More summer weirdness

So I’ll go into greater detail in the newsletter coming tomorrow, but I had a summer cold last week. (Just a cold, with a lot of panic.) Lost two days of brainless sitting on the couch. Way behind on word count and not really feeling the need to make it up because eventually I have to break my streaks, so I might as well let it happen now and be done with it.

But this week I have a fantastic guy out restaining the interior and exterior of the house. So the place is torn apart and everything covered with plastic. Sleeping over with Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) for now. Gotta stay around the house, in case the painter guy needs anything, so I’ve basically just written on the back porch for three days.

Had to put the Lazarus novel aside, because it is in a bright and exciting phase of the arc and I’m so not there. Partly, summer. Partly, overt fascism as certain elements of society decide that they would rather burn it all down than be arrested for their crimes. (And they are crimes. I hope that people get extradited to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes when this is all done. That’s the scale of evil we’re facing.)

But I’m a writer, so I write. That meant two new Gunderson stories in the last three days (SF Private Detective set in 1955) because those are dark, plus a quick short on one of my other projects. Last night, was sitting down counting and realized that I had written 20,000 words in those three days.

My normal pace lately had been 4,000/day. I was running 7,000 this week. Shit.

Instead of being completely off pace from being sick, I had actually managed to catch up, to the point that I think I needed to write 4300 words today to zero my counter out.

At this moment, I’m not sure if I will, or if I will consciously push back and goof off instead. Last December, I wrote a novella because I had written all the novels I was going for in 2019. Just cut the story down enough that it came in at 18,000 when I could have EASILY pushed it to 40,000.

And at the very end of the year, I was at 1,394,500 words. Over that last week I could have pushed and hit 1.4M. Really didn’t want to. Might just hit it this year, if I stay on pace. Dunno. Not today’s problem.

Streaks are good, but I don’t live or die by them. As I have explained to many people, the only person I am competing with is Death. She’ll come for me long before I run out of stories to tell and things to say, but if I write more, I can get more done.

The goal at the beginning of the year was 14 novels and 40 short stories.

Then 2020 happened.

I have 6.8 novels complete right now (Lazarus 5 is 40,000 of about 55,000 when I stopped). I have also written 31 short stories. Through July. Fortunately, if I combine some of those shorts into a single volume as a “novel-sized collection” then I have three more novels done so far this year.

But it has been a 2020. I’m fine with not hitting my original goals. I have had to put aside several projects because my mind was not in the right place for them. Gunderson was there for me instead, when I wanted/needed to tell gritty, dark, hard-boiled private detective stuff. And of course it is science fiction, because that’s what I do, so you have Godzilla, aliens, Cthulhu, spandex, and Medusa as themes/styles. Because I can.

But they are dark. Hard-boiled falls on a spectrum, with Cozy mystery at one end and horror/noir at the other, depending on how much blood and violence you have, plus how corrupt everyone else around the PI is. Gunderson lets me dive into some of those dark corners and tell stories that are likely to make some of you uncomfortable.

I’ll get back to Lazarus soon. 1-4 are at first readers right now and coming out Jan+. I have time to write the rest of 5 and then cap it off with 6.

But first, I really needed some darkness to match my summer and my soul.