My time management has been all over the place since the new year. Getting the third part of Hair of the Dog out there has been my top priority and everything else (my blog, my short stories, my hygeine) have all been kind of sacrificed on the altar of novel writing. Plus, I started a new full time job and there is a tonne of overtime I've been trying to snatch up. Not to mention I've been having difficulty getting online, especially in the evenings when most of my writing gets done. This has all combined to squeeze my free time down to a few scant hours, with not as much time as I'd like to actually stick stuff out here.
Now that the excuses are out of the way; here's what's coming up in future. I have one or two blog entries written (but not posted) and they'll be coming either next week or earlier. I'm working on a brand new short story, as well as typing up a really, really old one (I wrote it when I was sixteen, should be good for a laugh), they should be here soon too. In the meantime, here's a cop out blog entry about the third part of Hair of the Dog (working title: The Sword and The Skeleton).
Like the priest said at the adoption hearing, this is just to keep my hand in.
I've been having a lot of doubt recently. I'm like an old car that needs an oil change (or engine magic) every hundred thousand miles (I don't know from cars), except I need a confidence boost every 40-50,000 words. As you can probably tell from that extremely wounded metaphor, I also have plenty of real reasons to doubt myself. I always wonder whether I'm actually a terrible writer and everybody (some people) just encourage me because they don't want to hurt my feelings.
Today I sat down at my screen for two hours and got 186 words out of the deal. It's 186 words better than nothing, but I always aim for at the very least 1000 words every day. I do plan on coming back to it in a little while (it's the weekend, I have time to spread my words out over the entire day). I'm not even sure they're terribly good words either.
A lot of this is just pre-finish line jitters. This is the last act in this particular story and I want the ending to be as satisfying as possible. Endings are the trickiest thing to write, I think, and it doesn't help that I've left myself with a pile of dangling threads that need tying off. Some of them are being intentionally left dangling (there're a lot more stories to tell in Gallaetha, as well as an over-arching mega plot, gotta drag my readers through them with something), but there's still some things I definitely want the reader to have clear by the end. The question of who killed Michael Nash is going to be answered, I'm going to tell you what the deal is with Narak and Emily Singer, I'm even going to dig a little further into Layla's back story (not too much though, I've already written a book about some of it and I don't want to spoil how it ends). Hopefully all the questions you want answered will be answered, and if they aren't, then they will be eventually.
It's a lot to think about, certainly, and I do love thinking about it. There's nothing that compares to the thrill of solving some particularly tricky piece of storytelling, or filling in a plot hole with something amazing. Writing is a lot like solving a puzzle sometimes, the joy is in the journey to the solution, not necessarily the solution itself (although that's pretty damn satisfying if you do it right).
I'm also conscious of how long it's been since I released the last Gallaetha story. The first and the second parts came out quite fast on each other's heels, little over a month between them. This third one has taken me nearly four months to date, and I'm still working on it. For those of you that have finished part two and are hungry for more (you sick bastards, you), it's gotta be frustrating -- and I don't want to lose readers during the wait.
I plan on having a kindle ready version of part three prepared to go by late March. This isn't a hard deadline or anything, I'm all too aware that if I set myself a deadline I could very easily overshoot it. There's still a lot more writing (some of it over a decade old) that needs editing and I'm not entirely sure what tangles I'll find up ahead. Not to mention I have to do the groan work; sorting out the cover (which I detest doing, I found that out during the last one), writing the code (which I always seem to get wrong, as those of you with a first edition version of part one can attest to) and sorting out promotion (which always makes me feel like a horrible blend of seedy strip club huckster and desperate second hand car salesman). Writing is fun, but all that stuff can go die in a fire. If I could afford to outsource any part of it I'd do so in a heartbeat.
I'll try to keep this blog dealie updated in the meantime and if I see anything up ahead liable to push me past the late March deadline then here's where you'll get to find out about it and yell at me.