Spring fever in February! You gotta love Southern California. (You gotta! Or she'll eat you.) The weather here over the last several days has been warm and sunny, and it seems like everyone's a little distracted -- it just seems wrong to be inside and working on days like these.

So riverrun promised he'd kick my ass if I stopped writing my novel. ("Are you an assassin?" he asked me in the darkness outside Firebase Igloo, while in the distance Los Angeles burned. I'm a writer, I answered. "You're neither," he said.) So I didn't stop. When you write, it is good to have someone threaten you like this sometimes. The fact that he could clearly do it also helps.

I'm approaching it a little differently now, though. I felt completely lost in the tangled mess of half-formed ideas it had become, so I'm borrowing an organizational trick of Tim Powers' and writing character bios, scene summaries, and plot ideas on individual index cards which I can sort and stack and rearrange and tear up as necessary. One of the side benefits of this technique is that it takes me away from my computer to write. It's nice to sit at a table and work in pen and paper, and not stare with bloodshot eyes into a glowing screen like I do all frickin' day.

This weekend I'm taking Angela to Santa Barbara for her birthday. I'm not sure I'll be able to get her to leave -- I may have to go back for the cats and we'll move in under WolfDaddy's front porch.

I talked to an old high school friend on Friday. He sounds like he's gone way over the brink of despair, and is on the verge of being completely swallowed up by the darkness. I'm not sure what, if anything, to do except keep in touch and let him know someone cares. I pray he makes it through this.