...this will probably have to stand as my blog entry for tonight. See, John has been battling for hours with command prompts, MAC addresses, unhelpfully labeled screens, competing connections and none-of-the-above options. In short, he's been trying to get my computer on the cable modem that his Mac uses. He's finally done it, after hours of frustration. But that's only half the battle.
What we're trying to do is this: there's a Linksys wireless router that I bought at least a year ago, that theoretically should enable us to create a wireless network inside the house, so our computers can talk to each other and, more importantly, the cable modem. This would mean that I would finally be able to dump the excruciatingly slow dial-up connection and its attendant problems, and cancel the paid AOL account while retaining the Mavarin screen name.
Thing is, though, this is proving exceedingly difficult to do. The CD that came with the router had no interest in running on John's Mac, for one thing. For another, the various bits of equipment expect the user to know all about PPP and other protocols, how to find all the settings and configure them with no guidance whatsoever. At one point John crashed my VAIO, ejecting the Linksys CD during an attempted shutdown. The computer refused to turn on again no matter what I did. It eventually turned out that it wasn't quite turned off, and holding down the on/off button for a long time finally got it off. Once it was off, we could turn it back on.
Anyway, he's finally got the cable modem working on the laptop, but not wirelessly. That's the next step, and he probably won't tackle it tonight. So the VAIO stays in his office instead of mine for now, and chances are good that he plans to plug the cable modem back in to the Mac overnight. If I want to work on Return to Mâvarin, I'll have to do it in here after John goes to bed. And John himself advised me to get my blog entry in now, in case I can't do it later.
I'll let you know how it goes from here. Meanwhile, I'm most of the way through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which means I'm most of the way through my rereading of the saga. And I'm now planning to back through Mages of Mâvarin from the beginning as soon as I get to the end of the current edit, this time for the specific purpose of deciding whether each scene is really necessary. The characters certainly have to think about and talk about what's going on every step of the way; it is their reactions in such situations that determine my plot, not any cleverness on my part. But there's no reason every one of these conversations and soliloquies has to be reported verbatim in the books themselves. Each scene needs to accomplish something that is not covered elsewhere: a bit of character, key info, action, conflict, something. If Rani spends 1100 pages just talking (which he doesn't; I'm exaggerating), then it makes for a dull and redundant story.
Unfortunately I have a bit of the writer's disease called Every Word Is Golden Syndrome. I love these scenes, and I will probably feel that they're all important. Will I be able to get past that, and make a good determination which scenes should go and which must stay? I have no idea - but I expect I'll find out before the autumn is well advanced.