Sandworms of Dune

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Juggling Travel, Writing, Life and Other Priorities

Last Monday I returned home after spending six days with Brian Herbert plotting PAUL OF DUNE. I came back with lots of notes and a rough outline, which I'll start fleshing out in a few weeks. On the airplane and for the next five days after I got home, I had to spend most of my time and energy on completing a final set of revisions for THE LAST DAYS OF KRYPTON before the manuscript goes off to the copy editor.

In the meantime, Rebecca and I ironed out the writing outline for CRYSTAL DOORS #3: SKY REALM, the last book in our Young Adult fantasy trilogy. Thankfully, a YA novel is a lot shorter than a DUNE novel. Over the past week during my daily "writing hike" I have completed more than half of my chapters in that book.

After being away for quite a while, I always find an avalanche of catch-up things to go, just combing through the mail, the phone messages, the faxes, the paperwork. I also had several appointments, each of which took hours, so that also ate into the time.

Then, sadly, last Thursday Rebecca and I had to reach a very difficult decision to put our beloved pet cat Tycho to sleep. He was my buddy for 18 years, the sweetest and most communicative creature I've known. Thirteen years ago he was diagnosed with a severe heart condition and given six months to live. Then six years ago he developed diabetes and had to receive two insulin shots a day. But he was the energizer-bunny kitty, and he kept going and going. He still loved being around us, and he *lived* for lap time every night. In the past several months we noticed a clear decline. He had numerous insulin crashes, spikes of high or low blood sugar, then he developed kidney problems, and we think that he suffered some minor strokes. I knew this day was coming for some time, but still it was one of the most difficult days of my life. Tycho "helped" me with over 90 novels; Brian Herbert reminded me how Tycho had "suggested an alternative plot arrangement" for HOUSE ATREIDES, when he came into my study and played with the colored chapter index cards we had carefully laid out on the floor. If you have never had a long-term pet, there's no way I can make you understand how deep the loss is, like losing a genuine member of the family; if you have had such a pet, then I don't need to say anything else.

All of which is a long way of explaining why I have not posted as many blogs as I would have liked. I write these myself and I have to fit everything in with what else is going on in my life. I intend to post sample chapters of SANDWORMS OF DUNE very soon. However, because we've done four hardcopy edits since the last electronic version, the file on my computer is very out of date. Brian and I discussed whether we should just post the rough-draft version, but we would rather show the text we're satisfied with. That means I have to take the time to go over the typesetting line by line and key in all the changes and edits. It'll take me hours, and as yet I haven't found the hours to do it. But I will, soon.

Now I have to help get ready for our Easter dinner we're hosting for all the relatives. Even *I* don't write all the time.

-- KJA


Back to Sandworms Blog Index
Previous Entry (April 1, 2007)

Next Entry (April 9, 2007)

Home Page | Legends of Dune | Prelude to Dune | Classic Dune
Dune News | Interviews & Articles | Scheduled Appearances | Publication Dates
Author Biographies | Scrapbooks | Frequently Asked Questions

Copyright 2007 The Herbert Limited Partnership