So now I stop to take stock, and I realize I haven't the faintest idea what's happening in 2010.
I just left the fulltime gig I was doing for two years. The reasons for this I'll not go into here; most anyone who is close enough to me knows the whole story. (The rest of you are not missing anything major, trust me.) I'm in the middle of getting my resume into various people's hands and talking to folks, so all this will take care of itself in good time.
But a lot of other things have been thrown into a kind of limbo. Travel plans, mostly. I'm tentatively mulling getting a table at I-CON, but it's expensive — a kind of reverse compensation for the fact that I don't need a hotel room. AnimeFest! is happening one way or another; I'll sell blood to get there if I have to. The rest of it is, well, rather tentative, to put it mildly.
One thing that is happening, and that you would need to put bullets through my face to stop, is The Underground Sun, my Next Big Thing. If there was ever a time in my life to sit down and create something that mattered to me apart from jobs, career or money, it's now.
Earlier today, I stopped between one thing and another, and opened the files for the project. Fifteen minutes later I was in the middle of cutting and pasting notes to assemble the first couple of pages of the first draft.
They call it a writer's instinct for a reason: it comes out of you the way the eggs come out of the chicken. As e.e. cummings said about the coming of spring, you couldn't stop it with all the policemen in the world.
The rough plan is like so: Jan-May, write; Jun-Jul, edit; Aug, finish and proof and ship; Sept, sell. About the same plan of action I had last year for Tokyo Inferno, and I have a fair chunk of material already written which might well be used as-is (or which at the very least will inspire a lot of swift rewriting rather than slow creating from scratch).
It's those first couple of chapters that are always bumpy, because I keep asking myself if they're hook-y enough. I looked at what I had and felt it was a little static, so I popped it apart and stuck it back together again to see what would happen. It's a little early to tell, but I'm hoping it'll fire off the same sort of avalanche of enthusiasm that allowed all the other books to achieve cruising altitude in jig time.
Look for a status update sometime in January about this. I'm finding it helps not to talk too much about such things, lest I get tempted to substitute talking about them for working on them.