... with my new keyboard.
This sleek lookin' piece of kit from Logitech. It's solar powered, promising three months off one good hour long charge in the sun, and can swap between three Bluetooth devices at once, which is good, cos I'm running an iPad air and a Mini as second and third screens for maps, dictionary, Britannica etc...
And best of all it has a pleasingly clicky keyboard. There's nothing like a nice, chunky click to make you feel as though you've written something significant.
First up, I'm charging through a draft of Protocol, Book 2, before moving onto the final in the first tranche of titles in Feb. I've got 'em plotted out and it's now a matter of standing in front of the iMac in my dictation rig, knocking out the pomodori. Got nothing done over Xmas/NY so hoplefully that mean I'm refreshed, rather than rusty.
I'm filling in for a couple of columists at the Age and Herald in early January, which replaces the income I drop when Blunty goes away for Xmas, but once they're done with, I'm going to try dial right back on media work this year. I dropped off a lot of my feature writing over the past eighteen months (and a lot of the mags I once worked for have dropped off the twig too), but what I need to do next is wean myself off the smaller pieces that come in at the rate of two or three a month. The pay rate for them is collpasing and they're becoming little better than distractions from the more lucrative business of writing books.
I made two poor moves last year. Or rather, one bad move, and one premature. The bad move was getting caught up in other people's projects, speciafically a film gig and a separate film-book tie in. I initially resisted the film gig but got talked into it. Shouldn't have. It chewed up half my year and put me way behind on my primary projects. And all the time I knew I wasn't cut out for it. Lesson learned? Stick to your knitting, JB.
The other lesson was that I could ramp up traffic here at the Burger to a point where it replaced most of my other media income, but to do that I'd have to work on the blog full time for six days a week. That's time better spent writing books. Another expensive lesson, but one I'm happier to have learned. I'll file the information away under 'U' for Useful.
Book publishing has recovered from the nadir of a couple of years ago when Borders collapsed and took 25% of the market (and everyone's income) down with them. Ebooks seem to have stablised at about a qurter of the market, and pleasingly, shorter genre fiction appears to be a natural fit with them.
So this year I finish and publish the first three Dave Hooper novels. I go back to Stalin's Hammer, and the Disappearance ebooks I've yet to write. I start serious work on a hard copy nonfiction title that's been hanging around for years, getting ignored. And I stay the hell away from bright shiny and ultimately pointless and distracting commissions from magazines, film people, game devs, blogs, everyone.
Aside from Blunty, in 2014 I'm just writing books.
So if you see me hanging around with magazine or other media types, take me by the ear and drag me back to the book writin' barn for a paddlin'. It's where I belong. It's what I'll deserve.