If you were an alien reading my blog, you might think that December is the month that comes right after August. IMPORTANT NEWS FLASH FOR ALIENS: This is not the case. What is the case, however, is that I’ve spent the past few months doing a lot of things and blogging about none of them, so I figured I owed you guys (humans and aliens alike) a little update.
Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past four months:
1. Writing a new book. It’s the second book in the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy, and I’ve actually been working on it since June. A lot of authors will tell you that writing a second book is difficult, and I’m not going to be the one to tell you any different. On one hand, I’ve gotten to return to the characters and places I wrote about in Magic Marks the Spot, and it’s been so much fun to visit with them again and watch them buckle their swashes as they set out on the High Seas once more. On the other hand… writing a second book is tough. You want it to be even better than the first one, or at least just as good. You want it to be similar to the first book, but you don’t want to write the same book twice. You don’t want to disappoint your agent or your editor or (even worse!) your future readers. And so, if you’re me, you rewrite the same scene seven times in a row, delete it entirely, put it back, and realize that actually the first version of the scene was best all along. Then you continue to do this for nearly 300 pages. After over six months of writing and revising and eating plenty of cookies, I’m really pleased with how this second book is going, but I know I still have a lot of work to do (and will therefore have to eat more cookies in 2013).
2. Writing in strange places with strange people. Actually, both the places and the people have been lovely. I’ve written parts of this new book at a writing retreat with some friends in western Massachusetts, and I’ve revised parts of the book at a writing retreat with some other friends in upstate New York. Spending time with writers is wonderful; we’re all used to spending our days alone, so socializing is sort of a novelty for us. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t get a whole lot of actual writing done on writing retreats, but I love spending time with friends and chatting about writing, the publishing industry, and other important topics like the best kind of cheese or whether we should stop working and jump in the pool.
3. Heading through the tollbooth. I’m honored and excited to be the newest member of Through the Tollbooth, a blog about the craft of writing manned (or womanned, really) by several wonderful VCFA alums. You’ll be able to find me over there occasionally, beginning in January.
4. Sending my pirates to Europe. OK, I truthfully had nothing to do with this, but my lovely foreign rights team has found homes for The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates in three new countries: Germany, France, and Spain. I haven’t been lucky enough to travel to any of those countries (yet), but I’m so pleased that my pirates will get to visit in my stead. Their ship probably won’t get to Europe until 2014 at the earliest, and I apologize in advance for their thoroughly American accents.
5. Reading. Of course. And baking things, as usual. And trying to remember how to knit. Not to mention taking unintentional naps.
With any luck, I’ll be back with another blog post before too many more months have passed. ‘Til then, I hope your holidays are wonderful, however you celebrate them.