Monday, December 05, 2005


So, the post-mortem:

Maybe a thousand words progress between my last post and the end of the month. Final score: 28,850-ish. So on the one hand, I'm disappointed. On the other, as I think I mentioned before, this is a story I've been wanting to write, unsuccessfully, for years, so the fact that I wrote more than a page is in itself a victory.

That said, my problem now is that it's far too short. I'm right on the cusp of the big climax of Act II at 30,000 words. That big action scene won't be more than 3,000 or 4,000 words, I figure, and then it's all barrelling down toward the end. To have any chance of selling, I need it to be at least twice as long. I've got some ideas for scenes I intended to write and cut out because I thought I needed the momentum, but they won't fill out the book. I'm thinking of expanding the role of one of the characters and making him a POV character earlier in the book, make it almost as much his book as Digger's, I don't know if it'll work, because he really doesn't have anything to do until Act II, but I've got to do something.

Went to a signing by M.T. Reiten, naamah_darling, and her husband Sargon the Terrible. All three have been winners in the Writers/Illustrators of the Future competitions (naamah won as an illustrator, but continues to enter as a writer also). It was at a used bookstore that was literally giving the signed copies of the anthologies away. I scored a couple of free anthologies and also picked a textbook about science fiction which included the short story "Roller Ball Murder" by William Harrison. I've seen "Rollerball" (the original with James Caan) about, I don't know, five or ten times, and was curious to see what the original was like. More about that tomorrow.

And because somebody just won't let it go, I must comment on the Geico caveman commercial. It's been around forever, so I'm sure you've seen it. Spokesguy sez something about switching your insurance to Geico, and ends with, "It's so easy a caveman could do it." Cut to spokesguy in a restaurant saying, "Honestly, we didn't mean to be offensive. We didn't know you guys were still around."

Reverse angle to show him speaking to two cavemen, dressed in yuppie outfits. A waiter asks if they're ready to order. The one with his sunglasses perched on top of his head orders roast duck with mango salsa; the other one says he has no appetite, then fixes spokesguy with a stare that manages to be both piercing and withering.

It's one of the best spots Geico has done recently, because it works on a lot of levels. There's the cheap joke aspect of the modern caveman, with the added fun of seeing cavemen depicted as yuppie metrosexuals (or perhaps they're supposed to be a Gay Cohabitating Caveman Couple; there's certainly an odd undercurrent in the way they play off each other). But the strangest thing of all is that last shot of the caveman. Something in his eyes, the tilt of his head, the set of his mouth reminded me instantly of Val Kilmer. And with the white shirt, it very specifically reminds me of Kilmer's role as a hotshot Navy pilot in "Top Gun."

And what was Kilmer's call-sign in that film?

That's right. Iceman.

Is this a subliminal message? Could it really be Kilmer underneath that makeup? Does he need the money that badly?

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