Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Night Was Not-nano edition

My first frantic post of Nano. I said I wouldn't do it again. Never. Not this year when I'm so busy, not while my Dad's health is so bad. I don't need the preassure of watching the word count spiral away from me. But I am doing it, despite all that. My goal is less about the word count and more about reaching the end this time. I want to see these characters through to their happy--or not --ending.
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I do my best blogging in October!

It's been a while, hasn't it? I know. I'm inconstant as the sea.... Or something.  Thing is, the end of summer is always hard. Bradbury talks about it in my favorite fall book, Something Wicked This Way Comes. He talks about how hard it is for boys to give up the freedom of summer for school. I'm a long way off from that kind of September, but now I think of the end of summer in a different way. 
At the end of this summer I turned 50. No big deal, right?  I mean 50 isn't so much different than 49. On September twentieth it was only a day older. 
But that that was the day that I realized for the first time ever that I had now lived more than I will live. My future is shorter than my past.
The end of summer. The start of fall. Yeah, that means something different to me now. I don't have a book out, I don't have nearly enough books finished, I'm still working my day job.... If I sat down and thought about where I thought I'd be and compared it to where I am, it would be....
No, I think that's a bad plan.
Except. I do remember a conversation in college with one of my best friends about how our lives were about to be separate and how we didn't want that to happen. We dreamed of all of us living in a big house someday, where there'd be room for writing and painting and cooking, and kids and cats and books, and swords.....
It was a fantasy, because we were kids.
Except. That's right where I live now. In a big house with three of my best friends and all that other stuff. So if I have that, maybe I still have time for a book and that other stuff.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sucker Literary Magazine Volume 2! Plus The Hows and Whys of Writing for Teens from Candi Fite.

Sucker Literary Magazine, Volume 2 is available now!

When Alex’s bandmates invite a girl to sing lead, a battle of the sexes becomes a battle over something unexpected. . . A girl tells her friend about hooking up with longtime crush Fred, but his kisses are not what makes that night in his car memorable. . . A therapy session with Doug might just make Jason go insane again. . . Wallflower Aubrey hooks up with Gordon after the cast party, which would be fine if he weren’t the most forbidden fruit of them all…Savannah certainly doesn’t sound like a convict’s name, so maybe hanging out with her isn’t all that dangerous. Miki is committed to getting over Dex, yet she can’t get him off her answering machine—or her doorstep. In between puffs of cigarettes and attempts to smear lipstick on her face, Allie’s grandmother dishes out advice that maybe Allie should take. . . And finally, what’s a girl to do with Satan as both her boss and father? Nine short stories pose the questions we obsess over whether we’re growing up or all grown up: Who should I love? Am I doing the right thing? Is there ever an end to heartbreak? In its second volume, SUCKER continues to showcase the very best emerging talent in young adult literature and give (some of) the answers to Life’s Big Questions along the way.

Sucker will reopen the doors for Volume 3 submissions. One day ONLY, August 1, 2013. Find the guidelines HERE.

Sucker Free Day – July 20th and 21st

Get a free digital copy of Sucker Literary Volume 2 on Amazon.

The How & Why of Writing for Teens,

How and why do you write for teens? I've answered the question umpteen million times, mostly asked by non-writing folk, the Muggles in my writerly world.
The simplest way to write for teens is to channel your inner-teenager. You don't have to be a psychic. Grab a notebook and pick a quiet place. Maybe a park bench, a blanket spread on the grass or on the beach. Clear your mind, and conjure up your most vulnerable moments from your youth.

            Remember the day at school when you tripped running down the stairs, spilling your pile of books? Recall the flushed cheeks, the profuse sweating, and the racing heartbeat as you gathered your materials from the floor. What about the chuckles, snorts, and eye rolling? Oh yeah, the memories are flooding back, aren't they? Capture those moments, those feelings, and raw emotions. Now, without judging, jot down everything you feel, see, think, and hear. Continue to write until every single thought about the incident is on paper.

           Don't read it yet.

          Extract another memory. Maybe this time remember when you were dumped by your first real love. Gosh, do you recall the anguish? Those devastating moments when you knew you were just going to die. There, that's it. Write it down. Don't leave anything out. Remember, no judging.

Toss your adult self into timeout if you must.

Depending on the story or character you're working on, you may want to stick to a particular kind of memory, such as break-ups. Everything from your past is at your disposal. It belongs to you. Use it.

Now, go back and read, not judge, but read what you wrote. Highlight anything you may use for characterization. There may be things you can use for one character, and you can save the rest for another one in the future. It works best for me if I draft after these sessions, keeping my notebook close by so I may refer to it.

Another way you can find your authentic teen voice is to hang out with teens or around them. Teens may get creeped out when adults watch them, get too close, or listen in on their conversations. I blame it on the killer / stalker movies they watch. I'm an alleged creeper, according to my own teenaged daughters. You have to be sly. Consider yourself a secret agent, given a dangerous assignment, and proceed with caution.

Choose a local hangout. Order a pizza or coffee, break out your notebook (Look busy... remember dangerous assignment), take notes, pay attention to their body language, speech, and their interaction with others.

Write down everything, whether you think it's useful or not. Pay special attention to the quirky and unique, such as the way a boy blinks and taps his fingers as if he's in a rock band when a girl is talking to him. Is he trying to be cool or is he nervous? A girl clicks her tongue and tosses her right hand in the air when she's speaking. Does she have odd ticks or extreme animation? Keep watching. Does anyone have annoying habits? Adorable traits? Check out their clothing. Take it all in. Don't waste a single detail.

As for why I write for teens, it's a bit more personal and there are no exercises involved. I think the most obvious reason I write for teens is Young Adult is my preferred genre to read. They say write what you read. With each young adult book I read, my writing improves. My characters develop depth. My plots thicken. Beginnings begin to rock. My endings, well, I'm still mastering my endings. YA keeps me young, takes me to fabulous places, and for some strange reason, I identify with many young adult characters, which leads me into my next point.

Sometimes, I relate to teens better than adults. There are times when I feel like a teenager or when I act or speak like a teenager. Even at forty-something, I've been known to abuse the words "like" and "whatever". At times, I have a snarkish behavior my fellow adult friends don't have.

I figured I suffered from some weird Peter Pan theory, but then I began to use my immaturity to my advantage. Being able to relate to my characters is super important when writing for teens. When I wrote my short story On the Edge of Postal (Sucker Literary Vol. 1, Jan. 2012), I knew my main character Ashlynn like I know myself. I related to her in a thousand ways. She was a mash-up of all my sisters and I, and our dysfunctional childhood. I identified with her angst, her sarcasm, and her explosive behavior.

If a writer fails to relate to their character in at least some fashion, the character may fall flat, appear one-dimensional, and unauthentic. We owe it to our readers to make our characters relatable and someone they can invest their time in.

My hows and whys assist me when writing for teens. Whether or not they make sense to others is a moot point.. I don't write to impress. I write to connect, to reach out, shake one's core, and make my readers feel something. In the end, it's about the reader's experience, not mine.
Thanks, Candi for the insights.
Candy Fite writes everything from picture books to non-fiction, with a passion for creating stories for teens. Between second drafting her YA novel and shopping literary agents for her two picture books, she is working on a non-fiction book about rose rustling.  She is a member of SCBWI and the Brenham Writers Group in Texas. When not writing, she’s the busy mom of two teen girls, teaching her students yoga, and traveling and speaking for her rose group. This is her first YA publication. Candy Lynn Fite can be reached on Twitter @candylynnfite or on her blog at http://www.cfitewrite.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Neil Gaiman

So, last Sunday I went with my friend Megan to see Neil Gaiman at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. I knew he was coming, and I knew that he's said this is going to be his last ever book tour, but I didn't consider going on my own, because, well, it was an hour away, and I hate crowds.....  I wanted to go, but, I told myself, it would be too expensive and too far.  I can't even park in Ann Arbor, I'm that lame...

That wasn't the real reason, though. I'm a big fan fan of Neil Gaiman. I've read everything he's written, I love some of his stories like I love Ray Bradbury. Yep, it's a big deal to me. There's always a point in a Gaiman piece when I come to a phrase, or a paragraph, and I think, wow, that's so beautiful my chest hurts. And then I think, I'll never write something as good as that. I tell you this so you understand that I was afraid  that meeting him in person would be....  Disappointing?

And, you know what? It wasn't. Gaiman was lovely. He was two hours late, due to delays leaving from San Francisco, and waiting was hard. There were, turns out, 1700 people packed into the theater, and pretty much everybody was wearing black. Yeah, it was hot. I spent the time playing "What Sandman character is that person dressed as?" Death, Death, Death, Dream, Death, Death, Dream.... Coraline.... 

We filled out index cards with questions, and waited. He landed about 25 minutes after we were supposed to start.  In Detroit. They told us that we could only get the book signed, and he didn't have time for pictures or to personalize We waited. We ate tic tacs nervously. We commented to each to other that, when he got there, we would be sitting twelve feet from Neil Gaiman. Death got up to use the bathroom, and then another Death got up. We stood up to let them out. They returned, we stood, repeat. Repeat. Maybe she was Desire. Maybe he was too....  We decided our questions were stupid. We were relieved that he wouldn't be talking to us. More tic tacs  WE WERE SO EXCITED,

Then he was there. He was twelve feet away from us!
Can you believe it?

 He apologized, and said that he was going back to the original signing rules. He said that he had signed about 200 extra books, because he was afraid that people might have babysitters that needed to get home, and couldn't wait for the actual signing.He was very sweet. And funny and very charming.  He read a bit from the new book, Ocean at the End Of The Lane, and some from his forthcoming picture book, Fortunately, the Milk. He praised libraries, readers, and daydreaming, as well as his kids and wife. He was even kind about Harlan Ellison.  And he was incredibly entertaining.

Though he looked exhausted--and who wouldn't be? He made it a lovely evening. We were on the road home by about  eleven-thirty, but I read the next morning that the signing when on till 3am. Wow. Thank you, Neil Gaiman. You showed up, in Michigan, where nobody ever shows up, under terrible circumstances, and were kind and lovely. 

So, no. Not a disappointment.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer of Lasts

When my Mother died, the pastor that did her memorial service told me, "This will be a year of firsts for you." He meant of course, that whenever I did something; picked up a ringing phone, made curtains, watched TV, saw the snow fall, I'd think this is the first time I've done this since....

That was three summers ago, and that feeling hasn't really faded that much.  I've been planting my tomatoes and peppers and I still think of my Mother when I do that. Now, though, after living with Alzheimer's disease for 18 years, my Dad is beginning to fail, or I should say, fail faster. My sister has the lion's share of his care, as she and her son live with him.They sees it on a day to day basis. I know it's hard, and yet I can't imagine how hard it is. 

Since Father's Day, we have come to realize that this is the summer of lasts. Now when we do things as a family we all think: This is the last time we do this with Dad.

It's odd, because we didn't go through this, exactly with my Mom. We didn't know what the lasts were going to be, but now.... It's obvious thateven if we get another Father's Day, it won't be with our Dad that we know, it'll be with who he's turning into now.

Dad and I never talked much back when it was possible. We talk more now. We try. Both of us are trying. I regret not doing that more back when language was easier, and I tell him that. And he tells me the same thing. We both know this is the summer of lasts.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

In Which I Tell You About My Exciting Writer Friends

So, this is the summer where most of my writing friends have books coming out. I thought I'd tell you about them. 

First, my friend Kacey Vanderkarr's book is coming next month from Inkspell. It's called Antithesis, and you can see all the info in my previous post. You should visit her blog: kaceyvanderkarr.com where  you can find out all about her, and her many projects.  This is Kacey's first published novel, but it's definitely not going to be her last.

Second, though not really, my oldest friend--do not fight among yourselves, old friends.  I did meet Loren before you, Paul....  Seconds before.  Anyway, my oldest friend Loren Rhoad's collection of essays, "Wish You Were Here," is available.  You must check it out, because if there's a cemetery worth seeing, she's been there.  http://www.amazon.com/Wish-Were-Here-Loren-Rhoads/dp/1484197275 
Also, as I write this, she's premiering a collection of short stories she edited, as well as contributed to called "Haunted Mansion Project: Year II" More info about that can be found here:http://www.pr.com/press-release/497180 . It promises to be a fun read. Later this year she will have her first novel out, as well.  It's called "As Above, So Below," written with Brian Thomas.  I can tell you I'm really eagerly awaiting this one, and I'll be talking about it again.  Guarantee. Oh, and you can keep up with her busy life here:lorenrhoads.com
Both of these women are great writers.  They have strong voices, and something to say.  Visit their blogs, check out their books, and when you're where they are, come to signings.  You won't regret it.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Antithesis Cover! New book coming from Kacey Vanderkarr!

My name is Gavyn.
Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me.
My name is Gavyn.
I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again.
My name is Gavyn.
I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.
My name is Gavyn.
About the author:

Kacey Vanderkarr is a young adult author. She dabbles in fantasy, romance, and sci-fi, complete with faeries, alternate realities, and the occasional plasma gun. She’s known to be annoyingly optimistic and listen to music at the highest decibel. When she’s not writing, she coaches winterguard and works as a sonographer. Kacey lives in Michigan, with her husband, son, crazy cats, and two bearded dragons. Visit www.kaceyvanderkarr.com for more information.

Twitter: @kacimari

Kacey is the new exciting voice in Teen Fiction. This will be her first novel, and I can't wait. I expect to see a lot more from her over the next few years. Buy her book in July, I'm serious.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Contest Winner!

Okay, the Bowie album came out yesterday, so I'm technically a day late, but I had to listen to it, didn't I? 
So here's how the contest turned out.  It ended up being a drawing. Not that I didn't appreciate your help with the name change, and not that there weren't a lot of names I liked. No, but it turns out that Ziggy really had to rename himself.  I'll tell all about how that happened someday soon.
In the meantime, this morning I made a list of all the entries, then I cut them up and put them in a big pink fedora. That's right. I did it old school.
So, in much the same fashion that David Bowie wrote Moonage Daydream in the early '70s, or  William Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch before him, I pull one name out of the hat.
So, congratulations, Karen Colona. You'll need to send me your address via fb. Just message me, and I'll send you the gift certificate.
As for the rest of you, thank you, really, for helping me to get my brain looking in another direction. I can't tell you how much I needed that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Writing like a grown up

I spent this afternoon shut up in a little room that has no windows, and very little light. It's quiet, except my music, and nobody knows I'm here.
So, just me and my computer for five hours, at an actual desk. 
Where am I? I'm in my office. I suppose it's an office, right? It has a desk and a chair, and a board to write stuff on. This afternoon my sister brought me a lamp so the over-head lighting wouldn't make my brain explode. Oh, and a picture of my Mom for my desk. That was nice of her. Mom and my stuffed zombie doll are both smiling at me over my computer screen right now.
It's awesome. I love my little room, despite the fact it's windowless. I've done work on my manuscript all day with no interruptions. I have word count goals up on my white board, and while I'm probably not going to give up writing in public, I feel like renting even this little space gives me an excuse.
I'm paying for this space, so I'd better use it to write.  It needs work still, sure.  I probably need to scrounge a comfy chair up from somewhere for writing in my notebook and stuff like that, but I have to tell you so far, this is working out well.  I've never had a dedicated place to write, not ever, and never really seen the need, but now I might never go  back.

And in other news, as you all know, the NAME CONTEST ends March 12th. Yep, that's next Tues.  One of you will get the fabulous gift certificate. I'm not telling who, but, you know... One of you will win...... 

So I'm going back to the thing. You guys think about it......

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In a Name

Otherwise known as the post where I convince you to help me rename my character.  I know, I've a one track mind, don't I?
Names are important, though. They have power, in fiction, just like they do in magic.  They give you power. More so in fiction than in real life. Don't believe me? Okay, go to your bookshelf. Take Harry Potter down. Which came first? Lupin's condition, or his name? Okay, that was a less-than-subtle example, I know, but you get the idea. In real life we are only influenced a little by the names our parents gave us.  Okay, with a name like Martha, is anyone really surprised that I grew up pretty much looking like a hobbit with glasses? (my feet aren't furry, but the rest of it...) But my point is, I could have been something different, but I wasn't.
Names have power. Over the character that owns them, over the writer that chooses them. And here is where I'm in trouble. I need to change Ziggy's name. We all agree (real people, and the voices in my head), but I've lived with that name for an embarrassingly long time. I have a hard time thinking of him as anything but Ziggy. That's why I'm begging for suggestions. If the name comes from outside the world in my head, I don't have to risk changing Ziggy along with his name. I can keep him pure in there, and still share him with the world. 

So once again, a ten dollar bn gift card to whoever suggests the right name.  Keep trying. You get up to three guesses. Here's a hint, don't worry about the last name, but the first should have two syllables.
So there it is. My pitch. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Always Crashing In the Same Car, an exerpt.

Word of warning. This being a story about Rock n Roll in the '80's, there is language, there are drugs and  sex. Just about in that order. If that doesn't put  you off, read on, and tell me what you think Ziggy's name should change to!
1983, Los Angeles
Ziggy stands in the wings backstage at the Refugee Club, a narrow shadow. He lights a cigarette, shielding the flame with his hand to protect the darkness. In the full house beyond the curtain, Ziggy counts dozens of reflections of himself. Boys or girls, hair cut spiky with spaghetti-o colored dye-jobs, all waiting for him. He exhales a lungful of smoke. Every night there’s more of them, but it’s not enough, not yet.
"Ziggy.” Asia Heyes, the Spider’s bass player calls him from the doorway to the basement dressing room the band shares. “Weird’s real sick."
“No he’s not.” Ziggy says, turning.
“Yeah, Zig, he is. He’s not gonna be able to play the show tonight. He should be--”
"He should be shootin’ the hell up, Asia. He’s the guitar player, and this isn’t fuckin’ Charity’s Place back in Ann Arbor anymore. It’s the Refugee Club where somebody important could be listening.” Ziggy moves farther backstage, past Asia, down the rickety stairs. He smells it, bitter on the air before he hits the bottom step. Then he hears Weird choking.
Asia is right behind Ziggy, protesting. “He’s almost clean. Don’t fuck it up for him.”
Ziggy doesn’t answer. Instead of going down the short hallway to the bathroom, he heads into the dressing room. Weird’s guitar case is propped against the broken down leather couch that sags in one corner. Tucked inside, along with the instrument are Weird’s works, just like Ziggy knew they would be. He grabs the pouch and steps around Asia to cross the hall. Without knocking, Ziggy opens the bathroom door.
It’s a re-modeled storage closet, too small for three people. Gilli, their drummer, hovers, worry lining his pretty face.
Weird’s on the floor, back against the wall, arm draped around the toilet seat, like it’s his best friend. In the buzzing fluorescent light, his skin is the color of spoiled milk. His face is covered in a thin sheen of sweat, long red-blond hair stuck down with it. He wipes a hand over his beard, looks up at Ziggy through slitted eyes and grins. “Hey Stardust, you gonna hold my hair while I puke some more?”
“Are you’re gonna? I mean, you are gonna be okay, aren’t you?” Gilli’s face turns even paler as he squeezes himself against the sink to let Ziggy all the way in.
“Oh sure.” Weird groans, sucks in some of the sour air. “Yeah, I’m great.” Then he looks up at Ziggy again. “Gimme my damn smack.”
“No.” Gilli gasps. “No, Weird.”
Weird stares hard at Ziggy. “Gimme m’ works, Stardust. Neither one of them will.”
Ziggy nods. He hands the pouch over and turns away.
Asia is leaning against the hand railing of the stairs, shaking his head as Ziggy exits the bathroom. “So let him go back to killin’ himself, and you don’t even care, do you?”
“You think he can play clean, Asia?” Ziggy says. “You wanna take that away from him?”
“That’s bullshit. You don’t really think that.” Asia laughs. “You get what you want, and that’s all that matters.”
Ziggy looks into Asia’s eyes, rust/green, and takes a breath. All he ever gets from Asia anymore is anger and disappointment. Ziggy won't apologize for telling the truth. He reaches up to brush a stray lock of wavy ginger hair back from his face, but Asia flinches.
“Whatever you wanna think.” Ziggy says softly. “It’s done. Get ready for the show.”
He goes back upstairs without waiting for Asia’s answer.
Asia shakes it off. He moves to stand in the doorway. “Wait, Weird. I can play your shit tonight and Zig can play bass.”
Weird is up, unsteadily leaning against the sink, already cooking his shit, Gilli looking on, stricken. Weird snickers. “How you think he’s gonna do that? Faggot can’t even walk and chew gum.”
“I don’t care.” Asia knows he’s pleading. He wants to knock the smack out of Weird's hand, shake him. Don't make Ziggy right, he wants to say. But he goes back to begging instead. “We can do it.”
“Asia, look, Stardust’s a bastard, but he’s right.” Weird says. His hands don’t shake at all when he pulls the plunger back on his syringe to suck the liquefied drug up. “You think that bein’ a junkie’s ruinin’ my life, right? That I'm tryin' to kill myself? See, no, because it’s all I am, Asia. No junk, no music. I'm not giving that up.”
Weird is tying a piece of tubing around his upper arm. He looks from Asia to Gilli. “You guys got shit to do before we go on, right?”
Not really, Asia thinks, but feels himself give in. He turns away and Gilli follows him.
Ziggy returns to the shadows behind curtain. Weird will come through. He always does. No matter what his condition, he lives for the moment the lights hit the stage almost as much as Ziggy himself. Onstage, they always speak the same language.
Ziggy pauses before he lights another cigarette. Asia and Gilli come up from the dressing room to go out back. Ziggy stays hidden. He knows Asia needs his space. Once the stage door swings closed, he pulls his lighter out. Disappointment, anger, Ziggy thinks again. But it was all right if Asia didn't understand. As long as he didn't leave.
Ziggy takes a long drag on his fresh cigarette and pushes off from the wall. He sees the small slim form of Sammy appear from the other side of the curtain. She locates him by the glow of ash. He gives her a wide smile. “Are you my fifteen minute warning?”
“Just about.”
She tilts her head up to kiss him and he feels the sticky exchange of their lip gloss. Her hands are at the zipper of his jeans. Ziggy is still thinking of Asia when she slides her hands inside.


So it's David Bowie's sixty-sixth birthday today, and I had been thinking of doing something special to mark that. I mean I usually take the day to write a Bowie influenced story, so that's nothing special. I've missed him, you know, over the past decade. I've gotten used to the build-up of rumours everything year around this time, "Bowie's in Berlin and he's recording--he tweeted it last night!" Riiight.  But not really. I had come to the same conclusion that everyone else had. He'd retired, and was enjoying his retirement. But I still wanted more music.
So I was pretty skeptical when I woke to a bunch of texts about there being a new single and video. No, that can't be true, I thought.
Turns out I was wrong. It's totally true. Single, video, album.  You guessed it.  I cried.  And I also couldn't help thinking about Ziggy. 
I'd given up on anybody wanting my novel "Always Crashing In the Same Car." But today, hearing Bowie's voice again, in new words, Ziggy came back to me.  And I realize that I'm way too close to the thing to do what's necessary to make it suitable for publishing. So I decided that I would ask for help.
Here's where the contest comes in, ready?
I need to rename Ziggy, in the novel.  Now, wait, because it's already a fake name, it's not as easy as you might think to replace it with something that works. Still, I have faith in all of you. So here's the deal:
I will mail a ten dollar Barnes and Noble gift card to the person who, in replying to this blog post, gives me an alternate name for my Ziggy as he appears in "Always Crashing In the Same Car." I'll give you all up to three tries. And I have faith in all of you, but if none of the names turn out to be suitable, I will draw names for the gift card.  The contest will start now and end March 12, 2013. Simple right?  See the next blog post for a little taste of the character if you wish.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One of those End of the Year posts

I don't really know what to say about this last year. I spent it buried, the same way I'll spend this year, I expect. I didn't have a lot of writing sales last year, and by not a lot, I mean none. That's the danger of writing novels, isn't it?

I'm about 80 pages from the end of The Night Was Not, and that makes me feel....  I don't know how it makes me feel. Exhilarated. frightened and tired, in turns. Much like the characters in that book, I've been standing on this ledge for a while, and I can't decide what the next move will be. Like the main character, I know what I want to happen, but also like Kerry, I'm frightened that what I want and what is to be aren't the same things.

But the end is coming, I can feel it in every word.

As for the other big project I worked on last year, Iron Moon, well, the end is not so near on that one. The lesson I learned with Nano was that I simply need to let those characters live in my head a while longer before I'm comfortable enough to trust them with the story. I spent too much time trying to make them do what I wanted last year. I decided that the only reason I wrote so slowly was that I was slow. Now I realize that there's more to it than that. Oh, yes, I'm still working on the serial to put on th blog, and no, I don't trust the circumstances of my life enough to simply post the first part without having written to the end. Sorry. But soon. 

Really, the new year came in just the nick of time for me. This is the year of finishing, I'm sure of it.