All Things King...

I knocked out the first three chapters in Duma Key last night and I'm really impressed so far. I think the prose style and voice that King has cultivated over the years is at its strongest and most vivid in Lisey's Story and in the pages I've sampled here. The exposition is masterful. Edgar Freemantle's horrific injury and the heart-breaking dissolution of his marriage is rendered with unflinching, brutal simplicity in the first thirty pages.

That's one of the things I like about King. For many of his contemporaries, this would be the novel. We'd get 300 pages on the accident and the divorce and the ennui suffered by our protagonist as he debates suicide.

Here, it's merely the catalyst for what looks to be an engaging mystery. I have to say I admire where King's gone in the last decade. While his early stuff is solid, a lot of the stuff he wrote in the '90s missed the sharp edge of Salem's Lot, Carrie, Cujo and Pet Semetary. And It didn't have the prose punch that some of his later stuff is packing. I like all of it, but I think his last two books are treading into new territory.

Here's a link to a great interview with King. And man, take a look at the artwork for the Gunslinger comic book.

Today I knocked out a sizable chunk of research on wheat farming and sheep ranching. Quick! Anyone! When is the best time of the year for a successful lambing season? How often should I shear my sheep? Which crops should I rotate for optimum nitrogen to raise wheat in the soil of Eastern Oregon?

As part of an infrequent effort to gauge my progress, I'll list some stats here:
  • Words written in 2008: 26,873
  • Short stories revised to final draft: 1

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