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  • Christine Shuck

94% Done With Smoke and Steel

Progress, Despite Myself

Ah cha cha cha! I finished the chapter Rabbit Hole today and added the very last paragraphs to Where You Go, I Go but still have more to write in the middle. Tomorrow, or possibly this evening, I will begin on Your New Life pictured below.

The chapter after it The Situation at Hand is done and so is at least 1/3 of Where You Go, I Go.


Intermittently, I get hit with that nasty, "let's put this off 'itis" which directs me to everything from doomscrolling (thank you, Jo Penn for putting a name to it), reviewing our finances and adjusting income projections for projects that haven't even happened yet, and perusing Facebook. It seems that the closer I come to completing a project, the worse this "let's put this off 'itis" can become.


There's no good reason for it, honestly. Just the last frantic flopping about of a fish out of water, desperate to return to a simpler existence, perhaps.


I'm getting there. And I'm learning to fight it, every day, and push through it to the other side where words go on the page and chapters get finished.




More Characters, More Books

As I write, characters pop up that are noteworthy. So I add them to my Characters list (they each get their own bio file) and then I add them to the Omnibus file that contains ALL of the Benton Security Series books. I also add notes suggesting what a good offshoot story might be for that character.


When I started writing Smoke and Steel, I had already identified an arc of at least eight books in the series, and now, it looks like there will be eleven.


Wowza, I've got a lot of writing ahead of me!


Each of these books are standalone, and can be read independently of the others. That said, I still advise folks to read them in order and will be numbering them for easier reference.

Plenty of danger and sizzling romance, and an ongoing fight towards defeating the Indalo, a shadow organization intent on murder, money, and strategic mayhem.


Is that a thing, strategic mayhem? Or am I being silly? No matter, I'm feeling GOOD, folks. Real good. I'm two weeks ahead of schedule, despite taking off a week for some literary housekeeping. I will finish Your New Life chapter by the end of the weekend and spend this next week editing in ProWritingAid and doing a solid read-through to correct any errors. Then it is off to my proofreader, then back to me for further edits, then on to my ARC readers, and then [cue drum roll] available for sale on April 15th, 2021!

Next Up...

I'll be switching back to sci-fi the week following my edits and creating the outline for G581: Earth. I'm excited about this one. More mayhem, but of a "we're all gonna die" variety. I promise you will love it. Well, if you are into sci-fi, that is. After that, it will be back to romance with Broken Code, book 3 of the Benton Security Services series.

And Now...A Step to the Right...

I was digging around in my freezer the other day, found some elderflowers in a couple of gallon Ziploc bags and was off on a tangent.

I asked my hubby to pick me up a nice large bottle of vodka and bought fresh lemons at the store. Time to make elderflower liqueur! Don't ask me for measurements, for there weren't any. In a month or two, we will strain the flowers and lemon slices out and sweeten it to taste. I do love having so many elderberry bushes in my backyard!


I'm really hoping that COVID has been smacked down into place by spring. I would love to serve some elderflower cocktails at our annual spring party in mid-May!


Lastly, Squid Sez...

"Write on, write on!"

I'm sooo close to being done with my 10th book!


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