This is my winter song to you ….

I’ve let the post I wanted to write languish for a few weeks, due to life stuff, general end of year busyness (as opposed to business), and the insanity that is this planet right now. And also for an editor approved reason – I’ve been working on book 2, and that writing is kind of more important. And it is on the move! It’s not done, not even close, which is what I was aiming for. But it is at the thick of the middle, which is better than nothing. My goal now is to have a finished (enough) rough draft by the end of January to send to Fabulous Editor Jak ™ so that we can look at the structure and discuss what comes next.

That will be the first time I’ve done that – handed off an entire rough draft, that has pieces missing, and weird tangents that I either will have to develop or take out but we don’t know which yet, and entire scenes of “[things totally happen here. Probably. It might involve explosions]” that I haven’t done anything with yet. So I’m nervous about that, because I like to rewrite and polish before I show my drafts. It’s one thing for your writing group to see a scene or two like that. It’s another thing to send your editor an entire draft of that, with bonus terrible dialogue that you know has to change BUT TO WHAT, and the occasional REALLY SPARKLING BRILLIANT LINE that you are afraid you’re going to have to cut, anyway. On the bright side, it is a step forward in this process, being a professional writer. I am going to aim for that like a steam train (chugging and occasionally having to stop for fuel, but totally going over that mountain) and ignore all the wailing voices of “it’s not good enough yet” in my head. Shut up, voices. I’m ignoring you.

The draft is going the way drafts go, I think. I mean, I’m writing this differently than I wrote the first book. But it’s still me, still writing, and I’m still the queen of “[whosits], [yaddahoodie], and [whatsherbucket] go to the town of [thatoneplacebytheriver] to [do super important things]. [maybe they stab someone?] [No wait! They stop that one guy stabbing that other person but [yaddahoodie] totally gets stabbed by mistake! AND HE’S SECRETLY IN THE PAY OF [DUKEOFSOMEPLACE]!]” So yeah, it’s me. Luckily, even when I don’t understand my notes to myself, I can usually make something out of them. Now I just have to get around to typing up what I’ve written so far. I’m almost out of another notebook, too, so it’s time. Since I’ll be taking 4 day weekends off of work for the next two weeks, I’m going to spend copious time at my desk. (Now that I’m not sick.) (Much.)

I did spend most of the last 5 days super sick with tonsillitis, something I didn’t get diagnosed but I had it so often as a kid, I should know the symptoms pretty well. Sharp, pointy rocks in the throat? Everything tastes bad? Headache? Hurts to swallow soup? Would rather drool than swallow? Able to hear esophagus from the inside? Checkity check check check. I didn’t take my temp, but if I had a fever it was pretty low. Still; aches, exhaustion, and a desire to numb my entire neck seemed pretty indicative. I’m feeling better now, only having a few mid-sized marbles rolling around in the tonsillar areas, instead of pointy rocks. And now that I’m getting better, the runny nose has begun. So this will morph into a sniffly cold, just in time for holiday food. Of course. Scott and I are both crabbily sick, but dealing well enough. I did have to miss two Dec bday parties for friends, and I’m super bummed about that, but what can you do? I held off getting sick through November, even after visiting plague-infested niecephews: it was bound to catch up with me.

Despite being sick I did write some, and had one 1000 word day where I got some cool character development sorted. Hooray! And set up some more plot. I’m going to set up some plot today, and introduce some new people, maybe. It’s a messy process, and some of the scenes I’ve written are only half done, and I’m scribbling away like a mad thing, hoping to keep ahead or just behind of my brain, which likes to wander. But it’s coming along.

So that’s the state of the sequel. I’m planning some more blog posts about other things, but this is the one I have the energy and brain power to write at the moment.

“A Ragged Magic” is out and about, and people are telling me they’re reading it, or it’s in their queue of TBR – which is fantastic. I heart you all! The most wonderful present for any writer is to hear that people are buying and reading their stories. The 2nd best present is to write a review and put it up where others can see and enter into a conversation about it. If you’re still looking for last minute holiday gifts for folks, ebooks are great presents, and reviews are a gift for everyone.

I hope all your various and sundry holidays and end of western calendar year plans are going well, and that everyone you love is happy and healthy. Take care of yourselves, and have a peaceful Yule/Solstice/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Christmas/(super late) Diwali/Arba’een/Saturnalia/Festivus/New Year.

Title is from “Winter Song” by Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles