Yeah, about that…
When you start an “update” blog-post with the image on the left, there’s only one place it can go, right?
Well, now. Let’s take it as an exercise in finding the optimism in everything. It wasn’t all a total wash.
The pandemic has indeed put a damper on my writing. I used to write on the train commute to work (which added up to a few uninterrupted hours a week) but this whole
working from home living in the office took that away (though losing a hobby is hardly something to complain about, comparatively). At the same time, my regular work has gotten quite busy and it’s winter here so I’m disinclined to use night hours for anything that does not involve a blanket.
(I don’t talk about my day-job often, but considering it’s a big factor in my life’s balances it’s worth a mention. I manage a suite of data-leak prevention products, and we’ve just releasing a year-long work on the next gen of half of it which includes machine learning (artificial intelligence) module, in the midst of re-architecting the other half for another major leap, and planning a third, err, half to complement both. Plus, have enough extension projects for a couple of years, even without coming up with more novel ideas, which the market is sure to bring. So, yeah — exciting, but exceedingly so busy that whenever I sit down for anything I can guarantee an interruption within six-and-a-half minutes, tops (I timed it). By the time I get off work, I hardly want more screen time).
Of course, I keep coming across fascinating stuff from Ancient Rome — collected here in occasional posts — which just makes me itch to get back to writing Felix. And my mind never stops coming up with more story ideas (from short flash-fics to full-fledged planned novels). So I want to write and I know what it takes, which means that, sooner or later, I’ll find a way to rearrange life to allow parking myself in the chair and writing.
As for what’s on the cards: I have the beta readers’ feedback for In Victrix and some changes I want to make as consequence, (y’know, tighten the writing here, kill someone there… the usual). Then there’s the novel (first in a duology) which I’ve planned and written the first five chapters of. It’s an epic fantasy in a very different vein to the Felix novels, and my advance reader (aka my wife) loved it. As usual for me, I know where the story ends but I just can’t wait to discover some of the twists in the middle. Then there are all the “writing prompts” that I see floating around, including the random thoughts late at night from spell-check for witches to how to make first-omniscient POV work.
Then there are also small wins. I randomly got in the post an acknowledgement that My Execution received a honourable mention in the Writers of the Future context. This is the second short that achieves that (the first was Girl on Fire). Between those and the slowly dripping book reviews, it’s clear that my writing has some merit, and it’s not just my delusional, eccentric hallucination that others enjoy them.
If you haven’t read them yet, check out the Short Stories. Besides the two above, there are more 10-minute reads flash fiction (the latest is Dressmaking for Werewolves), a few short cases with Felix (half-an-hour reads), and the free novella Aquae et Ignis.
Until I have more news to share, I’ll keep reading (3 pages a night, before I nod off), collecting Roman curios, and jotting down evil ideas for the future. Valete!