The warm weather finally seems to be settling in around here, and not a moment too soon. Mrs Thomson has finally been able to engage in one of her favorite activities, gardening, while I have been able to indulge in one of my own, not gardening. But I have fired up the grill for the first bout of backyard cooking in 2018. And more work on the property awaits me over the next few months.
I’m glad to say Imperial Sunset (Ashes of Empire #1) is now two-thirds done, and as with all my books, has taken on a slightly different arc from what I’d originally planned. Characters that appeared unexpectedly in the first half are now becoming more and more important, and will likely be a major force in the subsequent installments of the larger, multi-volume saga. I won’t reveal anything here, but these characters will be familiar to readers of Decker’s War.
In other news, as you may have read, all of my novels are now available in hardcover, and to my surprise, the hardcover editions of Decker’s War are selling already. That’s sufficient motivation to ensure I publish hardcover editions alongside the ebook and paperback editions in future. And finally, I haven’t given up on the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure. I sense that she might talk to me again in the near future, and that means Without Mercy might get back on track.
And now, off to the gym, so that I don’t turn into a chair potato.
Mother Nature’s a fickle one, even at the best of times. Last week, it was cold, rainy, with plenty of Spring flooding in my part of the country. For the last two days, it’s essentially been mid-July, where the temperature, sunshine and humidity are concerned, yet the leaves haven’t fully erupted from their buds yet. But, starting tomorrow, and at least into June, temperatures will be several degrees below the average for this time of year. Go figure. I love the heat. Mrs Thomson, not so much, which means she won’t complain at the cooler temperatures. Now if it could only stop being so windy! The May rains have ensured a bumper crop of dandelions and other weeds, but spraying or burning them in anything more than a light breeze is asking for trouble.
I suppose I should start thinking about where we’ll take our first hike of the year this coming long weekend. Mrs Thomson will probably want a reasonably flat trail, but it’ll have to be on higher ground. Many, if not most of the good ones meander around ponds, bogs and outright swamps, and water levels are still high, meaning they might not even be open. If all else fails, a long walk through the neighbourhood will have to do. At least that kind of an urban hike allows us to gaze in wonder at the massive single family homes around here, most of them very tastefully designed.
Progress on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) has been steady – I’m past the 25% mark – although I’ve stopped writing seven days a week, reserving Saturday and Sunday for home renos, to give my fingers and brain a break. I’ve also visualized a good opening scene for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, but have nothing more than a very high level idea of what the story will be. Hopefully, I’ll get a starship-sized burst of inspiration at some point.
Last Friday promised to be the best, and with daytime temperatures forecast to be above zero for the next two weeks, possibly one of the last good cross-country skiing days of the winter. We received almost forty centimeters of fresh snow during the week, and the sun would finally poke out from behind the clouds. But wouldn’t you know it, I came down with a bout of the flu. I could feel something creeping up on me for a few days, but by Friday morning, it had become clear that not only was skiing out of the question, going to the gym as per my usual routine was out as well. As I write this on Sunday morning (day three without going to the gym), it’s already three degrees above zero on a February 19th in the Great White North, and for all intents and purposes, the Spring melt has already begun. Both Mother Nature and I are experiencing a bit of a fever, it seems. Mind you, I’m not complaining about the weather. I’ll never be a winter lover. And the sooner the snow is gone, the faster my little canine companion can go out on walks again. He needs the exercise to rebuild the muscles in his rear leg after last months’ operation. Running around the house just isn’t enough anymore.
Thanks to my bout of flu, productivity has taken a bit of a hit over the last few days, but I’m nonetheless pleased to have reached the two-thirds completion mark for the first draft of Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4). I think mid-March is beginning to look like a good time for my editor to clear her calendar. It also coincides with another significant milestone – we’ll be making our final mortgage payment and the place we’ve called home for the last twenty years will be entirely ours. I think we’ll crack a bottle of the finest French bubbly on that day which, at this rate might see us freed of another winter’s snow.
So far, May, even though in its infancy, has been a productive month. My editor is done with Fatal Blade and I’ll be incorporating her comments over the next few days. It’ll be on the electronic bookshelves, ready for Decker fans, in a few short weeks.
I’m two-thirds done with the first draft of Like Stars in Heaven. Although still unspectacular, progress is steady, and if the past is any guide, it will begin to increase exponentially as I get closer to the explosive action that triggers the story’s climax. The draft should be ready for my editor by early June.
More interestingly, I was interviewed this week by Brandon of Build Your Author Career via Skype about my trek from corporate drone to full-time author. He’ll be publishing a transcript of the interview on his website and I’ll make sure to post a link here the moment he does. Thanks, Brandon. It was a lot of fun!
The gas grill and my Big Green Egg got their spring cleaning this week and both are now ready to help me create culinary sensations with flame and smoke, something I’ve been looking forward to as the weather slowly grows warmer. Of course, the list of chores around the property grows longer as well. Good thing my new job allows me as much personal time during the day as I like, just as long as I put the requisite effort into my writing, which, you may rest assured, I am. At this rate, I think a fourth Decker’s War adventure for late 2016 is becoming a distinct possibility.