More delayed gratification

verucaIwantitnow

Do I like waiting for things? A casual study of my way of life would make it clear that no, no I do not. I self-published books 1-4 expressly because I did not want to wait for the world to ask for them. As a consequence, some may say that I rushed in half-cocked to the process and made a lot of mistakes in public. Those people are right.

What makes waiting even worse? Until I turn a book loose onto the unsuspecting public, it is only ‘real’ to me. There is no proof that I have done anything productive with my time. I know, I know, I don’t have to prove to anyone that I have actually been working, but try telling that to my insecurities.

So here’s the ironic situation I find myself in. I have, not one, but TWO unpublished books sitting on my metaphorical desk. The first draft of book 5 of the Spellbound Railway series was finished a few weeks ago (weeks? Sheesh. Time flew by.) And I have a 2nd draft, on the way to a 3rd and possible final draft of my super-secret detective thriller book.

If you’re wondering, those two books represent 2 years of work. Other than me, a total of about 5 folks have read the detective book. Not one other soul has laid eyes on book 5 yet. So much time, and fretting, and cussing has gone into these two novels that the outside world has yet to see.

I have never let a book sit un-released for a few months, much less a whole year. It’s unsettling. And now I have a second book needing exhaustive editing and revising. The to-do list is longer than it has ever been before. To tweak the pressure to get these blasted things out the door, there’s my self-imposed pressure/guilt about bringing home the bacon. Unpublished books don’t make money, honey.

But despite my natural inclination to slapdash my way to the end of a project, I am not going to hurry. I am going to act like a responsible adult doing business. Realistic timelines! Steady progress towards achievable goals! Proper nutrition! The detective book will get its next edit finished up in the next week or so. Then I will query a handful of publishers, to tell them that they need to publish this book. Maybe one of them will answer! Then it will be onto editing book 5.

 

Finishing things is weird

homerchapterWelp, that is that. After slogging through 10 months of various levels of productivity and distraction, I finished the first draft of book 5. And I feel…happy, I guess?

Completing a book is a strange event. It’s a lot like finishing a half-marathon. (It may be like finishing a full marathon as well, but I’ve never run one of those.) Near the end of a long run, the gas tank is empty. Your internal pep talks have become ineffectual. Everything chafes. The only thing that gets you to the finish line is stubborn determination. You force yourself to grind out the last hundred steps to get to the end.

And grind I did, to the tune of 110 000 words. That is a whole lot: in fact, it’s the longest thing I have ever written. Keep in mind, the thing hasn’t seen the merciless eye of the editing process, so the word count is going to change. But for now, the size of the book 5 word heap is 100 grand and change.

You may have noticed that I’ve referred to it by the rather uninspiring title ‘book 5’. That is because a real title hasn’t jumped up and bitten me on the nose yet. Actually, a title did present itself months ago, and I was excited to slap it on as a working title: “The End of All Things”. And then I googled it and found John Scalzi had already used it for one of his books. Dang it. (I still like the title and am tempted to use it, reader confusion be damned)

I should also mention it is the final book in the Spellbound Railway series. Not only did I finish a book, I wrapped up the whole series. You would think that I would have a tremendous sense of elation, accompanied by a wistful melancholy. It took me about 10 years to write all five books. Ten Years! A decade of work! I am getting old! Ah! Wait, that’s a different topic. Nevermind the oldness.

But even though I referred to the book writing process as a gruelling feat of endurance, this one wasn’t as exhausting as previous ones. I think my writing muscles have become stronger.  No amazed declaration of “I can’t believe I actually finished!” this time. I can believe it, because I’ve done it before, and I’ll keep doing it.

Wait a second….is this what being confident in your own skills feels like? Weird.

 

Why, hello there!

You know that thing, where you think you did a thing, but you actually forgot to do that thing? I did that thing.

I decided a good while ago to call it a wrap on my daily video post. It was fun for a bit, I learned a lot, but it and me were running out of steam.

I had meant to pop over here and do a blog post about it. Imagine my surprise today (weeks later) when I discovered there was no such post in existence. Whoops!

That’s the long and short of it, in terms of the videos. An experiment that had run its course. Might I do more video in the future? Ah, anything’s possible.

Here’s what I am working on:

-Book 5 of the Spellbound Railway is at 65000 words and growing. Hopefully I can get the first draft done by the end of summer, but summer is a time of anarchy so no promises

-the complicated secret project is still complicated but becoming more likely as days go by. Think subscription-based serial fiction, a chapter at a time, with additional background and side story bits for the premium buyers.

-a growing sense of dread over the deteriorating state of geopolitics.

-maybe renting some drums to be a two man band with the lad.