The prodigal

Good morning. It’s been a while. How are you?

Me, I spent a week in London trying to learn to be a software engineer, and another two at home trying to figure out how to get work done while the kids were homebound due to excesses of snow or snot. Other than the trip to and from Heathrow, my London experience was more or less confined to the fifteen-minute walk between my flat in Shoreditch and my job in Shoreditch; so, despite my hopes to tap into the mythic half-forgotten London that animates China Miéville’s New Crobuzon and Alan Moore’s FROM HELL, I spent most of my time pondering the curious popularity of Mexican and fusion Mexican cuisine (falafel with guacamole?) and rubbernecking at some admittedly pretty amazing graffiti:

IMG_8819By “most of my time” above, I of course mean “most of the time I wasn’t learning how complicated it is to write apps,” which is a lesson I honestly haven’t fully grasped just yet.

But now I’m home, and the snow and snot have cleared, and I’m trying to figure out where I’m going. The main issue is finding time to write for an hour a day. I’d like to do more, of course, but if I can do that, I can make progress. But with the office right at home, it’s hard. One really liberating thing about the otherwise horrible commute to Philadelphia was that it gave me a solid block of downtime every weekday. Now all time is potentially uptime, and I need to make choices. So far, I’ve been making them to the detriment of writing. That’s going to have a pretty bad effect on my mood and motivation if it continues.

Beyond that, we have issues of strategy. THE CLAIM is stalled midway through Chapter 8. If I can write 5000 words a week, it’ll be done in two weeks. I’m somewhat resolved that I ought to finish it… but with THE CANDIDATE still unwritten, that decision isn’t as clear-cut as it used to be. With two or even one and a half books done in January, I could still think of the War of Songs as a winter-and-spring project, with the latter half of the year devoted to polishing those books and writing the sequel to THE DANDELION KNIGHT. With THE CLAIM not even done yet, the pull of the sequel is a lot stronger. Before, I thought I was looking at 50,000 words to finish the War of Songs trilogy; now I’m looking at 100,000+, which makes the 100-150,000 likely words of the DANDELION KNIGHT sequel (many of which are already written) a lot more palatable by comparison. And that will close a loop that’s been open two or more years now.

And then we have the business side of things. This website is suboptimal in any of a dozen bleedingly obvious ways; I still need to write a coda to the JaNoWriMo project; I still need to work on list-building, collecting blurbs, getting some of my work free on Amazon. I’m also trying to teach myself about marketing and entrepreneurship, notably through <a href=””>Copyblogger’s</a> free ebook library, but reading time is a bit thin on the ground. Bandwidth is my big blocker right now, and I can’t even scrabble for more by waking up early, because my son is awake at random times between 3:30 and 6:00 and I usually need to help out.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t things I can do better.

I’m going to start, though, by trying to check in here daily, at least on weekdays. This is, at least in theory, where my business lives; I’m hoping that more regular contact with the site will keep my writing head where it needs to be. Nothing this lengthy, I think–again, more along the lines of <a href=””></a>, wisps and stretches.

And I’ve spent about half an hour more on this than I meant to, which means it’s time to bring home the bacon. I’ll be back tomorrow morning. Maybe sooner; who knows?


The prodigal

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