Thursday 13 March 2014

Wrapping up the damn book (and other)

I'm just in the very final stages of my fantasy novel, which has given me an unexpected 2.5-month battle, but it's coming together. In any case, setting a deadline (15 March) should help. I have three full days now to wrestle the last 40-50 pages into submission, which is really quite generous.

Yesterday, I signed up for Yoga and Pilates classes--while I have decent core strength (important if you have a "weak" back, especially as a writer), you can always be stronger there. Most of all, I'm missing the energy flow after a good stretch/exercise. There's definitely a certain luxury in booking classes that are at 9:30/10:30 in the morning on a weekday. They are nice and cheap, too. I had a tour of the place and there are no aggressive "gym bunny" types there, but instead a refreshing amount of middle-aged and elderly. It's not crowded on a weekday and the music isn't so loud you cannot hear your own thoughts. Perfect.

Tomorrow is my first Pilates class. I've done some Pilates years ago, but ended up dropping out because my work hours weren't really compatible (journalism and its addiction to long, irregular hours--nuff said). And then it's easy to not go back. While I did it, I liked it.

Real-life-wise, I'm looking at a number of skills to acquire over the next 3-4 years, which is hypnosis (happening in September/October), sports massage (likely from May), counselling diploma (after the foundation course) and acupuncture (after massage). All in all, it's about £12,000 ($18,000) to stump up, so that's where my money's going to go for the foreseeable future. I think it's a worthwhile and complementary skillset to have, and it should get me out of the house and in contact with people. I'm also looking at NLP and Reiki, though these are currently lower priority. I just need to research requirements and starting dates. I'm also looking at becoming a British citizen this year, but that's more a personal commitment than a skill.

A friend of mine (GB Gordon) went through that 127k monster book that's one third coming of age story, one third thriller, and one third love story, and we had a three-hour chat about how to tackle the beast. I think I have an idea now and look forward to editing it once I'm done with this book.

I've had a few chats regarding going cold turkey from corporate life to freelancing, and apparently it takes a few months to a year to a) clear the corporate fog from one's mind, b) find a workable structure, and c) reach an agreement with the Significant Other that both can live with. Now I don't feel so bad about floundering a little while I make the transition. I am a little spooked about my salary stopping at the end of the month, especially since I only accomplished a fraction of what I set out to do when I was put on "gardening leave". That my payout is quite pathetically small and that they make me jump through lots of hoops to get it is not exactly helping. Waking up with the thought of "I have to write X amount today to earn my keep" every morning puts a lot more pressure on the writing than I'm used to. At the very least, I want to double my usual wordcount, and triple it ideally mid-term. After all, I do have all that time now, I better use it.

In industry news, DABWAHA is open for nominations. Make sure you nominate your favourites published in 2013. (Last year, I got quite far with Dark Soul, only to be soundly beaten by Josh Lanyon, who was subsequently vanquished).

Right, I have a bunch of mercenaries on a ship planning a stealth operation requiring my attention. 


  1. Question about Hostile Ground: is this going to be a series or is this a complete story?