I have several orders of business to mention. First off, Chapter 67 of LiaB is complete, and will be posted shortly, as soon as it comes back from my editor.
Just a heads-up here. I mentioned earlier that I'd reach a point in the story where I would begin to move through time at a greatly increased rate. We're almost there; I plan to do just that after chapter 68. You'll see that it's a perfectly logical place to hit the fast-forward button. To give a feel for what will happen, I expect to be saying goodbye to the 1980's at the end of chapter 69. The final number of chapters in the story should come in at around 80, give or take a couple, plus an epilogue. So there's lots of story left, and fret not, some interesting times still lie ahead for Pat and the crew.
With Pat, Inez and the other characters having reached full adulthood, I'm finding myself in a situation where I'll need to write about subject matters that I'm not too familiar with. I'll do what other authors have done in this situation: reach out to you, the readers, to give me some guidance here.
Question #1: Is there anyone out there familiar with the process and challenges of becoming a PhD-level psychologist? What are the academic and residency requirements, and what is the time frame? (Yes, it's pretty obvious which character this pertains to.)
Question #2: Is anyone familiar with the television/media industry? What is a typical career path leading to a position as an on-air reporter? (Pretty obvious who I'm talking about here, as well.)
Thanks in advance for your help, and I'll probably be asking more questions like this in the not too distant future.
Finally, I want to do something I probably should have done a while ago: publicly acknowledge a few individuals who have contributed invaluable assistance, and without whose input I would never have been able to craft a story of this length. As I mentioned in LiaB's prologue, I wrote chapters 1 through 5 way back in 2007. Although I didn't post any part of the story back then, I did enlist the help of editors at that point. Tendertouch and Bandit IRA, both of whom have stories posted on SOL, provided vital editing assistance for those early chapters, helping to get the story off to a good start.
I began to write chapter 6 in June 2012, and started posting chapters in October of that year. From that point on, Seattle22 has served as primary editor. Even though he's told me on more than one occasion that I don't give him nearly enough work to do (LOL), his assistance is greatly appreciated. He unfailingly gets the chapters back to me well-edited and in a timely fashion, which has allowed me to maintain a consistent posting schedule. He even managed to stay on course during the Seahawks' recent run through the NFL playoffs.
LastCallAgain has also provided some top-notch editing assistance on a periodic basis. There was another editor who helped me out earlier in the story, but I fell out of touch with him around chapter 33. Unfortunately, I never knew his site username, so I can't acknowledge him publicly. If he's still out there and reads this, drop me a line and I'll add you to this post.
And last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn't give a special nod to mcguy101, who has served as a constant behind-the-scenes collaborator going back to about Chapter 28. As the story has progressed, he has gotten to know the LiaB characters almost better than I know them myself. There are many individual scenes in the story, too numerous to mention, that have originated from his suggestions. Those scenes were refined and enhanced through a constant exchange of emails, and it's safe to say that LiaB would be much the poorer without mcguy101's help. If you get a chance, check out his latest serial, "Mike and Malok"; it's an excellent read.
As always, thanks for reading!