Got up this morning at 6am, off to work shortly after again. Another typical work day - doing a bit more there each day, as I get up to speed with how they do things there. Stayed from 7am until about 4pm. Worked through lunch. Wasn't a bad day, wasn't a particularly good day. Which makes it a step up from yesterday, so I'll take it.
Headed home, and got stuck in slow traffic, so it took a while. I was pretty tired, so I made some coffee and headed upstairs to my computer. Checked emails, caught up on Twitter a little. Read up on some new stuff coming up in the publishing end of things that look interesting:
1) FlipKart started taking indie books last month, but I wasn't sure how I was going to get onto their site. It's not quite as clear as KDP or Nook Press. But now, Smashwords is going to distribute to FlipKart. Suddenly, Smashwords is looking much more interesting. For those who don't know, Flipkart is a big internet retail website for India. And India has more English language readers than any other country in the world. It's actually possible that India has more English language readers than the entire rest of the world...not sure. So it's a huge market, and a growing ebook market. Finding ways to break into that market would be a Good Thing.
2) Oyster - a service opening up in a few weeks, which will charge $10 a month for readers to be able to read books from their stocks. Pay the monthly fee, read books (I gather as many as you want). Again, Mark Coker's Smashwords has stepped into the breach here. Smashwords will distribute ebooks to Oyster when it launches. I don't yet have details about how authors will get paid when their books are borrowed on the Oyster system, but I've known Mark (peripherally) for a while now. He's a canny man. He wouldn't have made the deal if it wasn't worthwhile, so I suspect this is something to jump into with both feet.
As a result, I'm suddenly VERY interested in Smashwords again, where I was leaning away from using them anymore, just a month ago. I'd had great luck with Draft2Digital uploading to Apple and B&N, and can upload direct to B&N and Kobo anyway. Smashwords was looking a little superfluous - go figure that Mark would jump in and find more ways to add value to his distribution system. I will happily pay Smashwords the small percentage of sales they keep, if they'll keep finding me new markets for my books!
Took a brief nap until after six, when my wife called me down to dinner. Which was pancakes and sausage: what we call "silly supper". The kids always enjoy it when we do that.
After dinner, it was back upstairs, and a little more reading on the Oyster thing. Trying to find out as much as I can in advance, which unfortunately isn't much. But I'm intrigued.
Then I got to work. Put in an hour on Ashes Ascendant, and just about exactly 1200 new words. Then it was time to get the kids to bed, and watch a TV episode with my wife. We're working through the first season of Lost Girl on Netflix, which is fun, and interesting, and urban fantasy - so it's nice to keep me on track for writing the Blackwell urban fantasies.
After the show was done, it was closing on time for the LADEE launch, so getting back to writing just wasn't happening. I debated climbing the hill in the park near my house - highest point for many miles all around. We're just west of Boston, you see - and inside the range to be able to see the launch, according to the web pages I was looking at the other day. The rocket was launched from the Virginia coastline, which made it the first rocket launch far enough north that I'd have a shot of seeing it. So a high vantage point seemed smart. However, the park is closed after sunset, and I had visions of trying to explain to a police officer why I was up there... (grin)
Staying put finally won out, so I pulled NASA TV up on my computer instead, and watched the launch that way. Then, because I had to, I peeked out my bedroom window at about the time when I ought to have been able to see the rocket.
And there was a little bright light out there, flickering through a tree branch. Was it a star?
No, it was moving. A plane, perhaps? I didn't want to get my hopes up.
Then NASA announced the stage two engine shutoff on my desktop, and the light went out.
NASA called the stage three ignition, and it came back on.
I called my wife over, shut off lights, and got ready. She wasn't at all sure it was the rocket.
NASA called the next stage shutoff, and it vanished from sight. Which was about as much proof as either of us needed.
We just saw a craft, built by people, carrying a cargo to the moon, as it was leaving Earth to begin its voyage.
For a science fiction writer, that moment when you see a glowing point of light that you know is the real thing...it's a hard moment to describe. It makes me want to write better - makes me want to inspire more people. I want people to read things I write and dream big dreams about reaching into space. I want them to grow up and make those dreams into reality.
I'm SO in the mood for writing more science fiction right now. But I'm going to stay the course, and finish the Blackwell novel. Then I'll probably shift gears back to something near-future SF. Because getting into space is something that I feel in my heart we ought to do. We are a curious race. We have always, whenever we reached a new vista, taken whatever risks were necessary to explore that new place. I'll probably never get to go there myself, but if my writing helps encourage others to take those steps, I will be satisfied.
Totals for Day 6
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 1200 words Month to date fiction: 11950 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 1076 words Month to date blog posts: 4791 words