What an embarrassing first-world problem to have.

I’m a fan of the 3-stage Hero’s Journey — Departure, Initiation, and Return. And I’m a technical writer, so the structure is evident without shame or pretense. The Hero Crosses a River. Sorry if it’s trite, but for me, it's essential.

(Personal aside. I lived on a boat. The crossing a river or rounding a point is more than simply metaphorical. It really is transformative.)

Process-wise, I tend to write serially. So. Getting to the river crossing and leaving from the river crossing are things that happen to me — the writer — in order.

Which brings me to today’s problem.

My sketches of the lost mage city in the Outlands are on the other computer.

Yes. I have two computers and I’ve managed to disconnect some documents from the rest of the five-part series of books. I use Scrivener, so each book has the text plus a gazillion other pages that are not the manuscript. Scrivener has templates for places and character sketches. I really need to add mage chants and sympathetic bindings as separate templates. And outside Scrivener there’s another 50-odd files on this computer.

But no sketches for the city. They’re on the other computer.

(I’m a high-tech software person with Apple Cloud drive and Dropbox. And I’m still disorganized. Ugh.)

I’ve got a “Places” note in Scrivener with "Far into the Outlands. Nearly to the Western Empire” as the title. But. No drawing. No distances. Nothing about the river valley.

Plenty of writers can barely afford a first computer. I’m really in no position to complain about having two computers and managing to be disorganized.

Do I press on? The outline describes the multi-stage Initiation, something Campbell calls the “Road of Trials.” The outline and the map evolved side-by-side: the specific trials and the locations are part of the plan, I don’t really need the map. But I also recall a note about the upper Schroon river.

Or, do I pause here to do an edit pass on Book II, The Sword and Crystal?

Or. Do I start researching agents and organizing my next batch of queries?