Nothing much to report sadly on the progress of book four in the Filthy Henry series. I'm still on draft number three, currently working on chapter twenty, and my little notebook of work doesn't seem to be getting any smaller.
One note, that I had written during draft two, just has the words 'Chapter 19 is utter crap, redo it all'.
It appears that past-me is a very harsh critic and wants present-me to do a sizable amount of work.
Isn't that always the way? Some wise-guy delegating tasks he should do himself to others, only to come along and steal all the credit at a later date when the job is done.
Just that thought alone has enough madness in it to warrant a Philip K. Dick style story about time travel or something.
On the plus side I'm happy with how the book is currently going, even if it is taking a little longer. Of course that may boil down to the fact it is the longest one in the series yet. Currently sitting at thirty chapters. I'm not sure what the page difference is and don't want to put that here as it will change by the time the final draft is completed. But that's thirty chapters with me being a hard editor who cuts entire scenes that don't work right.
I can only wonder if I make it to thirty chapters when I'm done with the book.
I've spoken before about how when I am writing I like to get into the habit of doing it daily. The five hundred words a day, minimum, limit to hit or one full page, again at the minimum, edited so that little by little the book gets done.
It all sounds pretty easy to do and most of the time it is, but there is one thing about Life that not everyone factors in.
Life is a bastard that likes to get in the way of you doing things by making you busy. All the time.
I follow a few writers and content creators online and one of them had an interesting answer to the question "How do you keep focused on creating content when you have a hectic work schedule?".
The person being asked the question is a gamer at heart and figured that forming the creating habit was not enough for him, but that his mind might be wired in such a way that there was another approach he could take. Incorporating a gaming aspect into his daily content creating habit.
He went off a got an app on his phone that basically alerts him each day at a set time and asks if he has hit his daily content creation target. Tapping on the positive button increases his habit score and gets fed into this little graph within the application that, over time, can be used to see when he hits his target and on what days he actually has to be pinged first to create something.
It sounded like a gimmick if I am being honest. But I'm a gamer at heart as well and figured I might just go ahead and try it out. The first week didn't really do anything for me as I was hitting the target with ease. But as the score crept into double digits I started to get an 'itch' in the back of my mind. My alert fires at ten p.m. every day. The closer I got to that time without doing my writing task the worse the itch got. After a month of using the application I was able to see that at the weekends I am particularly productive because I can get the writing done during the afternoon, typically, but during the week my sweet spot is Tuesday to Thursday.
As a stats junkie it is interesting. But the gamer in me is now worried. My score is currently 113. That's 113 consecutive days working on 'Stolen Stories' without fail.
Failure is not an option, but it is a possibility. Some day Life is going to get all its ducks in a row and sweep the legs right out from under me.
Bringing me right back to 0.
But for now the game is afoot and I'm going to keep using that score to drive me forward. I'm genuinely intrigued to see what my score will be once I am completely finished with 'Stolen Stories'.
Moreso because then the question will be do I let the score reset while I move onto the next project (something a little different, but more on that closer to the time) or do I continue with the same one...
I've never been good with time. Never have been, never will be. I understand the way we use it to measure duration but that's it. If you asked me about 'when' a thing happened you will get a response along the lines of "Sure that was only last week."
Spoiler alert: It rarely, if ever, was only last week.
But I blinked. I blinked twice, in fact, because today is Nugget's second birthday.
I just need a minute to let that one sink in.
It is her SECOND birthday. Her FIRST birthday, sure that was only last week. Right? I mean what the hell. How much stuff can be packed into a year so that before you know it your kid's birthday has come around once again.
Instead of the little gummy bundle of cuteness crawling around the floor that we'd gotten used to there is now this toddler telling the dog to stop eating her toast.
Spoiler alert: she gave the dog the toast first, then started to give out to him. Poor dog is going to wonder if all tiny humans are split personalities.
Gone is the tiny little person that could just about sit up on her own. Now we have a little girl who can have conversations with you. Sure these generally revolve around things like her wanting more blueberries or a glass of water, but she can actually say these things. It isn't a case of point and cry until what is sought after gets handed down. If she wants a cup of milk and you hand her water she damn well will let you know you got her order wrong.
Spoiler alert: I spend as much time mopping up spilled water as I do pouring water.
Saturday mornings are now filled with her little voice demanding to watch "Iom-man", which means Iron Man for those of you not fluent in toddler talk (least she picked the right side in that Civil War).
She is brushing her teeth. She is making "coffee" in her kitchen and giving it to people. She is having little tea parties with her teddy bears and dolls. She is this joyous little girl running around and making people smile with her antics.
She's two. With how bad I am with time I have a genuine worry that by the time I finish typing this she will be turning three already.
Happy Birthday Nugget.