The Writing Life in Wyoming

I’ve heard from a few people that it sounds as if my life is full of activities … not to do with my writing.

Alas, that is largely true. It was very hard to stay focused last summer when we were bouncing from place to place, not really knowing when our impending move would actually happen. Then, of course, once we knew we were moving we frantically began preparations, drove across the country, found living quarters, and set about settling in. Again, not the kind of quiet, routine-filled life that I crave when I’m working on a project.

I have been squeezing in writing time here and there. But, in cliched writer-like fashion, I contacted my publisher last week for an extension. I had a good reason, though! The editor of Beaver Magazine asked me to submit a story idea for their upcoming aviation-themed issue (it’s the centennial of powered flight in Canada next year). I couldn’t say no to that! So I dug through my notes and wrote up a story pitch (in the midst of having a sick puppy to tend) last week. It’s been accepted, but the draft has to be in for early November. Hence the extension…

My work on the article is connected to the book, though, so I don’t feel like I’m wandering too off topic. And considering all that’s happened, I’m doing pretty well: chapters 1 and 2 are really polished; the intro and chapter 3 are pretty well done; my rough draft of chapter 4 should be done by today; and chapter 5 by the time Doug gets back from training on Friday. I also have tons of notes already typed and organized for the rest of the book (probably another 6 chapters). All my archival and secondary research is done and I have a wonderful set of colleagues back in Ottawa who are doing an amazing job fielding my nit-picky questions. All that remains is a few telephone interviews and doing a bit more background research into this new article on backcountry air tourism.

With decent powers of concentration I can hack out a rough draft of a chapter in a week. Maybe a week and a half now that I can only write during puppy’s naps 🙂 My mum just sent me a package filled with teas and I have a huge container of coffee. I am ready to fuel-up, buckle down, and get this book (and article) done before December. As long as life doesn’t throw any more curve balls my way, it should all go according to plan!

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