Space Stuff: Damn It’s Cold!


Photo: Niccolo Bonfadini via

Isn’t that an awesome picture for today’s post? I spotted that on The Weather Channel’s site. It’s in northern Norway, and the guy taking the picture was camping(!?). Those worm-like things sticking out of the ground are actually trees coated in snow and ice. What kind of trees? We’ll find out in June. On the upside, the presence of daylight that close to the Arctic Circle means only one thing: Spring is coming.

And not a moment too soon. The first of our now-regularly scheduled polar blasts really knocked the momentum out of the science fiction novel. Yes, even as Dick Bachman, I need to keep going. Getting the car fixed, dealing with other weather-related problems, and the beginning of Spring semester have conspired to slow me down. I’m writing this on Sunday morning. The night before, I’d planned to descend into the Dungeon here at Chateau Nita to get another 1000 words knocked out. After dinner, I… Well….

I’m getting old. I went to bed on a Saturday night. Only a few years earlier, Nita and I would stay out until all hours on Saturdays, watching live bands and hanging out at our favorite haunts.

But when you can’t manage word count, you can manage to finish a scene. So when I know my writing time has been compromised, I simply finish a scene. In some ways, it’s just finishing a thought. This morning, since the aliens are pretty much as faceless as Storm Troopers in Star Wars and not showing any menacing leader, I introduced the human villain. And it’s complicated. The human blames my male protagonist, or rather his Earthbound family, for the sudden apocalypse. It’s a revelation that doesn’t sit well with our friend, and one that’s going to play out over the series.

Of course, it could all be rewritten with this scene disappearing in the summer. I just started rereading Holland Bay in anticipation of the edit for which I’m about to receive. I’m trying very hard not to edit the glaring typos lest I get too involved in this novel and completely lose the SF project. And I’m not making any structural changes. That’s what I’m trading betas for. I am, however, noticing that a rewrite from scratch is the best thing I did to Holland Bay. And as plot flaws and continuity problems pop up in the SF project, having Dick do a rewrite is looking like a wonderful way to spend my summer vacation.