Life in the new year is slowly settling back to normal. Ali's parents made it safely back to the UK after an unfortunate delay in Paris, courtesy of bumbling Air France staff, the kids are back to school, and things are picking up again at work after weeks of blissful quiet.
I'm maintaining a determined optimism about retaining control and focus in my life, both at work and at home, and am looking forward to making progress on several fronts. To that end, I need to rein in social networking a bit, so blog posts and visits will likely be slightly sparser than last year.
I'm in the middle of a few weeks of intensive preparation and critiquing, as the first big chunk of Ghosts of Innocence goes through the wringer.
I've had lots of encouraging feedback overall, which is good, but also a couple of common themes in serious need of work. The main points are: connecting better with the main characters, and improving pacing/tension in some of the sections. After the intensive work I put into chapter one last summer I know this will be a long haul, but I also know it will be worth it. These points, so early on in the story, would be more than enough to discourage agents from reading further.
Once the submissions I've now queued up have made their way through the queue, I'm going to take a break from the critique queue to give me time to work through the feedback. Then it will be on to round two.
Meanwhile, there's still plenty to sort out on the pirate ship. I've added another tab up in the heading to track that project, which I'll update from time to time.