This week, nothing from the Time Management book. It become very apparent that I was at the finish line of Space Dutchman. I also wanted to have it done by September 30, which was Friday!

So I not only set aside the TM book (mostly), I didn’t do admin because getting this book done was the most important task (project management 101).


Cycling to add more details about the Dutchman spaceship.


Time Management: 1141 words

Space Dutchman: 803 words

Our weather took a nosedive today, and I needed a jacket. Usually, we’re bouncing between too hot and too cold about this time!’


This was the day I officially decided no admin. Space Dutchman was that close. I optimistically thought I could get the 800-word count. Nope. Not happening.

I started the major cycling round at 19600 and bounced around that number, no matter how much I added because other paragraphs were coming out.

I also discovered critical voice sneaked in. There had to be that “no hope” scene, right before the main character figured out what she needed to do. I started typing the scene and realized that I’d been anticipating who it involved.

I’d been adding details to other scenes that would lead to this second character. And I asked myself, why is it this character? He was relatively minor. He wasn’t a red shirt, but he was a level above that. So I flipped it to a more important character and the scene flowed out.

That also meant I would have to cycle back through the entire story and change one piece involving him. I decided I’d deal with that on Tuesday.

Something still wasn’t right. I started moving into the validation but stopped because something was off.

Still, it wasn’t much left to do, so I officially called the story done, which I always do about this point.


Cycling today was primarily running Word’s spell check, then Grammarly, then ProWriting Aid, then PerfectIt.

It’s a lot of programs, but they catch a lot of problems. Also a lot of false flags. Thanks to ProWriting Aid, I’m doing a lot less passive voice as compared to stories from past years. I also had a phrase that showed up a lot (as in sometimes twice in one paragraph). I added that to my macro to highlight it, and I saw a significant reduction in Space Dutchman.

(But you have to be careful. Critical voice can wriggle in and say, “Look at all these mistakes. That’s terrible! How could you have missed that?”

I looked at the validation, but I still didn’t know what’s wrong. Another rule from me: No fixing until I understand the problem.

Contacted the continuity editor for a slot on her schedule. I’m expecting it to be like last time, a month away. I wanted to get a slot before Nano hits and sucks them all up.


More cycling. I’m still stumped on the validation.

Continuity editor has a slot for next week! Now I have to figure out what’s wrong, and fast.


That morning, I woke up dreaming about that “no hope” scene. My creative voice was working on it behind the scenes. I had to change the character to yet another one. This wasn’t as simple as changing names. I had to cycle back through that scene again and make sure all the parts worked.


Now I tackle the validation and it all fits together, from beginning to end. Still want to circle back and look at the last few paragraphs, which I’ll do over the weekend.

Final word count 20,933

What’s next?

I’m looking at doing a small challenge, just until the end of December. It’ll be one novella a month, using the 800-word count. I think I’m ready to try that.

Critical voice immediately panicked, and rightly so. When I jumped into the Great Challenge (a story a week for a year), I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of those stories. I was lucky I didn’t fail the challenge for that reason.

The problem with three novellas is the cost of the editing. I’m just getting a continuity edit and a light copy edit. I don’t know how someone does this with developmental editing. That falls into $XXXX, not $XXX. Still, I don’t want to put myself in debt to get a story out.

But I don’t want them to sit either. The solution, so far, is to schedule them in alternating months with the option to adjust the dates.

October book: An amateur sleuth mystery.