It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Years seem to go by faster as you get older and come February 2007 I will be passing the Rubicon of 30. But first there is Christmas and I must do all those Christmassy things like making lists, buying presents, putting up the decorations and planning parties.

I have less time than usual this year because in addition to writing I have a part-time job working at a local university. So I’m not sure when everything’s going to get done by. Not to mention the Armadillo that will need to be finished soon and some writing projects that need to be turned into official submissions. I’m actually not under contract at the moment for the first time in years, which is curiously liberating and yet makes me feel that the pressure is on to make sure that the next book I write is as good as the one I’ve just finished.

For those not yet in the know, that’s Bad Blood, forthcoming from OUP in 2007. I’m incredibly pleased with it and with myself. I feel as if my writing has reached a new level, but this makes it all the more difficult to decide where to direct my energy next.

People often ask writers where their ideas come from. Seriously, the problem isn’t having the ideas – it’s deciding which will fly. I have something called my ideas file in which I keep draft submissions and draft chapters for ideas I’ve had but I’m nit yet sure I’m ready to write, really want to write, or feel as if they generally need a bit more time percolating before they’re ready to serve. The trouble I have at the moment is that my head is full of ideas that need to be unloaded into the file and I don’t have enough time to pour them out. Ah, if only we had neural nanonics and could just plug a USB pen drive into our brains…

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