Aug. 31st, 2011

The Glow Dome is alive tonight. The Slag is a shit-pit, a festering pustule on the grey Earth's ass, and humanity is the infection – but in the heart of the Slag lies Neon Street, all bright lights and ack-ack-ACTION, and in Neon Street's heart is the Glow Dome. It is Friday night in the Saint Louis ArcoloGee, and everybody is ready to let off a little steam, have a little fun, spend a few dollars.

I'm here for the same reasons, really, only I want to make bread, not throw it away. Friday's the end of the work-week for the synth-workers and the admin joes, but it's the start of mine. Weeknights I lay low, rest up, watch out for new scores. But on the weekend, me and the crew come out to work the crowd. On a good night on Neon Street, we can make enough to keep us in green for a month.

But we're not after a good night tonight. We're after a great night. I've been setting this up for a long time. Lester Li is in town, visiting from the East Coast, and he's up for a frame or two. He thinks he's going to skin a fancy-boy from the high terraces, take him for a cool million. But Lester Li has it exactly backwards. Tonight we're taking him for all he's worth, and it can't fail, and we're going to get away clean. Because we're going to cheat.

A wall of sound greets me, Brom and Hideo as we enter the Glow Dome. It's mostly Serbian graf-rock with pounding subsonic beats, but the crowd has its own rumble. They're all amped up and eager – sleek young toughs with gleaming articulated prosthetics; thrill-seeking ladies wearing glowglass fringe that pulses red in time with their racing heartbeats. The crowd at the Glow Dome is here for one thing, and that's to watch the greatest 3pool shark work his magic.

Oh, they'll get what they want. After all, I'm here now.

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Robin Hood returned to the heart of Sherwood Forest after a long week of relieving indignant nobles of their extra coin. When he got back to the camp of the Merry Men, what he really wanted was to have a wash and a bite to eat. He didn't expect a challenge to his authority.

But it seemed that while he had been away, the sentiment of the average Merry Man had turned against him. Some of the bandits had soured on him completely, and saw him as a nuisance, and possibly a threat. Others still supported him, but not as strongly as they previously had done – Robin Hood's leadership hadn't been exemplary of late, and certainly the pickings had been thin, thieving-wise.

"You're a terrible leader of brigands," one of his challengers said.

"You're leading this company in the exact wrong direction," said another.

"You may," said the third dangerously, "even be a traitor to our nation."

"Oh really," said Robin Hood coolly. "Supposing you tell me exactly what it is that you would do better, if you were in charge."

"All right; we will," replied Little Mitt, Friar Perry and Maid Michele.

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Word Count: 57668. It's amazing to me that, unless I make a real effort to constrain how much I write, I inevitably write about the same amount in a month. I'm not trying to write a certain number of words, and I don't even count it up until the end of the month so I have no idea where I stand as I go. I seem to want to average about 1900 words a night, although that goes over 2000 if I don't factor in the 100 word stories I throw in there when I'm too busy to write a lot.

I still have a lot of ideas, but I don't like them as much. Some days I come out of the morning shower saying, yep, I know what I want to write. But other days I think all day and have a couple of meh ideas, and when I reach 10PM and I have to start writing or miss the deadline, it comes down to picking the least sucky idea and running with it. It's disheartening to write on something you're not really excited about writing. But that, too, is probably an important lesson in writing better. You can't always be jazzed about writing. But you can suck it up and write anyway.

This month I had something I wrote go viral. The Michele Bachmann bit caused a significant spike in my traffic. On Facebook, 366 people linked to it, of whom only 11 are on my friendslist. There was also a certain amount of interest on Twitter and Reddit. It's a strange feeling to have people come and look in my blog based on one thing. I feel like there is a somewhat diffuse character to the things I write here, and while I think that things I write are recognizable as belonging within that group, I don't feel that any one entry is representative of the whole. As a result, I am concerned that some people came to read that one thing, snooped around to see what else was in here, and found themselves saying 'ecch'.

I liked a number of the things I wrote this month, especially some of the medium length bits, including Abandon All Hope and the CNN Science Report. I also liked the letter I wrote to my daughter's teacher. I find myself disappointed in the way 1001 Nights came out, which will teach me to break my promise to myself and go back to read the things I wrote. I can't afford to psyche myself out by second-guessing what I already wrote and posted. Must keep blinders on.

Thanks for everybody's support and interest; the encouragement really keeps me going.



September 2012

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