Quick Status

All Writing work has been really slow the last week or so. I’ve been so heavily loaded at the day job that I haven’t had any time in lunch breaks (or any other kind of breaks) to make progress, and the evenings have been a wipe, too—either I’ve been too late getting home to have any time for writing, or too tired, or more likely both.

So things are pretty much where they stood a week ago. I made one small dent in the editing of The Voyage Of Valerie McGrath, and haven’t been able to touch it since. It’s frustrating.

So, it’s back to that, right now. Until next time . . .

It Is What It Is

My regular readers (Sid and Doris Bonkers of Brentford) will know that last week at work, I was finishing up some major bug fixing. Well, things didn’t go quite as easily as I’d hoped. As things worked out, more problems were found, and it all ended up with me working through Friday (which was supposed to be a day off). I’d like to be able to say that everything works now—but that would probably be the kiss of death. I’m not making any such assumptions. Tomorrow is Presidents’ Day (aka George Washington’s birthday) which is a government holiday, so I do at least get one well-earned extra day before I have to get back to it. Tuesday, then, I’ll have a better idea of where things stand.

What of things on the writing front?


As I mentioned a while back, work on the sequel to Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia has been put to one side for a little while. I made some notes about a couple of ideas for how to wrap things up at the end, and that’s about it. I’ll be getting back to that after doing what needs to be done on . . .

The Voyage of Valerie McGrath

This is the short story for Xchyler Publishing’s Around The World In 80 Days anthology, which will be out in the spring. (By the way, that was just the name and theme of the anthology contest itself; the real title hasn’t been decided yet.) I got notes back from my editor on a few points needing some work, and I’ll be getting into that shortly (when I’ve finished this post and got some coffee in front of me).

Last but not least . . .

The Top Secret Writing Project

Or rather, it was a secret, but no longer. In 2012 I finished the first draft of a novel, and it’s been sitting in the shadows since then. A couple of weeks ago I decided I’d really like to knock it into publishable shape and get it submitted, so I dusted it off ready to get started into it. This is going to be very much a background task—the first priority right now is Valerie McGrath, then GB2 will be the focus. Reading it back through, though, there’s some pretty good stuff in there. The ending is flat and needs work, and there are quite a few scenes in there that will need to be rewritten, but on the whole it’s a good start. I’ll be working on this when I have spare minutes and there’s nothing pressing on the higher-priority jobs.

And so . . . time for that coffee I mentioned, and then I’ll be editing Valerie McGrath. Until next time . . .

Bad, Bad Week

I just got through one of the heaviest work weeks I can remember in quite some time. One of our developers is leaving, so his projects are being transitioned over to other people, and I’m one of the lucky ones. But as it turned out, this guy’s work is, to put it mildly, appallingly bad. Having worked on this project for more than six months, the thing still wasn’t working—and it was supposed to have been rolled out to production the week before last.

So I was drafted in to try to get it into shape. And after four very tough days, including late night finishes, we’re almost there. One last bug to be nailed (which will probably be dealt with Monday morning) and it can go for final testing.

All of which has meant that there’s been no time for anything else. Work on GB2 has got no further than it was this time last week. The Voyage of Valerie McGrath (the short story that’s going into Xchyler Publishing’s Around The World In 80 Days anthology) is still to be edited (but I’ve had no word from my editor on that, so there’s little I could have done anyway). I’ve had no time even to relax with a bit of gaming.

Today, then, is going to be all about relaxation. I want to spend an hour working on the GB2 timeline (I have some ideas to get that ending sorted out), and I think I could do worse than have a read through McGrath to spot any mistakes I missed earlier. And I do want to have a little game time. (World of Warcraft? Diablo III? Not sure yet.)

And so, it’s time to get moving on that. Tea, then get on with it. Until next time, gentle reader . . .

Eleven Hour Shift

Yesterday was horrible. Not the working-at-home-because-of-snow part—I have no problems staying focussed on the day job, it’s quieter than working at the office, and coffee and snacks are close to hand. In fact, it was all just fine until knocking-off time. I had an errand to run as soon as the work day was over, and I was clearing half a foot of snow off the car when my phone rang. It turned out that a new release of a web application, that had been installed at 3pm, was having problems. It turned out to be some weirdness in the database server, and somewhere along the line it cleared itself and everything started working. But by that time I’d been working for eleven hours pretty much straight. I missed a Facebook release party (too busy arranging some dinner) and then slept heavy for something like ten hours. It’s mid-day and I still feel like I’m barely awake.

Anyway, on to the important stuff. The sequel to Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia (which in future I’ll refer to here as GB2) is coming along quite nicely. The first draft of the timeline was sent to my editor last week. The ending still isn’t set in stone—there’s a section that describes where all the characters are and what needs to be resolved, and I have a couple of ideas on how to wrap things up. And my editor will no doubt spot many scenes that need work.

But that’s on hold for a little while. I think I mentioned, a few posts back, that a steampunk short story I wrote for Xchyler Publishing‘s Around The World In 80 Days anthology contest made the cut; it’s scheduled for release at the end of May, I think, but the deadline for copy editing is just a few short weeks away. I should be getting something from my editor in a couple of days, and as soon as that happens I’ll be getting busy with getting that story into shape.

For now, I’ve decided to take a weekend off writing. I finally broke down and went back to playing World of Warcraft, after an absence of, I think, well over a year. At that time I gave up on it for a number of reasons: that I don’t like doing dungeons with people I don’t know (because, to be honest, even with a group as small as five players, you can guarantee at least one will be some twit who forgets that it’s a game and takes it way too seriously—it’s supposed to be fun, guys, not a chore); that even creating new characters, exploring the same areas and going through the same quests was getting somewhat old; that they seemed to be dumbing the game down; and that the Mists Of Pandaria expansion appeared to pander (har!) to kids, paving the way for a Hello Kitty Island Adventure expansion. But the thing is, it’s still by far the best MMORPG I’m aware of, and after such a long time away from it I’m seeing some things afresh. It’s still loads of fun.

So, I’m going to grab a cup of coffee and go play for a little while, then maybe park myself with a book for a bit. If you’re a WoW player and you happen to be on the Shu’halo realm, and you see a level 19 Alliance Pandaran hunter running around Redridge Mountains or Duskwood with a pet fox, just /yell the magic word “Gunn”. If I yell back “Bohemia”, you found me <grin>.

Until next time, gentle reader . . .