2009 has not yet given me a new novel. Why can’t novels fall out of the sky fully formed so we can query agents with pretty, polished pages and secure representation and advice on what to do next with our wobbling careers and then wake up the very next morning to book deals that allow us to pay off all our student loans, every one, quit our jobs and write all day on fluffy feather beds while eating an endless supply of truffles—and why do all my fantasies involve truffles? I want the easy way out, the truffle-solution, and we all know that’s not a possibility in the real world, down on the ground where it takes work to write a new novel and where TV beckons because you just came home from dayjob with a headache again.

Such is the progress of my new year so far. Two months in and I do not yet have a showable manuscript—not even close. I just—yes, again—went back to the drawing board on the main plot (visions of “high concept” dancing just out of reach in my head), which will confuse what I’ve already written, and I am rethinking the name of my narrator yet again.

What has been happening? How did two whole months get swallowed up?

January came just when I turned in my revised manuscript for DANI. So I had to recover. Then I did a reading, had to prepare for that. Then after the reading, had to recover. Then, February came, and I did a bunch of freelance work that ate out large chunks of my brain. Recovered. Layoffs at work—lost two friends—every day sucks without them there and still have not recovered. Got my final cover—that was good. Reviewed the copyedits on DANI, also good, which I turned in to the publisher on my birthday this past Monday. But I was still really tired after that, so more recovering.

Other than that, the writing has been slow-going. Sometimes I think I’m being slow on purpose. Protecting myself subconsciously maybe.

I am having a hard time letting go of this, the last time I put myself out in the world. That was when I was trying to be a literary fiction writer. Well, I’m starting over and I have to let go.

Please, someone come over and force me to let go. And bring truffles.

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