I haven’t blogged in a while, so I thought I’d blog on why that is. Enjoy the brisk taste of meta.
Primary among my reasons for not blogging is the continuing work on Long Black Curl, the third Tufa novel that comes out in May. You’d think it would be done by now, wouldn’t you? Alas, ’tis not the case. Not only is this the longest book I’ve yet written, it’s been the most complex to finish. It didn’t start out that way, but that’s where we’ve ended up. Even within the last week, with ARCs done and ready to disseminate, I’ve been working on polishing bits with my patient, dedicated editor.
So why is that? I can’t tell you. The idea wasn’t that complicated, and the execution was pretty clear. But like many stories, it didn’t go precisely where I wanted it to go. In fact, the whole original third act I had in mind just flat out didn’t work, which sent me back to the end of act two, trying to decipher where the story and characters wanted to go, since they clearly didn’t like the destination I had in mind. Yes, it was the literary equivalent of turning this thing right around.
So there’s that. Then there’s Tufa novel #4, Chapel of Ease, due out sometime in 2016. I’m in the midst of the third-draft polish pass, and luckily this one is going much, much more smoothly. It’s very different from the previous three, for reasons I don’t want to reveal yet; readers should have some surprises, right? But I will say this is the first book I’ve done where the “special thanks” page will include a fight choreographer.
Finally, there’s the spec horror novel I’ve been picking away at for a couple of years. It’s finished, but unfortunately it may never see the light of day. People I trust have said that its depiction of racism and anti-Semitism in a small Southern town is so realistic, it might damage my career. I obviously don’t agree with this, but many times the author isn’t the best judge of such things. And I won’t deny that this has taken some of the wind out of my sails, motivation-wise. Still, I’m seeking the opinions of other trusted folk, so who knows?
Finally, lastly, and perhaps mostly, taking care of three kids age 10 and under in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, when they can’t be chased outside and there’s only so many times they can play Minecraft, has been rather overwhelming. In addition to being a full-time writer I’m also the stay-at-home parent, and that role becomes primary during this season.