Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Big Thaw

No, I'm not talking about the weather. I know that most of you have been shivering, sliding around, and trudging through snow up to your necks this winter, but I live in sunny southern Arizona so I definitely cannot complain about that.*

                                                                     Your winter
                                                                      My winter

What I'm talking about is my slow reawakening to reality after a month of surgery recuperation. For the first weeks after the operation, I had anesthesia head and was incapable of coherent thought. I couldn't get around very well and was pretty uncomfortable, so I didn't accomplish anything except one crossword puzzle after another. I still couldn't move well for the next couple of weeks, but I felt better. I sat around in something of a pleasant fog, floating happily, allowing my patient husband to wait upon me hand and foot. By week four I began to wake up and realize that I'd better ease back into work, because time marches on and many a task is pending.

I've been working on a new non-series book for over a year. Maybe closer to two years. While still writing my series books. I desperately want to get the new novel done before the end of March or the editor to whom I promised to show the manuscript is going to kill me. I keep changing my mind about the direction of the story. A few days ago I decided that my victim's body should be discovered somewhere other than in his own back yard. So I'm in the midst of going through the entire MS and making that tweak. I generally write historicals, which means I'm not entirely confident in my 21st Century crime solving methods. I recently corresponded a bit with a Scottsdale policewoman, who agreed to answer my procedural questions, so I sent them to her a week or ten days ago and never heard back. I have another police prospect I'll try to contact, but I may end up skirting around the issue and not worrying about it. This is the problem with having no deadline. I can't let the durn thing go.

On top of everything, yesterday the press sent me the ARC of Hell With The Lid Blown Off, the next Alafair book (in electronic form for the first time. My poor eyes). They want the corrections back by Feb 21, which would be okay except that I also agreed to moderate two panels for the Tucson Festival of Books and I'm trying to read as many books by the six participating authors as I can before March 14 and work up discussion topics. They're great authors, so this is not torture by any means, but they're all quite prolific and it does take time. Fortunately, the slate includes Rhys Bowen, Jacqueline Winspear, and Tim Hallinan, all of whom I have read several books by already. That was an awkward sentence but you get the picture. On top of it all, I agreed to blurb a book before May 1, which I haven't even begun reading. Considering that I don't go anywhere except to doctor's appointments lately, I have been keeping busy. I need to learn not to say yes to everything anyone asks me to do.

Today marks the end of post-op week five. I'm almost back to normal--still cripping around a little, but the brains are finally in working order. I'm kind of sorry about that, in an odd way. That fog was very pleasant.
*All right, I can complain a little bit. It's supposed to be near 90 degrees by this weekend. Considering that this is mid-February, that does not bode well for a mild summer here in the Valley of the Sun.


Judith Starkston said...

Glad to hear the fog is clearing. Sympathize with the book troubles. I haven't moved a dead body in my ms--at least he was still where I left him last I checked--but progress always seems elusive. Looking forward to crossing paths in Tucson at the Festival. What a good crew of authors you have to moderate!

Donis Casey said...

Judith, body-moving is a particular weakness of mine. I always have trouble deciding where the poor soul should end up.

Louise Signorelli said...

Glad you're doing well, Donis - and I love the title of the new Alafair book - can't wait to read it. You always do come up with the coolest titles!

Donis Casey said...

Thanks, Louise. Usually I just wait until one of the characters says something interesting and think, "That would be a good title!"

Charlotte Hinger said...

And--Donis was kind enough to come to my signing at Poisoned Pen. I don't know how she found the time.