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2013-01-28: Time

I have tried to write a blog entry at least once every week, typically on Sunday morning.  For those who follow me, I missed last week.  My apologies.  Peacekeeper now stands at 72,600 words.  Bear in mind, this is the first draft and the second will be adding more material as well as doing a great deal of editing.  The goal for Peacekeeper currently sits at around 80,000 words and it's beginning to look like it will actually hit 85,000 by the time it's ready to publish.  Unfortunately, that will be much later this year.

My short story 'Glitches' has been provisionally accepted to be published as part of an anthology of stories from past Launchpad attendees.  If you're inclined to follow the link you will notice that the site has not been updated in quite some time and does not include the list of Launchpad attendees from 2012.  I've been asked to make some changes to the story which I have completed but not yet submitted back to the editor (Jody Nye).  We had a good phone discussion and I've learned a lot about how to turn a good short story into a better one.  Problem is, it's the same advice I would give to a new author only I didn't apply it to my own short story.  Felt like a real beginner--but that's how one learns.

I have not been writing much at all the past week due to being on 12 hour days at the plant.  I work at a nuclear power station and the plant came down last week due to an electrical problem.  It's on the way back up now but I'm still working 12 hour nights next week.  Doesn't leave any time at all for writing.  My wife and I were at the bookstore on Saturday and I managed to throw another 1,300 words into the story.  I will be working on it tonight provided I can stay awake (it's 0205 right now).

My schedule is not going to be kind to my desire to write this year.  I have until March 15th to get my first and hopefully second draft of Peacekeeper done.  On March 15th, I will be attending Millennicon in Cincinnati, OH.  When I return on March 18 I will be working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day for the next two or three months.  Prior to that, I will most likely be working longer hours as we prepare for the refueling outage.  From June 28 until July 14 I will be in Minnesota attending Convergence as well as visiting friends and family.  From August 27 to Sept 8 I will be in Atlanta attending Dragoncon as well as visiting family.  Summer weekends this year will also be taken up by a multi-week project to replace the fence around my property.

I do have Tuesdays off during the refueling outage and I may be able to get in some writing in the morning before my wife wakes up.  But once she's up the writing is put away and she becomes my priority; failing to do so could jeopardize my marriage.  If I do manage to finish Peacekeeper and publish it this year, I plan on taking a short break from writing in order to catch up on a backlog of things that I've kept on hold for too long.  I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do so priorities have been set.  I am a writer though and the itch can't remained unscratched for too long.

What's after Peacekeeper?  At this point in time I really don't know but I'm sure it will be fun.


01-13-2013: Peacekeeper update

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Peacekeeper has passed 70,500 words.  It's looking like I will actually get to finish my first and possibly second draft before having to start working 12 hour days.  We are working some extended hours now but I have been able to get a good amount of writing done each morning over the weekend.  For example - I managed to transfer 1,380 words from the aging brain to the computer just this morning.  The battles are beginning to take place and I've come up with a surprising twist that should make the ending interesting.

I just sent off an ad that will appear in the program booklet for Millennicon.  I don't know why more authors don't do this - the advertising space is inexpensive and it get's your name out there among the type of people who would most appreciate your work.  As I mentioned before, I'm not going to Millennicon as an author - just a plain old fan.  I will report on my experience when I get back.  After that - don't expect to hear much from me for awhile because I will be working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Back to writing!


01-05-2013: A plot twist and unexpected editing

Hello to 2013!  12-21-12 turned out to be a bust (the world is still here) and I failed to meet my self-imposed goal of having the first draft of Peacekeeper done by 1-1-13.  My new goal is to have a good draft complete before I have to go on 12 hour days for 6 days a week when the nuke plant I work at shuts down for their refueling outage.  We've been put on extended hours to prepare for the outage which now puts even that target in jeopardy.  But, I'm going to give it my best effort.  I'm now limited to writing on weekends which sure doesn't leave me much time.

Also, I've been going over the ending of Peacekeeper in my head now for 3 days and it just doesn't have the zing I want.  This morning, I came up with a cool plot twist that my brain seems to have been secretly working on for weeks.  I wish my brain would share some of its thoughts with me so I could plan ahead!  Anyway, the new ending will require some minor editing of parts of the story that have already been written.  I could just move on and leave myself a large to-do list of things that need fixed to make it all merge together but that might end up creating a very uncoordinated mess if I can't finish it before the outage.  So, today I'm going back and doing some editing.  My word count is going to suck but it's got to be done.

Matthew Kressel (a Launchpad acquaintance)  has a story published in Lightspeed magazine.  It's a VERY cool short story.  You can read it by clicking here. I wish I could write short stories like he does.

I will be attending Millennicon which runs from 03-15 to 03-17 this year.  It's being held in Cincinatti - about a 5 hour drive from my house.  This will be my first 'con' and I'm going as a fan, not an author.  The experience of going as a fan will determine if I announce the fact that I'm an author when I go to Convergence-con in Bloomington, Minnesota and Dragoncon in Atlanta, Georgia.  I'm a little nervous about doing so because I am an indie and I do not have any degrees or awards other than the fact that my books have been selling well for nearly a year now.  I have family and friends in Minnesota and Atlanta so picking these two cons was a no-brainer.  If my wife can stand it I might try for Readercon but that will depend on many factors.  Readercon is not a high priority this year.

Time to get to writing - um, I mean, editing then writing.