Thank you, NaNoWriMo. Today, I finally wrapped up Jefferson’s Road: God And Country. I have to admit, the ending didn’t quite go down the way I thought it would. I’m a little concerned that it might be too anticlimactic, at least in its present iteration. That being said, I’m done for the night, at least.

I’ll let it simmer a day or two and then take a look. Maybe I’ll spy some other way to conclude this particular chapter. I know so many of you are so invested and hooked onto the story, I don’t want to disappoint!

There are only two books left after this (yes, I know exactly how the series ends), and I’m reasonably confident I can get there in time. But for whatever reason, this book just feels… done.  I don’t know how else to describe it. The major conflict of the story is resolved, even though there are some loose ends that will carry over into the next book – and even form the heart of the plot line there.

At present, however, it’s the first book in the series not to end with a major hook. I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad. In the meantime, though, I’m going to bed. I have work in the morning, and then a lovely weekend home with the fam.


NaNoWrimo Days 29 and 30

Just so we have the numbers…

Day 29  – 2,843

Day 30 – 3,107

TOTAL: 50,320!

Yes, it’s official: National November Writing Month has come to a close, and after an exhausting last ditch effort, I have successfully written over fifty thousand words in just thirty days. Final tally, between the two books is as follows:

The Tree of Liberty:  28,976 words added. 69,979 words total in the story.

Topheth: 21,344 words added. 76,297 words total in the story.

Neither book is finished yet, but both are rushing headlong to their conclusions. I’m going to try and wrap things up in the next week or so, see if I can’t get these done and into the hands of my BETA readers before the end of the year. And then, I can return to In the Widening Gyre and wrap it up as well. But for now, at least, I can relax.

NaNoWrimo Days 26-28

Very productive these past few days. I think we’re gonna make it!

Day 26  – 4,049

Day 27 – 3,632

Day 28 – 4,606

Total words: 44,370

I have only 5,630 words left in the next two days to reach the 50K Finish Line! So far, I’ve added almost 29K words to The Tree of Liberty and slightly better than 15K words to Topheth. Both books have now broken the 70K word mark, but unfortunately, neither is finished just yet! Still, we’re a lot (and I mean A LOT) closer to being done.

Some of you will be invited to be BETA readers for The Tree of Liberty. I hope to release it in 2013 for “general consumption” but I’ll want to get feedback and reviews on it before that time. Since Topheth is being read at my critique group, I’m just gonna hold off on releasing it until they’re done (or nearly done with it).

This is all part of the new strategy to actually market and promote these books with something resembling intelligence.

The third book I hope to finish this year, In the Widening Gyre, I will continue to make available as it gets finished. But once it’s done and y’all have given your thoughts on it, I’ll take it down from the site and put it up for sale. I know it’s frustrating to have the book only 2/3 done, but I promise I’ll get the rest completed. I genuinely want to be more disciplined in my approach as I move forward with this, but there are so many stories to write, and they don’t all like to wait. That’s sometimes why books get back-logged and other projects move to the front. In the end, they all get a little closer to being done, but they don’t always come out as soon as some of us would like (I guess I include myself in that as well, frankly).

In the meantime, I’ve put together a sample cover for the fourth Jefferson’s Road book: God and Country. I invite you to check it out on the front page (yes, I know about the colon. I’ll fix it in the final version.).

NaNoWriMo Days 19-25

19-Nov 1123
20-Nov 0
21-Nov 0
22-Nov 3988
23-Nov 3430
24-Nov 1768
25-Nov 1078

I’ve got 32,083 words finished as of 11/25 (11/26 numbers are still being generated, but they’re in excess of 3,100 at this moment.) I still need to come up with another 15K words or so before Friday. I think I’ll make the threshold just in time.

So far, Topheth has passed the 70K mark, and is rapidly careening toward an end (looks like it’ll wind up somewhere in the 80K range); and The Tree of Liberty has pushed past 62K, and is still climbing. I’m not sure how many words it’ll have. There’s a few hiccups in the plot line I didn’t see coming, which might lengthen the story–I hope, not unnecessarily.

I believe I’ve hit and pushed through the wall, and now only sheer, dogged determination is going to get me across the finish line.

But if I get through this, and then can still wrap up In the Widening Gyre by the end of December (barring any unforeseen-by-any-except-the-Mayan-end-of-the-world events), then I will have successfully completed no less than six different novels this year (Spilled Milk, Eye of Darkness, The Elixir of Life, Topheth, The Tree of Liberty, and In the Widening Gyre). Not too shabby at all!

Next year will be the year of sequels! I hope to write a stand alone for NaNoWrimo 2013, though. I have a number of candidates in mind.

And the series just don’t end. Just the other day I came up with a concept for a space opera based on the political intrigues surrounding a future Silk Road (that’s what happens when I spend too much time watching the History Channel), in which contact with earth has been lost, and the far-flung colonies believe that humans on earth have been wiped out. It’s got a lot of grit, with something resembling a Firefly feel (though without the whole controlling planets and failed revolution type thing). It’ll be less cowboy, too.

Of course, God only knows when I’ll get around to writing it. But this is precisely why I’m aiming to churn out multiple books per year. I’ll never get anything fun written if I don’t ramp up my pace. God willing, at some point in the near future, I’ll be able to do this full time. Then we’ll see what can happen.

All right. Enough rambling. I gotta get my “B” back “IC”. Later!

NaNoWrimo Days 13 – 18

Day 13 – 0

Day 14 – 1,532

Day 15 – 3,638

Day 16 – 834

Day 17 – 119

Day 18 – 0

Total word count so far: 20,696

I have 62,666 words written in Topheth and 53,978 words written in The Tree of Liberty. At this point, I should have 30k words written, so you can see I’ve fallen behind by about 10K words. Can’t say whether or not I’ll be able to catch up at this point, but there are some positive things on the horizon.

a) Co-op classes are finished for this term, so I don’t have to put in writing time to compose lessons.

b) I have a class to teach on Tuesday, but most of the material is already developed, so even that shouldn’t be too big a problem.

c) This is a holiday week, so I don’t have any overtime, and I think I’ll be able to get caught up on the rest of it. This includes having all day Wednesday available. And even though I’ll be working Thursday evening, the guys will pretty much be in Turkey induced comas at that point, so the house will be fairly quiet. I’m working alone that shift as well, so I ought to get a lot written – even on the holiday.

So there ya go. I have no excuses for not catching up over the next four days. I need to do about 4K words a day to break even, however. Yikes!  My best days were on the 7th and the 15th: 3,766 and 3,638 words respectively. Now I have to break both those records for four days straight. Wish me luck!

NaNoWriMo Days 9-12

Day 9 – 645 words

Days 10 and 11 – Nothing

Day 12 – 1,150

Total so far: 14,573

Yeah, I’m wa-ay behind. Between writing up a co-op lesson, helping my kid get his video ready for his film-making class, taking a sick kitty to the vet and putting together the “Yes, You Can Be Published (For Free)” course for Tuesday night, I haven’t had a whole lot of time or energy to do much writing. And to make matters worse, Tuesday night into Wednesday morning I’m working an 11 pm to 7 am shift at a new  house in Penfield. This means class will wrap up at 8:30 pm (or so), and then I’ll be crawling back outta bed by 10:30 to run down to Penfield to stay up all night. Oh yeah, I’ve really thought this through.

On a positive note, I have the rest of Wednesday and all day Thursday off. I hope to rest and finally get some words cranked out. My son will, doubtless, want to watch a “guy flick” with me on Thursday, but I should have quite a bit done before that time.

The bright spot is that Tree of Liberty has now (finally!) passed the 50K mark, and once it’s done, I’m gonna be looking for some BETA readers. I’ve got a few in mind, provided that they leave me reviews once I post it on Amazon. I may yet do the same thing with Topheth.

I’ve been rethinking my overall publishing strategy – as in, actually developing one for 2013. I hope to actually plan out my launch and marketing rather than just dumping the books on the market without any regard for when or how I might try to sell them. Yes, this means a slight delay for the books I’m currently completing, but I believe it’ll work in my favor overall to do things a little more deliberatively.

NaNoWriMo Days 7 and 8

Word count day 7:   3,766
Word count day 8:  +  221 (So far)
Total word count:   12,441

For some reason, I just can’t get started today. I’ve got ideas. I kinda know what’s happening now with The Tree of Liberty, and after the election I’ve been rather re-motivated. Like so many Constitution-lovers, I fear the future, too. Maybe more so now than ever.  The guiding concept behind Jefferson’s Road was giving the Left an excuse to do what they’ve always dreamt about doing: turning the U.S.A. into the U.S.S.R. Now it looks like they’ll go for that even without the excuse. Now they believe they have a mandate, for crying out loud. And what with the Republicans gleefully accepting defeat yet again, there’s little to stop them.

Except us, of course. And that’s gonna get ugly.

I don’t want to turn this into a political rant. I’ve got a whole series for that. But I am grieving. Maybe that’s what’s keeping me from putting words on a page. I don’t know.

Topheth is coming along nicely as well. Cranked out some serious verbage on that last night. It’s another dark, grim story in Janelle Becker’s world. I hope those of you who liked The Coppersmith will give her another go in this book. Should be fun!

All right, enough. I just wanted to get the update in. I’ve got about twenty minutes of the day left, and I need another 900 words or so to reach my target goal. I’m getting back to work, now.

NaNoWrimo Days 3-6

Day three – 1,829 words.

Day four – Goose Egg. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Then again, it is the Lord’s Day. Spent time with the family after church and watched Blue Like Jazz that evening. Loved what Don Miller had to say about being truth-tellers rather than salesmen when it comes to faith and God.

Day five – 1,485 words. A little lean, but climbing back in the saddle. The rest of Monday was spent at co-op, where I could only generate a measly 35 words… due largely to interruptions and tiredness.

Day six – 1,586 words so far. I’ll be able to crank some more out after I get some sleep from the overnight (and after voting is done.).

As it stands right now, Topheth has about 60K words written, and The Tree of Liberty has 45K. I’ve written about 4.3K words on Topheth, and 3.95K words on Tree. Of course, that’ll all change when I get some more to do this.  I’m 1,745 words off my goal for the day. I hope to get back ahead, and then capitalize on my third overnight tomorrow to gain some serious mileage before next Sunday rolls around. Then maybe I won’t fall quite so far behind. On a positive note, we’ve only got one more week of co-op left, so I’ll recover most Mondays in the month as well.

NanoWrimo Day 2

Word count: 3,355.

I spent the bulk of my writing time finishing the revised outline to Topheth. The story has grown in such complexity from when I first began it five years ago. It might take longer to wrap up, if only because there’s so much more depth to it than I’d originally imagined. Nevertheless, I’m going to endeavor to complete the book in October no matter what.

I’ll be returning to The Tree of Liberty with today’s efforts.

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Word count update: 2,615.

Most of that went to The Tree of Liberty. I did finish the next chapter of Topheth, however, and realized something significant: I am so far off my old outline that there’s no hope of recovery. No matter, the story is far better now. But it does mean I’m gonna have to map out the rest of the story sometime today if I’m going to finish it this month.