Happy New Year

Hello, 2013!

Over the next couple days I plan to blog over my year end adventures. I just finished Mabel's City, and there's a lot of stories to share. A close look into the dirty underbelly of novelling, to be sure.

There are few things better than hard deadlines to get work done. As you might have noticed, I've set an absurd number of goals for the completion of Mabel. First I hoped for it to be done by Spring's end, then Summer, then November 24th, and then, finally, before 2013. The December 31st deadline—not unlike certain Fiscal Cliff talks—was the ugly deadline of the bunch. If I was still typing away on New Year's Eve, it meant I had failed or been lazy for many weeks. Gridlocked, you might say.

This is very true. For me.

Anyway, there's so much to talk about, but that's my nugget of wisdom for the end of 2012: back-up and hard deadlines are wonderful things. There's something about the frantic final push that can produce some really exciting work. Announce deadlines to friends and family. Make it known. It helps. Sure, the writing from this evening is first draft quality, and there's some questionable content. In my eagerness to reveal my faults, I'm sure I'll copy a few of my more painful failures.

It's also exciting to get to the end of a book. I've been working on Mabel for a long time now, and it's fascinating—for me anyway—to see how this story has evolved. Little changes, big changes. I'm looking forward to talking more about them in the days ahead and then nailing down how I'm going to go about editing this monster.

(Then, after editing, I put it in front of other human beings and pretend to be indifferent as to whether they can get through the first chapter. This is what we call "posturing." It makes us look like we've written a great many amazing things, but should this little dalliance of a story not work out, well, it's just a YA novel that we wrote for fun—we're really working on our Pulitzer-award winning projects. Some writers might also call this "lying." I call it "acting," or "working on my back-up career options that do not really exist.")

Happy New Year!