I've been preoccupied lately, so please forgive me for my internet absence if you were expecting news.
I was doing some daycare for the summer to bring in extra income to pay off some bills and to entertain my kids. In the past, I haven't written much in the summer with the kids home. This summer, I didn't get much writing done, but I have been editing, polishing Spirit Blade to prepare each part for publication, and then going through it again, and again, and...you get the idea. Now, however, my kids are old enough to stay out of my way and let me work while they entertain themselves. And now I know that school-age kids are too set in their ways to adapt easily to someone else's household, where they're given more freedom but only in respect to meeting higher standards than they're perhaps used to at home. Next summer will be different.
Now, the extra kids are gone, the bills are caught up for a while, and I'm finishing the final touches on Spirit Blade. I've also started a new project that I've had to set aside, but it's a great start on a fantastic story in an existing series. That hit a snag after 9,000 words, and I returned to another round of editing Spirit Blade. In a pause from another round after that, I picked it up for another thousand words, in which I happened to get through the difficulty and move the story in the direction I wanted it to go in a way that works perfectly. The mind works when it isn't "working", the unconscious unraveling problems when not in the conscious awareness.
Spirit Blade parts 1 and 2 (Hunters and Chains, respectively) are doing well so far and part 3, Armor, will be available in eleven days. This was a book I really wanted to make happen, but I knew it would take me away from other stories for a while and be a risk. It's not dark like Tiger Born and has a different feel. I wanted to make it different, but I don't like be inconsistent with series. This time, however, I made an exception and listened to the story and wrote what I wanted the story to be, and I'm happy with it.
In another week, I'll get back to the new WIP. Once that hits the magic mark of 30K words, I'll announce what I'm working on. For those who don't know, for some reason, I need a story to hit 30K words or higher to know that it's working. Any less and I can't be sure. I've had stories fall apart before or right around that point. Once I get past it, the story is generally established well enough that it will continue to the end. I like that I have a project ready to go and waiting for me. It's been a year working in the back of my mind, so it's more than ready.
In non-writing news, I still have my horse and three cats. I've been considering switching the cats to a raw diet for some time. The canned food gets expensive, but the dry food is not tolerated by my favorite kitty. His IBD flares up something fierce with the smallest amount of dry food. He likes it, which is the problem, but he can't have it. Our cats like both the crunchy dry and the soft canned foods, but since the Siamese have their issues, they do best on canned. I want to take that a step further and go with raw or at least partially raw. Through Jackson Galaxy, I've become aware of feline-nutrition.org, so I'll give it a try and see if it can help us.
My horse has been having his own problems again. I hope it's only due to stamping from flies on hard-packed dry ground much of the last month and not something else. I'm tired of hoof and leg problems. Even after a day off of work, he's still sore in his hips and shoulders. I'm giving him two days off, but I will lunge him so he still gets exercise. His hooves are improving and only exercise can continue to help that, but exercise could damage soft tissues. In palpating his legs, I don't get any reaction. The only place he could be injured is in his hooves, and I pray there's nothing damaged in there as recovery could take over a year. He'd rip anything left on his legs to shreds, so I don't dare waste my money on fly boots. It's frustrating. I'll keep riding and bringing him back into condition as he gains weight and muscle tone and his hooves improve, and hope the problem resolves itself. I can't take any more issues when he's otherwise sound. This makes me anxious to get back to my barefoot trimming studies, which I had to take a break from to finish the last details on Spirit Blade.