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Best laid plans.

January 4, 2022 - 16:18 -- Admin

On the first work day of each year I like to spend the day meandering around my office, scratching my arse pondering what the future will bring, or more accurately how I can shape it to deliver the things I like — royalty cheques, big advances, gold plated hovercraft.


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It's all bullshit of course, because there is no controlling the future, and increasingly it seems impossible to make out even it's broadest, vaguest outlines. But it is my habit to do this every year, and today was the day.

I'm in the middle of a deadline train wreck right now, with about 15,000 words to write on the first draft of the World War 3.1 manuscript for Audible, a secret television project which I can't talk about, but which will need the equivalent of about two weeks full time concentration, and the final instalment in The Cruel Stars series due at the end of March.

I spent about half of the day wandering around, muttering to myself about how to juggle those three large scale commitments, and then in the second half of the day I attended to some actual paying work on each of them. Just an hour or so, nothing to even get the rusty old wheels of the imaginarium turning again, but enough to remind myself that I do have to put the shoulder to those wheels and give a little push.

It all feels a bit surreal. We managed to secure our boosters a week early by going to a chemist in the city where they didn't ask too many questions. That was then. A friend of ours tried the same thing a few days later and was turned away.

I do wonder how much of today's carefully laid plans will be swept away by this wave or the next of Covid. I saw in a tweet today that Pulp Fiction bookstore had early copies of The Shattered Skies, which was nice.

@JohnBirmingham) Cruel Stars, THE SHATTERED SKIES, is in the shop now! Come in to get yours, before the Omicron apocalypse! (We are happy to post it out.) ","username":"pulpfictionbks","name":"Pulp Fiction Books 🇦🇺","date":"Tue Jan 04 03:41:18 +0000 2022","photos":[{"img_url":"https://pbs.substack.com/media/FIOnqoVVEAE_S_i.jpg","link_url":"https://...}],"quoted_tweet":{},"retweet_count":3,"like_count":9,"expanded_url":{},"video_url":null}">Twitter avatar for @pulpfictionbksPulp Fiction Books 🇦🇺 @pulpfictionbksIt’s here! The twice-delayed (that we know of) sequel to Birmo’s (@JohnBirmingham) Cruel Stars, THE SHATTERED SKIES, is in the shop now! Come in to get yours, before the Omicron apocalypse! (We are happy to post it out.) Image

January 4th 2022

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But it did remind me that the book should have been out twelve months ago. Maybe longer. It was written, but the pandemic delayed everything. On the other hand, I'm glad I didn't try to launch a book in the middle of the worst of it. I know a few people who did that, and it did not go well for them or their publishers.

But it does make me wonder, after a day of carefully planning out what is to come, why I even did that. What was the point?