Friday, 13 July 2018

Back From Provence

Enjoying the day.

I've been away from my computer. We went to Provence to stay with very generous friends of ours, who spoilt us both rotten. Had a great time doing absolutely nothing.

Well, we got up late, ate breakfast, then went for a swim, ate some more, read books, and had long conversations with our friends and their other house guests: John and Chung.

Went to La Coste, a village mostly owned by Pierre Cardin, and the site of the Marquis de Sade's castle. All the villages in this area were subject to raids in historical times and are designed to hinder any attackers by funneling them through narrow streets.

Very defensible.

We also went to Goult and Bonnieux sightseeing and for fabulous meals. The French and cooking are synonymous for a reason.

Recommended.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

A Year On, A Reflection on Six Months

Walking the walk.

Last year I did a six-month reflection of my writing progress. You can compare and contrast what I said then to now by going here.

Like last year I've written a bunch of pieces for the Galactic Journey blog, which is in the running for Hugo this year.
The Big Freeze (news from a UK fan)
Still Snowing (an update on UK fandom)
March of Progress (the movie, Come Fly With Me)
Bully for Conventions (BullCon: The 1963 EasterCon)
More wooden acting (The British show, Space Patrol)
Damned if they do (the movie, The Damned)
This year I've been back writing full-time, though with caveats, as the writing also covers being my own publisher, which is something new I had to learn. Learning new stuff takes time, and I fear that I'm not as quick a learner as I imagine myself to be.

And I've got to admit, my energy levels aren't what they once were.

Anyway, I tallied my weekly running totals and double checked my figures against my two works in progress numbers. There was a slight mismatch, it seems I wrote a couple of thousand words more than I recorded.

Ooops.

Still, whether it's 68,000 words or 70,000 words, it really doesn't make a big difference in the greater scheme of things, as I've failed to meet my daily target that would've reached my target of 195,000 words.

However, I note that this is still more new words in six months than I wrote for last year. So a win for me since I have another six months to write more words.

My excuses.

Lost three weeks just down to life factors that were outside of my control. Far too many hospital visits both for myself and my partner who I accompanied for her tests, and results.

Editing Strike Dog and doing a structural edit on Ghost Dog. The former to Americanize the spelling, the latter to address pacing issues (stodgy middle). Both of these books took far more time and effort than I would have thought. Worse still, doing this put me into the wrong head-space to write creatively. They just did.

Strike Dog was 101,491 words, and Ghost Dog is 91,657. All the time I spent editing those words was time I lost writing new words. A lot of new words.

So, now I shall take my excuses outside and put them out of their misery.

Positive Takeaways.

Despite all of the above I did write some new words. I've started Two Moons, which means I'm 10,728 words into my next Gate Walker novel; a sidequel to the main Tachikoma narrative.

I've effectively written a short novel in The World of Drei series, which currently runs to 59,661 words: broken down into three novelettes and a novella. My plan is to keep writing standalone stories in The World of Drei series, and at some point I will make a print omnibus edition for those who don't like eBooks.

My ability to write a story in less drafts has improved. I think it would be fair to say that both my Alpha reader and my primary Beta reader have noticed a marked change in my writing.

I still intend to have completed three novel equivalents this year. I'm half way through the year and I've done one, and I've started on the second. Getting the third requires a Plan B, which mostly boils down to getting my fingers out and write more.

But if I fail to meet my target, at least I will have written a bunch of new words.

Monday, 25 June 2018

DARPA Reconfigurable Wheel Tracks


This has being doing the rounds, so I thought I'd post a link here for reference. My first thought was transformable wheels for combat armor suits. But you probably guessed that, given how mad keen I'm on mecha.

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