Archive for February 1st, 2012

State of the Writer: February 2012

2012 Goal: Query Nickajack.  We’re still in the big first step of the querying process: finishing the damn thing.  At the beginning of the month the draft sat at 35,000 words and had moved from act one to act two.  Now the draft is at 57,000 words, and we’re just past the two thirds point in that second act.  I’ve had months where I’ve written more than 22,000 words, but I don’t think I’ve had a lot of months where I liked what I was writing more.  Hopefully when next I’m visiting this goal we’ll be well into the third act with the end in sight.  I’m hoping the whole project comes in at 90-100k words, so another 22k word month will have us knocking at that door.  It also puts us well on schedule for getting some editing passes done and getting queries prepared perhaps around November or December.  Would love earlier, but patience will pay off and we won’t query this a day before it’s ready.

On my reading goals for the year, I’ve gotten through my first non-fiction selection, This Republic of Suffering.  It was about the attitudes towards death going into the Civil War, and how the conflict changed those attitudes.  It was a harsh transition from a period where people could largely die at home surrounded by loved ones, to dying by the thousands on battlefields hundreds of miles from home without any good process for identifying bodies.  My new book is Boneshaker which falls into the see-what-other-writers-are-doing category.  I’m going to withhold any review until I’ve finished.  Though I will say I love the brown printing for the book, though I do see several reviews calling the choice of browns unreadable.  That’s the danger of risks like that, I suppose.

State of the Blog.  I’m not going to do this anymore.  State of the Blog, that is, not the blog itself.  You’re not getting rid of me that easy.

State of the Writer’s Beer.  New Peculiar is now on an official hiatus.  I’m planning my next brew day to be no sooner than late July, hopefully no later than mid August.  Last night we did take our first beekeeping class, however.  This is relevant because it’s step one towards Peculiar Mead, which will be homebrewed mead made from homemade honey.  I’m drooling over some mead recipes (including on that calls for 6.5 pounds of kiwi in addition to the honey) but the first batch will be a straight up mead with no extra ingredients.  Patience will be key, I understand mead needs to mellow for a minimum of a year.  I love the federal homebrew laws.  I can’t sell any of my homebrew, but as a household of two adults I’m legally allowed to brew far more beer and wine for personal consumption than I actually have the equipment for.  And the mead counts towards my wine limit!  Ahh, homebrew.  Seriously, give it a try, it’s a lot of fun.

Looking to February.  A short, cold, brutal month.  Looking back at my January post I said February was a good target for finishing the first draft of Nickajack, I’m going to say I’m hopeful, but I won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t happen.  I do have a few days coming up where it’s just me in the house, which are often good for my production.  That…sounds far worse than I intended.  The next big collaboration challenge will come up in March: how best to edit the novel together.  So far the process has been outline together, I do the rough draft, and she polishes it into a first draft a few chapters behind me.  I’m sure we’ll figure something out.

Enjoy this slightly longer than usual shortest of months.  Be back with regular posts tomorrow, probably with my thoughts about the latest twist in the Barnes vs Amazon feud.

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