This Past Month: November 2012

I read somewhere yesterday that when it comes to raising kids, “the days are long, but the years are fast.” It’s also true for my life right now, with two kids (5 and almost 8 years old already!), a wife, a full-time job, and my “other job” as a writer slash publisher slash everything else.

This Past Month (image from

So I wanted to stop at the end of each month and look back. So here’s my first “This Past Month” post, for November 2012.

The Current Novel

First off, it’s been a really good month for getting work done on my current novel, A Lasting Cure for Magic. I keep a spreadsheet of my writing where I track the time of day I wrote, how many words and pages, and what I worked on that day. It’s great to look back on that spreadsheet for each month to see when I was most productive.

November was my biggest word-count month of the year (17,400 words, or about 62 pages). That’s about 4 and a half chapters. Not bad. I was thinking at the START of the month that I’d knock out at least 40,000 words this month, if not 50k. Just goes to show I’m a terrible predictor of my own productivity. My goal for next year is to get much better at that.

(For another example of my inability to predict, look at my crazy 2012 Word Count Goal over there on the right-hand side of my website!)

Most importantly, I feel like I’m over the hump, which I blogged about over the the excellent Bull Spec website this month, and I’m having FUN with this book again. I know how the book ends, but I’m enjoying the trip I’m taking with these characters to get to that ending. It’s been a wild ride so far.

Audiobook on sale!

November started off with a nice little bang, as the audiobook of the first novel in the Contagious Magic series went live: A Sudden Outbreak of Magic. More details about that launch here.

As a result of rubbing elbows with other audiobooks, I’ve discovered some great audiobooks as well. Also, my Kindle syncs up whatever page I’m on (whether I’m reading on my phone app or my Kindle or listening to the audiobook), so I can read or listen pretty much everywhere. Another secret is that I’ve been working out (I joined the new Planet Fitness just up the road from me), and as a result, I read for about 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Books Books Books

So here are the books I’ve read this past month:

  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (fun story about books and tech)
  • The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (dark, well-written story about the end of the world)
  • Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (best book of the month!)
  • The Annotated Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Anderson
  • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
  • Leveraging the Universe, by Mike Dooley

Yeah, I’ve been reading a LOT more since I switched over to reading only on my Kindle.

Also, in audio versions, I listened to the end of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (which I started in September or October, I think, and the audio version is fantastic). I followed that with Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer, which the author read herself (definitely something I want to try).

Audiobooks (and regular books without sound) queued up for December include The Hobbit (again!), Lord of the Rings (again!), Reamde, and my own Sudden Outbreak of Magic on audio as well.

Coming Soon

Can I just say now how pumped up I am to re-read The Hobbit again? We already have IMAX tickets for the moving in 2 weeks, and the boys have been addicting to the LEGO Lord of the Rings game for the Wii, so we should have some excited kids (along with their dad) at the December 14th show!

Talk to you next month!

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