-- after a delay grown long enough to be a bit awkward, I finally have the next (4th) installment of Broken Rice written. I plan to edit during the weekend and hopefully have it out next week. I also finally have a defnitive rough outline of the rest of the story that I really like, so I'm not anticipating any significant delays with the 5th, 6th, and if it runs longer than I think the 7th and last installment (if it goes to 8 I'll be shocked -- but I'm not ruling it out. I think 6 is most likely).

After that I'll publish an omnibus at a small discount from the cumulative price of the serial installments, and a Createspace paperback after that. Maybe around fall for the paperback? We'll see how it goes.

I'm also doing some revisions of old ebook single stories that I've pulled from circulation, and plan to package a couple (Not The Droids from 2011 and In Real Life from 2012) along with two new, original stories in a 99 cent mini-collection, working title Maladapt, that I'm thinking will be ready by late spring or summer. The serial takes priority over that project.

I've also got a long-after-the-apocalypse story I've been working on, The Glass Key, somewhere near finished at 18,000 words. The end of that one is in sight. I'm thinking it will wind up around 25,000 -- or half a novel. I'll probably take a crack at selling it to Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's, and Analog before I publish it myself. There aren't a lot of markets around that take work at that awkward length, but it's perfect for self-publishing.

I've been feeling like I'm dragging in producing writing over the last 6 months or so. Partly, that's the false voice of depression and the icky feeling that comes with wondering if my family will ever get the hell out of this crappy old trailer.

But!

My wife, Tanya, is wrapping up her undergraduate degree this summer, and is shopping for jobs that represent the income boost we need to get the hell out. Our target horizon for moving is late summer or early fall.

And we need to get the hell out. Living poor is wearing on us. There are days when it's all I feel I can do to handle the basics of life, the cooking and cleaning and taking care of the kids. I force myself to do something writing-related -- brainstorming, or even writing a scene that comes to mind, anything, for the sake of keeping the creative juices flowing.

And, who knows, this might be the month that something I have written grabs enough notice to generate some serious income to help out. Or next month. Or...

...or I'm still writing, and still producing finished work, and still sending stories out to paying markets. And there are days that feel futile. But there are more days that feel hopeful, and I forget who said it but I hear the difference between a writer and a successful writer is persistence.

Hey, I've got persistence! I'm stubborn as hell. That's what my poor, kindly wife tells me, at least.

So, anyhow, won't be too much longer to the next installment of Broken Rice, and I hope you'll enjoy it.