Thursday, March 09, 2006

Publishing lag time, American Idol, and hints of spring!

Okay, so, yes, I'm completely irresponsible when it comes to blogging. I'm a bad blogger. I confess. I really do intend to get back here more, but if I make promises, I'll just break them...and you know where that road paved with good intentions leads. :)

So, where've I been? Here, at my desk, writing my butt off. The last couple of months have been incredibly busy, finishing up the second Ghosts of Albion novel, WITCHERY, with Amber Benson, the third Menagerie novel, STONES UNTURNED, with Tom Sniegoski, and the second book of THE VEIL trilogy, THE BORDERKIND, all by my lonesome.


That was my winter. All different projects, all wonderfully rewarding experiences, but leaving little time for anything else. That's probably good in winter. I hibernate in my writing, since I can't go anywhere else. New England. :)

What's really strange for me as writer, though, is the lag time in publishing. I can't begin to tell you how much I love THE MYTH HUNTERS, the first book of THE VEIL, which hit stores back at the very end of January. I'm having the time of my life on that trilogy. But I finished the book a year ago. THE SHELL COLLECTOR, a novella I did for Cemetery Dance almost a year ago, is about to be published. BLOODSTAINED OZ, a novella I wrote with Jim Moore for Earthling Publications, was finished in the fall and will come out in May.

This is all perfectly reasonable. It takes time to edit, copyedit, design, layout, and print a book. But there's something about surreal about that lag time, too. When something is finished, all of the writer's enthusiasm is wrapped up in it. The baby has been born. But nobody else is around just then to say what a cute, darling little baby it is. That happens much later. In a way, that's nice, because you get to be enthusiastic all over again and focus on some of the things that you really loved about the work and hoped people would notice. At the same've got a new baby getting the lion's share of your love and attention, and you'd really be excited to talk about that!

The best of both worlds, really.

Then, of course, there's the work in progress. If ever there was a love/hate relationship in my life, it's with whatever I happen to be writing at the moment. No matter how passionate and excited I am about it, that's always balanced by the constant wrestling with the words and ideas, pushing it into shape. It's wonderful and frustrating at the same time, and ironic--I think--that this, the actual writing, the focused, work of it, is why I do it in the first place.

Why? Because there's nothing in the world like the moment of ephiphany, when you finally realize how the puzzle pieces fit, or how to move them around to make them fit, or which piece is missing. There's nothing like the moment when you realize that that ONE change will make it all work so much better, make it richer and more purposeful, more effective.

For me, anyway.

At the moment, I'm working on a new novel, BALTIMORE, OR, THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER AND THE VAMPIRE with Mike Mignola. What a process of discovery it is, wrestling with all the pieces of this one. Mike's imagination, style, and sense of story make him a fantastic creative partner, and we're building something here that's unlike anything I've ever written . . . or read. And I can't wait to see his art for it. More on that later.

So...two more small things.

First, AMERICAN IDOL. I've watched bits and pieces in the past. This is the first year I'm watching regularly. I've got to say, there's some incredible talent on the show. I just wish the judges' personalities weren't such a big part of it. A lot of the time, I agree with Simon Cowell. He *is* an asshole, but I appreciate that he seems to be the only one taking the thing seriously. Randy Jackson and his whole dog pound thing needs to just stop. And Paula Abdul is useless 90% of the time because she coddles them all. Now, that said, they all need to get over the skinny little blond girl who has the weakest, thinnest voice of all of the remaining performers. Simon must really be into her to be THAT tone deaf. She's awful. But there are A LOT of very talented singers this year. Should be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Finally . . . it's going to be sixty for the next four days, at least. The snow is nearly gone, just patches left. I'm praying this is spring arriving early, but even if it's not, I'll take it.

WATCHING: Too much damned TV.