Did I mention our cellar flooded? A tonne of water sloshing around a century of dust – a Lovecraftian blend of ancient skin cells, dead mice and coal ash.
I’ve got two blowers forcing air into the space beneath the floorboards and it’s like being on a jet plane, but with more legroom (and considerably more swords), and rather than air stewardesses, I have burly workmen stomping around the house.
Meanwhile I need to make expeditions: to the station to cash in some vouchers – long story – for a train ticket to Brighton for World Fantasy Con… to the Edinburgh College of Art to see the degree show – an artist called Yishu Wu has some wonderful SF illustrations on display (which I have permission to use her… and – since I work in an empty house (joy unbounded!), I need my social contact.
Usually, “social contact” means monthly coffee with my creative circle. However, this year I am putting effort into keeping up with other friends as well. To this end, Thursday I’m due to have coffee with “The General” – fellow swordsman, helpful beta reader, brainstormer, and uber wargamer – at Games Hub (which is as awesome as it looks).
Oh, and I need to write up our fencing notes from last year to provide a crib for the Meisterhau, and I need to do some drill but I have tennis elbow, which means specific exercises…
Sure I could skip the expeditions and the fitness and fencing. However, that way lies madness, obesity, and – most of all – running on empty. My muse may have a rocket pack, but it still needs fuel.
Then there’s the pressing non-writing business of writing.
Last night my Foreworld editor sent a Form of Doom from Amazon – describe my book, provide visual references for the cover… Who am I? What do I do…?
And I’ve been asking friends who have an online presence if they want some guest blogs, or even interviews, because it’s market or die folks!
Somehow, despite all this I manage to get actual writing done.
It all depends on having the right equipment.
It helps to be 45. We middle-aged people have super-powered focus, at least according to Middle Age: A Natural History… (which I shall be reviewing some time.)
However, one of the standard pieces of advice for any project is “Know the next thing you have to do.” Because I have an established though evolving process, I always know the next step.
Yesterday – Day 2 – I worked on a table of QABN arcs: “Can hero …? Yes, but… Now…!” and nailed that, then went back and tweaked the outline.
Today, I multi-tasked between that pesky Amazon form, and the outline and QABNS. Finally I roughed out the chapter level outline in Scrivener. It gets fuzzier after the first 50%, but that’s fine because the story will grow with the telling.. and – UPDATE! – Project C Editor likes what they’ve seen.
So tomorrow, I start drafting. Did I mention I need to complete this by the end of next month…? These are, on the whole, good problems to have.
(Project C Status: Day 3, 20 hrs.
Complete: Pub Outline 2, QABN Table 2, Scrivener Chapter Outline.
Pending: Read up on Late Medieval London)