Forgive me, this one
could be will be disjointed and rambling.
It’s not wholly my fault. I am like a marathon runner that long ago smashed the runner’s wall, only to get knocked from his feet halfway through the race. I am battered and bloody, and something salty is dripping into my eyes and mouth. Every time I try to get up, something else trips over me and puts me back on the asphalt. This is my first, small attempt to get to my knees. Yes, my knees. Giggle if you want, but I am proud to kneel if it is on my way to standing again.
Not making much sense, am I? Told you that would happen.
Let me chain myself to reality for a few precious seconds and try again.
130-odd days ago I Know Not was released. As I announced, It sold an unprecedented (for me) 1,000 copies in 97 days.
A party was had, and my publisher (the precog) said: “And lo, you should-eth get-eth me-eth another fantasy novel soon! For as people purchase-eth and enjoy-eth, they shalt google-eth.”
Which, once I deleted the -eth’s, made perfect sense. I launched into a new novel: The Last Dragoon, with an idea of fast-tracking it into production. For a industry that normally works in years and centuries (at best) fast tracking means months.
I am still working a full schedule at the day job, but I kept myself to a fairly harsh word count requirement: 2,000 words a day. A little more than the average term paper, every day, rain or shine. That’s what I meant to do.
Well, in October, more news came in. IKN had tripled sales, selling 960 copies in 30 days. This would be a massive disappointment to Stephen King or Terry Pratchett, but to me it’s like hitting the lottery. I am hoping against hope the people who like the novel will tell friends and acquaintances about the book, and push more sales. I can’t do much to help that along (like blog consistently, for instance) because I am working full time at the day job and (say it with me) writing 2,000 words a night.
Odd things have come from it, though. I have posted my nightly word counts on Facebook as a kind of public service, extolling others to keep writing, and give hope to those faced with writer’s block. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback about it, and I’m hopeful that the words are worth the announcements. That brings up an interesting… thingie.
National Write a Novel Month is November, every year. The idea is ostensibly to write a novel, to prove it can be done. Really it’s about setting goals, sticking to them, and blowing past all the mental blocks that are, when you get down to it just mental.
That being said, in one month I had 50,000 words, not quite up to my goal, but I knew it was ambitious. Then, well, the US government stepped in.
At work, we go through a semi-unscheduled yearly audit from the US government. I can’t resent the need, just the timing. My weekends have been cancelled. I’ve worked probably 42-44 hours in the last four days. We’re just prepping for the audit that begins in earnest tomorrow. It should only last 7-14 days, and then I can get back to writing. In the meantime most of my hours and nearly all my neurons are spent prepping for a semi-surprise audit that can shut the store down if we fail.
Granted, we prep all year to stay ahead of the power curve, but it’s still a time for controlled panic.
That is the update for, despite all my needs and wants that burn inside me like the rumbling heart of thundercloud, I owe it to my coworkers to do my best to put the best face forward for the store. Then I can get back to my dream.
I just find it slightly maddening that during NaNoWriMo I will wind up putting fewer words on paper than last month, as pressure to put material out continues to skyrocket. Plus there is the stress, which has both made me incredibly creative and inversely (perversely?) dry up of words like a severed tongue in the desert.
So excuse me if I’m going slightly mad. It is my natural state.
Oh, and I did have some fun just before my life exploded. I was able to stage a book cover for The Last Ride of the Iron Cowboy, an upcoming steampunk novella.
They came out great, thanks to Joe Cowles.