June’s when the year turns over

It’s been a long month for me. Nightmares, literal and figurative, have played a role in it. The most anecdote-worthy nightmare is when my toilet broke and I had to get very, very DIY with trying to repair it due to having a family-member over as house-guest.

That resolved satisfactorily, although for a night it meant the toilet’s cistern had to be manually filled whenever it was to be used, and proper spare parts were procured the next day in a thrilling adventure to a wind-blasted brownfield industrial area where a local plumbing supply retailer could be found. (Also what must be the shortest bus route I’ve ever encountered, which apparently is only served by one bus which does the entire loop in about twenty minutes.)

The next nightmare, ongoing, involves issues with a local courier firm. (The more literal nightmares recently involved inadvisable time travel – we won’t get into those.)

Despite distractions like this, and many more, last month was surprisingly productive. I got through the full set of snippety scribbles across the Quicker than Blood outline.

There are a couple of patches I want to work on a little more before going into full production, and I’m hoping to find space for more subplot stuff, but I’m hopeful. So far it’s turning out well.

I have around 11 000 words of prose in the manuscript – Dog Country was a bit under 90 000, Mouse Cage came in at 180 000.

(Oh lord, while writing this I just got sidetracked with a change to the plot flow for QtB that could be very, very nifty, by having a conversation with a character named Mendis occurring earlier… Oops. Anyway…)

As a result of that, I think we can safely say I’m a reasonable way into working on the book, maybe ten percent into it, even if I have not yet – technically – finished writing a single full chapter. Which is not a place I’ve been in before, in my previous journeys into writing novels.

In this case, and many others, the history behind how we got to a place doesn’t matter as much as what that place is. The journey to any goal, to any state of mind, will be different. Circumstances will change – maybe this goal is on top of a mountain, and the next one is in the middle of a desert. The route you take will be different every time, and getting too attached to one way of doing things, or to one particular route through a situation, will cause much upset and mayhem the day your favourite short-cut is blocked off by a delivery truck.

(Or, in my case, the day a delivery truck is meant to arrive, but it doesn’t, and the courier service posts an update that is almost designed to gaslight you into believing it’s your own fault they didn’t even arrive…)

So rather than the route you’ve taken to get somewhere, paying attention to where you are and what the next steps are to get where you want to go? That’s the thing to focus on.

And much as my brain tells me ‘I haven’t even started the book yet’, because the usual path I follow doesn’t work like this, looking at where I am it’s possible to take the point of view I’ve already done a start-to-finish loose draft, and from another angle I’ve already got a tenth of it in the bag.

So I’m in an interesting place.

I hope you find yourselves in many interesting places that align with your passions, I hope you know I’m extremely glad to find myself in a place where your support and/or interest in my projects helps me do what I do, and as ever, I am so very thankful for you.

Let’s see what interesting place I find myself at by the end of the month!

(Ps – Mouse Cage was honoured by the Leo Literary Awards! –> https://furrybookreview.com/past-leo-recipients/

Speaking of awards, while others took the winning spots, it’s still worth mentioning that Mouse Cage was also nominated for the Ursa Major Awards, the Coyotl Awards, and made it to be a semi-finalist in the second SPSFC. All very exciting, and worth celebrating just a little!)

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By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.