It ended up being a long short week. My five-day weekend included lots of rest, reading, yard work, and even a trip to Spa World to recover from the yard work. I thought I was ready to face the office, rejuvenated. Instead, I got a string of 10-plus-hour days. Apparently, I need to do a better job helping people to not rely on me so much.
My reward for all that work was a concert Friday night that introduced me to Blackberry Smoke, a southern rock band a friend of ours discovered on YouTube doing a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. This isn’t my usual genre of music, but the band is tight and knows how to give a live show that will rock your socks off. My favorite song of theirs is The Whipporwill, which strikes me as a kissing cousin to some of the work I love from The Slambovians.
Strangely, for as long and challenging as my days were, I managed to get back into working on Fire to Dragon. I was especially inspired after I saw that the National Geographic had an article reviewing a new book mapping Soviet architecture in Moscow. I’ve only added a couple hundred words since I’ve picked it up again, but I’m starting back at the beginning and incorporating beta reader feedback that is a strange echo of things I’ve heard from my editor: more needed! I seem to draft in spare prose that leaves out setting and emotional details readers need to stay grounded in the story. Knowing this makes it easier to go back and insert what’s necessary, and also has the side benefit of getting me back in the groove with the story. Still, I have a long way to go to finish it, and I’m not sure I’ll be done in two weeks. I’m grateful to at least be making progress.
I’m also tracking how The Builders is doing in its KindleScout campaign. It’s only spent two hours in “hot and trending” and is down to the final eleven days of its public review period. I think it might take a miracle to get it past this step at this rate, but I’m glad the program is out there. (Also: If you haven’t nominated me yet, I’d very much appreciate your vote!) This process is pointing out to me some of the weaknesses I have in reaching readers to promote my work, as well as the hazard of having waited so long since my most recent release (which was in January of 2014). So it’s back to work for me.
In related news, the next The Hotel Paranormal book came out on the 7th: Unveiled by Lynda Haviland. I’m looking forward to reading it since even just the blurb has me intrigued. I love fractured fairytales, and if she’s figured out how to incorporate the Veils of Salome the way she hints, I’m going to be a very happy camper.
On the personal front, we’ve been doing a lot better with fitness. My phone informs me that for the week just finished, I’ve averaged over 2 miles of walking per day. This makes the furbabies happy and gives me a break from the desk and keyboard so my back doesn’t go completely wonky on me.
This week shouldn’t be as intense, though with the kickoff of the football season we have more of a social life again, making time available for quiet solitude even more at a premium. I’ll still keep plugging away, and encourage you to visit my ROW80 cohorts to see how they’re doing with their progress.