Well, now that that's out of the way:
Last night we had terrible thunder and lightning, heavy rain, and FRICKIN' HAIL. Fortunately, we've gotten three roof estimates: $9600, $6300, and... $4900. That last one? It's from an up-and-coming business that's trying to undercut the competition to get business and its name out there. The guy was very clean-cut, very professional, and told us that he would have five guys and a supervisor at our house and be done in two days. Mr. Almost Ten Thousand Dollars said it would take nearly a week, AND he claims we have rotten wood up there, which is a little like taking your car to a mechanic for an oil change and then being told that you need a new transmission. New Business Guy, on the other hand, said that he didn't see any, and he gave us either three or five references, I forget which, of previous customers that we could (and, knowing my mother, will) call to confirm the quality of their work. If he lives up to his pitch, I'll give y'all the company's name when they're done.
Meanwhile, my internet's been almost completely out the last couple of evenings because of storms, so I'm massively behind on a lot of things. I assume, however, that nothing cataclysmic has happened, or I would have seen it on Yahoo. Probably.
In the meantime, I've been working on my Fantasy Opus, which... sounds incredibly deluded, now that I put it that way. I mean, who doesn't have a Fantasy Opus they've kept in a drawer for twenty years? And mine really is nearly twenty years old--yes, I've been working on it since I was eight, which cannot be a good sign. It's funny, looking over it, to see how much it's changed--hell, when I started, there were talking animals, and now there aren't any. (Well, if there are, they're exceptions to the rule. It's not like Narnia, is what I'm saying.) Major character names have changed, and some of them fairly recently. The biggest problem has been chronology--there are really dozens of storylines, so that basically you could have a series of novels, except that I keep forgetting that Such and Such could not have happened before This and That because Such-and-Such is This-and-That's son. So I sat down while I didn't have internet access and tried to write up a list of everything that happens, and put it in order, which I hadn't successfully done before, mostly because there are five or six countries all with their own histories, and I'd never integrated them all before. And the histories aren't complete, either, which makes it difficult to figure out when and where and who and what and why.
But I put together what I know, and it was... kind of breathtaking. I don't mean the quality of work was breathtaking--I mean that, as a writer, it was amazing to see all the ideas in one place and get a sense, for myself, of continuity. Births, marriages, deaths, battles, reconciliations--and I finally realized that I am going to have to write a favorite character's death, because according to this, he's somewhere around 100 in the later stories and I haven't killed him yet. He's got to go sometime, you know? Doesn't matter if he was in his twenties when he first appeared; the reader deserves to see the end, too, rather than for me to just cop out and have him fade away while his family is still front and center. And seeing it all as a big picture made it a little easier to contemplate, actually.
However, I've got to think of a way to date things. I don't want to borrow the Tolkien conceit of such-and-such year, the Third Age, but... it's supremely weird seeing in my notes that a character was born in 1983.
A couple of links before I go:
Season one (and two. Oops) Lost spoilers: Our favorite siblings are dating in real life.
A print-on-demand publisher PODs her own work and puts it on Amazon. And Powells. And Barnes and Noble. There's absolutely nothing wrong here... except that "her work" is "an alternate-universe Star Wars fanfic." Shouldn't this be... you know... a major legal problem? "Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it’s there." Oh! Well, then! Everyone knows that this completely negates any previous copyright holdings!
If you listen very closely, you can hear sort of a wah... wah sound--the sound of George Lucas's Sith Lawyer Darth Junction firing up the twin blades of his Mighty Mighty Lightsaber of Cease and Desist.
Well, now that that's out of the way: