Hello hello hello.
Where are we at, man. What week. January the 9th? 9 days into the side of a new year. Well. It should be a good one. A publishing year.
Let's see. Here's the book, yup.
A visual progress bar. I also very much agree with this sign at Dave & Linzy's, my friends and recent housesit:
And the beard is a visual progress bar too. That's courtesy of Paul Hayes, another writer and friend. His and mine are both pretty patchy at base, but I came into his lounge one day while he was editing (me and Lys freeloaded a handful of nights off him and his then-roomie Mr. Grinder) and he scratched at that patch, said:
'I'm not shaving it until I'm done with this, because I hate it.'
Good idea, Paul.
I'm copying you dutifully.
Progress though, Westerlind, you shameless small-talker.
So I got the keycode into the Writing Room. That's mad-news #1.
All that finagling I tried to do paid off, and now I've got a spot in this dee-lux space high on the 9th floor of the library with quiet access, spinny chairs, tons of windows.
First thing I did was spill 7.some oz's of my 8oz Americano all over the carpet.
Now I've met the cleaning staff. Three ladies originally from other countries. We did a lot of smiling and 'you don't have to'ing. They weren't used to people already blotting the stain out before they got there. My Grandma was in carpets, though- floors. I learned how to blot.
And I still have blotting to do. See, here's mad-news #2: I basically replaced writing-time with caring-for-dogs-time, and, worst: one of those dogs got all bit up on my watch. Even worse: like a fool I put him in the truck (wasn't my truck) to wait for me to grab my stuff so we could scram, and what's a dog with bloody ears to do but shake those bloody ears? And what's blood to do that's been shook but spray all over that truck, right up into the carpet fibers?
There's still blotting to do, folk, I'll be honest. I'm flying home to blot.
Conditioning, peroxiding; the penitence made me cry a couple times but it's good, you know. Penitence. Crying.
And that's my apology, sort-of. My verbal penitence. I admit that I took care of three dogs for a month and they took my writing time, or I gave it to them.
I mean I wrote. But. It slowed me down.
My excuses sound as paltry as they are.
But I'm ready to get back to it, and, here's the mad-news#3, I've got a window of opportunity.
See. Matt Legrice, who many of you know, he's ready to do the cover in March.
And. Ryan Carr showed up, and he is quote 'on board!' to make 'UGO BEAUTIFUL [his caps]'. He's the illustrator, remember?
Check this out, his work:
That's the answer to the question I get most often.
How's Ugo doing?
Is that scary, that you slipped up like that?
Not exactly. I feel confident again, courtesy of this update. More it just settles me back down and makes me realize its time to rock and roll. That all the excuses I can come up with, all the time I can waste, it's someone else's too (Yours). And that's important to me. It's a lot easier for me to do good work for another person than it is for myself. Maybe something you can harmonize with.
I fly tomorrow back to the Seattle. The beard'll stay long. Some of this rat-tail shag may have to go.
Here, as always, are a few images from the walks I've gotten to take to the library. Most of the time its at night, coming back.
I get my three hours of writing in, and then the city swallows me whole.
Also, I got sidetracked and won / tied a cookie competition with a delicious Jalapeno Chocolate Chip Cookie. Most Original and Best Savory. There you go.
And Dave. He and Linzy lent me their house to write from while they were in TN. Bowie's Dad.
And this is Dan, who has saved my story twice already.
And here's Lys and the pups who we've been sitting, because they're always a good way to sign off and say Peace & Love & Thanks for your support and patience.