I really am embarrassed that it is May 2016 and I don’t have the third book finished yet, so I feel an explanation is necessary.

If you’ve ever been in the position of having first a baby and then a toddler in the house, you can understand how that eats away into your time. The first big delay, in 2015, was simple enough to explain: I agreed to become the primary care-giver for my son for a year. Family and a part-time nanny helped, but even so I found myself putting 60 hours a week into Daddy Day Care Service. I don’t regret it, but like almost all new parents, the demands on my time were grossly underestimated by all concerned.

When that first year ended, my first priority had to be putting my career as a freelance writer back on track, since that is my bread and butter income. Only then could I return to writing the new novel.

At that point the issue became how I’m committed to maintaining the same standards I set for the first two novels, and that means having decent blocks of quality time to do the writing. My freelance work (whiskey, travel, wine, etc.) can be done here and there, but I learned a long time ago that my best work in terms of fiction happens when I can establish and sustain some momentum. I could slap my ideas together in dribs and drabs, but it wouldn’t be something I’d be proud of.

Even now, even a minor hiccup in the house tends to upset my whole apple cart. I did some good work for a few weeks in January and February, but then had to stop because we we had to move. That became such an utter fiasco that the entire month of March was lost, and then family demands wrecked April for me.

That said, I’m in another of those windows where good work is possible now, and I’m into the third part of the book.

Since I finally have something to report, the time has come for a status update.

As many who would read this already know, work on the third and concluding book in the Stonewall Goes West trilogy was postponed by the birth of my son, Luke. I went to part-time work status and began “Daddy Day Care Service,” so writing fiction went on the shelf. At that time, I had written about 50,000 words of draft material on the new book.

The last few weeks have seen sustained work on the new novel again. The “sustained” part is important, because I’ve tried restarting many times only to be completely derailed by events, and found myself unable to work on it again for weeks or even months at a time. If there is one thing I’ve learned about this process, it’s that it only works if I get some momentum going and it cannot be done in dribs and drabs.

This is the most work I’ve been able to do since my son was born, so it looks like I will finally be able to push on to the very end. I will post step-by-step status updates, and at some point release a couple of scenes as a sneak peek.

With Spring 2015 coming up, the third and final book in the Stonewall Goes West trilogy is due… or it should have been due, had I not known a major, life-changing event was in the works. Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted that there was no ad at the end of Mother Earth, Bloody Ground announcing a publication date for the end of the series, and that was for a very good reason: my wife was six months pregnant at the time.

The third book was half-finished when my son was born, and since then it’s been on the shelf. I hope to start working on it again a few weeks from now, so it should be published before the year is out.