Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and All That

It’s been a busy time here, as I’m sure it has been for many of you. This will probably be my last entry for 2007, because my family and I are in the throes of getting ready not just for the holidays, but for a two-week trip to London! It’s been about twenty years since I was last in England, and it’ll be very interesting to go back. It’s in some ways a crazy time to go—the exchange rate and costs are insane, and we’re all absurdly busy—but we have a place to stay with family, and that really is what’s making it possible. Plus, as my wife points out, chances to take this kind of trip as a family are rapidly vanishing: one daughter in college and the other headed that way soon enough. I’m sure it’ll be a fine and memorable time. (But there’s no internet access where we’re staying, so chances are I won’t be posting during the trip.)

Writing update: For the last couple of months I’ve been wrestling with the storyline I’m trying to unfold in The Reefs of Time. My old outline didn’t really hold up, and I’ve been rethinking the direction of my story following the end of Sunborn (which of course you haven’t read, because it hasn’t been published yet). Looks like the plot is taking some unexpected turns—unexpected to me, that is. Figuring out what it means is taking some time. Still, I like the new direction, and it’s sparked a new interest in the story on my part. While that’s been going on, I just wrapped up the SF writing workshop I taught with Craig Gardner. We both thought we had a terrific group again, and were excited to see so much promise in their work.

As always, there are many things I’ve been intending to write about but haven’t gotten to. So I’m going to sign off with just this news item:

Young chimps beat college students in memory tests! How can you not love this story? In short-term memory tests on a computer, some young chimpanzees bested their young adult human competition. Go monkeys! You read it here first. (Actually, you probably didn’t. But if I’d written this sooner, you might have.)

“We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.” —Robert Wilensky

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  1. Charlza
    | Reply

    I admit that I’m not a writer and it may be a long, long time before I ever get back to my tattered legal pads filled with 3/4 finished stories and outlines. I remember one great feeling as I explored writing, though: Plot twists can come from nowhere and take such a cool life of their as they flow onto the page. That’s what makes reading a book so much fun…when the author sideswipes you with an idea that takes you somewhere you never expected to go.

    I can’t wait to see where you take us 🙂

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

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