Over the long weekend I opened up Bell-Men and hacked and slashed my way through it line by line. I managed to cut 6,000 words--my goal--without taking out more than a few dozen from any one passage. All the words I cut were completely unnecessary. Now the book is much trimmer at a bit under 118,000 words by MS Word's count (OpenOffice always gives me a higher count; it thinks the book is 120,000 words). I've given up on agents for this one and have sent queries out to three publishers. Onward and upward.
I haven't written much lately. Occasionally I open up Adventures in Zoology or The Trickster Society and tap out a few words, but nothing substantial. I think both projects are a lot of fun, though. I intend to finish both before the year is out. I suspect neither of them will ever sell--AinZ is about a 40-year-old zoologist who's chosen to go on a trip to fantasyland; Trickster Society is about a troll woman (yes, seriously) who...well, never mind, since there's not a single agent or publisher in the world who will get any further than that upon reading the query.
I'm getting fed up with myself for not finishing anything yet this year. Editing doesn't count. Editing is fun and easy. I think I am going to do NaNo this year, but only to see how many projects I can finish during the month.
Also, I'm thinking of taking up fencing. Really. I have an aunt who used to fence; next time I see her, I'm going to ask for a few lessons in basic footwork. Because she's my aunt and loves me, she won't look at my fat, bruised legs and say, "You're not shaped like an athlete and you're clumsy as hell." At least, I hope she won't.