Small Progress

You know, after I published A Good Man back at the tail end of 2011, I figured that since that book had ‘only’ taken about 12 months to write and edit, I could get the second book in the series finished by the end of 2012. Well, we’re now approaching the end of June 2013 and I still haven’t finished writing the damn thing, let alone editing and polishing it.

So I’m already six months past my self-imposed “none deadline”. Oh well, life goes on.

Which, of course, is part of the problem. Life does go on. And ‘on’ it has been going at a pretty rapid pace.

But, I’m hopeful that things at work and home will calm down somewhat now and I’ll be able to find the energy to get back at it at the pace I had earlier in the year. We all know what hope does, though don’t we?

(Actually, I wrote that last sentence and then googled it. This is what I found in among all the Bible gumph – “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” So there. Hope does something to trees. Not very relevant.)

Apart from all the ‘life’ stuff going on, the problem I’ve been having is that A Tortured Soul is proving quite emotionally draining to write. Which is why I’m finding I simply don’t have the energy for it after long days at work and long evenings at home. I had hoped that the recent holiday I took with the family would give me a chance to write. After all, I always say that writing is my way of relaxing and isn’t relaxing what holidays are for?

father-and-baby-sleepingBut in the end, which would you choose? Writing something emotionally charged and quite draining, or cuddling up on a sofa with your 15 month old daughter and let her sleep on your chest as you read what someone else has spent all their emotional energy writing?

Actually, I downloaded and read through Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy during that holiday and I have to say that I enjoyed it – at first.

The first book was stunning. It grabbed hold of me pretty much immediately and wouldn’t let go. the characters were well defined and grew throughout the book, and the plot was fast paced and different enough from anything I’d read before to hold my interest. And, of course, it was brilliantly imaginative.

The second book, Catching Fire, held the attention that the first had grabbed, expanding the universe of the story somewhat and adding some political elements to the story that made me eager to read the final book. Although, I have to say, I hated the ending of Catching Fire. Damn cliff-hangers.

the-hunger-games-books-1-3Now, I’m all for cliff-hangers within a given book – particularly as an end-of-chapter device – as long as they are not overly used because then the dramatic effect of them is dampened. But to use one at the end of a book? Hell, if I’d have read Catching Fire when first published and had to wait god knows how long (it was actually the best part of a year) to read what happened next? I’d have been furious.

But, I didn’t read it at publication and I was able to carry straight on with Mockingjay and… I was disappointed. The book held so much promise from the start, through the middle portions, but never really delivered. And the ending was a real let down – almost a ‘non-ending’. Such a shame to end the series that way. I can understand why Collins ended it the way she did – I just don’t agree with how she did and would have done it differently myself. But it wasn’t my book.

So, back to my book. I’m making progress. Slow progress, admittedly, but progress nevertheless. I’m in the ‘home straight’ so to speak. I have a number of important things left to happen, then I can look to round of the book in what I hope will be a satisfying way that still leaves you wanting to read the third.

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