• Eclipse (Aug. 21st, 2017)

    So the big news today pretty much everywhere in the US is the eclipse. To be honest, I had an opportunity to drive about an hour north to see the totality region, however as I didn’t buy any viewing glasses (and was reluctant to deal with the traffic that would be caused by everyone else who had the same thought), I decided to stay home.

    Still, my area is pretty close to there. If I had to guess I would say around +90%. That still ends up being pretty bright, around sunset levels of light, but that still makes for a pretty sharp contrast. As I write this we are about 15 minutes past our darkest point.

    Continue reading  Post ID 723

  • Slow, Steady Progress

    Currently about 40% done with this revision of By Duty Bound, and in the midst of the parts that need heavy structural changes. This always feels like a serious slog, and now is no different. Fortunately I know that putting the work in NOW will mean less work overall later.

    That doesn’t make it any less of a drag though.

    I mention this because I have just run into the first chapter that needs a lot of changes (including one whole scene that requires a complete rewrite). In all about 5 (maybe 6) chapters that need this level of care. Everything else can be fixed more quickly, unless I am misjudging my notes. If I do my job well then the next drafts will get to delve into the nitty-gritty of grammar and story flow. Oh joy.

  • 1st Draft Done, Revisions Begin

    Today I finished the 1st Draft of my book and have started on the major revisions I decided needed to be done in service to the story.

    If you look at my progress graph you’ll see that I am already 32% done, however this is misleading as I was casually working on this already and I track my progress by how many chapters are “done.” In this case the work is not evenly distributed between chapters (a few scenes and even chapters need something approaching a total rewrite, while others need significant work but nothing so serious that I cannot rework what is already there).

    By my estimation, most of the “heavy” work is contained to five or six chapters. No deadline yet because I want to attempt tackling at least one of these to see how long it takes before I make any estimations.

  • Back in the Swing

    Recently started making progress again!

    I’ve had quite a few thoughts about getting back into work. Keeping up this blog, editing, and writing are things that I know I was doing all at the same time prior to my grandmother’s death, so re-learning how to balance all of it is an interesting experience.

    There are a lot of thoughts I’ve had as a result of everything that’s gone on in the past few months (I figure that is pretty much unavoidable when a family member passes away). Nothing that I would consider unique by any means. Mostly I was taken by surprise by how hard I took it, especially since I felt like I was ready for when this happened. On top of that what I felt was so delayed that at first I didn’t realize it was connected.

    In any case, I’ve been plowing back into work again, and gradually adding more on top of it as I feel able to take it on.

  • Updates

    So progress on my editing came to a screeching halt March and now that everything is resolved I feel it is time I addressed why.

    My maternal grandmother has been sick for some time (this is something I have spoken about in my newsletters several times). Long story short she has battled a very aggressive cancer. During March her health took a turn for the worse and she was put on oxygen. Shortly after that proved insufficient and she had to be taken to the hospital and put on life support to be kept alive. While she was able to regain consciousness she ultimately decided that she was not willing to live with a tube down her throat, so she had it removed after making it clear that she did not want to be resuscitated should her vitals fail.

    I am happy to say that most of her family was able to travel down there to be with her when they removed the tube, although unfortunately circumstances meant I was not and resorted to calling her. When the tube was removed she passed very rapidly.

    There really isn’t much I can say. This is something I have known was coming for 3 years now, but in the end it happened so quickly. With how long I had to prepare for this it still surprises me how much it hurts sometimes when I think about how she is finally gone, but by the same token there is this sense of relief too. Not a joyful sort, but just this feeling of closure and the knowledge that my grandmother was in the enviable position to pick her own time, and to have everyone she loved around her during that moment.

    Obviously I have not been in a mental state where I felt comfortable working on my book (or anything else for that matter), but now that everything is done and I am home I hope to resume work. My timeline will likely be pushed back some although for now I just want a moment to pick up the pieces.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    -Robert Frost

  • Cthulhu and Friends

    This Christmas I got a B&N gift card, and finally got around to heading to their store to figure out what I wanted to buy. I don’t actually mind getting gift cards although there are certainly ones I prefer (Amazon gift cards tend to get used immediately as I read a lot on my Kindle). While none of the stuff I actually wanted was at B&N, I did end up picking up one book more or less on principle.

    To my embarrassment I’ve never read any of Lovecraft’s stories despite knowing many details about his fiction and being able to recognize the influence he’s had on the horror genre. Well I found a large book that is an annotated collection. While writing horror isn’t really my thing, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to expose myself to something new.

  • Reviewing Has Begun

    As of the first of this month I am now reviewing my book. Plan to handle one chapter a day (a pace I know I can easily maintain) so this should be done sometime before the end of the month. Once I reach that point I plan to immediately dive into my first revision. The good news is that so far I don’t have that many things to fix (I think, after the first revision my early beta readers may throw up a host of complaints). You can track my progress on the little widget to the right.

    Speaking of, soon I plan to be adding a second project to that widget, one for the novella I’m writing. Currently I am still projecting it to be around 50,000 words, but as I realized my entire first act was wrong I’m no longer completely sure that is the case. We will have to see. If necessary I’ll adjust the estimate once I have a better feel for the project’s scope.