WorldCon is coming up, and I've used a bit of the Kickstarter money (hooray!) for promotional items. $250 will get me a hundred little b/w-printed chapbooks featuring the first two stories (from Kinko's), and five hundred full-color 4x6 postcards (from Modern Postcard), both with ordering info, of course. One of the lovely things about doing a Kickstarter is that I was able to budget in money for promoting this thing -- so many books get written and self-published and then sink like stones, not because they're not good, but because no one has heard of them.
I'm about 24K words in, into Part III, and I think about halfway through, which is pretty exciting! I'm expecting to make significant progress in the next few weeks, and am still hopeful of finishing a pretty clean draft by the end of August.
That said, a draft is a draft, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to do one more pass on it; workshop the hell out of it, etc. So I'm revising the release date for November 2012. For Kickstarter supporters, since I'd originally said September, if you WANT a sneak-peek at the first full draft, I'm happy to let you read it then. Although if I were you, I'd wait for the finished book. :-)
And here's a taste of the newest story, freshly-drafted: "She'd known that Uma disliked her, or at least disapproved of her. How could she not know that? The woman, scrupulously polite, offered samosas and sambar but never a smile. Uma hadn't known that Narita and Amara were dating -- or at least, Narita had thought she hadn't known. Now, she wasn't so sure. She remembered Uma as a colorful, energetic figure. But Narita didn't know this woman standing in front of her, in glowing white sari, tired brown skin, and mad tangles of black hair. Her cheekbones jagged, cheeks sunken. Limbs long and thin and sharp; Uma might be an angry artist's chiaroscuro representation of the war."
That's it, folks. More soon!