I've been covering Stress, in Hearts & Souls. Primarily, its a counter-resource. Something you earn that is primarily negative to the hero, but creates interesting fallout for the player. I've started writing the guidelines for what levels do what in rough relation to another, how thresholds work, and more.
One place where Stress differs from 1E is the ability to use Monologues to burn it in a more positive way. You can ignore it and keep going so long as you push towards a goal tied to one of you Stress Triggers that relates to people or your Drive. I think it will work quite well, but I need to find an elegant way to describe it and make it simple enough without adding more "system." Not, that a little more system to the game is bad, just trying to maintain the rough complexity I had before but teach others to run it the way it runs when I do it. Explaining rules is always the harder part of game writing.
My novel has been flowing a bit as well. Not as quickly as I'd like, but I'm trying to watch for problems I ran into before. Yet this blog is more about game stuff so I won't bring the novel up a lot. I think its developing a tighter and more complex tapestry of events than before, less "rushing towards the end," in this case.
I've almost got all of the heroes and villains for the two core teams done. (The Lone Star Sentinels, vs the Irregulars.) I've got a tiny bit more for them to have done and can then move on to the important super villains.
I've been hunting for a cover artist, but affording one is the big deal. Not sure I can afford the artist of the quality I want and style I like. I will keep working on it.