I took a week off

Last week, I barely wrote anything fictional, for the first week since January. I’ve been on a big push to finish a novella by the end of January, then a novel draft by the end of March. And I think I needed to rest the girls in the basement for a few days.

Not that I got a lot of rest away from writing. In my evil day job, I’m a technical writer/junior engineer for a regional electronics manufacturing company. I’ve been there for a bit over three years, and I noticed something. Since we build components of the stuff manufacturers build to sell, we get orders before the big factories can build their stuff.

For example, if our customer was building refrigerators and we made the circuit board that takes temperature readings and tells the compressor when to turn on and off, we would need to have the circuit board finished and delivered before our customer could build the refrigerator. Right? You hear about leading indicators in the economy–we’re a leading leading indicator.

Well, here’s the thing. About a week after New Year’s Day in January, a large number of our customers that have been fairly dormant for a while woke up and requested quotes on stuff–existing products, new products, just your basic electronic stuff. It kept us pretty busy. Then, the first week or so of February, they all seemed to say to themselves, “Good grief, it’s already February! We need stuff!”

And then the new customers started coming out of the woodwork. Just today, I evaluated manufacturing documentation for three companies I’ve never worked with before. So, even though I took a week off of writing fiction (mostly), it’s not like I haven’t been working and using my brain.

And I didn’t manage to keep away from it entirely, either. I wrote a few pages of the next scene in the novel I’m planning to start back into next. My working title is “The Legend of the Bastard King.” It’s a prequel to Blade’s Edge, chronicling the events that eventually turned into the legend. You can read an excerpt by clicking on the button at the top of the page.

This is the story I was writing the year my parents died (2005), and the characters went mute on me. I’m so pleased they finally started talking in my head again–which sounds really weird and possibly psychotic to anyone but a writer, but it’s a sign of a well-rounded, well-created character. When you have him or her very clearly visualized, they kinda take on a life of their own.

And they’re talking. Break time must be over. Grin.

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