March 29, 2017 – One good reason to put a manuscript aside for awhile is the way all of its annoying errors leap out at you when seen with fresh eyes. Typos, for instance. (On the first page? Really? Banging head against wall.) And inconsistencies.

times911For instance, one page references the black smoke pouring from the World Trade Center on 9/11; a few pages later, the smoke is white. (More head-banging. Ow.)

This set me, at an ungodly early hour, to watching videos of that day. The good thing is that both references were right – the smoke was black immediately after the planes hit, but boiled up in huge white clouds when the towers collapsed – making it easy to tweak the sentences into correct submission.

The bad thing? Reliving that day, the sense that our whole world was changing. And now, knowing that sense was right. Dammit all, anyhow.

March 28, 2017 – Devoted a three-day weekend to doing my taxes and cleaning my desk. Not sure which task was more onerous, although I eased the pain of the latter by listening to the spectacular audiobook version of “Lincoln in the Bardo” as I dug through the piles of paper to bare wood.

IMG_1229Why the flurry of activity? Because new book is due June 15, which in book world is basically tomorrow. But, having dispensed with taxes, desk cleaning and some other time-consuming tasks, I’m ready! Having spent much of the last five years writing books set in the American West, it’s both strange and wonderful to re-immerse myself in Afghanistan. Already wishing for some lamb qorma, and some naan, fragrant and fresh and from being peeled from the side of the tandoor. But for now, it’s coffee, coffee, coffee in my favorite mug as the revisions begin.