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May 22, 2000

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The last week or so has been consumed wholesale. Mostly with editing type stuff and a side order of severe illness on Wednesday (right smack at the worst time, since that was editing type stuff) and honest work related stuff culminating in a 7:30 am meeting on Friday.

That is not the most productive time of day for anyone, as near as I can tell. Our schedules permitted nothing else, however.

The thing of most interest to folks would probably be final edits. These were when the editor tore apart the Alaemon writeup for In Nomine and made suggestions and needed cuts, bouncing them back and forth with the Line Editor and myself, and I supplied new words to fill some stuff in. Lots of on-demand type stuff. It is, as they say, part of the process.

It's now in the hands of the Main Book Editor, and there may be additional cuts at that end as needed. I doubt they'll ask me what I want to cut if it comes to that, which is a pity as I know what I'd like to see stay. But, that's the curse of being a writer in Work-For-Hire. Once you let it go, it's no longer yours, and they'll do what they must to make it fit.

Regardless, I'm proud of the thing. Actively proud of it. I actually managed to break formula on the writeups without breaking template. I made it something worthy to be called the Demon Prince of Secrets, without making it a cookie cutter demon of the week. I hope I managed to elevate what was a minor career path for demons (in a weak form and product) into something people will want to play with.

I hope. I probably just wrote some stuff that'll go into a game book.

Well, I'll let people know when it's available. Heck, if you all buy a copy, sales will spike and they'll decide that my name sells books. Or, they'll decide that Em's name does. Or Anthony Ragan. Jo Hart's probably the best writer of the four of us, but she's had stuff published before so the sales spike probably won't be attributed to her.

Ah well, I'm not shilling, really. I am proud of the thing, though. Maybe that's really pathetic.

I feel kind of pathetic, these days. It's not just because I can't sleep and have a bad heart. Well, that's a big part. But beyond that -- I feel like I've peaked. That I won't go any further than I've gone. That I shouldn't expect to go any further than I've gone. I have a good job. I've published something moderately national (and certainly better paying than anything that came before, and if you had any idea how much game publishers pay, you'd figure out fast just how pathetic that sounds). I'm comfortable. I have anything I really need.

Okay, granted, my survivability is probably a decade or less, but even if it weren't, so what? What more could I expect to do with my life in forty years instead of ten? I'm not ever going to be anywhere near as big a deal in life or society as I am in my own mind. And I'm fortunate. Ten years ago, the therapies that give me that decade didn't even exist. I'd already be dead, or desperately trying to survive a heart transplant when I wasn't in shape for it. And the survivability of heart transplants is none too good.

It doesn't change the basic thesis. If I've hit my peak -- what does it matter how much longer I live. I've done what I can do. I've gone as far as I'll go. From here, it's just "mark time and give a hand to the band."

Is that resignation? Maybe it is. Maybe too little sleep on top of depression does that. But maybe it's realistic, too.

I saw my folks for a Mother's Day meal at the best restaurant I know. I think they were happy with it, and it was a lot of fun. And Mason and Van are still some fun, and I saw Gladiator. So it ain't all bad.

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