Things that I’m up to lately

Sometimes I look at my blog and figure that I ought to post here, just so it’s clear that I haven’t abandoned it entirely–blogging gets a smaller audience than my Twitter account, but it doesn’t have a 140-character limit, which is a point in its favor.

As for what I’m doing–most importantly, I’m starting work on a new novel in earnest, though my expected completion date at the moment is “when it’s done.” (Version Control took me roughly seven years between the day I began writing and the day I turned in a finalized draft, which was published nearly a year later. Though I do feel like I’m getting a little faster with writing these days, and so I hope this new work won’t take quite that long.)

One thing that I’ve noticed has changed greatly each time I begin a new book is that the research process gets a lot easier. In particular, this time I’m finding the Google Ngram Viewer to be a lifesaver, a useful tool instead of an interesting toy. (Though this project will still require regular trips to the library, and there will be times when a full day’s worth of reading yields only a single paragraph of writing.)

Version Control was published in paperback last week–my period of active self-promotion for that novel is more or less over, but I’m glad to see that new readers are picking up the book after its initial hardcover release.

As far as recreation, I’ve been playing Skyrim on the PS4 on and off since December, my first time with the game. It fits well with a writing schedule for me–compelling, but not compulsive. With something like Civilization, the only way I can play it is to essentially hook up an IV drip and write off a weekend–games like Skyrim, on the other hand, have a constant drip feed of accomplishment (a level-up, a completion of a quest, etc.) so that a good stopping point seems to arrive every ten or fifteen minutes. I suspect this is a year in which I play very few games (Skyrim will keep me busy until Persona 5 comes out in April, and if the game takes 100 or more hours to complete as I’ve read, I’ll be playing that into summer).

I foresee myself dialing down my time on Twitter this year in order to get some writing done, but perhaps I’ll post here more often–we’ll see. Anyway, back to work.