Book 5

Did I mention “Book 5” has become two books?

Like Break and Beaten, and then The New Program and The Volunteer, books 5 and 6 are going to be a novella-novel pair.  Probably separated by a couple months like last time.  From here I’m guessing book 5 drops in February.  I’m almost certainly wrong.

I just finished writing book 5.  As in today.  Book 6 has been in the can for about a month now, and I’m about to go back and dig into it for my first real editing pass.  Hopefully, it’s not too painful a process, but one can never predict these things.  Book 6 is a big one, it’s going to start tying everything together.  But first, we’ll spread things out even more.  Not just through space, but time as well.  I’m pretty excited.

All this means that I was totally lying about the series ending at book 6, though.  Since book 6 is what I’d planned for book 5 now–and I’m guessing I’ll wind up sticking to the novella-novel pair system going forward–we’re looking at an 8 book series.  Maybe we’ll roll up to an even 10 when the momentum inevitably runs away with me after I get going on book 8.  Who knows what the future holds?

Smashing

It’s been a while since I did my last “Home Improvement” post.  And things have been improved!  To tell this story in particular, though, we must go back to the very beginning.  To this:

Last summer, I bought some land.  For cheap.  The reason it was so cheap is that this happened to be sitting there.  No one wanted to deal with this for some reason.  Maybe it was the giant, menacing tower of bricks stretching so far into the sky that you can’t even see the top in that picture (it was probably eleven miles tall, give-or-take).

Our plan for dealing with this structure was simple: ignore it until next year, then pay someone to smash it.  Part 1 went super well.  Then next year arrived.  We called people about smashing it.  Most of them never called us back.  Eventually, someone did.  I managed to get him to come out and look at the thing.  He wrote up an estimate.  It was for super huge piles of money.  I told him I did not have super huge piles of money and asked if he could give me an estimate for if he, maybe, did a bad job or something.  His response was something along the lines of “STFU, n00b!  Only rich people deserve to have their houses smashed in!” and then never calling me back again.

Lame.

We went back to ignoring the problem.

Then, one day, when we were hard at work not smashing the building, I heard a creaking sound.  I went outside…and watched a chunk of the house fall to the ground.  Ignoring it was working better than we could have hoped!

Sadly, it was just a small chunk of the total monstrosity.  But it filled us with hope.  The structure could be defeated!

Later, we had a guy with a big truck come and do some other work.  We asked him if he could use that big truck to maybe pull down the evil chimney of death.  He said he could do it for a reasonable amount of money.  We’re pretty much best friends now.

Suddenly, the house looked different!

See?  No chimney of death!  You can’t see the bit that fell off really, so don’t worry about that.  The point is that progress was being made.  But we needed to do more.  We already knew no one was going to come and help us.  So we turned to the same source of inspiration that had carried us through all the other projects this land came with: punk rock.

What did punk rock say?

It said to smash the damn thing ourselves.

So we rented the Grabber-Smasher.

And we set forth grabbing and smashing.

The Grabber-Smasher did that in a day.  Then a part of it popped open, and Grabber-Smasher blood started shooting all over the place.  The arm part of the machine didn’t work any longer.  The machine had been defeated by the house of death.  All hope was lost.  And we assumed we were going to have to pay all sorts of money to fix the machine.

Turns out not so much.  The Grabber-Smasher company was totally cool with the broken machine.  They came out and fixed it when we weren’t around, gave us some free days of grabbing and smashing, and we were on our way.

Quick break to allow things to get muddier and rainier before finishing the job…and voila!

The house was destroyed.  The rubble pile isn’t even taller than me at this point, which is pretty much a best-case scenario.  We’ve still got all that garbage to deal with…but at least nothing’s going to fall on anyone.

Big day…

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