Well, today I celebrated by 31st birthday by, well, goofing off a little! I had planned to put in a full day's work today, but it didn't happen. One chapter instead of two; still, three days solid work should see this first book done, and I reckon that isn't a small thing. I think I've pretty much decided not only that I'm going to immediately to the second Alamo book, but that I'm going to make it four and two. That isn't absolutely certain at this point, but I'm leaning that way. I already have the plot of the next one firming up in my mind, and I think I should probably take full advantage of that if I can. The current idea is that I take a few days off after finishing this one, then plough right into the second – you can be sure that I will chronicle this on my blog.
The Enterprise Experiment is coming to an end after two episodes. Last night I watched an episode where nothing happened. Literally. Some aliens had killed some other aliens, hooked them up to a machine to steal their precious bodily fluids (I dub them Ripperites) and the Enterprise crew...turned up. Had a look around, left, then Captain Archer – who seems to have decided that all decisions must take at least a day to make and have little basis in reason – turned around and started a Quincy-style investigation. Then the bad guys turned up, Doctor Thermian told him that humans had the same precious bodily fluids, and they cried for help to yet another alien ship which turned up. Sigh. There was some rubbish about a slug, and Ensign Sato learned a valuable life lesson while throwing gobblegook at an alien. (She apparently is better capable of translating previously unknown languages on the fly than a computer. Science!!!) So, that's that.
I will start another experiment shortly instead. Right now I'm in the middle of preparing for a new Labyrinth Lord campaign, starting in a couple of weeks time (I've been getting the itch to run again for a little while, and this is one that I haven't ever properly run) so that's occupying quite a bit of my 'not-writing' time...as is the Kerbal Space Program, about which more tomorrow, but once that's set up I'm going to start some researching. My library, as anyone who knows me will testify, is a bit bonkers. I have shelves on the history of spaceflight, on Early American Wars, on the Russian Civil War, on Polar Exploration, Roman History...it goes on like that. As part of my ongoing 'bring order to chaos' personal campaign, I intend to pick one topic a month and work on it. This will mean reviews for the blog, probably thoughts that I might write up in essay format...heck, I've wanted to have another go at that damn dissertation since I discovered the bloody thing. I'm a lot better writer and researcher now. I suppose, ten years on, I damn well should be, but I want to be a historian again. Been too long. (There is the possibility that a couple of books might come out of this as well – I've been wanting to write my 'history of the space race' for ages. And I don't think a good one-volume Russian Civil War has ever been written. I probably should learn Russian first for that though...which is on my to-do list, actually.)
Hmm...what else? I had a splendid birthday today, I should really flag that!!! A fantastic meal, great bundle of gifts, but more important than either of those the good wishes of a lot of great people. That's the main thing...in most ways, that's the only thing. I got to read the last Lost Fleet book – except that I hope it isn't the last. Detailed review to follow, but the gist is that it is a good book as part of a series, but doesn't really feel as if it caps off any of the ongoing threads that we really care about. I've been acting under the assumption that it is a trilogy, but I really hope that it isn't the case and there is another one – or possibly more than one – on the way. When I set out to write military science-fiction John Hemry/Jack Campbell was one of my big influences, I'll admit – the Lost Fleet books are my favourite milsf series of the last decade. Though I really should start those Kris Longknife books...I think a 'month of milsf' might be coming up at some point, though I intend to start with 'War of 1812...ish.' Probably.