New Year, Blank Page

Happy New Year everyone.

Yesterday I looked up my stats on this site and discovered that this blog had a grand total of 220 page views in 2014. That sounds like a piddling amount, I know, but WordPress insisted that it was pretty good for the first year, especially given the long gap this summer when I didn’t post anything. Then again, that could just be their marketing department talking. Maybe it really is just a piddling amount.

The most popular post turned out to be the one with my cat’s picture on it. Which, come to think of it, I originally posted simply to get page views. So I guess it worked. Here is another picture of Squeaky and her sister Ginger. Ginger is the cat who likes to read stories on my tablet but, unfortunately, not when I have a camera ready to snap her picture:

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Probably the first thing I need to get out of the way is something that most of you have already noticed: A City of Air is not ready for publication. Or even finished. I can’t say that I’m all that surprised, because I have yet to hit a deadline head on, and the holidays provide enough turmoil to push anything to one side.

Another hurdle is the mental block of trying to start up again after letting the story lie idle for the summer. Truly, I don’t recommend it. Once you lose the momentum on something it’s difficult to get it back. More than once, I’ve given serious thought to scrapping the whole thing and starting over. Sometimes that’s all you can do when you’re stuck.

Plus, it’s the end of a trilogy. That might not seem like much of a problem, but I’ve had fairly good response to the first two volumes of the story, which is good but scary. I’ve been afraid of messing up the ending, and fear can be crippling. Dangling plot threads littered the landscape and offered no clue as to how they can be tied up. I might give short shrift to someone’s favorite character. Or screw it up altogether.

As if that wasn’t enough, one of the main characters–Kas’s father, no less–went and did something unexpected. Where in the hell did that come from? What did he think he was doing? How on earth would I resolve that? Honestly, sir, everyone else had two whole volumes and more than 120-thousand words to develop their stories, and you had to go and pull something like that?

But the unexpected is what a writer lives for in her work and the end is finally in sight.

On New Years’ Eve, while preparing to stay up past midnight, I decided to lie down for a nap. (I don’t know why I want to stay up for the New Year, just habit, I guess.) I didn’t succeed in sleeping, but lay for an hour drifting along the free-range-thought-train that comes in that gap between not-asleep and not-entirely-awake.

Suddenly, there it was.

Click, click, click, it all opened up like a series of locked boxes.

The ending of the story.

All of the plot threads neatly tied into a bundle, resolving all of the subplots. I could give John Merriweather a happy ending without sending him to a corner like an errant child. (Although I dearly wanted to, naughty boy.)

I figure it will be another couple of weeks before I’m ready for the final edit. In the meantime, I probably won’t post here again until it’s done. Wish me luck.

-kf

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Many Irons in the Fire

It’s been a busy week around here as I try to hold on to the dream if being a writer. First off the bat, I submitted the manuscript of A City of Wood to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The contest is held every year and there’s a book contract with Amazon Publishing offered as grand prize. I have a 1 in 10,000 chance of winning, so you can see that the odds aren’t in my favor, but that’s true of publishing in general. Nothing ventured, and all that…

I also sent my first short story to a magazine…and got it in 10 minutes before the deadline. Honestly, at the 30-minute mark I didn’t thinking was going to make it. A photo finish, to be sure. I really need to start these projects earlier. Time management has always been an issue for me. I’m the princess of procrastination, and always have been.

Oh, and here’s another look at Squeaky. She didn’t think the last picture showed her best angle:

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Stay warm this weekend. We’re in for another round of snow in these parts.

-kf