I'm still working on it.
It's hard to explain without giving too much away, but there are actually three "strands" of this story that I have to write at the same time - one is backstory, one is the primary story, and the third is... well. I can't exactly give that one away without spoiling anything, suffice it to say that the plot is still
a lot more complex than yet meets the eye, somewhat like an iceberg where you only see 10% of its mass. I actually have quite a few secrets left to spill... and the story itself looks like it may end on a semi-cliffhanger note, leaving you (hopefully) satisfied with the story, but wondering what happens next... which inadvertently leaves it open for a sequel. When this is done, I'll have enough material for at least two short novels, I think (excluding potential sequels)... and I know from experience that I always wind up with more than I expect.
I'm actually working on it today... backstory again, sort of. The story of Hraden's ship, specifically... it has a long and detailed history I want to have completely down to keep from contradicting myself - a history that will become apparent in the next four chapters of the main storyline. It should hopefully come as a huge shocker when you guys read it, if I do it right...
And that's another reason why I've been procrastinating a bit... I'm worried about how you guys will receive these next chapters. For one thing, they're all more or less action, with a great deal of drama and suspense - I feel it's difficult for me to get those down appropriately. I want to do right by you guys, and it's making me a little nervous about finishing it up. I could still conceivably get it out to you guys tomorrow, but I worry I'll miss something. So, yes, it comes down to me still being worried about my writing quality, despite having won first place in one of the LTFCs.
I'm working on it, though... it'll happen. I think it's even more important that it happens now, to give people something to talk about besides the Joshite/Abandonite stuff.
The ACT hasn't happened yet; I'm still studying for it. I'm kind of concerned about whether or not I'll be able to find a way to take it at all, really... it depends on a few uncertain factors, but I'm hopeful. I wish they gave the tests more than twice a year, but such is life.