Busy, busy, busy . . .

Time for a few updates on where I am right now . . .

Day Job Stuff

When I got back to work from the shutdown, I expected my project deadlines to have been pushed back a bit. Wrong! The project I was working on when everything stopped had an end date of last Wednesday—and that didn’t change. Which meant I had about four days to complete a job that was originally scoped for three weeks. It was a tough few days but, thank goodness, I hit no serious roadblocks (apart from one technical problem, which was quickly sorted out thanks to a colleague who’d been down that same road before). Effort estimates usually include some wiggle room in case of problems, and this one was no different, but everything came together on the last day. It made for a pretty stressful start to the week, but I was able to put that behind me on Thursday.

Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia

The book seems to be doing well. I know I’ve made some sales (I won’t know precisely how many for a while), and I’ve seen a couple of reviews on Amazon (one on the US site, and one from the UK). So far, people are saying good things. And I haven’t even got into any real promotion yet. I’m barely started into arranging some things to get the word out—a blog tour is a strong possibility, as well as a signing or two locally. I’m hoping to get some progress in those directions this afternoon.

Around The World In 80 Days

The short story I wrote for Xchyler Publishing’s Around The World In 80 Days anthology contest is complete, as of a few days ago, and in shape to be submitted, as of about an hour ago (I started an editing pass last night, and finished up this morning). It is good. Without wishing to sound all conceited about it, I have to say it’s definitely one of my better short stories. I just hope it’s good enough—each of Xchyler’s contests seems to get more and better submissions.

Smoke & Mirrors

The next full-length story is coming along apace. This is the one I put to one side in February or March, and now Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia is out there I’ve been able to get back to it. I’ve redone the timeline somewhat, and I’ve been editing the scenes I’d already written, working forward to the point where I’d had to stop. I’ve recovered the momentum, and the voices and personalities of my characters, so when I reach that point (which won’t be long now—I’m almost there), I should be able to carry on and pound through to the end. My plan is to have a first draft no later than the end of November, and get it into shape to submit sometime in December. Fingers crossed.

Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia II

Yes, a sequel is in the works. I have the basics of a storyline, but I’m still thrashing out details. That’s about all I can say at the moment.

That about wraps it up for now. I have my weekly online chat with the family coming up in a few minutes, so I’d better grab a coffee and get settled. Until next time . . .

The Tension is Palpable

So much going on right now. First and foremost, of course, is that Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia is being released this Saturday! We’re having a Facebook release party on the day, and I’ll be there to answer questions and throw a few trivia questions around. Only three days to go! This is my first professionally published book, and I’m very excited. After Saturday can call myself Published Author.

In other news, the government shutdown is biting harder. Last week I was able to work on documents, so long as the work wasn’t related to any of our government projects; this week, I’m on an enforced vacation. I hope this gets sorted out soon.

Still, it has its good side—that being that I’m on vacation during the best possible weather (not too hot, but the snows haven’t started yet), so Kate and I can do some restful, relaxing things. Yesterday we took a ride up to Fort Collins and spent a little while looking around an independent bookstore (Old Firehouse Books on Walnut), went for a walk over by Devil’s Backbone, and treated ourselves to dinner at Golden Corral.

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Devil’s Backbone, Colorado

Interesting thing about Devil’s Backbone: apparently the neighbours are hazardous:

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Where The Hazardous Things Are

Makes you wonder what the hazards are. Active volcanoes? Minefields? Pools of acid? Or are the people like those whackjob doomsday preppers on TV?

Today, we’d planned to drive up to Laramie, Wyoming, for a day trip—it’s only a couple of hours from here, and it looks like a nice place to look round. But that plan went down the toilet. Long story, I won’t go into it here. We might get out there tomorrow. If so, tweets will ensue.

On the writing front, I’ve been focussed on the Steampunk short story for Xchyler Publishing’s Around The World in 80 Days anthology contest. I’ve marked up the ‘script with comment markers to remind myself of the points that need work. Among other things, the pacing’s a bit off—the last couple of scenes seem terribly rushed, and something’s needed in there to slow things down and increase the suspense and tension a bit. I’m leaving it to sit for a few days before I get back on to it.

Enough on the blog for now. I need tea, and I think we’ll be getting out for a walk around the sculpture park while the weather’s good. Until next time . . .