nukeDec. 31, 2016 – On Christmas Eve, I was late to a dinner party because I had to write a story about white supremacists. Tonight, New Year’s Eve, I scrambled to post a story about a political operative whose homophobic remarks about women Democrats cost him a job. Which bears out the truism that nothing good ever happens on a holiday in the news business. That said, it’s a fine business to be in. And boy, does it ever feed the fiction.

Happy New Year!

Dec. 14, one day to deadline – Which means one day to kick back, because this morning, I emailed the really, truly final fixes to Reservations to the production editor, and the manuscript of Book 5 to my editor. Pretty sure that at some point, this day will involve pie.


Dec. 12, 2016, three days to deadline – Once, just once in my writing life, I’d like to have the goddamn chapter count come out right the first time. That is all.



Dec. 11, 2016, four days to deadline – Took advantage of the weekend to hit the final write-through hard, but finally granted myself a break. Despite the danger of reading a wonderful book at a time when I loathe every single thing about the one I’m writing, Jess Walter‘s Beautiful Ruins has sucked me in He had me with this passage:

“Agent: This book doesn’t work. Shane: You mean in your opinion. Agent: I mean in English.”

I probably shouldn’t find that funny, but I laughed out loud.






Dec. 10, 2016, five days to deadline – This print of Edgar Allen Poe (by the lovely and supremely talented Anne Cruikshank) perches above my writing chair. He seems to be scowling more than usual today. Pretty sure he’s saying, “Quit fooling around with selfies and write a f***ing book.”



Dec. 8, 2016 – Got the coffeeshop almost to myself today. Usually by now it’s a zoo, every table taken, espresso machine hissing and burbling. Why so deserted? The cold? But this is perfect writing weather!





Dec. 7, 2016, eight days to deadline – Figuring out a major plot twist this close to the end: not optimal. But feeling pretty damn smart and pleased with myself nonetheless.



Dec. 6, 2016, nine days to deadline – Had to put the truck in four-wheel drive to climb out of my icy street this morning. Then caught the train at the tracks and waited waited waited. Worth it, though, for a perfect latte.




Dec. 5, 2016. 10 days to deadline – Dear God. I’m starting to wake up at this hour even without the alarm. Happy (?) Monday.

Dec. 3, 2016 – Well, shoot. All this time, I thought it was “Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work we go.” Now I find out it’s home from. Nonetheless, I’m off to work, to dig dig dig dig dig dig dig for diamonds of phrases. Or something. Yeeesh.