Mid-December 2021 Writing Update

So it’s probably time I posted, right? Gah, I am terrible at this blogging thing!

What’s been happening in my writing world, then? Well, all 4 books of the Jazz Healy, Reunion series are out, but you already knew that because they were out last time I posted. I’m still tossing up whether to do hardback copies on Amazon or not. At this stage, ebook and paperback are probably enough.

As far as the Lincoln Reilly books go, I’m over 60K into The Votack Rebellion draft. My planned finish date was 31st December but… yeah… maybe mid-Jan is more feasible. I’ve never written a story with such a large active cast, which is fun, but also challenging, of course. And there are still important characters I haven’t introduced yet… 😅

I’m partway through the draft of a new Jazz Healy short story, too, set well before the events in the Reunion series. Haven’t worked on it yet this week, though, because I’m currently focused on editing my Byte Tanzil short story. You may recall I mentioned this story in my last post. Byte Tanzil is a former pro spaceball (punnnnny) pitcher with addiction issues who’s turned PI and taken on a case involving an adversary from his playing days. Tentatively titled Byte Tanzil and the Case of the Neural Mods, the first draft clocked in at more than 11K but I want to get it as trim as possible before trying to sell it. 6K would be glorious but we shall see. Usually I don’t print out hardcopies of short stories for editing but due to this one’s length I decided to do so and I might just have to get back into the habit for all my shorties. Hardcopies are certainly part of my editing process for novel-length stuff and I’m not entirely sure why I got out of the habit for shorter stuff. Probably worried about the cost of ink/toner and paper. But the Epson printer I’ve got now does something like 4000 pages to a black ink bottle, and the bottles are cheap. In fact, I’ve had the printer for something like 2 1/2 years and I’m still on the initial inks. Actually, looking at the printer right now it seems I’ve still got about half the black left.

But anyway, as fascinating as that is, you’re not here to learn about my printer. Or maybe you are. That’s all good, no-one’s judging. If you are in the market for a new printer, check out the Epson EcoTank models. Mix that with an eco font on your documents and you could maybe get up to double the pages per ink bottle. I’m not saying you can but maybe?

Back to the writing talk. The plan is to have the Byte Tanzil story out looking for its first home before the end of the month. Then I’ll focus on the Jazz Healy short-in-progress and another Jazz story after that, both to be included in the short story collection I want to release March next year.

Related to writing, I heard about something called the Pomodoro Technique the other day. Now, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my focus because it seems the older I get the less able to concentrate… I am… no, that’s not right. It seems the older I get the less I’m able to concentrate. Hmm, that still doesn’t sound right but you get the drift, yeah? So I decided to try it out. And so far I’m loving it! I haven’t gone quite as old-school as recommended in the wiki link above – I’m using the Forest app, for one, because, well, you can get yourself a forest! – but I’m liking the 25 minute intervals followed by 5-10 minute breaks. You’re supposed to do the pomodoros 4 at a time, which would, with breaks, equal about a two-hour set, followed by a 20-30 minute break and starting over. I haven’t quite managed that yet (the best I’ve done without a longer break is 2 pomodoros) but I’m confident I can get there.

And that’s actually the end of a pomodoro right now. So Imma come back to this post in a little bit because after this short break I’ve got other work stuff that needs doing…

…Right, back. Though it’s now tomorrow, which is really today, so what that means is the words before this point were written yesterday and the words I’m writing after this point are from today, which will be yesterday tomorrow, and before you know it we’ll be in 2023.

I don’t have too much more writing stuffs to talk about, though I would like to shout ‘THANK YOU!’ to everybody who has left ratings and reviews for the Reunion series across the various retail and review platforms. You all rock very, very much!

Before I sign off, I want to recommend a book. The Story of China, by Michael Wood. An excellent, immersive historical narrative of China. A must read for any lovers of history. And if you’re not a history lover, well, you should still try the book out because you might become one upon reading it. Bear in mind that this isn’t a book to rush through but it is one to savor. The link above will take you to the Amazon store but you should be able to buy it virtually anywhere, and non-virtually, too, in most physical bookstores.

And finally, while I really like the design of my Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard, I’m also getting kinda frustrated by the fact that it seems to lose bluetooth connectivity/goes to sleep every few minutes, requiring me to jolt the keyboard in some way (usually by picking it up and setting it down quite hard on the desk because a soft tap doesn’t work) to wake it up. I wonder if there’s a wired version with the same design – the keyboard slopes down which I’ve found just amazing for my wrists.

Anyhoo, as always, thanks for stopping by and we’ll talk again soon!

(And if you haven’t read the Reunion series yet, why not? 😋 Also, did you know I’ll gift you books 2 & 3, book 1 already being free, if you support me on Buy Me a Coffee)

S.C. Mae

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