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[As usual, two weeks lag here, if you aren’t reading this on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/blazeward). If you’d like your news fresher, and the monthly Anti-Stodgy/Redneck Chef newsletter, all I ask is a buck to help keep the lights on around here.]

Okay, slight break. Took some time off. Recovering.

Realized that, dating back to about July of last year, I have been the emotional rock upon which a number of my people had clung when their own lives got turned upside down. Best friend’s wife suddenly divorced him and I spent six months keeping him moving forward as he figured out how to rebuild his life. Fabulous Publisher Babe™ got cataract surgery last year, but fell into the 10% who needed follow-on work. Niece suffered a traumatic brain injury several years ago and never got it treated properly until it got BAD.

Niece had brain surgery on Wed the 3rd. Opened her head up with a can opener and dremeled off skull, then pulled the sheet tight and stapled it back in place. She was out of the hospital on Sunday and home. Recovering well.

Fabulous Publisher Babe™ got her other eye done on the 4th (three weeks after the first) and is in great shape. Down in Portland with the niece, basically sitting on her because stubborn doesn’t run in that family at all.

Had breakfast with my buddy this morning, and talked history and culture of martial arts over coffee. He likes to tell me that he doesn’t know anything, until you get him going and he starts deep-diving into the history of Okinawan Karate. And I mean DEEP.

Last week, I finally came home on Monday. My bucket was empty. I joked with a couple of people that I’d hit the fork in the road where my options were Depression, Exhaustion, and Xenocide. I picked exhaustion. Had nothing left to give. Canceled various things and just sat on the couch and read, because even writing took more brain that I had available.

Better today. Almost normal. Looking at when I might squeeze in a trip down to Portland, between some of the busy things I’ve got on my calendar as I try to put my life back together.

In 2022, I wrote 1.4 million words. In 2023, I intentionally slowed that down to 1.0, because I had other things I wanted to do and had to create space for them.

Right now, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to hit 750,000 words this year. Sounds like a lot, until you realize that it’s half of what I was doing, and I still write at my normal pace. It’s having time to sit at the keyboard writing. Less of that this year. Makes me a little grumpy, but these are all things that needed to be done, and nobody else could hold the line while folks were dealing with issues.

Just a matter of identifying things that don’t get done this year. Maybe pushed off. Maybe removed from whatever list. At some point, I’m likely to break my publishing streak of having a novella or more monthly dating back to late 2017. Simply won’t have enough material in hand to do. Might write some shorter stuff instead. Or simply have a year of doing something every other month so I can catch up. Dunno. Don’t really care, because I keep publishing. Keep writing. Keep having fun.

Finished Science Officer #14 in there. Exile, following the Season Two scheme of letters. (You were paying attention and caught that, right? Alien, Buried, Captain, Dragoon, Exile…) H will be Homecoming, and finish off Season Two. And Exile starts an interior trilogy Zakhar describes as the War of the Pirate Clans, Volume Two. Hoping to be able to write F and G later this year, and maybe publish two next year.

Currently about 10k into Corsac Fox #6. #3 and #4 coming this summer (June and July and up for preorder now). Would like to write #6 and #7 and drop those three sequentially at some point to bring Uly and Dan to the end of Block One. Still planning Block Four, which will end when Uly is in his mid-60s. Probably about 30 novels all told, but I don’t really know. Four big blocks of emotion and lifespan, assuming people keep enjoying it.

Not every series works. I have fun writing them, or I wouldn’t, but the amount of personal abuse I suffered for writing Last Stand means that it will be a while before I circle back and touch that realm again. Plus, while it had it’s fans, not many. (Sales were pretty shitty across that series, which was a shame because…)

But it’s Monday. Been writing. Got this blog. Will throw out a newsletter later. Back on track. Chipmunks make lousy ninjas, but they’re in spring training right now. Horse poop here and there. Cherries and plums flowering. Everything else waking up.

We’ll get there.

shade and sweet water,

blaze

West of the Mountains, WA

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