Some Progress

Things are still busy on the day-job front—I’m still playing catch-up with the work that didn’t get done during the government shutdown. But the worst seems to be over. Today I got the code I’ve been working on to a point where I can’t really test it any more by my lonesome; that’s now in the hands of another guy who’s writing the code that will send data in for processing.

So, I’ve finally been able to spend more than a few minutes on some writing work. I was able to finish a short story and submit it. And I have to report that Smoke & Mirrors—the novel I was working on before Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia—has been put back on indefinite hold. It’s like this, you see . . . I was working on it, going through the scenes I’d already written, polishing them and in some cases tearing them out completely, and making notes of new scenes to be slotted in. But as I was doing that, I was also thinking about ideas for Gunn & Bohemia II. And the more I thought about that, the more obvious it became that I would have to stop work on Smoke to get those ideas written down before I forgot them. Those few notes became the beginnings of a timeline, and so on.

The upshot of all that is that I’m now working on G & B II pretty much exclusively. I have the backbone of the main story, and the beginnings of some side plots. I’ve met my characters, and although some can be considered old friends there are some new faces I have to get to know. And I even did something I don’t usually do at such an early stage: I’ve written a scene. I couldn’t help myself. This one scene has been rattling around in my head for a week or more. It wanted to be written. No; it demanded to be written, and it wasn’t going to let me rest until it was done. So I wrote it. Now, it can sit quietly until its time comes, and then it can be edited and slotted into place. Or torn down and rewritten, or torn out completely, if it doesn’t fit in by the time the rest is ready to be written.

And so, work continues, not rushed but steady, as I figure out the various threads of the story and get them down in note form. It’s going to be a while before I’m ready to begin the real writing; based on the time it took me with my other full-length stories, it could be anything from six to twelve weeks, depending on how much time I get during lunchtimes, evenings and weekends. It’s times like this that make me wish I could pack in the day-job and write full time. Perhaps one day, eh?

Which brings me to a few words about Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia. It’s had a couple of good reviews, and I expect to see more over the next couple of weeks; press releases have gone out, which—fingers crossed—will spur a lot of interest. Sell sheets are out in a handful of places, and I’m planning on hitting up a few more. And one thing happened that was pretty big from my perspective: I actually signed my first paperback copies! Two of them, in fact, within a few minutes of each other. The feeling that invokes is difficult to describe.

And so . . . it’s 9:30pm on a Monday night, and I have a 5:15am start in the morning, so I’m going to wrap this up and watch some TV. I was working to the sounds of Pandora earlier today, and The Lord of the Rings soundtrack was quite heavily featured. To the point that I now have an irresistible urge to watch all three movies, special edition length. Without further ado then, it’s time for The Fellowship of the Ring.

Until next time . . .

Lazy Weekend; Games and Cloud Atlas and stuff

I haven’t done anything constructive all weekend. It’s been great.

Friday night we went out for a belated birthday celebration (steak at Outback, which was disappointing; the rib-eye was tough and over-seasoned), and bought a bunch of birthday goodies—some games, a Steam gift card, and some TV shows and movies on DVD and blu-ray.

Saturday: I had to re-install my Steam client (it wouldn’t connect), then I bought a couple of games with the card: Alice: Madness Returns—the sequel to the original American McGee’s Alice—is ready to play, but I haven’t started it yet; Syberia and Syberia II were 75% off so I got those, too.

I played Syberia when it came out, but that was a long time ago, so—especially since it only cost about $2.50—I went ahead an bought it. And spent most of Saturday playing it. I hadn’t intended to—I was going to play Alice—but I started it off, just to remind myself how it looked, and got kinda hooked. Interesting game, and very Steampunk.

Sunday: started into some of the DVDs. First up was Cloud Atlas, and it’s been haunting my thoughts since. For the first half hour I didn’t know quite what to make of it, and I wasn’t sure how the bits connected, but things started to come together by about halfway through, and by the end I was enthralled. I can’t get certain scenes out of my head. I’m going to have to watch that again soon.

Next, Star Trek: Into Darkness. Damned good. I will say no more.

Rounded off by watching a few episodes of Castle, season 5. I love that show.

So: it’s Monday morning, 6:45am, and almost time for me to fire up the work laptop and get into day-job stuff. I feel rested and ready to go, so without further ado, I’d better get on with it. Until next time . . .