Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Killing 400 emails

After re-organizing half my life in the last couple weeks (in terms of paperwork and admin), I've now tackled the real beast: my main email inbox, which had just under 1,100 emails, dating back about 3 years. This is obviously only possible because work at work is incredibly slow and I struggle to write at work. Usually, it's not happening, certainly not when the rest of the team is in (and talking).

So I'm doing what I did with the real life paper situation at home and delete/rip up, file/archive, respond, or defer to "need more time to deal with this". I'm now at 694 emails left over and can quite reaonably expect to push this to about 500 either today or tomorrow. That's the best email count ever. Granted, the 500 or so that'll remain likely mean slightly more effort, but 500 is a lot more doable than 1,100. (Though a subjective 50,000 of them were royalty reports - I'm so glad I pulled some work back just because it saves me a huge amount of admin/headspace not having to do admin on 50+ publishers, or that's what it felt like.)

So, being bored at work sure has its upside. If you're waiting for a response - it's looking good I'll get back to you.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A friend is fundraising for cancer treatment

About two years ago, I had a pretty dreadful November - my writing career looked like it had upended, one of my friends left our small industry entirely because she felt no longer safe, and we lost contact, and I lost my very well-paid job at an investment bank in the teeth of one of the worst job recessions in the UK had seen in living memory.

Rona, one of my friends had it worse. That same November, I visited her for a weekend in Brighton, where she was undergoing alternative cancer treatment. The woman she lived with in the clinic, Andrea, would die a few months later, as her own cancer had spread.

My own (maternal) family tends to die from cancer. My mother died of ovarian cancer at 41 in 1997. I was 22. My aunt had a mastectomy. My grandfather eventually died of pancreatic cancer. My grandmother followed him six weeks later - brain cancer. (It's that weird thing with old people - a friend of mine once said "they die like budgies - one morning, one's dead in the cage, and the other one might be 100% healthy but is dead within the week.") One aunt had a growth in the thyroid that needed to go. My other aunts and uncles are still about - overall, we're a pretty hardy family, but cancer has been responsible for 100% of all recent deaths and surgical interventions.

In short, I have a critical illness insurance and have always had one, though I'm reasonably healthy and a non-smoker. The genetics for cancer are definitely in place, and I'm overweight and live in one of the more polluted, not-exactly-restful city. But I'm still pretty much aware that cancer is something that might just hit me, despite everything. The genes are wired that way.

This is all just some background about the situation with Rona, one of my few meat-space friends I have in London. If you read her blog, you can follow her journey through alternative therapies and traditional therapies (surgery, chemo) and what she's going through. It's not a "woe-is-me" blog, but it's a pretty acute description of what she's gone through and is still going through.

In short, after two years of therapy, and quite a few dead-ends, Rona's reached the end of her financial means. The surgery to remove the cancer has left one of her large nerves damaged and mobility/strength in one of her arms greatly diminished. She's a fit, active woman, so that was quite a blow. She's aiming to raise money to seek an alternative to traditional chemotherapy - which would slow down/stop recovery of her arm/nerves. Chemo is seriously bad news for nerves.

So, if you feel so inclined and have a few bob to spare, here's her fundraising page. I'd offer a free story, but I don't really have anything finished or otherwise (and I'm on a *tight* deadline for Suckerpunch), but I also don't want to wait until I can offer something - it's too important.

Thanks for reading and any donations!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Next up: Suckerpunch

After giving myself about a week's (okay, ten days') rest after finishing up Scorpion 3, I'm starting to get back into the groove to write. Next up is "Suckerpunch", the "Counterpunch" sequel. It' all part of a larger concept, and there will be news about that pretty soon, too. My deadline is 7 January, which might be tight - though considering that I'm going to devote 2014's solo writing entirely to WWII historicals, that allows me to do both. It's just a week sliced off that big block of time.

So I did some plotting and have about 90% of the book in my head now. (All outlines suck.) I hope I'll get it right, but at this moment, I don't worry too much. Right now, it looks like of of the "easy" books (he said before it bit him in the face). Though, "Counterpunch" was easy and quick and I loved writing it. So maybe it's that memory of the previous book that makes me so optimistic.

Lori and I wrote "Payoff", which is the third Tristan, Jared and Rolex short story. I've done my editing pass on that yesterday and Lori has to give it another pass and then we're on.

Then our long cop story has returned from the editor - I spent last night going through the line edits he made. There are also about 400 comments in the text that will require a measure of tucking and nipping and general rewriting. I'm hoping to get my pass done by Sunday.

So that's my 2014 line-up, and I think it's looking pretty good overall. No releases yet for 2015, though I'm hoping to get a couple of my dozen or so current projects across the finishing line.

Then I had a very good meeting with Caroline, who's a poet. The care and attention and frankly bloody-minded struggle it takes to get a poem on the page has always been an inspiration. I'm not a poet my any stretch - it takes more discipline and attention than I have. I was born with a linguistic chain saw and that's how I'm writing. Poets are neurosurgeons. Chainsaws and brain surgery don't go naturally together.

That said, I do believe there's much prose writers can (and should) learn from poets. My editor never tires (well, I guess he does, but he's very gracious about it) to tell me to "trust the reader" when I over-write and over-explain. Well, in poetry, you can't really explain. The lines stand and fall on their own merit, naked and exposed to the reader's questioning mind.

The other thing is seeking the right word. One of my poet friends said that one wrong word kills a poem, a wrong sentence kills a short story, and a wrong chapter kills a novel. The margin for error on such a small space is almost non-existent. (See how writing poetry would turn me into an anxious ball of writer's block?)

Another thing is sound. Poems are by nature musical, rhythmic and sound-based. Funnily enough, that's how I read. If I read the lines of anything to myself in my head, I hear and feel the words like breath and sound, though they are neither. I definitely hear and feel my own words. If a line is clunky, if an author is very clearly tone deaf, I just can't read it. It makes me itchy and antsy like free jazz. Just can't. So, awareness of rhythm and sound.

Which made me aware that, while I have poetry on my bookshelves, I have not recently read any. This is complicated by the fact that about 90% of what I own in terms of poetry is in German. Not sure what effect German poems will have on English prose, but the thought is a bit daunting. That said, I think my literary novels will benefit tremendously if I add poetry to my mental diet in addition to all the non-fiction I've been reading. I'll attempt to borrow some of those skills. I'll also try to get my hands on readable contemporary fiction written in the rough area where my books are set. I already read "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky, and while I didn't particularly like it (it didn't age very well), it had good details that I'd never considered (such as the rate of electrification in rural France).

In any case, I've loaded up the Kindle with a number of books on boxers and have subscribed to a number of boxing news sites. (Bad timing, too. The very day I did, I learned that David Haye's retiring because of a fucked-up shoulder and his fight with Tyson Fury is off. On the positive side, Vasyl Lomachenko, who had me gobsmacked during the Olympics because I've NEVER seen a boxer use angles like that, has gone pro and seems to be doing well. It's the pure boxing drama - pros fall, new hot talent rises up.)

So, I'll be quiet and hopefully productive, though tumblr and twitter should be good places to get updates as they happen. I do like posting snippets on tumblr and twitter is just chatting with people and being silly and sharing cool stuff.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The singularity of experience

This is one of the things that keep cropping up, and Ruthie Knox wrote very well about it, too.

You don't have to like it. Follow the link. Seriously.

And it totally applies here. I sometimes joke that there's a huge amount of readers who measure everything I do, write and say against Special Forces. When I read a review, some small part of me always, always, always expects to read: "That was quite nice, but it wasn't Special Forces." I've read that sentence so often, I'm now conditioned to expect it. There are some people who seem to sum me up as "the guy who wrote Special Forces and then mysteriously didn't stop writing."

I've made my peace with Special Forces. I honestly am pleased when people tell me how much they loved it.

But I've moved on. Way, way on. I won't write Special Forces again, nor anything like it (I have too many ideas to focus on any one project for 2.5-5 years). I've done it once, and I don't like repeating myself. After one million words, I'm done with the characters. And, almost more importantly, they are done with me. Vadim's at peace and good for the ocassional fan-service cameo appearance. It's been five years. Seven, almost eight since I started.

There's a cool TED talk video featuring Elizabeth Gilbert. If I remember it correctly, she talks about how it feels to have a bestseller and then people asking her "Aren't you scared you won't be able to top that?" and how destructive that is to her creativity.

Of course artists are scared. Above all, we are in competition with ourselves. I do want to write better than the Aleksandr Voinov of six months ago. That's my goal when I write. Not to "beat" Special Forces with whatever I'm working on. The people that book was meant for read it and loved it - and there's nothing I can do to make them love anything else or more. Maybe that's the only thing of mine they'll ever love. It's entirely possible.

Some will always sigh and say about any character, "oh, he's so like Vadim" (when he's really, really not, but happens to be blond and efficient, or quite alpha, or quite in conflict with himself), and if any of my characters shave (which is hugely symbolic of "taming" and "civilising", and maybe I have a straight-razor kink), it's going to be "oh, that's just like the shave scene in Special Forces", and if I write anything gritty, it's "oh, it's just like Soldiers". Personally, I'm trying to not see that as a snub against my new work - like it's a cheap copy of this momentous work.

I now try to see it as home-sickness. They read Special Forces and it was a big experience and then they try to find something just like it. But they can't, and I-the-author have moved on, and am not writing the same thing again and again and again. (That's the old publishing model, where bestseller authors were basically forced to keep repeating themselves in the name of their "brand" - you know EXACTLY what book you're getting when you pick up the next, say, John Grisham. It's safe. And it's something that would kill my will to live. I'm not a traditional-publishing kind of guy. I write to entertain and challenge myself, and I almost never re-watch or re-read anything.)

One of the most tragic truths in life is: we can never go back home. We can never read our favourite book again for the first time. Whatever it was that gave us that "OMG I LOVE MY LIFE AND EVERYTHING IS PERFECT" buzz, it likely can't be repeated. A book or film can blow our minds only once exactly like it did that first time.

I remember perfect days from my childhood. They are over. I remember living in a house I loved so much, and it's been gone for 30 years, as in, my parents sold it and other people live there now (and may they be happy). I remember being slack-jawed with wonder at seeing things in nature, I remember that first, terrifying, delirious falling-in-love thing. All done, all gone, can't be repeated.

I think sometimes we might end up resenting artists because they can't help us repeat that emotional experience, although we know they were capable of giving it to us that first time. It feels like they are withholding it from us. Why would they! WHY WOULD ANYBODY!

Judas Priest only made one Painkiller album. Their fans fucking HATED Ripper Owens, even though he was a very, very strong replacement for a legend. How many of us thought that Anne Rice had completely jumped the shark with Memnoch the Devil? We wanted more Interview with a Vampire or The Vampire Lestat. I think it might be one of the reasons why so many hardcore Tolkienites hate the Hobbit movies or even the LOTR movies - what they really want is to read those books again for the first time and get exactly the same emotional kick. How much hatred did JK Rowling get when it was very clear she would actually not be writing about Harry Potter for the rest of her life?

I've called that "entitlement" (and mind you, I'm not free from it) - I now reframe it in my mind as home-sickness. We can never go back gome, and memory is a pretty poor substitute. There's not the same amount of endorphins/serotonin/adrenalin in the memory. It's the memory of a taste. We can all remember what a steak tastes like. We'd still prefer to actually eat it than just remember eating it. In a way we know where that steak "lives" and that somebody has the power to give it to us, and we're waiting and salivating for it (apologies to every vegetarian reading this).

And they don't. There's a fundamental injustice in that, a power imbalance.

I once had a partner whose policy it was to "control every resource he depended upon". One of those resources was me, as I was important for his emotional wellbeing. It's a natural instinct, and it's fucking scary when you are the resource getting controlled and manipulated. It also taught me a lot of valuable lessons about power and control, so it was totally worthwhile. At the end of the day, I resent control and the harder people push me, the harder I push back. It's a bit of a reflex and one of the key themes of my life.

It's taught me to say "fuck it" and do only things I believe in. It's also taught me to run like hell from people trying to control me - whatever it might cost me. My 12-year relationship is largely working because we're equal partners with a LOT of freedom and space between us.

So, yeah. It's a complex issue, but it boils down to the fact that there are authors who can repeat the same thing over and over, and this author can't. Some readers want new stuff, and some readers want to repeat the same thing they loved.

I wonder how much of the success of "formulaic" and "predictable" writing is really just about giving the reader exactly the same emotional experience and this is why it's so successful. And people who can do it can get away with anything - weak writing, bad editing, cliched characters. Because they deliver that feeling of coming home.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

My run-in with the boiler-room charity, or: Why I no longer support Battersea Cats & Dogs Home and never will again

Let's face it, I'm exactly the kind of middle-class type who is perfect for supporting charities. It's "give back" and all that, and I'm happy to. I'm a "friend" of the Imperial War Museum, I hand in old stuff at Oxfam shops (mostly books and CDs), I usually empty my coin wallet into a collection box (did that just yesterday at the train station), I donate to the poppy appeal and keep losing my poppy after about three days so I'm basically spending every November replacing (and paying for) the poppy that I just lost.

I'm also happy to donate when a friend or fellow writer or trans* person is in financial trouble - helping fund a cat's operation, buying a much-needed laptop, and trying to get a trans* guy and his girl home. All things I've done, am happy to do and will do again. I'm also giving to veterans' charities (from helping fund a vets' dinner at Bletchley Park to donating cash to the RAF vets charity, even though two generation ago, they bombed my home city to hell).

Now, I normally don't really talk about all that stuff, because the last I want to do is brag about it. (There's also kind of the vague guilt that I could/should give more.)

So last week, I was called up at home by a prominent cats- and dogs-related London charity. (Yes, the big one.) It wasn't the charity itself, but they'd outsourced it to some other place.

So the guy calls me and starts a chat about how much we love animals. And that due to the poor economy, they have so many more cats now that need feeding and money and care. And I try to tell him I don't have time and I love cats and yes, one day I want to get one and might get it from there. And then he starts asking me for more money. I tell him I'm comfortable with the amount I'm giving a year (just under £150 in total). And he keeps telling me how he understand, but just one pound would make SUCH A DIFFERENCE TO ALL THOSE POOR KITTIES. And I tell him I'm okay with the amount I'm giving them because I'm actually possibly about to lose my job, so cranking up my monthly outgoings is the last thing that makes sense now. And he's all like, he understands, but WON'T I THINK OF THE POOR KITTIES.

And I'm starting to get annoyed. Mostly to get him off the phone and back to work, I agree to increasing my monthly donation. And he goes into the most effervercent praise about how I'm an angel and HOW I'M SAVING ALL THOSE POOR KITTIES. You'd have thought I'd single-handedly brokered peace in Syria.

So, yes, the guy was really good hitting all my buttons. GIFTED salesman. Tenacious. Bubbly. Lovely voice. Great blabber. Gift of the gob, as they say in Britain.

And I put the phone down and I'm fuming with anger.

Because what just happened? Somebody completely steam-rollered me, cold-calling me at home, while I was working, not taking "no" for an answer about a dozen times, hitting every emotional trigger I had and he could reach, talking me into doing something I didn't want to do, and had stated I didn't want to do.

For about a week, I kept rationalising the negative feeling of having been manipulated as "hey, it's good for the poor kitties". It's charity, right. In a way, that gives them the moral high ground, right?

Honestly, wrong.

Charity is something I do because a) I have the spare cash, b) I identify with the cause, but mostly c) it's my own godsdamned decision. And I'm not letting anybody take that decision away from me. It's the difference between giving a gift and being mugged in an alley. The latter leaves kind of a sour taste in my mouth.

That taste got so bad that I just logged into my online bank account and cancelled the direct debit entirely. Instead of talking me into upping my donation, they got me to cancel and I will never be back.

And honestly, I feel better. Mostly because today I put the same amount into the Haiyan-related collection box at Oxfam, in cash, and then bought a street musician lunch. Neither of them will call me boiler-room scam type and pressure me to give more. None of them pushed my buttons and manipulated me into doing something I expressly stated several times I was unwilling to do.

I don't respond well to getting pressured and/or guilt-tripped. I once made the mistake of texting £3 to the Syria appeal for "a warm blanket" - that heart-breaking advertising ON EVERY TRAIN in London. The problem with donate-texting? They have your phone number, and BOY ARE THEY USING IT. For WEEKS and MONTHS afterwards, I had perfectly nice Syria-appeal-related people on the phone at ALL HOURS of the day, trying to give me "updates" on how my money was being used (yeah, like I gave millions rather than a measly three quid). I told them I was at work, had no time to talk, really COULD NOT TALK RIGHT NOW ... and they just kept calling back.

I asked them to take me off their list. They kept pressing.

Finally, I had enough and told them flat-out that I was getting really angry and would NEVER again donate to their charity if they call me EVER again. (And tell all my friends.)

That did it. Blessed silence. No more updates on how my £3 would be spent.

What I find so upsetting, in a way, and what really pisses me off, is that it's disrespectful. I'm an adult, I've made an adult decision to donate a certain amount of money to charity. And these same charities seem, by some perverse mechanism, have turned into sharks to whom a donation is blood in the water: Here's some soft-hearted asshole, let's SKIN THEM ALIVE.

I'd love for somebody to do an actual study on many people these cold-calling high-pressure tactics alienate and how much money charities lose that way versus how much they make in the short term. For example, I would have been happy to donate to the cats and dogs home for the rest of my life. That's forty or maybe fifty years of £150 a pop.

I'll definitely continue as a £50-a-year "friend" of the Imperial War Museum. But they've never called me. They send me a quarterly magazine, and I get free entry. Nobody gets pissed off, everybody is respectful. It's win-win.

Meanwhile, I'll be donating cash only.

Update: Emailed them my complaints, received a phone call immediately with a personal apology. Case close. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Interview at BoysInOurBooks

And before I forget, here's an interview and review regarding Special Forces at Boys in Our Books:



Meanwhile, I've started my research on Suckerpunch. 

Scorpion 3 is finished

I made a pretty mad dash yesterday and managed to write the ending of Scorpion 3, currently titled "A Taste For Poison", so that was one of my rare 5k days. It's coming out at about 56k, and includes a few thousand words of author notes, where I talk about why I did certain things and the story behind the story. My editor and publisher might still scrap it all. :)

Always towards the end, I'm "so over" the book and the genre in question. (Especially if it's going slowly.) There's just so much more interesting stuff knocking on the door, and OMG can I be done already! But that's really mostly my inability and unwillingness to focus on anything for more than six months.

What I really enjoyed about the series was the grit and the main character, Kendras, who does a hell of a lot of growing and, I think, is in a good place when I leave him to his further fate. The bodycount was considerable, but not as bad as expected. The battle/siege I expected didn't happen because my character were reasonable and pragmatic.

There's two more stories I'd quite like to tell - one is how Adrastes became a Scorpion, and the other is how Widowmaker got to the position he's in now. And there are more stories, of course, or rather, story seeds. Nothing that's compelling me right now, so I'm taking a step back from the world at this point. I'll likely return at some point to write Widowmaker (which should be a ball of fun) and Adrastes's story, to fill in some of the blanks that Kendras couldn't talk about because he didn't know all this (telling a 200k-story from the point of view of a fairly limited character is quite a challenge, and at times I've cursed my initial decision to stay with Kendras throughout.) So, no deadlines on either of those for the moment.

I'll spend a couple days now on cleaning up my desk and the rest of my house, likely read a bit to refill words and ideas, and I have a preliminary deadline for Suckerpunch in early January. With only seven weeks to go, and edits coming in the meantime, that's pretty tight, so I won't be slacking off for very long. In fact, I'm going to start reading Counterpunch this week and make plot notes. I see a pretty strict structure at the moment, but I have to see if it actually works out. So far, I think it's multi-POV, switching between Brooklyn and Nathaniel (at least).

With the tight deadline on Suckerpunch, I can't really make any guarantees when Widow's and Adrastes's stories will get written. I've promised myself to prioritise absolutely my two WWII novels come 2014, and Suckerpunch already takes me to that date. Cramming in another novella and a novel will only mean I'll delay the WWII novels, which would be a damn shame.

And 2014 is starting to look pretty full, too. With Lori, I'll be writing more Market Garden, of course. We'll also start an urban fantasy WWII project that's been running around in my head for a year now, and there are about 5-6 other projects I'd like to do when I have time. Depending on how my job situation hoes, I might have a lot more or a lot less time than I'm expecting right now, so I can't make any predictions apart from clinging to those two WWII novels I really, really want to write and have been putting off for years.

And in 2015, it's crusades time, so ideally I want to be done with WWII, though that's unlikely to happen. Maybe I'll even look again at "high fantasy", with magic and gods and all that. Would be fun.

But in any case, I've got the MoS series finished and submitted. I'm off for a celebratory coffee somewhere in town. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Ye Olde Update

I'm still working hard on Scorpion3, so there's very little to blog about at present. It's going to be shorter than I'd expected - I was planning for 70-80k and it's more likely in the 55k area, but that's a good thing, because it means I'm done sooner withotu the sub-plot that was going to eat those chapters, and, besides, my characters were too clever to make that mistake anyway, so ... good times. It's enough to go to print, though, so, yay. No awkward "two paperbacks and an e-book" shelving. (Yes, these things are kind of important to me.) In terms of pure wordcount, I'll be done in first draft by Monday. THIS Monday.

I'm WAY behind on email, but I'm getting caught up with Goodreads email (I'm at just over 40 emails now). I did, however, answer some interview questions this morning, so that's all good on that side.

Then the Case of the Abducted Wheelie Bin has been resolved. It started a while ago when I was warned that my "green waste" wheelie bin would be taken away if I didn't pay the annual fee (£60 or so). I'd let it lapse because my garden people would always take the cuttings away, but when they left me in the lurch, I quickly called the council and paid for the wheelie bin to stay on the phone.

Two weeks ago on Saturday, my wheelie bin was abducted by the council because according to them I hadn't paid. Cue much upset and horror, especially as I was 100% sure I'd paid and I had no idea what to do with the leaves and grass cuttings (my garden is overshadowed ba couple HUGE OLD trees that are all shedding leaves now like mad). So I called, and chased them up, and called again, and was transferred to a number of people who all assured me I'd be called back in 5 days.

They didn't.

Instead, yesterday I came home and had a NEW SHINY WHEELIE BIN, no message attached.

Gods, my author life is so exciting. A few more of those, and I have a cozy mystery where abducted wheelie bins are the talk of the town for weeks. The whole thing just strikes me as weirdly and absurdly British.

L'affaire wheelie bin did leave me some time to write, so I did that, and while progress wasn't fast, it was quite steady, and nowhere near NaNo numbers: 700 words here, 1,000 words there, 1,200 words there, and once or twice even 500 words before work. I was on a huge tear yesterday, doing 2,000 words by 17:00, but was rudely interrupted by the Dude who wanted to watch Avenger Assemble, which we did, and it took forever, and before that I'd attended the gay/lesbian book club meeting in London, where only 2 other people showed up (normally we are more like 5-7), likely because nobody had read/liked the book. (It's "Mr Foote's Other Leg" by Ian Kelly, and responses ranged from "what utter tosh" to "I loved it." I'm on page 75ish and kinda stuck in the middle of those sentiments. My opinions tend to crystallise over a few days after I've finished.)

Exciting times.

No news on the job interview front, apart from a second round being scheduled.

But mostly I'm focusing on Scorpion3, getting the scenes in the right order, and trying to do a good job with all the characters. Yesterday I wrote a scene that I loved - one of the villains had to check his records why exactly he had somebody murdered. Most other films and books seem to assume that villains remember the details of their crimes in the final confrontation, but mine didn't, and that gave me a good laugh.

Anyway, just a couple more chapters, and I can wrap the series. As much as I loved it, after doing nothing else for about 6 months (or that is what it felt like), I'm quite ready to switch genres and do something different. I'll still be playing with Widow's story, but that one's separate from Kendras's story, so I'm still in the clear.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Going from 300 to 5 emails

I started this morning with 296 emails in my Goodreads inbox. I've responded to the most recent (from about May 2013 to now-ish) and deleted group newsletters, which brought me down to about 150. The earliest ones are from 2011, and I feel weird responding to those now, but I'm going to go through them and see if any of them have questions or "calls to action" and respond to those.

If you've sent me an email via Goodreads in the last 2 years - thank you. I'm horrible at times as I just get overwhelmed and "freeze". Sometimes, I'm just not on the same planet (as my partner can attest who lives in the same house). The good news is, when I'm not on Earth, I tend to be writing, and I've written some pretty cool stuff since 2011, if I dare say so myself. :)

If you've sent me an email, please know that I read every one, and you probably made me smile with a kind word or a "holy crap, that BOOK!" type email. Honestly, that stuff makes my day, so thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

I will, to ever have a hope of catching up, have to "reset" and delete a fair few emails, or respond very very quickly (unless they are so old it's REALLY awkward - you might not remember you wrote and I lost the thread of conversation), and I'm sorry for that. I try to get better about emails, because I appreciate all of them. Hopefully, one day I'll be able to quit the job and have so much more time to respond and chat. I love talking to readers, I really do.

In other news, I'm working on the last 10-20% of Scorpion3 now and hope to be done in the next 5-10 days. Hooray!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Quick blog post on NaNo

I blogged on NaNoWriMo here.

(Sorry for the intermittent service at the moment. I'm chin-deep inwrapping up Scorpion3. Normal service will resume eventually.)