I will get back to the series on formatting, probably next week. This week has been interesting, to say the least. My son was home for several days and, I’ll be honest, when he’s here, everything else takes a backseat. Then there have been a series of meetings that have taken time to get ready for. Best of all, my friend who has been on the transplant list got the call the other day and Wednesday received his new heart. All of that has combined to keep me off the blog.

But it has given me time to think and plot and plan. The result is I figured out what was bothering me about the opening to Victory from Ashes. The opening worked but it didn’t feel right, if that makes any sense. It finally dawned on me what was bothering me about it and I’ve gone back and fixed it. Now that I have, the edits on the very rough draft are going quickly. Fingers crossed that stays the case.

I also have written the opening to a short story set in the Ashes universe. It is a prequel story, picking up right after Ashlyn is commissioned. I also have an idea for another short story or novella. The first will be written and released, first on this blog and then on Amazon, before Victory comes out.

Someone asked about Dagger of Elanna, the sequel to Sword of Arelion (Sword of the Gods Book 1), the other day. That, too, is in the works. It is completely plotted and the first very rough draft has been written. When I say very rough draft, I mean just that. I don’t usually talk about them because, in some¬†ways, these “very rough drafts” don’t count. They are usually handwritten, either on paper or on OneNote. That means they have to be annotated with editorial notes and then typed in. My brain doesn’t really count them as “real” drafts until they are saved out as a DOC file.

Most of my work isn’t done that way. These two books have been written in places where keyboarding, even on a tablet, hasn’t always been feasible. Hence the handwriting. That is one of the reasons I love my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 . I can whip it out, use the stylus and write. If I want to be a bit slower about it than my mind works, I can write directly into Word and have it convert to text. That’s fine for notes but not for drafting a novel, at least not for me. There is a point where you have to stop and check the converted text and then enter it into your document. That slows, often to stopping, the process — at least for me.

Using OneNote, however, I can just write. I don’t worry about converting my handwriting. With a touch of the screen, I can change ink colors if I want to emphasize something. Each chapter or scene has its own file and I can then drop my tablet into the dock, display the handwritten notes on a secondary screen and start the transcription.

So, I have a lot of stuff in the process of being written. I have other books in the process of going into print that are already in digital editions. Those should be ready next week. And, as I said, I will get the formatting series back on track Monday as well. In the meantime, it is back to writing when I can and dealing with life. But for now, it is time to find another cup of coffee.

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