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The next novel's word cloud, so far.

Fig. A word cloud from everything I've written in this book so far. Whew!

I'm checking in report on my progress with the next book in the Folded Earth series. And, boy, have there been developments. I've been busy this year, having been involved in a series of Anthologies where--by now--I have an open invitation to participate when I can. But it can be havoc on writing novels, and I may need to let off the Short Story gas pedal for a while as a result. As I'm writing the next book in the Folded Series--which we can call TF here--I'm also noticing myself reading Cardinal Soul back. Now... this is the first time I've read back Soul since I finished the editing passes and released it into the world. I wrote Soul in 2020 and there was a lot going on (I don't need to explain this to you!), which, combined with the pace that the writing goes at, means I hadn't had time. There are parts of Cardinal Soul that are tense (because Zoey is super uncomfortable with the complicated sexual tension ramping up in the pages), and some that have the best action sequences I've written in ages. And if you want to know something core about my writing, it's that I'll go out of my way to write an action scene. I find the cadence of action soothing.

Right now, Cardinal Soul is proving a balm for me, but it also made me notice that I started reading Twisted Cord while I finished book 8 of the Cardinal series (releasing at the end of this year). It's good luck to have that impulse. It helps reset the mood. Zoey and Ora are very different women, and--dear Lord--the gulf between Ocean and Ruel (though they're both, in their own ways, very alien). It does help me shift gears.

I've hit 45.5K words, roughly, in TF, and am about at the part of the rollercoaster ride where your stomach leaps into your mouth. I'm moving slowly along the top rails of a steep drop. There are so many decisions to be made before the cars begin to plummet into the rest of the ride that it's pretty overwhelming, right now. I have notes on written on whiteboard in my Art Studio. Notes in notebooks. Notes in programmes and on my voice recorder. It's a lot. Please cross your fingers for me that I pull this out sometime this month or next, as I would love to do!

Maybe joining NaNoWriMo will help? We'll see. :)

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