State of the Writer: December 2012


2012 Goal: Query Nickajack. I promised at the beginning of the year I would start every State of the Writer post that way. It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to in part because we’ve learned just how much work goes into making a novel out of a first draft, and because we had a baby. But we’re still in a great place with Nickajack, we’re still working on it, and we’re hopeful for 2013. We’ve also started the sequel, working title Mogollon, talking settings, characters, and themes. Yes, themes. There are even roughly 500 words sitting in the rough draft at the starts of chapters one and two. It’s one of my big 2013 projects, but I’ll talk about those more in a month’s time.

December should see my next short story go live in an anthology called Old Weird South. Don’t worry, I won’t be quiet when the anthology goes up for sale. At this point I’m not sure if it’ll be digital only or if hard copy editions will be available. My story in the anthology, titled “The South, Rise Again,” was inspired by one of my favorite Nickajack era research books, Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering. It’s a downer subject, the book is about death and all, but a fascinating read.

My goals for December involve editing and outlining. Editing Nickajack. Outlining Mogollon and another project I’d like to write in 2013. There are likely going to be few words going into rough drafts this month, but no shortage of things to work on. Here’s hoping I actually get some of it done.

State of the Author’s Beer: BOTTLED! It took until nearly the end of the month, but Pi Stout is in the bottle. My hydrometer and an online calculator tell me the beer is around 6% ABV, right on target. Now it’s a waiting game. Stouts take a little longer to mellow out, and it does need some mellowing. We’ll probably open the first bottle for Christmas, but it’ll still be young. I did get 26 bottles instead of the typical 24, so there’s be some to spare.

State of the Author’s Bees: Getting ready for the winter. They’ve been switched from syrup, which can freeze, to bee candy. There are a few warm days ahead, hopefully they’ll be ready for the lean months. It’s been a tough year for beekeeping in the DC area. Hell of a year to start the hobby.

State of the Author’s Baby: Three months old tomorrow, so more then.

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