Sometimes the fastest way forward is taking a step or two backwards. I’ve been stuck on Eye of Darkness for a little more than a week now, just not finding the right passion to go forward any. True, part of that was vacation, where I did a little writing, but on the whole I just didn’t get anywhere.

Last night I hacked from my story about half of what I’d written on vacation and started fresh. Not surprisingly, I’ve regained some of the momentum I’d lost on this tale, and now I’m moving forward (finally!) into the 50K range.

For some reason, this particular book has had more rabbit trails than anything else I’ve written. I don’t know if this is a function of writing it far faster than anything else I’ve put together or what, but it sure does slow things down. I’m determined not to sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity, which may be why I have to go back repeatedly and rewrite major plot developments into something that will do what I want. This book is untamed.

I don’t mind a story going where it wants to go – kinda like letting a horse take you some interesting places by giving it the reins. But this is like riding a horse that is unbroken, and keeps trying to buck me off. I’m going to be real interested to find if that holds true with future works.

On the other hand, considering how many novels I’ve started and stopped after 25K words, maybe it happens more frequently than I care to admit – except this time I’m not letting the horse (er, story) dump me. I guess we’ll see.

Naturally, I moved on to something else while stuck on Eye. Started working on The Tree of Liberty again. Truthfully, I was inspired by the compliments and greetings I received from so many people at my nephew’s graduation party (I really did try to keep it about him). There were a lot of readers there – people I didn’t know had bought the books – including two who’d finished Patriots and Tyrants already. Nothing lights a fire under me like readers eager for more. I gave my nephew a copy of The Spirit of Resistance with an inscription to the effect that I’m looking forward to reading his published work soon. He’s a regular word factory when it comes to writing. He hasn’t even hit twenty years old yet, and he’s got to be halfway to a million words by now. I can tell by conversations with him that he’s improving his craft – his sense of story is getting stronger – and I won’t be surprised at all to see him publishing successfully before he’s twenty-five. I’m honored to provide what little mentoring I have.

Anyway, when I put the book in his “gift basket” my sister spied it and kissed my cheek saying, “Thank you so much! We’ve been dying to read this and have had no way to get our hands on it – but everyone keeps talking about it!” (Er… I didn’t state the obvious: she coulda bought the darn thing! Or for that matter, just told me sooner that she’d have liked a copy. Doesn’t cost me that much to get one).  She calls me the next day and says, “You know those books where you have to work to read the next chapter, where its ponderous to turn the page?” I’m thinking, “Great. She hates it.” I’ve already had someone put it down for being too political. Then she says, “This ain’t one of them.” She snagged it outta Collin’s gift basket and has already plowed through the first three chapters. I don’t think the poor kid even had a chance to crack the binding yet! NOTE TO SELF: Give Sandy her own copy of Patriots and Tyrants as soon as it’s in print.

I’m glad she’s liking it. Yeah, I know. Family always likes the writers. Still, my family is cynical enough that genuine praise is a rarity. When it happens, it’s earned. And that feels pretty frickin’ good, frankly.

On a related note, my sales this month continue to climb. We’ve sold more than thirty books already, and with a few more, might even crack thirty five. That’s almost twice as much as April or May. Maybe it’ll slack off a bit in summer, but we’ll see. I just hope I can have Eye done soon, to keep the ball rolling.


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