Hello, Dear Reader, and happy fall! (Except for the handful of you from South of the equator. To you, happy Spring!)
This summer was unconscionably hot, which is always a bit of a struggle for my larger, furnace-like frame, but as of this weekend, the heat has finally broken here in Ottawa.
And with fall, I am finally back to self-care, which is… nice. I’m on my diet, losing the weight I put on during my move, back to working out (when my wrist isn’t injured from rugby), and back to writing. In August, my beloved and amazing editor noticed I was sending her the same chapters over and over, and expressed concern I was becoming stuck.
But I was not stuck. Between coming down from the move, big family events every weekend, rugby, and work… I didn’t have much time to write. And the rewrites have been extensive.
Going into my second book, I learned so many lessons from my first. But the biggest one was how important structure was, to keep the same plot threads going through the entire book, rather than dropping them and picking them up later. But I still thought too much of the set pieces, of big dramatic events that dominated the story. Other scenes simply strung them together. In part, this was because the story of my second novel was, as I first conceived it, the history, and the history came first in the writing.
And then beta readers told me that those set pieces got boring coming one after another. I needed to up the personal side of the story.
So, I’m deleting half of the middle of the book and rewriting it. Not fun, exactly, but the characters are coming to life. The villain is now vibrant and eloquent in a way he wasn’t before. The secondary character is getting his plot arc. And the land feels a lot more alive.
I’m still not making quite as much progress as I’d like, but that is the eternal feeling of the writer. At least every writer I know.
Also, as I have a longer commute to and from work now, I started my fourth book on the bus. It’s tentatively titled The Plasma Cosmic. I’m five chapters in, about 13000 words, and it’s been so much fun to write. I’m hoping to have it ready for beta readers by the end of next year.
My only regret about it is… it’s hard sci-fi. Which means I’ve had to spend hours doing math, making sure everything is accurate scientifically accurate, and that the space station follows all the laws of physics.
Which takes… so much time. I was not prepared for all this math! And then, once I finally did it, I realised I needed to rewrite parts of the story. Curse you, math!
But enough about writing! Writing is for nerds!
What else have I been up to?
LIFE OUTSIDE WRITING
The last rugby game of the season was at the end of September! It was a lovely game against Carleton University under the lights. Also, we had our end of year Beaver Bowl, once again!
This year, I was hoping to score my 30th career try. It… didn’t happen. But I’m not retiring until I get it!
I did, however, make the only conversion for the Wolves at Beaver Bowl, on a corner try. The backs missed all their conversion kicks, but the big prop nailed theirs!
Outside of rugby, in August, my parents had their 50th anniversary. They rented a cottage and we all went up! I had a… not fun adventure getting there. There are about 30 streets named the same thing in a 50km radius, and I went to the wrong one, and the resident was… not friendly.
But I made it eventually! It was wonderful celebrating with them. And, of course, Clara came, so I have to pay the dog tax.
In other family news, I make Thanksgiving dinner for Brendan’s family—6 courses! But didn’t take a photo. Whoops. What kind of Millenial am I‽ This means it’s been several newsletters without a baking photo, and I’ll be sure to fix that next Newsletter, which will be December (because I’m making it officially bi-monthly after unofficially being so most of the year).
And other than that, not much in my life, really. The house is continuing to get more and more set up, and feeling more and more like home. I’ve also, like every other gamer, been playing Baldur’s Gate 3. But I actually played the original when it came out, so I’m special! Or just old.
Until next time!