I'm happy to report that Joel Suzuki, Volume Five (the "Blue Book" in the series) is coming along quite nicely, thank you.
eleven weeks ago, I told you that although I was at 35,000 words (roughly 140 pages), I had reached the usual "Stop, Regroup, and Rewrite" point that I'd encountered while working on Volumes Two through Four.
So, I poured some hot tea (or cold beer, depending on the time of day) and backtracked. I believe I ended up retreating to around 17,000 words or so, cutting out a bunch of stuff in the process. From there, I wrote, wrote, and wrote some more, and with the help of being able to reuse some of what I had already done, I was able to catch up to where I was, and then some. As a result, the Blue Book (I have a subtitle, but as usual, I'll be saving it for a future announcement) is now up to - drum roll - 44,000 words, or roughly 176 pages.
The funny thing is that it seems like the more stuff I'm working on at the same time (in addition to Volume Five, I'm concurrently writing additional issues of Glorified), the more I seem to be able to crank out. It's probably because writing is like exercise - when it becomes a regular part of your routine, it just gets easier to do. Or at least it seems to.
Anyway, at this rate, with any luck I'll be able to finish the first draft sometime this year, which puts us on track for a 2020 release - sooner than expected. We shall see!