- Writing -
Camp NaNoWriMo was an unqualified success! For a naturally slow writer like me, I think the ability to choose your own goal and keep it manageable takes a lot of the stress out of the challenge. I estimated the length of the scenes I wanted to finish at about 10,000 words, and without working weekends, I clocked in at approximately 14,845 on the 22nd. That puts me at the halfway point of my first draft of One of Ours. But next I'm heading into a section where I'll be adding several entirely new scenes, which should be...interesting. I shall have to do another snippets post when I'm further along, but I've been sharing a few bits on Twitter for #wordplaywednesday—here, here and here.
Following that, I took a couple days' break to type up the first draft of The Silent Hour, my next Mrs. Meade Mystery. Which was fun, since after a month's break from that, I was pleasantly surprised to find it looked a lot better to me than it did the day I finished the draft. Autumn 2015 is the projected release date.
- Reading -
I've noted before that intensive spells of reading and writing always alternate with me. Earlier in the year I was reading constantly and finding lots of books to enjoy; but since I've been so deep in concentrating on One of Ours my reading's been a bit patchy. Not much more to my credit lately than a couple of lightweight, moderately entertaining old mysteries (Call Mr. Fortune by H.C. Bailey and The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson). I did, however, read G.K. Chesterton's epic poem The Ballad of the White Horse earlier this month and enjoyed that quite a lot. While I didn't agree with everything P.D. James had to say in Talking About Detective Fiction, which I read back in March, after four volumes of Father Brown stories and this poem, I concur with her assessment that "Chesterton never wrote an inelegant or clumsy sentence."
- Otherwise -
We recently decided to hardwire our house, so we wouldn't have to live with the unhealthy radiation of a constant wireless signal. So my dad moved our modem and router to the cellar, ran new cable wires and installed jacks for plugging in an Ethernet cord in a few convenient locations throughout the house (I'm not sure there's anything around the house that he can't build or fix). I'm finding that the new system definitely refines one's internet usage. The deliberate process of sitting down at a table and plugging in an internet cord, instead of just being able to flip open your laptop anytime and anywhere to check email or Twitter, makes you a bit more focused and productive with the time you do spend online. It's also very convenient for typing fiction without the distraction of the Internet—you simply don't plug it in, and there you are.