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Monday. A real Monday, even, weird as that might be. Spent the last two driving all day, so I didn’t get to have my normal Monday. Been good so far (the day is early). Got up, went down and got breakfast. Hit the archery range and shot pretty well for missing several weeks in a row. Did some CPL Tai Chi and that’s not all that rusty. Will dig out the sword later and work on those forms.
All in all, trying (TRYING!) to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Really been off track since we started getting ready for Minneapolis. Travel. Return. Travel some more. Home for a while, I hope. Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.
Finished the second Corsac Fox novel last week. Like how it turned out. Also started working on the design and setup of the Kickstarter coming in late November. Commissioning some art. Setting tiers, goals, and wishlists. Trying to keep it compact enough that I can learn, but big enough that it could explode.
[Every time you push the publish button—EVERY TIME—there is a chance that you hit the magic number where the book you’ve put out suddenly captures the zeitgeist and explodes. At which point, you better write a bunch more of them, because fans will have demands and expectations. Write things you love, so you can enjoy making a career out of a throwaway, m’kay?]
Also wrote the third Fatima short story. Not as thrilled with it. Mostly I need to go back and amp up the tension. Story is there. Characters are rich. The tension isn’t high enough for the target audience. Middle of the night I woke up with a list of fixes I’ll work on this week.
Did not sleep worth a damn on Saturday night. Woke up Sunday more or less a zombie in many ways. Did write, but that was a newsletter for this week, and a Milestone article for next. Non-fiction, where I can just let back-brain roll downhill and the words will be good enough for when I do have cognitive abilities to fix things.
Then I hit a blank spot. Seriously. It happens. Write too much, and don’t have any deadlines looming in front of me. Or write too many of one thing and can’t immediately figure out what the palate cleanser is.
Those of you who’ve been listening to me for long enough know that I tend to cycle back and forth. Light/dark. Military/pirates. Space/ground. SF/non-SF.
I have written a bunch of space opera lately. Or at least space adventure, between Marrakesh, Corsac Fox, and Last Stand. Needed a break. Wasn’t sure what it was.
Then, on the drive to the range, writer-brain whispered possibly the most dangerous term.
I have two of them done. Just got #2 back from the copy-editor this morning, which was why it was on my mind. Went shooting to practice my zen, as one does, And to let back-brain marinate on concepts.
Derlyth is a fun character, because he is richly deep. Evil, but only somewhat. And forced to deal with certain things because there are lines that he will draw and not cross. (In book two, he had to end up saving a bunch of rich toffs he rather disliked, because his opponent was a servant of true chaos in the vein of Batman’s Joker, intent on sowing chaos and destruction in his wake. Being an imperialist running dog was about as insulting to Derlyth as one could get. And he had to do it, because nobody else could save the world.)
So I’m about to start book three shortly. Writing this first because I needed some time to digest a few notes written earlier and turn them into enough of a plot that I could write an opening. I do write into darkness occasionally, but it works better (faster!) when I have things mostly worked out to some degree. Or at least can get rolling, then let writer-brain work it all out over the course of the next few days.
Looking at the refrigerator, the Derlyth books are scheduled for release in June. My goal is all three of them at once, while also publishing the sixth Last Stand book (tentative title: Emergency!). Reminder to y’all that I’m planning to publish one Last Stand novella each month next year (I have seven of them done and will likely write eight next), plus at least one other thing. It will be Action/Adventure first, then Corsac Fox Book One in April, then Labyrinth in May, Derlyth(*) in June, and SF for the rest of the year, including Kincaide’s War #2, three Marrakesh novels, Corsac Fox Book Two, and another Science Officer in December.
On the back of the napkin, I’m going to put out at least 32 major titles next year, not counting anything short like collections. I’d ask what the hell I thought I was thinking, but I already knew that. Gotta empty the trunk.
Other news!
Okay, reminder that I’m from Kansas originally. We don’t have trees there, not counting hedge apples that mark farming sections. Saturday night, the Fabulous Publisher Babe™ was walking across the yard from the hydroponics and got me up off the couch when she got in to look out the window.
Across the septic field are trees. Lots of them. All kinds (I don’t know trees unless I can identify the fruit, generally). Sitting on a branch, about ten feet up, was an owl. Maybe eighteen inches tall. Brown. Dark, so I couldn’t see all that much, except when the head rotated and twisted.
Kinda cool. I have had owls around here. Probably seen or heard them less than a handful of times, but that’s mostly because my house is built so solidly that I don’t hear things outside. (Not counting Jimmy, when he races right by my bedroom wall at three in the morning, after God knows what.)
Owls have always fascinated me, but it was too dark to take a picture, so you’ll just have to imagine it. Same with the Snowy Owl I saw several years ago, when she swooped up and landed on a roadsign as I was driving at night. Really cool.
More news: I think I will have to now describe the neighborhood horse as migratory. With all that implies. Haven’t found any poop surprises in the yard over the last week, so he might only come down off the hill in the summer. Or something. Never seen him outside of that, going back several years on reflection. So now the fool migrates as well.
How weird are the critters in your neighborhood?
Shade and sweet water,
West of the Mountains, WA


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