When working on a new story, it's difficult to quantify the progress I'm making. I know that there is some, but I write in a number of genres and have a submission and publication schedule that controls most of my life. That schedule includes the release of a mainline novel and a non-fiction work this year in addition to the new erotica series here on SOL and elsewhere. But progress on any front is progress on all. So, here is what the schedule looks like at the moment and how I'll be managing the new Rita story along with the mystery that it supports.
1. Edits on "The Art & Science of Love" (ASL) are progressing and I expect they will be finished by the end of the month. As soon as the edits are finished, I'll repost the updated version here at SOL along with a summary of what changed so you don't have to read everything over again if you just want to pick up the changes. For the most part, the changes include spelling and grammar errors, but there are a couple of places where I'm "fleshing out" a storyline. Expect the updates here on SOL to coincide with the release of a Kindle eBook on or about January 31. If I can get all the things arranged, there will also be a print version available. I'm currently working on a cover.
2. "Blackjack. Blackmail. Blacklist." (BBB) is progressing well, but I didn't realize that many of the things I thought I had written in the first draft seem to have been written only in my head. There are significant gaps in the draft that I thought I had already written, but that I'm now working on from scratch. That's rather jarring. Remembering completely composed sections that aren't in the actual draft just shows how long I've been thinking about this piece. Of course, the key element has been how the pieces of "My Lovely Assistant Rita" (MLAR) will show up. I believe that I have this figured out at last. Many thanks to those who have responded to my previous posts with ideas. In BBB, there will be a few excerpts from MLAR, but they will primarily be teasers drawn from the more extended work. The actual text of MLAR will not show up in BBB. Instead, BBB will detail the events that inspire the author to write MLAR. As a result, you'll see how certain "real life" events for the author take on a new perspective when placed in the lives of Doc and Rita. Which brings me to:
3. "My Lovely Assistant Rita." This story picks up where ASL left off, with a burgeoning relationship between Doc and Rita and her "research" into what inspires Doc to paint. She will be setting up experiments that deprive Doc of one or more of his senses to see how his painting is effected, and of course, will also include unique settings and sexual experiences to see how he responds. Just as a teaser, here are some of what I think of as scene titles from the upcoming work: "Sex Aids--An Introduction," "Nurse Starch--I Don't Bluff," "Massage Therapy--An Open Hand," "Slumber Party--What He Could Only See," "The Dancer--Perfect Balance," "Hooker--A Night on the Town," "Phone Sex--A Few Miles and a Few Days," and "Strip Blackjack--New Rules." These aren't all of them, and at the moment they are concepts based on the situations in BBB and may change significantly when Doc actually tells about the adventures.
As far as posting goes, I expect to start posting BBB at the end of February. My best guess is that it will be about 20 chapters and I expect to post three times a week. After the first week, I'll post the first chapter of MLAR. It's posting schedule will be irregular as I'll be posting a new chapter of MLAR whenever the character in BBB does, so they will synchronize with the progress of that story.
So, there you have my progress update. Keep those cards and letters coming. Do you have an idea for a scene that would help Doc in his artistic discovery? LMK.