October 2010 - Same, only one year later. (And believe me, I put a lot of work into Hal 5 during that time.)
The problem is I really, really liked Hal 4 and yet it's important the next book be even better. That's a hell of a challenge when you're working on an early draft of what is supposed to be your most amazing work ever - it's unpolished, it's incomplete, there's very little humour and it feels like you have a mountain to climb.
So, three days before November 1 I had a brainwave. Why NOT do Nanowrimo 2010? For some time now I've wanted to write one or more Hal Spacejock Junior novels featuring my character as a ten-year-old. My wife has been advising me to do this for ages, and over the past five years I've probably done ten author visits to primary schools for every one appearance for adult readers, despite the fact Hal Spacejock was written for the teen/adult market. (E.g. Hitchhiker's Guide)
In the end I decided Nano is just one month - and Hal 5 is already a year late anyway. I figured I'd knock off two 25,000 word junior novels (let's call them parts 1 and 2 of the same book to satisfy the nano nitpicks) and then go back to Hal 5 on the 1st December.
So, what progress? I'll tell you what progress .. it's day 14 and I've just capped off the completed first draft of Hal Junior book one (26,000 words) by writing a killer ending. It's so refreshing to have one viewpoint character and no subplots.
In a few minutes I'll make a start on book two, which is like ... wow.
Only problem is, now I have to top book one ;-)