This will be a rather long entry, as I have several things to mention.
As I predicted earlier, real life has indeed intervened and kept me from writing as much as I'd like. However, over the past three or four days, I've been able to jump headlong into chapter 65 of LiaB, and I've taken a good chunk out of it. With a little luck, I hope to have the chapter posted sometime next week. I'm likely to remain busy for the remainder of January, so don't expect too much just yet. I should be back up to speed (writing-wise) in three or four weeks.
One thing I've noticed when writing a story of this length is how important -- and challenging -- it is to remain focused. Here's an example of what I'm talking about. If you track the dates on which I've posted each chapter of LiaB, you'll notice that I've maintained a pretty steady rate throughout, with the exception of a noticeable slowdown that lasted from mid-April through July of last year. During that period, I decided to jump ahead in the story and work on the section that would become chapters 61, 62 and 63 -- the "Victor section." That section crystallized from a series of emails with a behind-the-scenes collaborator (to whom I am eternally grateful), and before too long, I felt compelled to jump ahead and actually write that section, while at the same time putting on hold the posting of new chapters. The interesting question is: as an author, should you follow strong creative urges like this, and strike while the iron is hot? That's what I did, and the thing is, when the scene was finished, I had a devil of a time finding the motivation to jump back to the "active" point in the story. I wanted to keep writing the newer material. It actually took me a couple of weeks to get back in the mood, but eventually I went back and started to fill in the gap (it was about 12 chapters at the time) until I finally hooked up with the newer material. On the whole, I'm happy that I did that ... I'm very pleased with the way that Victor storyline turned out.
Why am I mentioning this now? Because over the holidays, real life caused me to go nearly two weeks with no time to work on LiaB. However, during quiet moments, my creative writing mind was still at work. Strangely enough, the ideas for not one but two new stories dawned on me during that time. In the first few days of January, I felt an urge to write the beginnings of both stories. After writing an entire prologue of one story, and about half of chapter 1 in the other -- striking while the iron was hot, in a sense -- I stopped myself. It was time to re-establish my priorities.
Yes, fans of LiaB -- fear not. I've re-focused on LiaB, and put the other two stories on the back burner where they belong. LiaB is a very special story for me, and bringing it to a conclusion which does it justice (i.e. not a "rush to completion" job) is first and foremost in my mind. I do have the remainder of the story mapped out mentally, and though we're about to enter the homestretch, there's still a ways to go yet.
Of course, this also means that when LiaB is finished, I have a couple of other things in the works, and will be able to jump into them quickly.
On another note, I've noticed that some other authors occasionally solicit feedback from readers who might have relevant expertise in certain fields. With the LiaB characters moving into their adult lives, I'm about to encounter situations where I'll have to write about subject areas where I have limited knowledge. Therefore, it's very likely that I'll be soliciting help of this nature in the very near future.
Finally, I have a confession to make, and with it, I'll give you a little teaser. :) It's been assumed by most of you that I'm a new author, and that LiaB is my first attempt at erotic writing. That's not entirely true -- it's actually my second attempt. I do have another story, a fairly long one that's been incomplete and inactive for a while, up on SOL under another pen name. I'm not going to reveal which story it is (at this time), but I will tell you this. I intend to give three or four characters from that story brief cameos in LiaB. Let me say this -- it hasn't happened yet, and it definitely won't happen until after chapter 70. But let's see if anyone out there is sharp-eyed enough to catch it. :)