Not going according to plan

Well I had big plans to use the month of August to finish the first draft of To The Skies. So much for that. I did, however, get the first couple of chapters posted over on Scribophile where the folks were very helpful. They basically told me I was doing it all wrong but they were nice enough to tell me it was crap in a way that made me look forward to rewriting it.

That was very helpful but it did tend to move my focus off of the current chapter and get me thinking about the rewrite.  Thinking about the rewrite may be a bit premature because I really should get the first draft done instead. One thing at a time.

I’m up to my earlobes in alligators at my day job at the moment as well so the creative juices just aren’t flowing the way I’d like them to. On top of that, I’ve been trying to spend a little quality time with Mrs. Novelist because…  well because I like spending time with her 🙂

Those are all pretty good excuses but they’re just excuses. I could kick myself in the ass a bit harder.

So my next college class is getting ready to start back up and we’re also heading into our semi-annual crazy time at work.  Nevertheless, I am still dedicated to getting a first draft completed even if I have to grind it out a hundred words at a time.

I’ll just have to hold off on the down payment for the Maserati for a bit longer.

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Hey S, how’s your novel coming along?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked!

Well, this has been a pretty crazy week at work.  You know, at the real job?  The job that actually puts groceries in the refrigerator?  We’re playing musical offices this summer.  We used to have this one building, and my office was outside in a trailer.  Then they built a new building about a year ago and added the old building to the new building to make one building.  I moved into the old part of the building.  Now, they’ve done some remodeling and decided to put this office here and that office there and… I’m one of those offices.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just one desk full of stuff, but I had to move my absentee co-workers junk too and then there is the ton of computer crap that has to move.  Probably ten different computer systems, plus all the networking, and it has just been kicking my ass.  I’ve got stuff piled all over the place and one of my co-workers remarked that it looked like the latest episode of Hoarders.

Nevertheless, I have been doing some writing.  Yesterday I got contacted by one of the Vice Presidents of the company asking me for my input on a particular project.  Me.  Talking to a VP.  A VP who used to be a 2-star general.  I was a bit shocked by that, I have to say.

I know I’m a pretty smart and capable guy, but I wasn’t really aware that the upper echelons of management thought I was Our Man in Bumfuck Who Can Answer Those Questions.  Rather heady stuff considering I used to be nothing but an enlisted puke back in the day.  So I spent the better part of a day crafting an email to the HMFIC.  Got to put the skills to work and not look like a stumblebum.

So there’s two perfectly good reasons why the First Novel hasn’t moved forward.  Not good enough for you?  Alright then, how about if I tell you I’ve been spending a lot of time on Scribophile?  In case you haven’t been there, it’s a site where authors (and the other Next Great Novelists) can go to discuss writing and most importantly put their own work up for critique.  However, before you put your own stuff up, you’ve got to earn some karma points by offering your own critiques of other people’s work.  So you have to give before you can take.  It’s a great system and the people are all very helpful.  The first chapter of To The Skies is garbage and they were kind enough to tell me so in a way that made me look forward to thoroughly rewriting it.  In other words, they offered some very helpful and constructive criticism.

So I actually have been working on the First Novel, even though the word count hasn’t gone up any.  But I pledge to you, my loyal First Fans (there will be many thousands of fans who will come later, once TTS hits the NYT bestseller list, but you will have been my First Fans), that this week I will at least get Chapter 12 complete and have some notes put down for where I want Chapter 13 to go.

So get off my butt already!