by Mike Shea on 25 November 2007
Today I finished writing a novel. I wrote a 50,200 word novel in twenty five days. Seven Swords is a story I've had kicking around in my head for over a year. Having it finished, lying upstairs on my dining room table is still strange to me.
Some folks don't really get it. "Oh, that's nice" isn't an uncommon response. Michelle got it though, as did my family and close friends. They understood that it was a big challenge and that it was something important to me. It's something that I will now have always done. It's something that made me feel closer to my father. It's something that defines me in the way I wish to be defined. It was a really hard 25 days but now I can get back to surfing Ebaums World knowing that I did a lot of work. I done something that most people in the world never do.
Seven Swords came out much like I had hoped. There were a bunch of things that surprised me. Some people died that I thought might survive and some people survived that I thought might die. Some characters showed up from other stories of mine when I didn't expect it. Some clues and threads showed up that could define entire other stories. I watched characters become born and grow into something new. I got to see old characters with rich backgrounds become something new again. I got to describe over fifty exciting and interesting ways for people to be killed.
I had a bit of a mishap as well. Right as I had finished my novel, I closed the book, stood up, and flung my afghan around me. In doing so I pulled an entire shelf worth of stuff off of a nearby book case. This included a lamp which broke into shards of glass and a cup full of pens. One of these was my Pelikan M-1000 full of Noodler's ink. It broke and spilled its payload all over my rug. So I had a rug full of archival quality black ink and a broken $350 fountain pen along with my new novel. The Nanowrimo crew gave a lot of sympathy, one of which suggested I rewrite my novel's title to "Seven Swords Or The Day My Beloved, Expensive, Permanent, Waterproof Pen Broke And Ruined My Carpet".
Michelle and I watched "Live Free or Die Hard" and I absolutely loved it. For one, the DVD is the unrated version, not the PG-13 version the MPAA forced on theater going suckers. There were enough F bombs thrown into the unrated version to make it worth seeing instead of a censored for the children version.
The movie itself had a lot of really great attributes. For one, the writing is excellent. Characters act as they would instead of how they want the story to go. The bad guy believes he is a good guy and has some good evidence to back up his claim. He's not just an insane bad guy. All of his henchmen are interesting. One of them, an unnamed guy, seems as tough as our hero himself, flinging himself against walls and doing an amazing acrobatic performance in their final confrontation. The core of the story itself isn't so far fetched. There's some crazy computer whiz stuff going on, but anyone running a windows machine knows that America's infrastructure is severely vulnerable. The action scenes are great. Everyone, including the bad guys, are superheroes so the movie lives well in its own rules.
Live Free or Die Hard is the best action movie I recall seeing this year. It is ten times better than Bourne Ultimatum. Live it, Love it, Rent It.