have manuscript, will travel

1

My book Lord of Bones has been released! Into the world! The wide wild world! Or at least into a scattering of bookstores near you!…Or somewhat near you, depending on your actual geographical location!

(One might note that the above link takes you to a publisher page where LOB and accompanying excerpt are positioned above Elizabeth Bear’s INK AND STEEL. This pleases me, and not just because one day I intend to steal the author’s last name for a fictional female character whom people can refer to, simply, as Bear. Which pleases me also, because I am like that.)

2

My goal for July is not just to make serious tracks on the new novel (the sequel to LORD OF BONES which is called either SOULSTICE or SOULJACKED depending on my mood) but also to blog every day for a month. If just to see what I am capable of unearthing from my head at the end of a day such as this one. It’s kind of an experiment in discipline (and possibly sanity as well, but we won’t really go there).

I’m dealing with the issue of just where, exactly, to exercise this new steel-like sense of discipline. Home is no longer — and hasn’t been for a long time — a reliable consistent place in which to get work done. It occurred to me today that I have this fantasy of leaving the house every morning like a regular responsible person merrily contributing to society and zooming off to my dream office (which has somehow in recent months morphed into a kind of modern luxury guesthouse with sprawling pillow-laden bed on which to take leisurely naps, and I realize this doesn’t speak well of that steel-like sense of discipline, but nevermind). Yet I also have this fantasy of writing a novel set in westside LA at various places all around LA — an outdoor cafe in West Hollywood one morning, a library in Beverly Hills the next, a stylish hotel lobby in Santa Monica the next, a restaurant rooftop patio downtown…you get the idea…one idea being that I would somehow absorb through sight and sound a new deeper knowledge of this colorful postmodern and rather theatre-of-the-absurd kind of city.

And then it (finally) occurred to me that the wish for stability and routine on the one hand and variety, freedom and change on the other don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and chocolate in those old Reese’s Pieces commercials*. So now I’m trying to strike a balance between the two…as well as a much better balance between the need for solitude and need to be around people (even if it’s just being around them without actually talking to any of them). To work some structure and routine into my days more conducive to prolific writing while still having places to fall back on in case my day (or my mood) abruptly takes me in the literal opposite direction. Not to mention, this is a city where falling an hour behind schedule can put you in a rush-hour traffic jam that suddenly has you writing at the Starbucks off Sunset in Brentwood instead of the (maybe not so modern or luxurious yet still very charming) guesthouse off Sunset in Bel Air.

Because in case you haven’t heard, traffic here can really suck.

*”Your chocolate got in my peanut butter!” “Your peanut butter got in my chocolate!” And why the hell am I remembering this?

edited to add that one Jeff P. has corrected me in the comments below that it was not, indeed, the Reese’s Pieces candy of which I was truly speaking, but the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. An important distinction. Thank you, Jeff.

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