Still ambitious, I guess.

It's funny. The book I wanted more than any other to be spontaneous and original and inspired--I'm having to grind out the ending.

I mean, I don't dislike what I've written. I even think I've managed to get some surprises in there. But it's been a struggle.

I have 3 or 4 chapters left. I spent all day yesterday grinding out one chapter. It was slow and arduous and not at all fun, but it got done in the end.

I'm going to do the same thing today. Lock myself in my room and not come out until I've accomplished the goal.

Had a good talking to myself this morning. This is a book of ideas. Speculative ideas, which is somewhat unexpected. I've stayed away from writing SF because I felt it required too much science, but these ideas are ones I feel capable of handling, given some research and thought.

I stayed away from fantasy, SF, and thrillers at first because they all had genre conventions I wasn't comfortable with.

Horror was my go-to genre because it allowed me to straight out write the stories I wanted as long as I added something with a horror tinge, which wasn't that hard to do.

I suppose Faeire Punk is more fantasy than horror, but most of my books have held to the genre, if only loosely. Freedy Filkins is definitely fantasy. But both are "modern" fantasies, not the heroic fantasy that I attempted with Star Axe and Snowcastles/Icetowers.

I've attempted four thrillers. The first I sold as a ghostwritten book (the supposed author is regularly a top ten New York Times bestseller). So I guess I have to see that as a success. Deadfall Ridge fell a little short, Takeover was probably over my head, and Shadows Over Summer House tipped over into the supernatural to make it work.

Time In/Time Out would be my first book that I would consider to actually be SF in full. It started out as a Ready Player One type book. I liked RPO a lot, enjoyed the overall tone, so I went for something like that tone.

The basic premise is a future where everyone cosplays or Larps. In my story, I call it (and creative anachronism and re-enacters) under the umbrella term "hyper-reality." (A bit of Orwellian doublespeak.) People dress up in costumes to go to work, to dinner, to play.

This idea really arose from my reaction to the hologram episodes of ST:TNG. I loved the Moriority and Sherlock Holmes episodes. But it always brought up the question: if you could live in a holodeck, why would you ever leave?

Once you ask that question, a whole host of other questions arise.

So this book dealt with a lot of ideas, mostly offhandedly and in service to the story in this first draft, but I'd like to go back and explore the ideas a little more.

So I'm locking myself in my room for the next few days to finish the book. But I'm looking forward to a rewrite for once because there is some meat there, and I think it will be fun. Second draft will be to reconcile the first half with the second half, as usual. Change the history of the protagonist.

The third draft, and I don't think there is any hurry, will be to explore the ideas more. I will probably go off and do other things, like rewrite Deadfall Ridge and Takeover, and finish the Lander series, and do a couple more Tales of the Thirteen Principality novellas, before I come back and finish Time In/Time Out.

I'm going to set aside a box and throw ideas into it as they occur to me. My first Box Book, so to speak.

Still ambitious, I guess.