So I’ve been somewhat out of touch lately, catching up on a few notes here and there and posting stuff that has been in my STASH for way too long, but not as present as I would normally like to be. This is mainly the fallout of a significant project I’ve been working on as part of my day job, the one that pays my bills and allows me to write in my spare time. As a result, I’ve been working long, twelve-hour-plus days and most weekends, including holidays (like Victoria Day and Canada Day) and barely keeping up with my family obligations, much less my dA stuff.
Back in December, my little sister came to live with us with her four children (aged 2 to 8) for six months, and we’ve been trying to get the household back to a semblance of normal since their departure. Having extra people in the house overloaded our water filtration systems, and we have had to replace most of them, as well as the furnace that died in January and the clothes dryer that died in December. Add to this my mother-in-law being hospitalized (she’s fine now, but we were worried for while), more family visiting, and a few other minor disasters that shall remain nameless, and you could quite easily conclude that I have been, as the old Chinese curse goes, living in interesting times. Being one of those writers who will never settle for ten words when one-hundred will suffice, all this was to say that various distractions and calamities have made the odds of “The Dragon” being published in September about on par with Milli Vanilli making a massive comeback and winning their Grammy back. The good news is that my techno-muse*, Dan, is currently in Ottawa for the week, visiting various friends that have made the big move away from Montreal. This weekend, we are going to the-track-formerly-known-as-Mosport for the only Canadian TUDOR championship event, and I am hoping that he will help me sort the wheat** from the chaff and get me back on track. Will it be ready for November? Doubtful. But hey, stranger things have happened, and I usually write 15 to 20 k words during the three day weekend, assuming the beer is cold and they don’t fill the intermissions with too much interesting stuff that begs to be photographed.
Dan’s challenge will be to extract the good ideas from the literally hundreds of short one-to-two paragraph subplots and digressions I’ve managed to accumulate over the past year. Ether there needs to be some serious editing (not that I haven’t used the scythe on the manuscript a few times already) or this may turn out to be a five-book-trilogy (there is precedence for such a thing, but I digress). In any case, your humble servant is still hard at work and is doing what he can to finish the series. I could tell you that someone will die in book three, but that might spoil the suspense and no one would read it, so I won’t.
As to people reading the books, the first two in the series had been doing reasonably OK for quite some time, not stellar, but at least 5-6 books a month (with a couple of peaks) since last year, and suddenly there hasn’t been a sale since early June. If you’ve read one of the books, a review on Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads or any other site would be most appreciated, as apparently people actually do read them, and it would seem that volume of reviews actually plays some minor part in reader book selection. To make matters worse, “The Centaur” has fallen outside the infamous top one million on Amazon.com, which is a sure sign that no one has bought a copy in at least a month. This is the first time ever that one of my books has had a seven-digit ranking on Amazon, and it’s hit me quite a bit harder than I thought it would. Please excuse me while I collect myself. On that note, isn’t it just amazing where sleep-deprivation will take your thought processes? I think I need an alcoholic beverage…
Moving along to the international front, a recent CBC article bore the wildly sensationalist title, “One-third of American 8th graders think Canada is a dictatorship, report reveals.” I just wanted to reassure all my American friends that we are still actively planning to overthrow Mr. Harper in a National Coup, scheduled for October 19th, 2015, but we want it to be a surprise so please don’t tell him! All the anti-Justin adds are kinda making me want to vote for Trudeau.
Lastly, the reason most of you still come here I suspect, are the cats. Newton has gotten over my two-year-old nephew’s disappearance, but still isn’t quite his old self. In some ways, he’s matured and become a lot more aloof. Nikolai, on the other hand, has become much bolder and more people-friendly, and he’s no longer afraid to jump up on the table and steal an asparagus shoot when no one is looking, despite knowing he’ll get scolded for it. Fewer children in the house have meant fewer pieces of broccoli and such to scavenge off the floor for our vegetarian pussycat, so he has been improvising. On the other hand, he now knows how to ask for the laser pointer. Many cats get frustrated when their humans don’t understand what they’re saying, and simply give up on us, but Neko has made the leap to communicating with humans; perhaps Newton has been training him. As to Pixel, well, he’s still hiding under the bed…
* Not to be confused with a techno-mage
** Sorry Jessica, I know you’re badly allergic
Listening to: Speedball Tucker by Jim Croce
Reading: Endless proposal drafts
Drinking: coffee; lots of it