common derogatory term for a German back then? I've found a nifty dictionary of 19th century slang, but it's a bit limited. And my "Cowboy Lingo" book has been sanitized for someone's protection.
Anyway, I will probably have this done, at least in rough form, in another three or four days.