September. Back to school. And we’ve often noticed that after Labor Day it feels like someone flipped a switch from “summer” to “autumn”.
Not that we’ve seen much of “summer” this year. Sure, we’ve had pleasant enough spells, but in many years we’ve practically lived out on the deck from May onwards, and gone months at a stretch without having to cover the furniture against rain. Not so much this year.
And now the evenings are getting darker and cooler, and we are getting used to new routines. Ali is back to a new school year with a new intake of students. Matthew started at college, which is another big adjustment. My own work is unusually intense this year, which often leaves me tired in the evenings.
So, although writing progress is happening, it’s going slowly.
The Long Dark is working its way through the critique queue, getting a ton of feedback. Critiquing is a long process, submitting chapters week by week for comment. Towards the end, my previous novels have generally garnered maybe four or five critiques per week. This time around it’s holding steady at about double that. Which is wonderful, though it carries a cost. Critiquing is a reciprocal process, and I like to make sure I’m giving as much as I’m receiving. But at that furious pace I’m falling further and further behind. I’ll be working to make up lost ground critiquing other people’s work long after my novel is done.
I had hoped to finish and publish Breaking the Block this month, but with all the critiquing effort on TLD that is falling behind. I did manage to go through a thorough round of edits, with just final tidying up left to do, but I have only just made a start on cover art.
All this means I’ve got my work cut out for me if I’m to meet my objective of publishing The Long Dark next summer.