At the bookstore yesterday where I bought the OS X book, I also picked up--not bought, just literally picked up--the classic C: The Programming Languageby Kernighan & Ritchie, the authors of C itself. For years people have told me that it's not a good book for learning the language. But, after reading the first couple of pages in the chapter on pointers, the idea is now at least up to "fuzzy understanding" from "nearly incomprehensible."
What does this teach me? Remember earlier lessons. Back in the days of the TRS-80, I learned more from the Model 4's (admittedly very well-written) programming manuals than I did from any tutorial book. Things don't generally sink in completely with me unless I'm working on my own project, and I do best with those projects if I just have a clear, concise guide that tells me everything I might need to know, not what someone else assumes I'm "ready" for. The C Book explained pointers directly, without analogy, which helps me map the concept mentally to Z80 assembly language--something I learned on my own twenty years ago and still dimly remember.
After a few days' break fiddling around with a fluffy unrelated APA story, I'm heading back to work on the novel. I'm still working on the plot outline in Dramatica but I'll be getting back to do at least a couple paragraphs on the actual draft, too; right now I have only dim ideas of how the rest of the plot will be "illustrated," that is, what specific scenes will come up which address the plot points.