Happy New Year everyone. Let's hope 2021 isn't as much of a shocker as 2020 was!

blackboard with news written on it

I have updates for you! "Book #9" is back on my desk, and it now has a name! It will be called "Invasion" and is the fourth book in the Guardians of The Realm series.

The editing arrived back from Fiona on the last day of 2020. At time of writing this (Sunday 3rd) I haven't opened the file yet, because I know that as soon as I do, I will be sucked back into The Realm and there are other things I need to clear before that. I'm hugely excited to be back in The Realm with Aeron and Faran again and I'm hoping that Fiona really has loved the book as much as she said she did!

As for "book #10" - that's on hold for the moment. I didn't quite get to a full first draft by the end of the year (partly because I started on a second draft really - checking the timeline and the scene orders etc). I've packed away all the notes, maps and paraphernalia relating to book #10 to clear some real estate on my desk for "Invasion".

In a Facebook group I'm in, a fellow-writer (Mason Cross) had a suggestion of writing 100 words per day on a side-project, so I am also doing that. I've tweaked the challenge slightly to be 100 words and/or 10 minutes of planning. The idea is that by the time I've done the edits on "Invasion" and also the editing of book #10, I will then have a few thousand words and some planning for "book #11". 100 words is easy to achieve. 10 minutes of planning is easy to do. But they will add up to  a decent chunk by the time I'm ready to start that project for real. And then the 100 words/10 minutes will be on the next side-project. And so it goes on.

Setting writing goals seems almost futile with the way the world is at the moment, but I'm intending to publish both "Invasion" and book #10, hopefully before summer. I'm also hoping to have a first draft of another book by the end of the year. In a (more) ideal world, I'd like it to be at second draft (or better) but let's see what 2021 is going to throw at me! Two books published and a third drafted is enough. Anything more would be a bonus.

How about everyone else? What plans do you all have? Have they been scaled back after what happened in 2020? Do they exist at all, or are you just hoping to get through the year as unscathed as possible? Or are you optimistic that 2021 will be closer to normal and have drawn up plans accordingly? Drop me a note in the comments below.

Whatever your plans, I hope that 2021 is kind to you.