Dragonverse Origins update: The first draft now stands at 23,611 words. That’s not as much as I would have hoped to have by now, but the book is coming along nicely. I don’t want to rush things because rushing is how you end up with a plot that’s such a mess you have to rebuild it by throwing half of it away.
I did read one of the chapters from Origins during this last weekend's writers group meeting. When I was finished, people were saying all sorts of things I didn't expect to hear like "Wow!" and "I could see everything - it was like I was there." And this is just a rough draft! Not that I'm bragging (well, maybe a little) but comments like those sure make a writer feel good.
Speaking of plots, It's strange how some things hit you when you're least expecting it. I wrote Off Course about 2 years ago and since publishing it, I haven’t looked at the novel at all. Yesterday, out of nowhere, a plot snafu in the book set off a small nuclear explosion inside my cerebral cortex. After I calmed down, I realized that nobody out there has caught it. I'm glad too, because fixing it would have changed the entire course of the book! Unfortunately, now that I know it's there, it's going to bother me. I don’t think it's something your normal reader will pick up. Only someone versed in political intrigue and subterfuge would wonder—why didn't they…? I have no intention of trying to fix it either.
With the crazy hours I've been working these past few weeks, I haven't had time to get on my SFWA account and update it. When I have a few hours to myself, I prefer to spend it writing. I get like that when I'm working on a project (which is most of the time). I will delay watching television programs (except Agents of Shield), skip the internet, and put all sorts of things aside to have time to write. If I'm stuck, then I can indulge myself.
From the looks of things, there's going to be a large number of Launch Pad alumni attending this year's WorldCon. I’m hoping we can find a time to get together and have a bit of a reunion. I've been going since 2012 and I've met many people I would love to connect with again in the flesh.
That’s about it from the writing end of things. If you’re interested in what I've been doing at my day job, keep reading. I’ll keep it short.
I am an Access database programmer—one of only a very few at the plant. Actually, to my knowledge, there isn't anyone else who actually writes VBA code using Microsoft Access. I work in a group called Work Management and my primary job is to maintain the Primavera database as well as build applications to make my department more efficient. They were without a DBA (Database Administrator) for almost 4 years and the old applications my predecessor had developed no longer worked. I scrapped all of them and started from scratch building my own set of applications. So far, I've taken a report that used to take 4 days to complete and automated it so it can be finished in under 3 hours. I've automated a lot of what people used to do manually.
My expertise in database applications has come in handy while the plant has been in a refueling outage. I have a program that displays the status of each job, whether or not it is working to schedule and if the schedule is in jeopardy or not. I have another one that helps the Outage Control Center track emergent work and I produce daily reports for most of the managers and directors. The bottom line here is that I love to code and I couldn't be happier. From the feedback I've been getting, the people that are using my programs are just as happy which makes me even happier. Life is good.
Time to start writing again. Until next time.