It’s 2013, finally. I haven’t looked at my achievements last year and I haven’t defined my goals for this year. Heck, I haven’t even checked my cheque books yet to see if they are CTS-2010 compliant. All the same, it’s now a good three weeks into 2013, and that should be a good thing.
This is the year that my publisher is supposed to publish at least one of my books. They are sitting on two of them – one on adoption, the other my first work of fiction. I’m hoping the adoption book will come out this year… it’s been a long wait already, far too long.
As for fiction – I’m still surprised to find myself writing science fiction. Whenever I thought of being a writer of novels, I thought they would be romances. I grew up on a diet of whodunits and romances and I couldn’t see myself writing a whodunit, so it would have to be romances, I thought. Sci-fi never entered the equation. Who writes sci-if? Who even reads sci-fi? Not me.
My editor, whom I’ve met just once, thought it was only natural for a technical writer in a fairly abstract field of technology to be writing sci-fi, and I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. But then, I never even thought I’d be a technical writer, so I’m still surprised to be writing sci-fi.
Undeterred by the eternal delay in my work actually seeing the light of day, I’ve been busy working on yet another book that I hope to persuade the same publisher to publish. It is actually a sequel to my first work of fiction, but it is very different in nature and character, connected only by a thin thread of plot. I started writing it in October, and now – one hundred thousand (or so) words later – the first draft is done. In less than four months! It needs a second look, of course, and then probably even a third, but right now I’m pretty happy with it. I’d sent my editor the proposal for this one even before I started writing – something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before – so I was a little worried in case the book came out differently… or didn’t come out at all. What if I never got around to writing it, or I lost interest half way? Well, at least that hasn’t happened, and the book has stuck to the proposed storyline fairly faithfully. So hopefully my editor is going to like it. Fingers crossed, breath bated and all that.
Looking back, it’s difficult for me to believe that less than a year ago, towards the end of February 2012, I had just got my contract for the adoption book and just completed a first draft of the first fiction book. I sent it to my agent on the first of March, in its raw, first-draft state. It was the end of May by the time I had it in its final shape. By the end of August I had a contract – a mere six months from completion of the first draft. When I wrote my first book, it took me several drafts and a good five years to get a contract. The adoption book also languished for so long that I’d almost given up hope.
From June to September last year, I was busy with another module of Archaeology and then in mid-September, we moved house. On 2nd October, I started writing the sequel. And now, apart from a few holes here and there, I’m done.
In retrospect, it seems amazing – so amazing that I actually went to my mailbox archive to check that some of this didn’t happen in 2011, it seems that long ago.
There’s been another book knocking around in my head wanting to come out, but right now I just don’t have the energy to work on it. I’m tired! I need a couple of months to read and watch TV and spend time with the kids. And sleep. And maybe, if I have a bit of time after all that, to blog.
Meanwhile, I have discovered a new way to keep myself busy – as if the old ways weren’t working anymore; let me assure you, they were working just fine. After we moved into our new house and finished unpacking (mostly) and putting stuff away (or in some cases, just shoving it under the steps), we took a look around and realized we had a lot of open space outside the house and that it was exceedingly muddy and it needed some attention and, even more importantly, some roots. And that’s my latest pet project – taking care of the garden. There’s lots to be done, and, since I know absolutely nothing about gardening or plants, there’s lots for me to learn. Well, I love to learn, so it should be fun – at least for me (if not for the plants)!