I fought once again with the seemingly-endless Chapter 47, and finally vanquished it. It’s actually coherent now, and so-o-o much better than the frantically annotated original manuscript. (What did I mean by some of that gibberish?)

One more brief transcription of the next (happily extant) chunk of serial-killer-bio frame . . . and then back to the blue-sky country of churning out new text from the confused and terrified curdling cream of my brain.

From the beginning, I had this sort-of idea of the story I was writing, or that I intended to write–and there’s very little of that story left. A lot of the basic elements are there; almost all of even the earliest actual writing still remains. But it’s all been re-contextualized.

Sometime in the last week of April, 2005, while I was supposed to be finishing up my dissertation, this weird thing happened to my universe, and it became infested with vampires; the Thena-se, as they first were called.

For the next month, the fictive IMs/e-mails I wrote between pieces of my fictive selves were set within the normal consensus universe, and then the Th’nashi Contract swallowed me whole, and I can’t get out; I have become Th’nashi myself.

It’s been one hell of a five years, and it’s almost over. I have the feeling that it’ll be wrapped with a bow by Chapter 60. I wonder if I’ll ever become humani again; I wonder which piece comes next.

My current sense is that, absent the holocaust of the prospective move, the entire first draft will be done by the end of June. Still refusing to do a page count; still refusing to even start the final process of keeping names straight and checking facts and vocabulary against each other.

I understand now the problem people have with actually finishing the fucking things: When that last word is written, so is a piece of your life and soul. That’s really what sequels are for–for us, not the readers. And again I wonder if I shall ever be humani again.

It’s been a hell of a five years. I think there was a period somewhere of several months when life just took it out of my hands. But it refused to die. I think it’s a good book; people reading the first scraps have all told me (convincingly) that it’s a good book. But it’s the only book I have right now.

And it’s almost done. At least by now I have some hope of how it’ll turn out. But I don’t know. There are so many bits and pieces that were planned to end one way, and now it really doesn’t need to happen that way.

Oh God in heaven, but I’m glad the text wrested itself away from my crude stupidity of five years ago. This was gonna be wicked dumb, but now it’s got a sense of being readable.

I’m finally at the endgame, where everything telescopes down onto poor Damascus, the serial killer. I have some vague ideas–but I have to let go and jump off the bridge that Terry Riverly and I climbed five years ago. When I got out of the way, Terry just told me the story, and the story survived my having to take half of it away from it and turn it into omniscient 3d person. (Terry survived too, but I was pretty traumatized.)

Let go again; watch what happens; listen to Meeze and Merlin and Lynn and Sandy and Pharaoh and Solveig and Damascus and Terry and Sasha and Eamon and Sean and Devon and Joel and Toria and Tris–and everybody else–and get out of their way so they can tell the story.

But the water looks so cold. And I’ll never be completely humani again.