2014-05-25

Update and Mailing List

Peacekeeper 2 Update
The manuscript currently stands at 64,868 words. Yesterday at B&N I wrote the final battle scene. I have the concluding chapters to write and a little surprise at the end which I will also be posting to my web page once it's done - an interview with the two main characters.

I hope to finish the first draft of Peacekeeper this week while I'm on vacation. I will take a very short break to read Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice and then I will begin my first editing pass. I plan on making quite a few changes to what has already been written. Once that second pass is done I'll have to set the book aside for awhile to let things congeal and then the second pass begins. If all goes well, that should be done by the time I get back from Launch Pad in Laramie, WY. I will print it out and give it to my wife for her magic.

My wife is my grammatical proofreader. She is not a fan of science fiction but she does know how to catch poor grammar. A few items have slipped by and that might have been due to how I enter her changes. In making the changes I might have introduced a few errors myself. She's proofed the last 3 or 4 books I've written.

I will keep everyone informed as to my progress.

Mailing List
I sent out an email to everyone on my mailing list asking if they wanted to be informed via email when I post a blog. I did this because most people are so overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in their social media feeds that reading all of it is a nearly impossible task. That's one reason I don't follow many people on Twitter. I rarely look at my Facebook page and I look at Google+ even less. I work long hours and spending even 30 minutes on social network sites cuts down my time with my wife as well as my writing time.

I was informed that I forgot to put a subject in the subject line which might explain the low number of replies. Sorry about that. I'm going to resend the email with a link to this blog post attached to make sure everyone gets a chance to comment. The main question is - do you want a weekly email reminding you of my weekly blog post?

If you are not on my mailing list and you would like to be on it please send me a request at author@dougfarren.com.

Work Related
I've been doing a lot of Microsoft Access programming recently. I did that sort of work for 6 years until our company decided that my group no longer had a purpose. I ended up moving back to the Instrument and Control shop in 2004. But things have now gone full circle again. If you recall, I recently took a position as a planner at the plant. Shortly after that, I was asked to become part of a special project to reduce the number of maintenance items we are performing. I was specifically brought on board because of my programming talents. I got the database the group is using up and running and then found other things to do.

I'd forgotten how much I love programming. It's mostly just VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) but when used properly it's a powerful tool. I would prefer to program in C# or VB.net but that platform is not something others at the plant would know how to use. I build database applications that can be maintained for years by people who do not have tons of programming experience. The problem we have at the plant is there are a large number of Access databases built by people who have little knowledge of how to build a database that is easy to maintain and extensible. It takes more up-front work, but it pays for itself in the long run.