Bells, Buzzers and Distractions – January 12, 2019


So, another late update 🙂

This weekend, my writing got derailed a bit, for reasons I’ll get into further on.

This has been my last week of downtime from work (so far), so I was hoping to get a lot more done before I have to go back to work on Monday (Sunday night for me).

I suppose you can say I’ve had mixed results with that.

I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to do, (to be honest, I never do, I always think I can do more in the time I set aside than I’m actually capable of), but I did manage to get some stuff done.

I finally got around to building and installing seven of the seventeen kitchen cabinet doors for my kitchen reno. I’m thinking it should only take me another month or so before I can have the rest of them done. Since I was off work, it was easier to put a good deal of time into that project. Once work starts again, that will obviously slow down. Still, it’s a good start.

I tried to take some “me time” this week as well. All work and no play makes Rob a… Something, something. For the first time since I started prepping for NaNo, I took some time out to actually read for fun. I missed reading, and I’ve got a bit of a backlog on my to read list.

I got a copy of Anthony Horowitz’s new James Bond novel, Forever and a Day, and I’m loving it. It’s meant to be a prequel to Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale. It tells the tale of Bond’s promotion to the 00 Section, when he gets his Licence to Kill, and his first meeting of M, Moneypenny, etc. I really like Horowitz’s writing style. I’m not sure if he tailored it specifically for this book, but I’m finding his style to be closer to Fleming’s than any other post-Fleming Bond book I’ve read. It’s almost like reading a lost Fleming Bond adventure.

They say as a writer, you should never stop reading. Reading other people’s work helps you polish and develop your own style, helps you to find your own voice. Like I said, I missed reading for pleasure, so I’m glad I’ve been finding the time to get back to it.

As far as the writing, I was doing ok until this weekend. I set myself a goal of at least 1500 words a day for the time I’ve been off of work, and though I’ve managed to hit that more days than not, I have built up a bit of a deficit because of the days that I couldn’t reach that goal.

When I get back to work, I’m going to dial that back down to 1000 words a day, which is much more manageable.

As far as the manuscript is going, it’s getting long.

I’ve been told not to worry so much about that – most of what’s written in any first draft gets edited out eventually anyway, but I’m at around 110,000 words so far, and there’s still a lot of story to tell.

Sci-Fi books usually average out at around 110,000 to 120,000 words, but publishers won’t often look at a first-time novelist’s work if it’s over 100,000. Once you hit that threshold, the cost of printing a book goes up, and few publishers are willing to gamble on a first novel of that length.

Not that I have any hopes of this particular novel ever getting traditionally published. I went into this project with the attitude that this was supposed to be my practice run – this was the project I would cut my teeth on in order to learn how to write a novel.

Still, I’d like to be able to get it right on the first go, and as I’ve said before, I’ve kinda fallen in love with the story. I’m thinking that, buried within all of the shit, there’s a really good plot that, if I can polish it well enough, might make a good read.

So, all that being said, I have to admit that I haven’t gotten much writing done this weekend.

Yesterday, I was gifted a couple of big items by someone who just wanted said items out of her basement. I got them for free, so the price was right. I had a good friend help me move them out of the woman’s home and into my poor minivan, and now they’re sitting in my workshop.

The items are… a vintage Gottlieb Sheriff Pinball Machine, and a vintage Donkey Kong arcade machine.

Yup, because I don’t already have enough projects on the go.

So, needless to say, I spent the better part of today tinkering around with the pinball machine (the Donkey Kong needs a vacuum tube for the CRT screen which I have to order, so there wasn’t much point in playing around with it).

I’ve made some progress with the pinball machine… what it needs most is a good cleaning, as some of the relays (it’s an electromagnetic machine, not electronic) are stuck open or closed because of dirt and dust build up.

I’ve managed to fix the scoring relays, (thanks, YouTube) and have even managed to play a few games on it, but it does need a bit more work, and that’s before I get to actually refinishing the cabinetry on it.

So, yeah, I kinda lost track of time while tinkering, and the writing has suffered as a result. I hate to do that, but, I figure I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for it. I’ll get back on track tomorrow.

Ok, figure I’ve bored you enough. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

Novel Word Count – 110,048


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