As my prior note probably indicates, life has been busy at the Clark household. I know this isn’t a valid excuse for not writing, but it’s been tough period to find time to buckle down. We’ve been remodeling the house before our daughter arrives, Amber’s was laid out sick for the first four or five months of our pregnancy, and at the end of the summer I finished my final draft of Dreams of a Shaper before submitting it to agents. I had good intentions of writing short fiction, and I have churned out a few stories, but the short stuff just doesn’t hold my attention like a bigger project.

The remodel isn’t done, but things are winding down a little, so I’m getting back into action. First order of business is another batch of agent submissions. Haven’t heard back from everyone in the first go around, but that’s no reason to wait. Those should be in the mail by the end of the weekend.

Next is editing a couple of the stories I’ve drafted for critique group. It’s been nice to have something new to present there recently with a few revived stories, and I’m looking forward to trotting out new material for them soon.

Last and certainly not least, there’s the next book. I’ve got a good bit of planning slated before I truly put pen to paper–world building, plotting, character studies, probably even some “before the book starts” scenes just to get my footing. I’m shifting gears to fantasy this go around, and I’m thrilled with how the ideas are gelling.

I know, it sounds crazy to start writing a novel just months before a new baby arrives, but I figure 1) I’ll get some work done if I start now and 2) I don’t want the writing to wait until our daughter’s sleeping through the night. This period of partial hiatus has re-enforced exactly how much the writing soothes and settles me, how much I enjoy and crave it. Even if it’s less frequent, even if it’s interrupted by crying and diaper changes, I’ll be a happier man if I’ve got blank pages in front of me and ideas in my head when the baby arrives.