Haven’t We Been Here Before?

Happy belated Groundhog Day, everyone!

I heard that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year, which doesn’t much surprise me for North Idaho since it’s been a fairly mild winter. I am a little bit reluctant to take Phil’s word as gospel, though, for a number of reasons.

  1. This is a big country, and it seems like predictions about winter from a location in Philadelphia would only apply to that local area, at best.
  2. Phil has been wrong a lot in the past.
  3. Phil is a groundhog, not a meteorologist, as this article reminds us out about halfway down.

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In any case, while the groundhog’s actual prediction may not have much impact on my life, I’m sticking with a Groundhog Day theme in this post in homage to one of the greatest Bill Murray movies ever.

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Hang with me, because I may be able to eke a little bit of relevance out of this connection…

Here We Go Again…

At the beginning of January, I wrote my anti-goalsetting manifesto, and I stand by that post 100%. I am not setting specific, date-oriented goals this year.

So far, I’m really glad I made that call.

My time is already getting filled up and thrown off for the year. I’ve already planned a short trip to the East Coast, and as I look ahead at some of the up-in-the-air plans of my various family members, I think it’s entirely possible that this year may start to look like last year. I’m going to try to keep it a little more under control, but…

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This stage of life is so weird, y’all.

I’m also making a concerted effort to get more commercial writing work, and so far, it’s sort of working. Things are picking up, which is good for home finances, but not necessarily great for getting fiction projects done.

So because my business is picking up and the possibility of travel is still very real, I want to be super careful about setting specific deadlines or release dates until I am absolutely sure I can meet them.

All that said…

I’m Still Making Plans (Sort Of)

Even though I’m trying to be super careful about committing to anything as far as specific release dates until I know for sure I can meet them…

I do have a few (loose) plans.

First, regarding Soultainted, book four of The Taurin Chronicles… I’ve put it away for just a bit, because I kind of got stuck and I needed to let it stew. However, the first third of the book is actually looking pretty good, and I think I know the general direction it’s going to go. I do have an old first draft that I’m working from, but a lot of it isn’t usable or will end up going in book five, so I’m rewriting some big chunks.

I have a tentative goal to finish a beta-reader-ready version of that book by the end of the year.

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In conjunction with that book, I am planning to start writing more Taurin stories and publishing them here and on Substack. Some of these will be backstory from stuff I’ve already written, and some will be new stories or snippets that I can’t fit into the books. I’m also working on a list of characters who need profiles, so watch for more of those this year.

Which brings me to an actual, honest-to-goodness update.

Releasing The Heart of the Goddess (For Real This Time)

I set a release date for the second Ian Mac Roy adventure last year, but then the whole year went off the rails, and I ended up postponing.

So let’s just call this a do-over, mmm-kay?

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I am setting an absolute, definite, for-freakin’-certain release date this time, and it will happen, come hell or high water…

Ready?

The Heart of the Goddess: An Ian Mac Roy Adventure will be available as an e-book on all the standard platforms on March 29, 2024.

In case you need to see it again, here is the wonderful cover as designed by the fabulous Robyn Hodgdon:

And if you want to refresh your memory on Ian’s character, you can read his profile here.

The Heart of the Goddess will be available on Amazon and Smashwords for $.99, same as the first Ian story. If you don’t want to pay for the e-book, though, you can read it for free in serialized form on Substack starting on April 12.

As for other plans…

Moving Forward

For now, my main focus is on finalizing The Heart of the Goddess so that I can get back to Soultainted. However, in very general terms, here are a few things I’m mulling over and gradually working toward…

  • I do intend to write at least one more Ian Mac Roy adventure. I have a general idea for one, but the plan is to work on that after I finish this draft of Soultainted. When all three Ian stories are done, I would like to put them in a single volume for print… but that’s a ways down the road…
  • I am making a list of ideas for stories set in the world of The Taurin Chronicles–character backstories, side quests, etc. I may, eventually, monetize some of these with a subscription model on Substack. For the moment, I’m going to just put them up on my regular blog for free. I’d like to do one every four to six weeks, but we’ll see. That’s the general goal.
  • I don’t have a release date or cover or really much of anything for Soultainted right now, but I do think it will be out sometime in 2025. I hope. Barring any unforeseen circumstances.

I know this is all still pretty vague, but I’m tired of promising releases and then backing away from them. I will say, though, that my life is generally moving in a direction that will give me more time and space to work on fiction than I had in past years. And I’m also getting to the point where I have less angst about releasing these things… Maybe it’s being in my 50s, maybe it’s being GenX, I don’t know. I’m just sort of at a point where the chorus of this classic Jo Dee Messina song exemplifies my attitude toward non-fan opinions of my writing.

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At the end of Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character finally breaks out of his endless cycle because he’s become a decent human being who can look beyond himself and focus on something bigger than just himself.

I’m not going to claim anything quite as profound as that, but I will say that emerging from the hermit cycle this time around has brought me into a little better alignment with myself. I don’t know how else to say it than that… I’ve basically recognized that yes, this stage of life is weird, and it’s going to involve a lot of unexpected things, but also, I know where I want to end up, and I’ll just kind of keep trucking along until I get there…

Even if it’s slow or halting or requires occasional side quests.

Until next week… onward!

 

 

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