The Final Push

    Nothing gets to me like a hot man in water...

    Now that you've had your protein for the day, I thought I'd whine and worry a bit.

    After writing my first novel, I realized that writing books is an awful lot like having a baby. You carry other people inside you, gestating their story. They're inside you for months, growing and growing. You do all you can to make sure their story turns out well, putting 100 percent of yourself into their development, even when it leaves you exhausted. Then things get rough. The book is due, and you almost can't take it any more. Instead of physical, the extreme pain is emotional, but everyone is still standing around shouting at you to push it out.

    "Push! Push! Come on!"

    And you really don't know if you can do it, even though you've done it before.

    Then it's out! And the pain stops... sort of. But then you're an emotional wreck, crying and feeling blue for no apparent reason.

    I've had "post-partum" depression with every book, most especially Ride the Fire, and sometimes I wonder if that makes me reluctant to finish them. It's horrible having to say goodbye to people you've shared your head with for months and months, sometimes years. After Ride the Fire, I was a wreck for six weeks, crying at the drop of a hat, truly feeling terrible, grindingly tired, weepy and depressed.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. Today I start my 10-day vacation, my chance to rocket ahead and finish Unlawful Contact, which has taken me about twice as long to write as it should have. I have 9.5 chapters to write (about 30,000 words) and 11 days to do it. Given that I normally write about 1,500 words a day on a really good day, this is unlikely. Still, it's what needs to happen.

    Sue, to answer your question, Unlawful Contact is tentatively slated for a February 2008 release, with the next book in the series coming out in March. However, for this to happen I must finish this book now and get the next one in on time, also. Let me sum up the odds this way: iceberg's chance in hell.

    So I need some writing miracles — lots of them. Please send your good vibes winging this way, particularly all you pregnant women, who are overflowing with Second Chakra energy right now. (Yes, I really am from Boulder.)

    I'm not sure how much blogging I'll do in those intervening days. Maybe I'll keep you all up to date on my progress and toss in a few excerpts, too.

    So, right now I'm halfway through Chapter 21. The goal is to reach Chapter 30 by April 1.

    Keep your fingers crossed!!!

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