Forward Progress, and an obsession with ‘things’.

Update Time!

Yeah so I have a few projects going all at once. Because I have found over the years that trying to do just one thing and ignoring it utterly has worked so well for me, it seems I should do the other stupid thing of dissipating my energies on like 5 things at once. Except I have changed my mind on that front too, but we’ll get to that…

Anyway. Thing 1: this here blog. It ploughs forward through stormy seas of indifference, as intrepid as Shackleton was when on his way to that date with penguin meat. Little did he know, eh? (Did you see that article where they found some cases of a lost scotch from his expedition under the ice in Antarctica – and they were going to analyse the bottles and try to recreate it??)

Thing 2: I have reread my manuscript of The Thief and The Demon – there, you know its name now. I am NOT blushing! And have taken notes. I need to be careful to establish the chronological sequence and make sure there is enough time for everything to happen as breathlessly first written, which just about worked when I mapped it out, (yay!) but our hero could probably do with some sleep here and there! The relationship between our hero and his friends needs to be deepened a tad. I had a thought about changing the ethnicity of one main character. But would it just be change for change’s sake? Still debating that – though it could be interesting given the plans I have for people in sequels. (I have an outline for sequel 1 as it seems sensible to have a plan should all go well. Sequel 2 and 3 are mostly floating around in my head when I go out for walks or am dreaming obsessively. Those dreams are fun.)

Thing 3: I am, in my “I need to be vomiting out new words, not staring at old previously vomited out words” moments, continuing with the first draft of The Conversation (Interrupted), (more not blushing at second title admission) a semi-contemporary tale that in addition to other things is a useful exorcism of the irritations and annoyances that crop up in my day to day working life. The other things dealt with being stress, grief, blame, forgiveness, and addiction. You know, up things. Still finishing The Day From Hell sequence (every nurse will know what I’m talking about!). Really need to move onto The Ill-Advised Night Out section, but I am not focusing on this too much – just using it as a creative outlet here and there. Though I do consider it as my potential Oprah book of the month book. Just like I have an acceptance speech for the Oscars lined up.

Thing 4: My handbook for new nurses. No, that is not its title. That is currently Tips from the Trenches, if you must know. I have finally reread it, and am researching reference texts and peer reviewed sites so I can have it appropriately academically annotated. And a bibliography. Bleurg. There are few things I like less in life than reading nursing academic literature. I really wanted to leave it all behind and have this thing be all anecdotal… but that I have been persuaded will not fly. See? I was trying to be lazy there too! It is a curse!!

Thing 5 : Well I have to have a fifth thing now eh? Re-reading grammar books again in the hope that they will stick this time. Exercises and stuff. Minimising the time spent playing an online game which shall for now remain nameless, unless I have put a recruitment banner for it at the bottom of this blog page. I think it was Neil Gaiman who in an interview once said he had had to give up computer games as they were too distracting.  I know it… but I’m a guild founder and can’t let go… aaargh!

Now, truth be told I have in the process of getting this far realised the farce that is my trying to do multiple things at once. The attempt leads to multiples of nothing being done as each competing demand makes me do a very little in each direction and pretend it represented progress when in fact it is like deciding to re-colour code your school binders, rather than doing the classwork within them. It spends time and is vaguely related to the thing you are supposed to be doing, but pretty much entirely superficial. Thusly I am dedicating myself to The Thief and The Demon for the summer. I am setting myself deadlines in order to get work done. I have the next two weeks to implement my recent edits and act on my notes and revisions. Then a formal grammar check, and then off for external review. While that is happening I shall start looking into getting a cover design organised, as I would in a crazy ideal world like to at least e-publish by the end of summer – that being two weeks into September for me. I am giving myself a hard deadline of publish or bust by October 31st. I have delayed my entire adult life, procrastination time is over (flash forward to blog post of November 1st), and this time… I mean it!

I will also be doing the creation of a submission letter, a back of the book introductory blurb, et cetera, and send my upgraded work to agents and publishers, but I am working on the premise that if I don’t get any bites, I’m not going to be remotely deterred and move forward on my own anyway. No more waiting at the literary altar for my Prince Publishing House to come sweep me of my feet, no! One way or another I will be published by October 31st. Hopefully sooner. Time is marching on, I have let it march on by long enough. Carpe whatsit and all that.

Should I turn into some sort of Herculean monstrosity of productivity I will return to Things 3-5 this summer, otherwise they can wait at their own altars a while. It is not as if they are out of practice in that particular pursuit.

Oh yeah, I promised I’d try to learn Italian again. I went to classes. Right now I remember not a jot. So that bodes well, but I loved Italy, and my better half wishes to return there with language skills. (I used at least 5 mangled words last time out, and had a lot of fun in the process.) Ooh. Apple gelato.

*Breaks out of gelato induced reverie*

Anyway – there is the plan. I am sure it shall run headlong into various hard and unpleasant and possibly time consuming realities, and maybe I will make mistakes I’ll regret, but at least I’ll make them rather than do zip as has been my haphazard wont so far. Certainly as I draw closer to publication there will be many other things to do – I still have to embrace FB and/or twitter- which are/were on my to do list. A website of which this blog will be but a part of shall arise. Print on demand and limited hard copy creation may be looked into, along with doing in person promotions etc. That will involve picking up phones and talking to real people. Living in your head and writing is fine. Talking to myself in public, which is kind of how I see this blog currently, is also fine. Having to go and interact with real people in the real world? Big boy pants time. I have done it before! Thankfully that is still some distance off, but it approaches. I shall keep you informed.

First things first, lets take on those edits and revisions.

Oh? Is it that time already? Well then, maybe after my dinner! Yes, that will do the trick!

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