There and Back Again, Again

The End

It’s been an unusual weekend. I finished writing my eleventh book, even meeting the deadline I’d arranged with my editor for its completion. And, as my brother’s wife and daughters are traveling, he and his son asked us if we would binge the director’s cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We agreed. We got to enjoy his new big-screen TV and surround sound setup. However, this is not an endeavor for light-hearted agreement: Total number of hours spent watching the three movies (and note we didn’t even touch any of the many extras!) was approximately TWELVE. Let that sink in for a moment.

And then remember that the fanbois dinged this because “THERE WERE TOO MANY WOMEN.” (Compared to the original texts.) I can tell you after having watched this: THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH WOMEN. This was all the glory of battle fighting for a worthy cause. And male bonding. And more battles against evil. And a king who tells his daughter: “The battlefield is no place for a woman. However, I’ve arranged for you to take over as ruler of our people should things go badly.” And when she’s notably disheartened and asks, “What other duty would you have of me?” His answer is, “Duty? No, I would have you smile.”

I almost hit the roof. Another man telling another woman to smile. To ignore all the pain that surrounds her and gratify the world with her sunny self.

So. Yeah. I’m significantly less of a LOTR fan than I thought. I’m aware this is likely to raise the ire of Internet trolls.

I’m moving on. When I wasn’t doing wordsprints this month, I was working my day job or reading. There were a few interesting articles about working. In one instance, “smarter, not harder,” in another, the fact that our new religion, “workism,” is killing us. Or at least making us significantly miserable. On the more positive side of the spectrum, an article about bringing your emotional intelligence to the office, with the somewhat ridiculous title of “The Surprising Power of Simply Asking Coworkers How They’re Doing.”

On the more sci-fi end of my reading interests, I’ve been hearing more and more speculation recently that automated cars are going to dramatically change the risk ratio, affecting both insurers and purchasing decisions. This Bloomberg article delves into some of the details that are starting to come into focus with that issue.

And then there was a Brain Pickings bit covering a love letter Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman wrote to his wife after her death. It’s such an interesting intersection of how a scientist thinks of himself in that “capital S” science mode, but has a deep sense of connection that transcends that. It made me happy that he gave into the urge to write what is truly a wonderful love letter.

I also read four books in March. They were all romances, and two of them were library books. But now, according to my Goodreads home page, I’m 11 books ahead of pace to meet my 50-book goal of books read for the year. And I already increased that goal from 40 last month.

The interesting thing about library books–and especially ones you add to your wait list that surprise you by checking themselves into your in box–is that the deadline to return them and the artificial sense of NEW BOOK makes them quite dangerous to me. Because I must read them immediately. Regardless of whether it’s a week night.

So now that I’ve met my big push for writing, I’ll spend a few days cleaning up my draft for my editor. Then I’ll spend April doing book-related housekeeping: redoing the print versions of the first two Red Slaves books; catching up on my sales spreadsheets; reworking my ad campaigns. May will be dedicated to edits and release work. June I have an editing commitment and I’ll start writing book 2 in this new series.

I’m glad to have a rough sense of timeline and deadlines, though we’ll see how that meets up with whatever life dishes up for us.

Until next time, keep reading. 🙂

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