For the first time in my writing career, I feel like I have a serious deadline. I feel like, finally, there are people out there in the world waiting for something, expecting me to produce. I have always been the type of person who responds well to the pressure of deadlines. I have always made them for myself even if they didn’t really exist and I may have done it again. You see, I have told everyone from here to Cambodia and back again that I will be bringing my next novel back to SE Asia in the spring of 2013. That sounds like a long time away, but the fact of the matter is that for that to happen, the finished manuscript — yes, the one that has already been written and revised and edited and revised again — needs to be in the hands of my publisher by October 2012. Eleven months from now. Dear Ward Wood, please avert your eyes now because I have to admit that I’ve fallen behind.  Yes, the word count meter off to the right of this page is creeping up word by word, but not fast enough. My plan was to finish the first draft by Christmas and as of today, I am just a bit over halfway done.  Okay. I have had some good reasons for falling behind. Namely the facts that I moved house while also traveling a lot to promote A Clash of Innocents. But nonetheless…..

So I’m taking myself to Ireland, the retreat called Anam Cara that I have mentioned here so often, the place where I always get the most writing done.  I can’t wait. And although I don’t see how I can write half a novel in a week, I know that being there will bring me much closer to my target.  And this time, to get myself in the mood, I’ve been able to watch a tv show which just aired featuring the Beara Peninsula, Anam Cara, and the visionary Sue Booth-Forbes who founded the retreat. “Wild Camping – Ireland” was aired on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 8pm (Sky 251) and the first episode focused on Beara as inspiration to writers with writer-in-residence Bernard O’Donoghue and Beara poet John O’Leary. Sue was there, too, talking about the retreat, making tea for her tv host guest, and ushering everyone to their best work. I believe you can still see the show on the Travel Channel website. If you’re interested in seeing why so many of us writers love to go there, do take a look.  Or, you could read an article about the place recently printed in The Irish Times.

So, in the spirit of work to be done, you may not see me again this week…or, if things are going swimmingly, you just may….