Tag: Writing Report

Writing Report for September 2018

Writing Report for September 2018

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Time for the monthly writing update. This one is likely to be a bit longer as I have a bit more to talk about than just raw word count on things. There’s still a lot of that, though.

Accomplishments:

  1. Short Fiction is a bit more limited this month than last. Only one piece got all of my short fiction attention, and also all of the words for it. I spent more time focused on the novel-length drafting, but I hit the 10k target here even if I didn’t finish Lake of Stars, which may wind up squeaking into novella length when I’m finished the editing process. Right now, it’s coming in at a total of 12,291 words (it started the month at 1254 and I still have four scenes left to write) and making my short fiction drafting total for the month 11,037.
  2. I finished Shrine on September 8th and it came it at 94,124 words. Unless I excise significant parts of the book, the editing process is likely to take it well over 100k. A good split point might be better as these are intended to be YA books and quick, fun reads. Two books at 50-55 k would be better. Tentatively, the piece I split off will be called Forest, sticking with the one-word title theme.
  3. And I got 27,548 words into Palace, which was the third (probably now fourth) book in the Troll World Quartet (Quintet).
  4. The final book in the set, Battlefield, is outlined at the summary level and I’m working on the scene level detail at this point, at chapter 12 and adding a couple of chapters per day. The initial projection is for 45 chapters, but that’s the initial outline for Palace called for only 40. I’m not even halfway through the plot and have adjusted that to 43 already, and that’s without a couple of things that might be better split into a couple of chapters. I’ll mostly worry about those when I get to the Revision Notes phase.
  5. Switching over to editing, I’m 24 out of 40 chapters through the 3rd draft pass of Hero’s Life, the sequel to Heroes Inc, with a bit less than 22k words to reach the end. Surprisingly, I wasn’t making a lot of big adjustments here until I hit Chapter 20 where I discovered that I’d left off fixing all of the transcription errors while working on the second draft. That second draft appears to have fixed all of the major problems story issues, at least, but the transcriptions aren’t horribly and I’m probably only expecting to gain about 3k or so words between the 2nd and 3rd drafts, not much more than a 4% expansion. I’m actually really pleased with this story.
  6. Fractured Unity conversion continues, mostly as a secondary project, but with a little extra time devoted on weekends. I’ve just finished the last scene of Chapter 17 (of 20), which is two-thirds through what would have been the 7th (of 8) audio drama episode. Conversion is a bit of a messy business and involves a lot of bare bones action to hang the dialogue on and make the story make more sense in a written form. The second draft will probably see some big expansions in word count. I know the plan was to do this completely and then move onto Palace, but I’m feeling the Troll World And I am only 7 scenes from the end of the first draft.
  7. 11 blog posts, and that’s with a couple of big blank spots, particularly in the first week of the month. Not all of these have dropped yet.
  8. 13 book reviews. Still catching up here. Honestly, I’ve just hit the end of my rough notes for reviewing books I read in 2017, and I just need some commentary in some spots of the overall document. My reading speed was pretty blinding for the first half of this year, too, until I got back into my writing in a big way, and I’ll still have all of those to take care of eventually.
  9. 7 journal entries
  10. 1 essay. This was martial arts related and a requirement for an event I’m participating in on October 12th.

Total word count for the month of 81,012, averaging 2.7k per day, which is awesome. I’m very happy with word production this month. While I don’t intend for every month to be this productive as I push into the publishing side of things more, knowing I can hit totals like this is a good reminder that maybe I can do this thing.

And speaking of the publishing side of things:

  1. 0 short story submissions. I never quite found the research time to start picking markets, so i’ll try again next month.
  2. I’ve started, but only just, really, making a list of Small Press houses and potential agents I’d like to send Ancient Runes Of the “completed” novels I want to do something with, it’s one of only two I don’t plan to work actively in the same universe in the next 18 months. I know that shouldn’t be a consideration on its own, but I want to have things worked out in my head. There is one other I’d consider, Skip to My Luu, which is an older book and, though I think it reads well, the prose isn’t as mature. Everything else I’m either working in the world currently, or have a sequel plotted and on the list for drafting next year.
  3. I’ve started brief experiments with cover design, mucking about with the fan fiction work first. I consider it more likely that I’ll wind up going with an independent professional for novel covers, but intend to slowly hone my own layout and design skills on short fiction and fan fiction projects. I’d like to do a number of these next year.

Which brings us to the revised plan for October. Based on small adjustments I made this month to the order of things in progress, the October targets are pretty clear. I’ll use the same zero-to-completion order for long fiction, followed by other work, and finally publishing as I did last month.

  1. Finishing the scene level plotting for Battlefield, the final book in the Troll World set, however long it ends up being. This is the last thing I intend to plot this year (no promises), and it should be done well before the end of the month.
  2. I think the plot for Palace is just a little too long for me to get through in October, but I don’t see it stretching that far into November, at which point I’ll get Battlefield
  3. Star Trek: Fractured Unity. With my revised schedule, I’m looking to complete the transition from script to first draft prose by the end of October. With a little luck and the appropriate amount of spare time, I may make it by the middle of the month.
  4. I may just squeak in finishing the third draft of Hero’s Life before Halloween. Not too much before, though.
  5. Short Fiction: in spite of my sporadic production here in September, I think the 10k goal here is a good one and I’m going to leave it at that level for the time being.
  6. I’ll reiterate that I still want to work in a little short fiction editing, recognizing that I didn’t get there last month.
  7. Similarly, I’m going to leave the non-fiction at 10k for the month again. Killed it this month, but let’s not get overconfident. Some of this effort might be better spent on fiction, but it’s mostly dictation time, and the amount of that isn’t going to change.
  8. 5 short story submissions.
  9. Small Press/Agent hunt continues, broadening the list of possibilities.

And I think it’s becoming a mantra, but I need to type faster. Not that I’m in any way displeased with how the last couple of months have gone, but there are a lot of things I want to craft, and, like most of us, I’m not getting any younger.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for August 2018

Writing Report for August 2018

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Switching these to monthly. As we move along, and I have things to talk about other than raw word count, they’ll probably get a bit longer, but for this month, it’s all about getting the words out and moving some of them around.

Accomplishments:

  1. Short Fiction totals two complete stories and one more in progress, plus a flash piece, gaining a total of 11,153 words for the month.
  2. Shrine increased by a total of 35,050 words, bringing it to 83,432 and still not done when it was supposed to come in at 60k. There are about 9k words left in the projection based on the plotting I’ve done, so I’m probably looking at finding a split point for this book. It’s too long for the way the rest of the series works.
  3. Plotting completed for Seven Days a King. Although I don’t expect to actually draft this until sometime next year.
  4. Editing, I’ve finished the 3rd draft pass on Arena to the end of Chapter 21, leaving me 4 chapters and a little less than 8k words to go on this stage. Current word count is 66,105 Expected completion of the 5th of September.
  5. Fractured Unity scene expansions as a secondary project added 3,274 to the total word count.
  6. 12 blog posts
  7. 7 book reviews
  8. 4 journal entries
  9. 1 essay.

Total word count for the month of 69,470, averaging more than 2k per day, which makes me very happy, even though the spread of outliers is pretty wide, from a couple of editing only days where I added a few dozen to several hundred words, to several days well over 3k and one when I actually broke 4k. I’ve also started scribbling 50-150 words at a time of the first scene of Bad Teenage Poetry to scratch the itch it’s making in my brain, and I think I have around 1000 words on paper so far, though I’m not actually counting. I’ll save that for when I transfer it into the keyboard and add it to the total then. With the revised plan, that’s likely to be a while.

Right, revised plan. I made some 2018 and 2019 plan adjustments last week, but the short term remains essentially the same, and that’s what I’m going to look at here in terms of goals for September. Taking those in sort of a zero-to-completion order for long fiction, followed by other work, and finally the publishing side:

  1. Next up on pre-first draft work is plotting for Battlefield, the final book in the Troll World Quartet (Quintet?). I had some good success trying the Snowflake method for Palace, so I think I’m going to work that way again for Battlefield and see how it goes.
  2. With the expansion of Shrine, and possible splitting of the book if I can find the right point to do it and justify it as two distinct stories, I don’t expect to finish the first draft until somewhere around the 10th of September.
  3. Star Trek: Fractured Unity. Looking to complete this transition from script to first draft prose by the end of September, which will actually be a challenge. It’s easier to draft out of whole cloth than it is to start with existing dialogue and build around it. That’s more like editing on steroids.
  4. But if I get there, we’ll start on Palace, the third book in the Troll World Quartet/Quintet, which is fully plotted and I think more tightly than Shrine.
  5. Editing: once Arena has gone through the third draft, which looks like will be by the end of the first week of September, I’m going to spend a few days editing the non-poetry bits of the haiku collection I’m planning.
  6. Once that’s done, I’m moving to the third draft of Hero’s Life, the sequel to Heroes Inc.
  7. Short Fiction: the goal here is to hit 10k per month in short stories. August went well enough in this length that I took 8 days off near the end of the month to get more words into Shrine, so with the number of things I want to finish, I have reasonable confidence here.
  8. Hoping to add a little steam on the short fiction editing side, too, but I’m already feeling like I might be spread a bit too thin in number of things in progress.
  9. Non-fiction, target of 10k for the month here, too. This is a broad-catch bucket taking in blog posts, book reviews, the odd journal entry, and other work that isn’t strictly fiction.
  10. 5 short story submissions.
  11. Small Press/Agent hunt begins by making a list of possibilities.

And while there are other creative pursuits I have on my life list, like I said last week about my writing goals: I need to type faster.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for the week ending 19 August 2018

Writing Report for the week ending 19 August 2018

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This is the last one of these I’m going to do weekly for a while. After this one, I’m going to switch to doing one on or about the first of the month, covering what I managed to accomplish the previous month and the targets for the new month. Again, the objective is to keep me honest in my goals, but I want to get as many words into active projects as possible.

I made some mid-term plan adjustments last week, but the short term remains essentially the same, and that’s what I’m going to look at here.

Accomplishments:

  1. I’m within a few hundred words of finishing “Space Broccoli”, which relaly needs a new title. It’s currently sitting at just shy of 6,000 words, and I actually expect to finish it today.
  2. I’ve put 8,980 words into Shrine, taking it to 66,008 but closing the gap to the end of the story by only about 3,000 words, so around 15,000 to go, which will make it more than 20,000 words longer than the first draft of Arena. The sequence I’m working on now introduces an important character and a whole new culture to the protagonist. She doesn’t have time to absorb most of what she’s seeing, but I can’t completely gloss it over. Some of it needs to make it to the reader and some of it will inform actions and personality of that important character I mentioned.
  3. Editing, I’ve finished the 3rd draft pass on Arena to the end of Chapter 13, leaving me 12 chapters and a little less than 26,000 words to go on this stage.
  4. In odd moments, I’ve started a little bit of scene expansion in Fractured Unity, which began its life as an audio drama that I’m shifting into a novel for the experience of doing so. I’ve added a little more than 800 words here, taking two dialogue-only scenes into bare bones prose.
  5. 3 blog posts.
  6. 3 book reviews.

Total word count for the week of 16,201, averaging more than 2k per day, which makes me very happy. I’ve also started scribbling 50-150 words at a time of the first scene of Bad Teenage Poetry to scratch the itch it’s making in my brain.

I’ll go into details on what I’ve done to the plan for this year and next year, but it’s worth noting what I’ve got on the list for the more immediate future after each fo the current projects are complete:

  1. With the expansion of the current sequence in Shrine, I don’t think that it will be done by the end of August, but I think it will only be a few days into September before I get to the end of the first draft.
  2. Next Long Fiction: Star Trek: Fractured Unity. While I’m making a tiny bit of progress there, keeping the 1,000 word per day goal for long fiction, it’s still going to be the lion’s share of work there for September.
  3. After that: Palace, the third book in the Troll World Quartet.
  4. Editing: once Arena has gone through the third draft, I’m switching over to Hero’s Life, the sequel to Heroes Inc.
  5. Short Fiction: 10k or so per month in short stories is the target going forward. I’m already almost there for August. After “Space Broccoli”, I have four more I specifically want to finish, the longest of which is likely to be a 10k novelette, with the rest falling in the 3-6k range based on the rough plots I have in my head. Then, I’ll either dig into the archives for other thing I’ve left hanging or start on any of a variety of new ideas I’ve got.

And while there are other creative pursuits I have on the list, like I said last week about my writing goals: I need to type faster.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for the two weeks ending 12 August 2018

Writing Report for the two weeks ending 12 August 2018

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I may do a couple more of these weekly just to help establish the habit, but I think over the longer term monthly is better. It’s a nice way for me to catch up, but I want to get as many words into active projects as possible.

During my vacation week, I built the basic set of targets, making things concrete-ish beginning August 2nd but not going beyond the end of the week at that point. Since coming home, I’ve fleshed out a real plan on multiple levels (as suggested last week), and thought I’d list what I’ve managed since starting to use the keyboard for its intended purpose (in my view) again.

Accomplishments:

  1. Finished “Replaceable”, with the first draft coming in at 6,589 words. I’m rather pleased with the result and will probably do the editing job on it sooner rather than later. It uses a difficult theme, but I think builds well to a mostly satisfying ending. ‘Mostly’ because there’s at one aspect of that ending I’d like to make a little more subtle.
  2. Also in the area of short fiction, I added 503 words just yesterday to a story I left hanging a couple of years ago with the unlikely working title of “Space Broccoli”.
  3. I’ve put 10,611 words into Shrine, taking it to 57,628 and with an estimated 18,000 to go it’s going to come in at more than 15,000 words longer than the first draft of Arena. There are some sequences early in the book that can probably be shortened. I have the idea that all four books in the set will be of similar lengths, but I’m not too married to that. The story length for each will be what’s needed.
  4. And speaking of Arena, I’ve done the 3rd draft pass up to the middle of Chapter 10 (quite a long chapter with 4 separate scenes), which puts me about 4k words short of the book’s midpoint by  word count. The third draft is where I make sure that everything says what I want it to say, which I talked about in a more detail last year. (Reference the old post on what each draft means to me).
  5. Completely finished the scene-level plot on 7 Days a King. This isn’t the next long fiction project to go, but I’m glad to have the rough plot done.
  6. 6 blog posts (counting this one)
  7. 4 book reviews
  8. My first journal entry in almost 10 months.

A total word count of 27,723 or about 5k more than the whole year before this two week period. All in all, I’m pretty happy with that.

Significant projects on the horizon:

  1. Next Long Fiction: Star Trek: Fractured Unity. I’m a little over 25k words into something that I think will wind up at about 50k.
  2. After that: Bad Teenage Poetry, which is not speculative fiction and takes place in the mid-1980s.
  3. Editing: once Arena has gone through the last two drafts, I’m going back to Hero’s Life, the sequel to Heroes Inc. Fallen Heroes, the third book in the trilogy, has scene level detail plotted and is on the draft schedule for early next year, I hope.
  4. Short Fiction: 10k or so per month in short stories is the target going forward. After “Space Broccoli”, I have four more I specifically want to finish (none of which is more than 800 words in yet) before I dig into the archives or start on any of a variety of new ideas I’ve got.

And there are other creative pursuits in the offing as well, things that are part of my overall life goals but not necessarily connected direction to my writing goals. As far as the writing goals go, I need to type faster.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for 22 January 2018

Writing Report for 22 January 2018

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When I’m on day shift, as I am for most of January, I have a hard time sitting down in front of the computer for more than a few minutes. For some reason, it’s easier when I’m on nights. I’ve made some progress, but not as much as I wanted to overall. Which is okay. I’ll keep this brief so I can maybe get a few more minutes into a draft in progress.

  1. I added exactly 0 words to Shrine. It’s the first drafts that suffer when I’m on days.
  2. I’ve gotten fourteen scenes (of a planned forty) into the scene-level part of the outline for Seven Days a King.
  3. The second draft of Hero’s Life stands at 63% complete.
  4. Continue plat brainstorming for Speculative Emotion, in case this is something I want to do on my own.
  5. I’ve finished listening to the end of Series 3 of I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again (ISIRTA), finding that a surprising amount of it holds up very well. There are a few cringy things that don’t really fit with a current sensibility, but most of it is good. The puns are certainly there, but there’s a lot of grammar play that goes by quickly unless you’re paying attention, even if some of it is designed to be obvious to get the laugh.

Primary focus projects remain the same for the moment, so I’ll leave things there until the next update.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for 15 January 2018

Writing Report for 15 January 2018

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Settled down after much holiday travel, much holiday work business, and a family issue or two. I’m actually making a little progress. Blogging has been lighter, but I’ve managed to get some work done on a few projects that are easy to carry with me and don’t require a flat surface to work on. Accomplishments in the last week or so (well, let’s say since the calendar year started and give it two weeks):

  1. I actually put in a little over 3,700 words on Shrine. Setting a goal going forward of 5000 words per week, rather than a daily goal, although if I manage 715 words per day, the weekly goal takes care of itself. I have about 47% of the plot left to get done on what was originally supposed to be about a 60,000-word story and is currently sitting just a few words over 47,000.
  2. Finished the outline on Palace, the sequel to Shrine and the third book in the Troll World Quartet. Not exactly sure when I’ll get to the point of writing the actual first draft, but it’s ready when I do.
  3. I’ve also managed the outline of Seven Days a King, which will be near-future SF, if that isn’t clear from the title, to the point where it’s outlined in broad strokes and I have the scene-level detail left to go.
  4. The second draft of Hero’s Life stands at 31% complete, which sounds impressive until you understand that the second draft for me is just about addressing the notes I made of issues as I read through the story again. Third draft is the one that takes the most effort, maybe including the initial brain dump to get the story out of my head.
  5. And I did finish the final read-through draft of Draugr Rising, just before Grav-mass.
  6. Short fiction, I’ve started the basic plot brainstorming for a themed short story collection I’m labelling Speculative Emotion for the moment. The problem here is that I’m torn between writing this myself and trying to do it as a multi-author thing where it actually gets published in some fashion.
  7. On the non-fiction side of things, I’m toying with the idea of a project that looks at I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again (ISIRTA), a BBC Radio comedy show that ran from the mid-1960s into the early 70s, which I discovered on PBS in the late 80s and found online again in the last few years. Pun-filled and absurdism-riddled, this is some classic comedy history and a lot of it (but not all) still holds up fifty-plus years later. I’ve gone so far as to put together a basic outline and structure for the project.

Target projects that will get at least some effort (and remember that I’m happier working on several things at once rather than one thing at a time):

  1. The “properly” drawn and then ink versions of the strips for Star Trek: The Badly Drawn Stick Figure Comic. Yes, I still haven’t gotten to this.
  2. Finishing the outline for Seven Days a King. First draft to follow at some point.
  3. Completing the first draft of Shrine. My current projection shows that, if I can keep on track with the weekly goals, this will happen at the end of the third week of February.
  4. Finish the last few reviews from my 2017 reading and turn that into the same document I’ve done for 2015 and 2016 reading lists.
  5. The second draft of Hero’s Life.
  6. Make decisions on what I want to do with the Speculative Emotion and ISIRTA

And, you know, take care of the rest of life, too.

Be well, everyone.

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2017 Writing Summary

2017 Writing Summary

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Let’s face it, 2017 was a rather weak writing year for me.

The year came with some major life adjustments, including, in particular, a much-increased set of responsibilities at work, some family health issues, and dealing with my oldest child moving out on his own to go to school.

Less an excuse and more a set of facts, but it comes down to me only writing 42,000 words of new fiction this year. Now, there was more than 103,000 words of non-fiction, including blog posts and reviews, and I took three novels to final draft complete status, as well as detailed plots for three more, and another to a second draft complete. Short fiction was weaker on the new wordage front, but did all right under the heading of editing, as well, with every story slotted for the Undead collection at least at second draft status and some of them all the way to final.

Non-fiction fared a little better, with lots of review done, 70 or so blog posts, and the 2015 and 2016 Reading Journeys formatted and put into PDF files for easier access by people who aren’t me who have an interest.

I know that’s less of a detailed review than I usually do, but we’re into the next year now and I’m setting my sights on some pretty significant goals, which I’ll discuss another day. And, to steal a line, “I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.”

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for 11 December 2017

Writing Report for 11 December 2017

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The busy-ness seems to continue. I didn’t get a lot done on the writing front this week and, now that I look back, that seems completely normal when I’m on day shift in the past year. Working nights, I seem to have more quiet time available.

Accomplishments rank above zero, but count mainly as blog posts. I have started plotting/outlining Palace, the third book in the Troll World quartet. Other than that, there really hasn’t been much. I hope the next couple of weeks will be better, in spite of the Holiday season, as I have a couple of extra days off here and there (although not the standard holidays themselves).

Targets for effort:

  1. The “properly” drawn and then ink versions of the strips for Star Trek: The Badly Drawn Stick Figure Comic.
  2. Trying to finish the final draft of Draugr Rising.
  3. Completing the first draft of Shrine the second of the Troll World books. Hopefully, I’ll squeeze enough words into this during December that I can get polish the draft off in January.
  4. Detailed outline of the third Troll World book, Palace.
  5. Once the comic strips are done, I’ll move onto the next piece of the Year of Trek posts, nostalgia generating Books, Comics, Merchandise.
  6. The second draft of Hero’s Life.

Let’s see how this goes.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for 04 December 2017

Writing Report for 04 December 2017

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So not much to report, really. I’ve had a busy, stressful week. Probably, that means I should be writing more. Or, you know, at all.

Actually, I got a little bit done in the way of blog posts in the past week, but not much more. I’m not stalled on anything, exactly. I just don’t have the energy at the moment. Too much taking up the energy I do have, so when I sit down to the keyboard, I’m more likely to be skimming through news or other information on the internet.

Lots of reading. Not much writing.

This too shall pass.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report for 27 November 2017

Writing Report for 27 November 2017

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Okay, it’s been a while, and life has been super hectic with lots of stuff going on. I haven’t been writing an awful lot, so this will be a quick rundown on what little I have accomplished in the last month and where I stand on various projects.

First, completions:

  1. The first draft of the Haiku book is complete. A little revision due here and then some layout and cover art.
  2. Reading Journey PDF files for 2015 and 2016 are done. 2017 is left for a January finish. After all, it’s still 2017 and I’m still expecting to read more this year.
  3. Second draft finished on all of the selected stories for The Undead.
  4. Outline complete for Converging Destiny, sequel to Universal Destiny. I hope to write the first draft next year.

Where I’m making (or not) progress:

  1. Still haven’t done the “good” versions of the strips for Star Trek: The Badly Drawn Stick Figure Comic. After that, inking and scanning.
  2. Almost exactly 50% through the final draft of Draugr Rising.
  3. I’m just half a scene shy of the halfway mark in Shrine. A long way to go. Seems unlikely I’ll finish the first draft by the end of the year, but it won’t be too far into January.

Where I’d like to go next:

  1. Detailed outline of the third Troll World book, Palace.
  2. The next piece of the Year of Trek posts, nostalgia generating Books, Comics, Merchandise.
  3. The second draft of Hero’s Life.

So, I need the rest of my life to be less busy so I can get back to work.

Be well, everyone.

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