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.
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.
My 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!
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.
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.
Dear Mr. Watterson
Hey gang, long time no posts. Sorry about that, just haven’t had the energy or will to actually write much until just the last couple of weeks. A lull in output that I hope has passed.
The big news, as revealed in the post title, is that after 2 years I finally finished Storms on an Opal Sea! Yes, my second short story idea, started immediately after finishing A Missing Wizard is finally complete and out for review and comment.
What happened was I had a hole in my novel writing and needed something for review at one of the critique groups I attend. With nothing else on hand I dug into my pile of WIPs and pulled it out, did some minor clean-up and passed it out for comment. What I got back really got me thinking about the story, so I went in with new energy and rewrote some parts, adapted previously written material, and cut, cut, cut away a lot of dross to slim it down from the 8500 words it was reaching for to a svelte 6036 words. Whew!
And I’ve got a plan for Amaranthine Dreams that I’m working toward as well. If work wasn’t so busy right now I think I’d have more energy to do stuff at night, but everything aches after 8 hours at work writing, my hands, my wrists, even my butt, and I just have to take a break. But progress will happen.
Now it’s time for a break. Going to rent and watch Dear Mr. Watterson, a new documentary on the creator of the Calvin & Hobbes comic.