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Two-Headed Monster

Well things have gotten real. I suppose one could argue that my eyes were larger than my stomach, but to hell with that, we’re committed. Objectives have been set, and now through methodical execution and ridged discipline we will meet our End-Ex dates.

In the quest to get success from writing I’ve concluded that I need to reach a critical-mass in terms of material in the public domain. With that in mind, I’ve decided to keep trudging along with the Earth Saga series, Book V (Condition Zero), while at the same time I’ve started a standalone book that is in the same universe titled Standish, who was a minor character in Book IV (Remnants of Empire).

Standish is going to be female led and heavy on the action. Or at least that’s the plan right now.


If I stick to my targeted work-rate, I should have both books done next spring. I’ve even bothered to tape up the dates on the wall of my kitchen. You know shit’s gotten real when you do that. Right?


Condition Zero is sitting just under 10k.


Damn that image is small. Standish is off! Baby steps. Consistency is key.


So, I’ve talked to a few people about drinking and writing. I think that moderate drinking helps me loosen up and get a little more confidence in my writing. Of course, moderation is for cowards, so I need to pace myself or I’ll wake-up the next day forgetting that I had written an action sequence the previous evening. Trust me, that happened once.

One thing I swear by when writing is music. I’m primarily a EDM/techno/dance music guy. I listen to music 100% of the time when writing. It helps act as a white noise and allow my brain to focus on the creative stuff.

I’ve also realised that working from a venue other than Casa Donald is better for me. Too many distractions at home: Netflix, laundry, etc.

Today I had to take a quick walk up to the local patisserie to have a caffeine break. I brought my mates giant killer dog with me to help supervise my coffee experience. The dog, named Gypsy after a large Kaiju fighting robot, kept a watchful eye on me, and the time. No dillydallying today!


Notes. Gotta keep track of notes. Big notebook is for general stuff, sketches, broad ideas that span the series. It’s even got my old Engineer branch insignia on the front. Ahh the good old days. The two smaller notebooks are book specific. Condition Zero is clearly marked, while the second book contains my Standish notes.

I think this is critical to the creative process. Stick something in your pocket with a pen and when you’ve got some ideas, get them down on paper. Otherwise that concept will go bye-bye. And I hate when that happens.


The jumbled mess that is always my computer screen. Word and Excel. I’d be lost without them. To quote Porkins: “Stay on target.” And that’s just what Excel helps me with. Spreadsheets for story-lines, characters, locations, the whole kit and caboodle.

It’s Tuesday here. The sun is setting soon. Winter is almost upon us. Time to turn the heat on and dig out a jumper. Now that I’m back writing at close to my operational limits, it’s amazing how my hands feel after a long day at the keyboard. Stiff. Tight. Perhaps that’s the sign you’re looking for every day. They let you know you’ve done enough. For today.


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Copyright 2020 Donald B McFarlane