It's hard for me to believe than an entire month has passed without a post from me.
To be fair, it's been a busy month. Work has really been hopping and it seems like I can barely get one feature article in print before another is ringing my phone for an interview. Between those weekly features, I'm covering my usual beat in the city of Covington, all of which combines to a pretty decent workload.
But the real reason that I've disappeared from the blogging world is that I've finished Blood & Steel. Most of January was spent with a pen in hand and my focus was on writing, to the extent that I've let a lot of other things fall by the wayside, including chores around the house and even hanging out with friends.
Since the beginning of January I've typed two-thirds of the second draft, and it weighs in at just over 30,000 words. Last night I was up past midnight finishing the first draft, which totals 111 handwritten pages. Once I get the last third of it typed, I'll be able to announce a final word count.
It didn't end at all like I expected. But then again, this wasn't the novel that I had expected to sit down to write, either. It turned out to be a sequel instead of a prequel and it was a little heavier in content than I expected. And the ending...well, it even took me by surprise.
I had no idea it was going to end the way it that it does until Friday afternoon. I went to lunch, jamming to Nickelback's best album, Silver Side Up and the song Too Bad in particular when I saw the ending play out in front of my eyes as if I was watching a movie.
And I had no idea that it ended that way. Once I realized it did, I knew that it had to. There was no question that it conveyed my point much better than my original idea. I was blown away by it and, at the same time, put in a solidly bad mood for the rest of my working afternoon.
The final pages had a profound effect on me, not so much for what happens but for what it means for characters that I've come to be friends with, especially Sam. We've spent a lot of time together as he told me his story, both for The Crownless King and for Blood & Steel. I realized Friday afternoon that if I was going to do this the right way, there would be no more time spent with those characters.
It was a pretty heavy afternoon.