Major news: even though I'm only 48, I was accepted for early retirement at HP and could be writing full time as early as September 1! The kids go back to school September 4. That month is looking so good. For now, I have to try hard to focus on July.
While I'm waiting for the last two reads of the sea epic "Contagion of the Gods", I'm plugging away on "Queen of the Pirates": 35K words/14 chapters, and almost exactly one-third done based on my outline. I should just make the mid-September line-edit. Currently, I'm going back for some world building. I've never needed the days of the week before in sword and sorcery, but as the new emperor, Pagaose has a lot of appointments. Try to detail a schedule without day names. I made Imperial days close to ours but more elemental: Starday, Sunday, Moonday, Waterday, Windday, Stoneday, Fireday. I also have a Dawn people legend to write--the Song of Serog, how she lost her seven daughters and challenged the council of gods in her grief. Once I get these ironed out, the next section (where all the heroes meet together again) should write itself.
Oddly, that self-writing thing makes me paranoid. If it's too easy, is it good? Am I just writing another "Love Boat" episode or real pirate action? I have two other stories crowding in my brain now, each one swearing it's better than the one I'm writing now. They always do that. I even have a voice whispering that if I rewrite Traveler 1, two will sell more.
The writing expands to exceed the available time.