Actually, the weather has been terribly cold. Single digits and low-teens. Typical January weather in Chicago, but I'll complain about it anyway.
But, being huddled up in the house, trying to stay warm, does have one advantage. It gives you lots of time to write! And with that, I'm happy to announce the beginning of Relativity Book 7.
This story was totally ready to publish, as promised, on Monday. In fact, we had all of the teasers and deviation pages ready to go. However, after giving it one last read-over, while I loved the story, there were a few things that bugged me. So we made the decision to hold off a few days. (I actually planned to hold-off just 1 or 2 days, but then real life happened -- mostly being swamped at my 9-to-5 job --and that pushed it over.)
This was really a story where I was reminded of the meaning of the phrase, "kill your darlings." While the story was good, it just wasn't to the level I wanted it to be... the level it deserved to be. There were a few things I absolutely loved, but just didn't quite work, and got cut in that final edit. While I ended up trimming an additional 1000 words, that wasn't the biggest problem. There were a few tricky sections, simple paragraphs and sentences, that gave me fits. I literally spent 3 hours working on one paragraph which didn't flow well, and nothing worked. Gave new meaning to the word "grind." In the end, the updated final is not substantially different, just cleaner and tighter.
That said, in many ways, this isn't a new episode, but a continuation of the last episode. So, I will give a fair warning to new readers that if you are jumping into the series with the current story, it would probably best if you backed-up one and began with A Dish Best Served Cold.
The next story will continue to explore the aftermath of these episodes, but it will be a much-needed lighter story. "Checkmate" in about 2 weeks.
Oh, and while I did mention this in the past (and it's not stated in the story), this episode was named after this tongue-twister/poem which I have loved since I was a little kid...