Book 3 first draft complete

I’ve just finished the first draft of Serendipity at last! It’s taken a couple of months longer than I expected, one reason being that it’s longer. The books in the Foothold universe fit into three main arcs, and Serendipity brings the first arc to a close. That means that I needed to wrap this storyline up and couldn’t pull the trick that I did when The Seasoning ran over length – shift it to the next book!

Serendipity will now go on the shelf for four or five weeks while I forget all about it. Then I’ll come back and edit it with fresh eyes. Meanwhile I won’t be idle – I’m turning back to Foothold for a re-edit and relaunch. I haven’t used professional editors until now but I believe it’s a must-have to turn out a professional product so both Foothold and The Seasoning will get re-edits over the next six months. There’s a new cover coming for Foothold too so that it has the same look and feel as The Seasoning, so look out for that!

SpaceX CRS-5 launch perfect

Exciting to watch a SpaceX Falcon 9 lift off yesterday – a picture-perfect night launch. Photo below is a shot of the solar panels on the Dragon capsule unfurling with the sun rising in the background.

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Launch video

Landing of the first stage a partial success – stage made it back to the barge but landed hard – that’s still a fantastic achievement though, and the next step on the way to success!

SpaceX attempts to land a rocket tomorrow

Exciting news if you’re a rocket fan – SpaceX are tomorrow launching their CRS-5 mission to the ISS. What’s special about this mission is that the first stage of their Falcon-9 rocket is fitted with landing legs, and will attempt to fly back and land on this ocean-going barge:

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Liftoff is at January 6 11:20 UTC / 6:20 EST, and can be viewed live at http://www.spacex.com/webcast/. They get a one-second (!) launch window, so it will either go, or get scrubbed. Here’s hoping they go. I don’t think there’ll be live coverage of the landing – we’ll probably find out how that went a day or so later.

Oh, and in other news, I’m now 80K words into the first draft of The Seasoning. Unfortunately I’m back at my day job today after 2 weeks holiday, so the pace will slow some.

Progress on book 2

I’ve hit 65,000 words on the first draft of The Seasoning, which is due out May. It may sound like I could deliver early but it does take quite a long time to get through the editing and beta-reading stages, to to mention the “resting stage” one should leave between finishing the draft and starting self-editing. I guess we’ll see.

Meanwhile, Russia has successfully launched their Angara-5, their new heavy rocket:

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Which is a big deal for them. Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsQOpD4TIZM

And more info here: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/angara5_flight1.html