2017 Q1 Progress Report

It’s April, and that means I pull my head up out of [the sand] and take stock of my progress on various goals this year. If nothing else, it allows me to tick off one more post on my “post stuff” goal. So let’s see where I am…

Read 20 books in 2017: I just finished The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp. It’s an interesting take on the horror genre, of which I’m not an avid fan, but this was a compelling read. It was another “don’t read it before bed” kind of book though – I had weird, unsettling dreams as a result. Before that I read Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon,, which is one of the best reads I’ve had in over a year or more. Well crafted, long but gripping, I really enjoyed it. It’s one of the few (long) books I may reread in the future. My buddy Jason’s read it three or four times already, finding new things each time through. I’ve now moved on to Michael Witwer’s Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons and Dragons, which has proven to be an interesting read so far. So, I’m working on my 8th book of the year, putting this goal at 35% complete with only 26% of the year done. I’m ahead of schedule. Yay!

Write 24 posts in 2016: Wow, I keep lowering the bar on this, and still am not posting as much as I “should” be. Let’s see (counts posts…carry the 2….) this post is my 3rd for the year, making the goal 12.5% complete at 26% of the year done. Behind schedule, surprise, surprise. I have a couple ideas for stuff you might find interesting. I just need to carve out the time. It’s all about making the time, right?

Start Work on Togahan #4 (title TBD) – This is the one that matters, because without the book, this blog is just farting into a whirlwind. I hammered out a rough story map (this time it was a Post It chart, but had the same effect). As usual with my story maps, I got about two thirds of the way through it, got stumped, but I had enough to get started. So I got started. Word count is at 18,151 and the mega schedule puts me at 8.0% of this project completed (100% is when the book gets published). Right now I’m going along at a slow but steady clip of ~2000 words per week.  I’m shooting for a 120k word rough draft, and hope to trim that down to 100k by publishing time.

Number 4 is a different challenge for me. The first three books completed the first arc of Dante’s story, and this next one launches a three book arc about Dante’s burden and other loose ends at the close of A Togahan’s Chance. Number 4 won’t resolve all of those threads necessarily, but it will resolve some, while presenting Dante and the rest with new challenges and choices to make. On the one hand, I’m uneasy not knowing everything as I go into this next phase. On the other, it’s kind of exciting, because a lot of the fun in writing is when you make those connections you hadn’t imagined before. I’m looking forward to that and I hope the result is something you’ll enjoy.

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