Coming to you from somewhere inside the Milky Way galaxy…
One of the biggest challenges of astronomy, believe it or not, is to figure out exactly what our own galaxy looks like. They used to think it was a spiral. More recently they’ve decided it’s a barred spiral, but they’re still not completely sure.
That’s because astronomers are trying to see the shape of something while inside of it. And that’s tough. We can see the details of neighboring galaxies, such as Andromeda, which—don’t panic!—is slated to crash into ours, but not for about four to five billion years. However, when you’re inside the structure you’re trying to appreciate, you’re too close to have the overview you need.
That’s just like writing a novel. You’re always inside of it. There is no escape.
I just gave Entertaining Welsey Shaw to my wife to read. She said she liked it; hopefully she’s not just saying this because she sleeps with the author. At the same time, I have no idea if she got out of it what I wanted her to get out of it. If she did, I also have no idea if it was because I’ve talked to her about these ideas already. Will people coming to it cold react the same way? Time will tell, and quickly too, because some of them are getting it in fairly short order, just as soon as I reread it myself (oh joy!) and make a few small nips and tucks.
But how does the story work? I have no idea. I know how I wanted it to work. But since I’m the overseer I can’t step outside the story and experience it cold. Maybe people will even find things in there—good things—I had no idea existed. Maybe not. Very frustrating, but like being stuck inside the Milky Way galaxy, I see no way out.
I’ve added a new tab to this website that will track the progress of things. There may be periods where there’s nothing much to report, because sometimes writing can be pretty dull business, akin to watching paint dry. But there will no doubt be many interesting little mini-dramas along the way.
I hope the status updates prove interesting, and this way a few of you who keep asking me when this thing is coming out will now have a better idea of how things are going.
And by the way, Andromeda is looking closer these days…