Dawn of Humanity / Natural Selection

How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–9

Natural Selection is Book 3 of my trilogy, Dawn of Humanity:

A historical thriller in the spirit of Jean Auel, Dawn of Humanity follows a band of early humans as they struggle to survive in a world where Nature is King, where they are prey not predators. 

New tribe members, intimidating changes, and an unexpected end

Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a combination of man’s developing intellect and inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to the task they must complete. Based on true events.

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Here’s what I did the past month:

I pushed back my publication date (again). 

If you watch my Milestones in the blog sidebar, you see I change the completion date often. When I started this book last Fall (2021), I thought I was close to done. I drafted it at the same time I drafted Book 2 in the trilogy (Laws of Nature) and planned to edit, rewrite, publish.

That was nine months ago!

Don’t get me wrong–I am making progress (finally) and feeling good about the story (finally). I spend a lot of time editing, re-reading, and more than I expected chopping out extraneous material. In writing, often less is more.

How are you doing?

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022

74 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–9

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. glad you are making progress, do not want to hurry a good thing… whenever I try to set goals for myself, the words of Rose Milligan come to mind… 🙂

    Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
    to paint a picture, or write a letter,
    bake a cake, or plant a seed.
    Ponder the difference between want and need.

    Dust if you must, but there is not much time,
    with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
    Music to hear, and books to read,
    friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
    with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
    a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
    this day will not come round again.

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
    old age will come and it’s not kind.
    And when you go, and go you must,
    you, yourself, will make more dust!
    (Rose Milligan)

    Hope all is well, you and family staying safe and until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am looking forward to reading Natural Selection 😀 I also had hoped Book 3 in the Servant of the gods would be ready for publication but had to set back the release date. All in good time, as they say 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi there
    I was just looking up your books last week and wanted to know which one you think I should start with? (And think I will pass on the educational tech series / but they did look awesome).

    I like your approach to sharing the timeline, but like Miriam, I am not sure I could do that yet. But you model it with such ease and maybe I can eventually – because it really does connect with folk when we share progress, pauses, and productivity (something like that).
    I paused all of my projects in June and it was such a good move.
    Now I do feel a little restless to start again and keep getting sidetracked. I have a “garden analogies” book that at the top of my project list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garden analogies–that sounds interesting. Where are you thinking of that going?

      Dawn of Humanity (Book 1 is Born in a Treacherous Time) spotlights man 2 million ya when we were barely human. Such a fascinating time! To see how we survived the brutal landscape. Crossroads (Book 1 is Survival of the Fittest) is man as the alpha of the wild world. We have figured out a lot of what eventually allows us to dominate. I found it so fascinating to research.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the suggestions
        And the garden analogues book has been an idea sine around 2007….
        And I Think it is 90% done (but as you noted recently – that means nada because when we start digging in we don’t know what the book needs! Right)
        And so I was going to hunker down in June and hustle to finish (semi truck mode)
        But then I did a complete 360!
        Paused all projects – spent a week with my momma – had out of town family here for 10 days – and glad I did what was needed rather than forced the finish

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I sympathize, Jacqui. Have been there far too often. The novella I’m releasing in Sept. has been a work in progress for six years, and it’s short! I thought it was done about 18 months back, then realized there was work to do. Now, I’m finally pleased with the result.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t do deadlines for my projects. It plays havoc with my General Anxiety Disorder. Instead, I look at what I have in front of me at that moment and work onward. Perhaps I’d be able to work with deadlines if I had been a teacher like you in my past.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I said this before, Jacquie! Showing the timeline in public is intimidating and puts me under too much pressure. Even though I had timelines when working, I don’t have a solid timeline for my personal projects. You’re so brave. Adjusting and readjusting your timeline is a normal thing to do. Thank you for the update.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m glad you are still making progress, Jacqui. And that you feel like you are making progress as well. I agree that sometimes less is more. Especially in writing. I like the fact that you have your covers ready before the story is polished. That’s something to hold on to and encourage you

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think you’ve got the right attitude about this, Jacqui. It will be ready when it’s ready. Much better (in my opinion) to take the extra time needed. I’ve heard many authors say they wish they’d taken more time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • These folks are a-religious, but my next trilogy will be 75,000 years ago. I think by then, our predecessors had some inkling of a higher being. If you have thoughts on that, I’d love to hear them. Or resources.


  9. I appreciate that you’re willing to change your deadline to make sure the book is the best it can possibly be. I too had significant delays on my book III, but it was worth it to be certain it contained the basis to finish well with books IV and V. Best of luck with finishing yours, Jacqui!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Don’t be so hard on yourself on your writing deadlines. Books have a birthdate they do not share. Being born a book is a mystery. In the meantime as an author you get to gestate and feel the heartburn. Keep going…with all you accomplish each day making any progress is a win. So take it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I find the more I write, the more time I spend on editing and revising. Perhaps we give ourselves permission to take our time and get it as good as can be. I now say to myself, It will get done when it gets done.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah, the life of a writer: write, rewrite, and repeat. Glad you’re feeling good about the progress, Jacqui! I love your stick-to-it-ness.


  13. Hi Jacqui – goals are fine, but better if they can be moved a little later to take the pressure off. I feel certain you’re moving along – thanks for updating us – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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