Took the bus to downtown Beijing this morning, then settled down at the China World Starbucks (my favorite) in an attempt to crank out some serious words. But, of course, I was distracted. I’ve been coming to this place for years—even set some scenes from Tiger Eye in that location. Same as with the Dirt Market, as some of you pointed out yesterday. Today there were all kinds of interesting people: monks with cell phones, strutting businessmen, tourists; folks who were way too stressed, and folks who were way too lonely. Made me think, too, about a young man who was on my flight from Chicago; he was in a wheelchair, and a little person (i.e. suffered from dwarfism), and while he seemed perfectly capable of taking care of himself, I thought about him and wondered how he was doing. China is not friendly to the disabled.
But anyway, my writing. Made scant progress, and will continue this afternoon. Enjoyed this—Bill Willingham explores Kurt Vonnegut’s rules of writing over at the Clockwork blog, and Lynn Viehl (yes, I link to her blog every day, it seems…but it’s just that helpful, to me) has a “mid-week NaNoPost” that’s worth taking a look at.
Something else I found helpful, too, was downloading and watching the latest episode of Stargate Universe. I’ve been dissecting the series in my head at the oddest moments, mulling over the character work being done by both the actors and writers. Sex, ethics, romance, conflict, intrigue…good guys and bad guys, and all those shades of gray—and yes, sometimes the stories are simple, but simple works as long as the people matter. And they’ve got that hammered down—at least for me. The latest Robert Jordan (with Brandon Sanderson) novel gave me a similar feeling, as well. I re-read the first one, The Eye of the World, before diving into the The Gathering Storm, and it was startling to see how much the characters have changed; and to be reminded, again, of the utter richness of that world.
Snow is coming to Beijing. Tonight, maybe.