Not Quite on Plan – Yet

storms_opal_sea_smIn January I was really excited. It looked like the writing life was going well and that everything I was working on was on track. I had a plan to release a story a month and there was already a backlog of them awaiting their final edit before sending them out into the world.

How quickly that changed.

I got so bound up in completing my consulting work that I had no energy left over for my own projects. So much so, that I had to beg off submitting any new work to my critique groups as I was just not able to work on them. Instead, they got treated to some minor chapter revisions to the ongoing AEF slog, that while helpful to me, was probably not as fun for them. Fortunately, the software was released in late February and from forum comments it seems to be behaving itself well as people are asking for new features already. A good place to be in, from my perspective.

So, here it is April and I’ve yet to release anything. Sigh, best intentions and all that come to mind here…

But things are looking up, slightly. My consulting work ended at the end of March and since then I’ve been slowly working on my backlog and finishing the final edits. I hope, I and I say hope here as I haven’t demonstrated that it can happen yet, to release something by the end of the month.

It has yet to get easy as I’m getting solar panels installed on the house and experiencing the fun of multiple groups scheduling their time and getting things correct. This is to ensure the work passes inspection so they can turn the panels on to feed power into the electrical system. Right now, the panels are installed, the wiring connections made, but they need to update the outside utility box. Just this morning they were stopped because the electric box they needed to access to turn my power off is located in a neighbors yard behind a locked fence. Legally, they can not trespass to make it happen. So this morning I had 5 workmen outside talking on mobile phones with their supervisors about how to proceed (required a reschedule).

Today, I also completed my taxes. I owed. Ouch!

Next up, am working on the edits for Storms on an Opal Sea, to be followed by Cold Justice, RSN. Once they are done, then I’ll add SOA in the Three Realms book of short stories and release that as well.

So, plenty of things to do to stay busy.

Oh, a friend called last Thursday to say their technical trainer/writer just quit and would I be interested. Sure, I said, but you do realize it’s only been 4 working days since my last gig? I haven’t even had a chance to relax yet, sheesh!

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In the Zone for the New Year

The other night I came home from a really busy day at the office. As I often do I sit down at my home computer and start browsing the internet to relax. When I was tired of that, it took all of about 5 minutes, I whimsically decided to open up An Empire Forgotten and do some tweaking of the current chapter.

Within minutes I was deep into my changes and just kept going. Some 3+ hours later I realized I needed some dinner, so took a break at Chuy’s for a Boom Boom refill (the best sauce in the world) and then returned. Three more hours and my rewrite was done, w00t!. The whole night just zoomed by, I was in the zone and loving it. Wish all my writing periods could be as productive. Anyway, sent that off to one of my critique groups last night after another quick pass through it. Maybe I’ll actually finish the novel one day!

Back on the ranch I’ve got edits for two stories that I’ve yet to rewrite. No work yet on Cold Justice while Storms on an Opal Sea is about 1/3 complete, while I need a good ending for Spirit Healer for Hire, my first urban fantasy. Must finish soon but there are just too many distractions right now between work and football. No matter who wins their league championships this weekend (49′s vs Seahawks or Patriots vs Broncos) I’m going to end up hating at least one team that appears in this years Superbowl. Can’t be helped.

Well, back to work, that rewriting doesn’t happen by itself.

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2013 Was a Good Year for Reading

So I was wandering around the web today catching up on some of the writer blogs I visit when I came across Mette Harrison’s post Books I read in 2013–the Complete List, which of course got me thinking about how many books I read last year. Since most of the ones I read were in digital format I decided to check my list of orders from Amazon to see. There I found that I had purchased 123 ebooks in 2013 to read. Of that list there were maybe 7 that I never completed.

Then there were the actual printed books I bought this year, mainly dealing with technical subjects of which there were 3. In addition, I did some serious listening to audio books last year as well, with a count of 13 audio books of which only 1 has yet one to be listened to.

So the final count is:

Digital books:   123  (-7 unread)
Printed books:     3
Audio books:      13  (-1 unlistened)
Total books:      139 (-8)

Looks like I consumed around 131 books for the year 2013, or an average of about 10.9 books a month.

Not bad, not bad at all.

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Amaranthine Dreams Published

Amaranthine DreamsMy 3rd short story Amaranthine Dreams, covering the adventures of young Hieronymus has finally made it to the public.  Just uploaded files everywhere and as soon as they work through the system you can download them all from the usual ebook markets (Kindle, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, etc.).

It’s the final story to make it out the door for 2013, making for a total of five stories published this year. Quite an improvement over 2012 with nothing released and 2011 which saw only one.

The hope is that 2014 will be even better, but Jan-Feb is looking really busy at work, so I have no idea how much time and/or energy I’ll have to do more than publish what’s already in the stream. Fortunately, that’s two shorts (Storms on an Opal Sea, Cold Justice) and a short story collection (The Three Realms).

Enjoy and happy new year!

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Sci-fi Short Cold Justice Completed

Took some time but I finally worked up the gumption to actually do some writing over the holiday break. Been really lazy again as usual and if truth be known, trying to let my wrists recover from the last week of intense effort at work.

Had an idea some time ago for an explicit and very dark semi-sci-fi story of a serial killer which I called at various times The Runner or The Final Escape, but finally settled on Cold Justice as the title. It has a couple of explicit scenes detailing sex and killing so its unlike anything I’ve done before and really unnerving to write about, but I felt they needed to be there. Am anxious to hear back from my reviewers and their take on the scenes.

It came in just a bit over 2400 words in length and is the shortest short story I’ve  written since starting this fiction effort (if we ignore a couple of attempts done for 8th grade English class). Most of my short stories have averaged a bit over 7500 words, so with it coming in at 1/3 the word count I have to say I’m shocked it was possible. I do so love to explain and expound at length, but with this one I tried to keep it short and tight. Wrote it completely from start to finish just today and sent it out for review just moments ago.Saving Mr Banks poster

Now I need to work up a story cover. That should be fun.

Also, saw Saving Mr. Banks on Monday and while I’m sure it takes several liberties with the lives of the real people that lived it, I found it very charming and with just enough historical back story to keep it interesting. Of course, anything with stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson also has a lot going for it and both put in fine performances as Walt Disney and the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers.

Have had a nice holiday so far. Hope everyone elses has been wonderful as well. Remember, it’s not the gifts that make this time special but the family and friends you experience the holiday with, and the memories you build together.

2014 is shaping up to be busy. With three shorts nearing completion and a book I really need to spend time completing some of these projects.

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