Light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortunately, it ain’t a train! The second draft of Ragged Man is in and it’s in the hot sticky hands of readers before being delivered, which is as much a relief as always. I’ve now hit the point where I’m kinda mentally exhausted and feel a pang of depression at the very sight of prose appearing on my screen! It’s weighed in at 213,000 words, which is kinda large but I assume will be trimmed down by the magic of the red pen and end up about 200k, which was how long Twiglet was. Only question is what I do now…

Well, yesterday the answer was ‘absolutely nothing except play Gears of War 2 and revel in the surround-sound my Xbox now possesses.’ I admit this probably can’t continue forever, but since the wife’s away on a shopping weekend and Saturday’s meant to be solid rain, I’ll probably only pause for rugby matches!

It’s interesting to note how bad-tempered I’ve been recently, something that of course took me a while to equate with struggling over the deadline… Some of this has been justified (those fucking incompetents at Wigmore Sports who’ve sold me a third set of useless strings in six months and have now lost my business after eight years), other bits less and barely even making sense. Most likely the lack of sunlight isn’t helping, but that’s what the big white light in the study’s for, I just have to remember to use it. Fortunately I’ve been able to avoid taking it out on my perfectly blameless wife (she’s still talking to me at least) but it does leave me hesitant to jump straight in to Dusk Watchman until I’ve had a bit of time off.

The problem with that is I’ve not really worked out the plot of Dusk Watchman and at some point that’s probably going to be important. There’s probably a certain hesitancy to actually jump into the final piece of the series, but my main problem is I want a break. The short stories that I’m hoping to do something with in the next few months and get out before Dusk Watchman aren’t much of a break since they’re still part of the series, but God I could do with writing something different for a year before returning to DW. It’s not going to happen because I don’t sell as much as George RR Martin and can’t afford to leave such a big gap, but it’d be nice – quite aside from the fact Moon’s Artifice and the other novels of the Empire of a Hundred Houses are jumping up and down in my head, screaming for attention like excitable toddlers. If I could shut them up for a few months even, that’d make a difference, but most likely parents of toddlers say the same thing! ;0)

I’m going to have to do a more involved post about the last book in a series and all the problems and challenges etc it represents, but I think that should wait for when I can get my thoughts in some sort of order. I do actually have a good few points I’d like to make on the subject, but it’d end up as rambly as this so gimme a few weeks! Now if I could only get an assistant in the office I might actually be able to get a handle on the world again…

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