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12 to Midnight, Family and Friends

Feverish for ETU

03.14.08 | Comment?

Sorry posts have been hit-or-miss this week. It’s Spring Break, which means that the tadpoles are home and thus so am I. Thursday morning Tadpole 1 woke up with a wet, nasty cough, and in the afternoon Tadpole 2 developed a fever. When we checked her at around 8 pm she was 102 degrees.

I’ve also been busy with Steamworks. If you’re one of the folks who visit the site instead of (or in addition to) reading the RSS feed, you might notice there’s a new skyscraper ad in rotation.  Brendan did a kick-ass job on the new Steamworks banners, and we’ve run about 150K impressions on ENWorld. We’re slowly waking up to the possibilities afforded us by having our own store, such as being able to offer pre-order specials. The more I work with this title (and I’ve been working on it for longer than I care to admit), the more I like it. Chapter 5, which consists of something in excess of 50 pages of cool devices, is worth the price of the whole book alone. Unfortunately, it has been something of a challenge getting art for a book of this size. Even at only one illustration for ever 10 pages, that’s 16 pieces of art. I’ve issued assignments to six different people and gotten art in from four of them. I’ve got 9 interior illustrations completed. It’ll be the biggest book we’ve released to date, and the logistics have been pretty challenging. Fortunately, I’ve had enough practice that the process is familiar, even if the scope is expanded. Having InDesign CS3 has been a big help in terms of layout, though I’m still struggling with how to automatically apply character-level formatting to hyperlinks. I really don’t want to have to manually hit each link.

Thursday night (before I knew that Tadpole 2 started running a fever) I took my new laptop out for a spin. I set up camp in a coffee shop and wrote for two hours while Mrs. Flametoad watched the tadpoles. Until last night I didn’t realize just how long it had been since I’d written, but according to the file date it had been more than two months. I can’t tell you how good it felt to be back in the saddle. There was no struggle to get started; no blank screen syndrome. I just dove in and wrote. What was I writing? “The big one”. ETU. Ed has been working on it for the last few months and I’ve been itching to get back to it. Unfortunately I do my best work away from the distractions of home life, which is why it was imperative for me to get a new laptop. ETU is coming along well. Several chapters are at 80% or more. I have some revisions to do on the character creation chapter, then I’ll be devoting my time to the plot points. For now my ETU work is a one night a week treat. Once Steamworks is released I’ll be devoting myself to ETU full time. Well, as full as I can with a day job and a family who actually likes me enough to want my time and attention.

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