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Salve! Greetings from these, the bittersweet dog-days of summer, the last gasp of freedom before school, the final combustion of happiness and carefree family time, the… you get the point.

Here in Maryland, it’s been a busy, busy summer. Lots of work and vacation, and even some writing! Laurel Emperor is now (officially) halfway finished. We’re over 52,000 words, and some of the most critical battles and scenes are happening right now!

How’d I make so much progress? Simple! On vacation, we didn’t have wireless. After some fidgeting and ‘technical know how’ (Read: Google + YouTube), I learned how to use my google docs in offline format. As a result, I got a lot of work done without many of the normal distractions that stop me from doing my best work.

So, if you ever get stumped, turn off the internet! It also works wonders for your reading game, sleeping game, and anything else that requires a lot of dedicated attention.

Also, to be more accountable to myself and because ‘work expands to fill the available time’, I’ve established a ‘drop dead’ date of November 31st as the last day to finish typing.

Perhaps this will kick my derier into shape and get some work done!

Here’s a snippet from this vacation’s writing.

“Sir, the primus imperio is on the wireless, he’d like to speak with you.” Airman Shavo had to shout to be heard over the engine clatter. The glass-enclosed observation bubble attached to the front of the tiny, ten-man airship was tightly packed, between Shavo, File Leader Jourm Venderix, and himself, Krius Monventus.

“Put him on.” He accepted the clunky ear-speaker and the microphone.

“Engineer Lead, how goes our air support? Over.”

“On station in less than twenty minutes, Brittenburg Lead, as promised.”

“Anything else to report?”

“Grecia Lead is approaching the ridge before the castellum. Enemy forces have closed the gap to less than two miles. Cavalry to the front, mixed infantry in the first line, more organized infantry in the second.”

“Any sign of General Minnicus?”

Monventus looked at Venderix, who put down his binoculars. The men knew why Brittenburg Lead was asking. Word had leaked out about the strike in Traianopolis. Every soldier in the army was out for blood and vengeance. Venderix shook his head. Airman Shavo bit his lip nervously. Monventus spoke.

“Not yet, Brittenburg Lead.”

“Understood. Contact as soon as sighted.”

“Copy that, Brittenburg Lead.”

“Brittenburg Lead out.” Shavo took the microphone and speaker back from the master engineer. He then carefully clicked the transmitter into the off position. Monventus waited until he had done so to speak again.

“I’ll take the blame, should it come to light. But it won’t, will it?”

“No, sir.” Both airmen chorused.

“Good. Now, Let’s put this plan into motion.”

Enjoy the last few days of summer!