State of the Writer, December 2013 edition

This was supposed to be a post at the end of November, but November kind of got away from me, in the sense that a book was due at the end of it and it was not finished yet.

But it is now December, and the book is finished, so I am allowed to post. Or sleep. Or both, although it’s harder to watch what I say when I’m sleeping. I am behind on email. I am behind on tumblr. I am behind on facebook. I will be behind on twitter as of tomorrow. I am about a week’s worth of words behind on Oracle.

But: I am finished Cast in Flame.

November was largely one small first world crisis after another (things like: washing machine dying), with writing wedged in between moments of “OMG can’t any of this wait until December???”. And bonus shrieking.

I was very happy when I had 80K words of Cast in Flame because I was certain the book would only be 120K words long (which is generally considered long in today’s market). I was wrong. Again. The ending got kind of complicated. It’s easy to think “and then (elided) will happen, and then it will be over!”. Generally it takes more words than that to actually write the (elided) section.

So the book I was certain would be finished by 30 November wasn’t finished by 30 November. Apparently, according to Amazon & B&N, the book’s On Sale date is the 29th of July, 2014. And no, there is no cover art. Or if there is, I haven’t seen it yet :).

I have also been–except for the last “OMG IT’S DECEMBER!!!” week, been working on Oracle. It’s not finished. I think it will be finished in three months–but I have no publication date for it, yet. Because it’s not done. I mentioned I’m a week behind in Oracle words. I have difficulty working on two projects simultaneously at the end of a novel. So the first writing thing I want to do is catch up on those words.

After which I will start Grave

I’ve also written a book review column for F&SF.

I haven’t done much of anything else. At all. And no, I have not even started Christmas shopping.

I feel as if I am always struggling to catch up. I often think if I were more focused or better at organization, I would never fall behind. Or if I had a more realistic idea of how long things would actually take. It’s not like I haven’t been doing this for two decades now. And, to be fair to myself, until Touch, I was in a good writing space. But Touch, being what we affectionately refer to as a book from hell in my writers’ circles (the unaffectionate references being NSFW), knocked everything off the table, and I have been trying to pick up all of the things that fell and return them to their proper places.

But: when I’m writing actual book words, when I’m writing and things I’ve been struggling to keep in the air finally fall into place, I love writing. And in spite of all the whining, that hasn’t changed.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shiuli aka flowerlady
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 05:07:01

    I think its that kinda of time of the year that everyone is struggling with all the things we have to do, I am in teaching and coincidently we were just having the sane discussion in the staff room…. Barring that I can’t wait for the Cast in Flame!


  2. Tyronne
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 09:01:09

    That’s quite all right Michelle. We all understand and empathize with you. The wait for one of your stories is always, and I repeat, always worth the wait. A Merry Christmas to you and yours and lots of luck with the shopping :)!!!


  3. Susan Erickson
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 10:13:08

    I am glad we blog followers can be here to allow you to “whine” in a safe and totally accepted space. I had started to get a little worried about your lengthy seeming quietness, and am glad that as annoying as it was (and I’ve certainly been there) iit was a washer that broke down (although that was probably just the straw in first world). Blessings as you get back to your writer groove catching up with Oracle.


  4. Sabine
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 10:33:52

    Dear Michelle,
    believe me from your readers point of view, certainly from mine at least, you are doing fantastic and we quite “forgive” you any delays brought on by recalcitrant washing machines and the likes (as if forgiveness was even remotely necessary).
    Don’t be discouraged or stressed out but keep right on doing what you love doing. . . i.e. providing us with not one or even just two but t h r e e series of overly long books (not by my reckoning though). Two of which continuously vie for first place on my “best loved” reading list, and the newest already closing in on my top ten.
    You are an inspiration to me and this means more to me than an author who manages deadlines and communication schedules to perfection. Actually I might start loathing you since who likes real life saints, anyway?
    So thanks for the update, feel free to unload whenever you find the time, and please stay this way because, woman, it sure is working for you!


  5. Hilda
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 11:11:21

    Dear Michelle, such great news. The Forum writers were wondering about the future books. It’s great news when we find another Kaylin baby is born. Really, the last thing I expected to see this morning were your messages (I still haven’t read the second one). It was the last thing because the first thing I look for in my e-mail, is a message from you. Today, I was just in a hurry and searched for emergency kind of messages. Surprise! So, I need to answer. I’m so glad, you are once more with us, and some of the pressure is lightened. It seems unfair on writers that you have this strict time limits, and when you finally finish a genuine creative work, the publishing companies seem to take forever in completing a process that seems routine and mechanical. We know, you have explained the several steps in the process; but they don’t seem to be in a hurry. Having said this, I joined the other readers in hoping you have some days to relax before and around the Holidays. We’ll wait calmly (???) for your messages and your books. We will be also very happy if you take time to enjoy your “Holidays” shopping. When I’m rushed, I go with my list and a dozen coupons to Macy’s. I find 99% of my shopping list there. (I have absolutely no interest, stocks, or anything to gain monetarily there). I do save a lot when I add the store discounts to my coupons savings, and end up with some nice gifts and low cost. It’s also very relaxing. Enjoy the pre Holidays time.


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