New Iterations

Woke up with Public’s Make You Mine playing inside my head at jet-takeoff levels–I don’t know, guys, I just live here. Also, there’s a new sales post upplease check the dates on each, my beloveds.

4k on Hell’s Acre yesterday. I’m very proud of Gemma; my little murder princess character has met her latest challenge with quite a bit of sangfroid and also didn’t get her dress splattered with excessive gore, which was a consideration since she still has to check into a hotel and fetch her rapier. We’re in the very last stages of the game, and she’s locked onto her target to almost the exclusion of all else.

Avery, of course, is dealing with the Acre burning down. Today he’ll also get the news that he’s been betrayed, and further news that his witch is in the wind. I have had a particular scene in my head for so long now, literally years, and I get to write it soon. This zero is spiking toward completion and I couldn’t be happier. I need this duology done; it’ll be the last real project from lockdown and while I love it, I will also be happy to see it put to bed.

I did take the step of making a new, overarching to-do list for the first time in almost two years. I keep several lists, mostly on my electronic devices, but the big umbrella high-level one is a notecard taped in a specific spot on my desk. (Can’t stop, won’t stop using paper and pen.) I like to refresh it when I’ve worked through all but one big project, so I have a fighting chance of crossing something off and getting that dopamine hit shortly after I put a new iteration of the damn thing up again.

It’s the little successes, like the endorphins after a run or the dopamine hit of crossing out something on a list, that keep one going throughout the day. Adulthood is largely learning how to game those rewards and get enough to keep oneself going.

The other part is spiteful stubbornness in the face of disaster both slow-moving and quick, and I like to think that I excel at that particular part.

If I can turn in enough wordcount today my wrists will ache but I will also be within kissing distance of typing finis at the end of yet another zero draft. I don’t want to spend the weekend getting this all sorted, but by the gods I will if I have to, dammit. That will mean I’ve turned around an epic fantasy copyedit, the zero of another epic fantasy, and finished a two-season serial’s zero all in the space of two-three weeks, necessitating a small break for my weary bones.

Which I won’t want to take, since the next items on the docket are a Sons of Ymre #2 revise, a sort-of-outline for the next serial (cannot wait to announce that one, by the way, you guys are absolutely gonna diiiiiiie), and revisions on both the recently finished zeroes in order to get them in reasonable shape for editors. I’m still not sure if Hell’s Acre will see publication; once I get it revised, we’ll see. And after that it’s the turn of the next Ghost Squad book, which is Tax’s story.

He’s going to Vegas. Last time I wrote a story in Vegas I burned down a casino and that was only an incidental visit in the first third; I have high hopes for an entire book set there. Just think of the fictional damage I can do with a Ghost Squad member and a wedding planner in ol’ Sin City. (Cue evil chuckle.)

With all this going on, I’m almost not freaked out and nerve-wracked over the upcoming release of Spring’s Arcana. (Almost.) And good gods, I’m tired looking at the above paragraphs. All this effort just to stay mostly afloat. Not even really afloat, just mostly. It’s a good thing I like my job, and would continue to write even if I left publishing.

Which is (say it with me) a whole ‘nother blog post. But in the meantime, I’ve gotta get going. The book won’t burn itself down and the villain certainly won’t stab himself either, so it’s onward at full speed, all phasers set on kill and all torpedoes loaded.

Here we go…