A visit to the Rockies
I'll share some news on my writing below, but first, I wanted to share a picture from Rocky Mountain National Park. I got to see my oldest kid for a first time in a long while (thanks for nothing, COVID) and also got out to the mountains, although my usual preference for hiking was curtailed by my broken foot. Great to see both the park and the kid. Being in big wild spaces full of mountains that care nothing about humanity's little concerns and squabbles is so refreshing.
After a long silence, the team of bloggers and reviewers who are judging my book in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off competition posted their first update. They cut fourteen books of their 30 book allotment from the competition, and The Woeling Lass survived this first round. They said they have eight semi-finalists picked out of the remaining sixteen, but they gave no hint of which those are, so it will be a while yet before I know how far the Lass will go. Only one of their 30 books will advance to the finals along with the top choices of the other ten teams, so it's a harrowing process.
I'm working hard on my space marine book again, and it's coming together well. Because of the broken foot and visitors and the trip to Colorado, I didn't make my goal of finishing it by the end of September, but I am cooking along now. In each of my last few books, I've reached a point where I've got so many irons in the fire (or plates spinning, or balls in the air, or whatever metaphor works for you) that it starts to be stressful figuring out how it all will come together, and sometimes you wonder if you can pull it off, or whether the book will be worth anything after all of that. In each of those prior books, I got through to the other side and ended up with books I'm really happy with and proud of, so I'm guessing this mid-book gut check is just part of my writing process now.
For this book, that scary part was last week. With some more work and writing, I got through it, and I'm really jazzed about how it's going now. I figured out the ending (and the denoument even) and I've almost gotten through a major plot point that was always going to be tricky to write. So, even though there are some sticky bits yet to go, I'm hoping it will soon reach another phase I've identified in my writing process, the point where it all starts to feel like going downhill and you start to race toward the end. I'm really looking forward to sharing this one with you, but even if I finish it soon, there will be edits and updates and revisions, so realistically it's probably not getting here until December at the earliest.