An Update on Curveball Issue 18

It’s mid-October, NaNoWriMo is starting, and you’re probably wondering where the next issue of Curveball is. The answer is: it’s late. It’s really late. It is at Hawkeye-levels of tardiness. I hope it will be out in October.

Here’s what happened.

The August issue of Curveball (Issue 17) went over pretty well, I thought. It moved the story forward nicely, and it provided a nice place to pause the New York action so I could focus more on the mystery of the island. Issue 18, originally the September issue, was going to focus exclusively on the mysterious island that David Bernard was on—what it was, why he was there, that kind of thing. I’d been teasing the island for two issues and it was time to deliver. I even said as much in the comments section of Issue 17.

Immediately after Issue 17 was out I set to work on 18. I had the general outline of what would happen, and some specifics set up nicely. I had a pretty detailed breakdown of Part One. I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote, and when I just starting on Part Three I decided to look at Parts One and Two.

They were terrible.

I don’t mean “false modesty, oh, it’s really not all that” terrible. And I don’t mean “it’s not up to my usual standards but it’ll do in a pinch” terrible. I mean “holy crap, as someone who likes these kinds of stories I would not read this and I’m embarrassed to have written it” terrible. It simply wasn’t good, and I really need the island story to be good.

So I started rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting, and rewriting, and rewriting, and so forth and so on and then it was October and all the jokes I’d been making in mid-September about how this really should have been the October issue wound up being prophetic observations instead. And now I’m so snarled up in trying to sort this out I am at the point where I’m going to have to try something different—tell a different part of the story for Issue 18, and save the mystery of the island for another day… which will put off a few painful problems, give me some time, but it also puts me farther behind because now I’m starting from scratch.

That’s where I am right now: I am rebooting Issue 18. if I am very lucky it will be ready and out before October ends.

Thank you, those of you who are being patient. Apologies to those of you who aren’t. Hopefully Issue 18 will be worth the wait, even if it doesn’t wind up being what promised, and when I finally do focus on the island—maybe issue 19, maybe 20 or 21—I hope I get it right.

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