My 'book-writing poncho' is just shy of one step above the hedgehog. All I need are the array of cats, the spectacles and the solitary cabin and the vision will be complete.

Ah, my sweet, long-suffering laptop. You’re too old for me, but I love you anyway. We’re good together. I can turn you on in a heartbeat. You rarely forget stuff, and never hassle me before breakfast. You keep my lap warm. You take me places. You almost never talk back.

I am half as cool as I used to be after five consecutive summers of band camp because being a shut-in is, like, totally HOT.



There’s one big scene left—the crux—before the second draft of the book is complete. Then a few small potholes to fill, then a quick pillage and tighten, an allover body massage so that my baby rolls into the publishing house all limbered up and dewy.

I have help.

He is the freight train of all that happens in tannery hollow. As loud as I can stand it, he is the soundtrack of the chase, the madness. They (the hunted) don’t know who he is but if they did, they’d respect him. He is not of their kind but a parallel brother.

There they are, jostling and taunting. They stink. I push up my sleeves and yell back and they break it up, do as I say. A ghost in their world, I’ve got street cred. I come bearing the Man in Black.


I’ve got three weeks to finish. Three weeks to get it ready for copyediting and if the publishers agree, it’ll be on shelves in nine months, moved up to a Fall 2009 release instead of Spring 2010.

This is big. This is exciting. This is WAAAGHAHGHHAA!

The fast-track may not happen if structural reworking is needed. And that would be okay too. But I'll shoot for it, word-rustle to match that chug-a-chug chug-a-chug. Then it’s chapter illustrations, grey scratchings, repulsively delicious. Then the making of story into book—the launch, the marketing, all foreign to me.

It’s going to be the newest of new years.