All the Storms

Life has a habit of making other plans. I’ve been in absentia again, due to all sorts of issues, but I’ve lost my main ways of pondering life, so I’m going to do it here. Eventually it’ll morph into fun and games, but right now I’m just being thoughtful. I’m working my ass off on so many things, so first I’ll give you a book update.
1. I just finished writing a really wonderful book. You know when you read a book and the world stays with you? Some of you immediately go back and reread it, some of you can’t read anything else for a day or two. I remember when I read Sunshine by Robin McKinley, I stopped a couple of chapters before the end and just clasped it to my breast. Seriously. Well, I feel that way about the new, untitled book. I started it as a Christmas novella, to be out last year, and it was supposed to be piffle. I almost immediately knew it was going to be more than a novella, so I sent it to my agent, who said expand it, and I put it to one side and worked on another project. When that self-destructed I went back to it, and it just blossomed like a dark rose. I want to go back there – I want to listen to it in audio, I want to dream in that world.
The world of publishing is completely random nowadays, so who knows what will happen to it. My agent has it now, and I’m relatively sanguine about the outcome. It could be glory or disaster, but then, those things come out of throwing everything into life. If there’s no market for it I’ll make one, and I’ll move on, because there are so many more books to write. But this is one of the special ones.

2. I’ve been revising older stuff. Belle Bridge Books is coming out with Crazy Like a Fox in the next couple of days, and that was so much fun! Sometimes when I revise older books I end up being astonished at how much I like some that I’d forgotten about, and disappointed in some of my favorites. I can’t figure out why. I’m about to put out Rafe’s Revenge, and originally I’d thought of that as a sort of throwaway. I ended up loving it -I don’t know why I thought there wasn’t much to it. Maybe my life was going insane at the time – my life has a tendency to do that with lots of sturm und drang, usually not caused by me. Lots of storm and disaster in my family. But both of those books were a real treat. Next up is Special Gifts, which I adored and was a RITA finalist – I’m hoping that won’t turn into a disappointment.

3. I’ve redone the Maggie Bennett novels, with new covers, rewritten, and those I still loved. It only makes sense that I’d love my books – after all, they’re written by someone who knows my fantasies and wants exactly the same characters and stories that move me. I can’t imagine writing someone I hated.
Well, I did do that, twice. And trust me, I didn’t like it and don’t like those books. Though maybe those will be ones I go back to and end up pleasantly surprised.

4. Nanowrimo is starting, and I’m going back to a proposal I adored. I never finished it because I had too many contracts to fill, but now is definitely the time. I promise I’ll come back and tell you all about them.

But in the meantime it’s Halloween and the world is a horror show. I’m going to do my best to keep up the holiday spirit – I live in a very small, rural Vermont town, and we have very few trick or treaters. This year our delightfully liberal church has decided to organize a local Halloween trail in the town proper. Since most of the houses are owned by summer visitors they tend to be empty, but they’ve given permission for a bunch of us to porch sit and hand out candy. I’ll be wearing my nun’s habit, with spooky lights (and long johns underneath) and maybe even a boombox full of spooky music if I can find one in my crowded house. A good buddy is the next house up, so we can cackle at each other if the mood strikes us. This is a world where goblins and witches are the good guys, where demons are hot and sexy, and the “good” people carry torches. When I was young people used to say I lived in a fantasy world. I think it’s a much better place to be.

Life is a balancing act and right now the see-saw is little off. It’ll get better. And I have something to write that I love. My family is stable, my cats are wonderful, my sewing machines are working, my husband is fabulous — what me worry? Sometimes you gotta work hard to be happy. Fortunately, I can do that.

Happy Halloween!