This was certainly an odd month… On one hand, I went down with a really nasty head cold like a sack of spanners. Try as I might I could NOT shake off the damn thing, which continued on and on throughout the whole month. It pervaded my whole existence, turning my lessons – which I normally love – into a dreary trudge as I struggled with a blocked nose, temperatures and persistent sore throat. BUT on the other hand, while feeling so grim the only refuge was to get lost in writing. So I did…
• As I mentioned last month, my plans to get Running Out of Space fully formatted and self published in time for Fantasycon landed in a heap when I encountered a corrupted file and as this was my first time, I hadn’t realised it until after 3 twenty-hour days in a row trying to get it right… After returning from Fantasycon and while struggling with my cold, I wasn’t up to facing the fiddly job of formatting – yet again. So decided to put this project on the back-burner until the New Year. December is always crazy-busy with more than half the family birthdays occurring throughout the month and then there’s the small disruption of Christmas. I am not going to put myself through the madness of the run-up to Fantasycon again if I can avoid it.
Challenge – To have Running Out of Space – Sunblinded: 1 published by the end of the year. I’ve failed at this major target, but I’ve learnt so much in the process that while I won’t deny it felt like a huge defeat at the time – it isn’t the end of the world. Better by far to delay the project to ensure the book is something I’ll be proud to share with the rest of the world, than to fling it out on Amazon with major formatting issues, regarding the italicisation – which was my biggest bugbear. I’ve also decided to bring out the whole trilogy together in 2016, with, hopefully, Bloodless, the first book in the follow-up space opera crime series ready to go at the start of 2017.
• Due to the cold and the fact the only time I felt remotely human was when sitting at the computer lost in my own world, I spent the month writing. The result was I managed to complete the first draft of Miranda’s Tempest. This is a huge deal for me. This book has been boring holes in my skull for most of the year after I screeched to a halt with it in February and hadn’t had a chance to go back to the start, work out where I went wrong and put it right. Even so, the last chapter took 4 goes before I was happy with it – and I’m still unsure whether I’ve completely pulled it off… But I do know I’m very proud of the book and think it is the best thing I’ve written so far, once I’ve completely tidied it up, of course.
I also managed a major rewrite of a space opera romp I wrote years ago and stuffed in the back of a virtual drawer. Dusting it off, I realised it wasn’t as dire as I’d recalled – in fact once I addressed my tendency to repeat all the major events three times in three different ways – the narrative and characters work very well. It was also the last time I wrote anything in third person pov and I’m also pleasantly surprised how successful it was.
Challenge – to complete Miranda’s Tempest by the end of the year. Yep. Ticked that box:). Also dusted off and edited/rewrote Unearthly Things Above, which way back when, was on DAW’s ‘seriously considered’ heap for a while after I submitted it to their slush pile. No wonder they passed on it, given how overwritten it was!
• I read 11 books and wrote 8 reviews during November, which brings my annual total to date of 100 written reviews.
Challenge – To review a minimum of 100 books during 2015. Nailed that one…
With a chunk of my teaching commitment on hold – I could not possibly risk giving the boy I tutor my monster cold – I only wrote 3,400 words on admin, my blog took just over 7,000 words. But my wordcount for writing my own work was just over 91,800 words. Yes… my jaw dropped too. I have to say that while I was certainly on a roll, it didn’t feel unduly difficult. Hopefully I won’t get that ill again for a while – but at least it wasn’t a complete bust. That now brings my yearly total to date to just over 314,000 words.