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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

8,247 Steps to the Dragon

Well, 6,744 now that I’m finally getting around to posting this. I used to count my footsteps. Started when I was very young. I counted footsteps on my newspaper route. I’ve counted the steps from apartment to post office. I’ve counted the steps from house to office. I don’t do it all the time—in fact hardly ever anymore—but I remember the counting, just the same.

So it was natural that Steven George, sent into the unknown to slay a dragon, would immediately start counting his footsteps. Steven, of course, is far more obsessive compulsive about it than I ever was. He hangs onto the numbers as a way of finding his way back home. I just counted steps because my head was empty.

If I’m walking now, it is likely that I am thinking about what I’m going to write when I stop walking. A few years ago I tried dictating while I walked, but the recording was so breathy that I couldn’t even decipher what I was saying when I tried to transcribe it. So now, I just think about what I’ll write, and if I think it is really good, I set about memorizing it.

As you may know, I wrote the first draft of Steven George & The Dragon during NaNoWriMo 2007. NaNoWriMo begins at the stroke of midnight on November 1, the night of Halloween. We had a good HalloNaNoWeen at Denny’s that year, the second that anyone else joined me there. I think there were about 20 of us. (For perspective, this year we had 120!) You can do any amount of planning for NaNoWriMo in advance, but no writing. So, I wrote in my head. I had the first three paragraphs (about 500 words) memorized when I sat down to write at midnight. They just spewed out and that got me going with the rest of the story.

Of course, all three of those paragraphs were cut before the final version even went out the beta readers. But they got things started, anyway.

Oh. The number of steps to the dragon. I figure I average about 5,000 steps a day just walking around. I spend a lot of time parked in front of the computer, so that’s not nearly as much walking as I’d like to do. Hardly as many steps as it was from apartment to post office in my younger years. I figured I had about two days’ worth of walking ahead of me before the release party tomorrow, so that was 10,000 give or take a few hundred. By 8:00 (I get up at 5:00) I was content that I’d traveled 1750 so far. Not that I’m counting. But it was a way of measuring how far I am from release party.

Besides, these days I don’t have to count. I have a pedometer!

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