Down From Ten has been on my mind a lot, lately. A lot of reasons for it, I suspect, but the biggest one might be scenes like this:

I’d like to claim that I’m waiting out the Era of the Jackpot in a secure undisclosed location, but the truth is a great deal more boring: I’ve been remodeling. For the whole year. For family reasons. These things happen, but it doesn’t make them convenient from a “finish the goddamn book already!” point of view. Truth to tell, the remodeling and its attendant drama knocked writing right off my plate for the better part of the previous year, and it’s only since the snow started dumping in earnest that I’ve been able to start getting back to the keyboard.

Snow has a concentrating effect on the mind. When you have nothing to do but shovel snow, split wood, and feed the fire, you get to do a lot of thinking. In my case, this has been great for writing the new stories.

It isn’t only the human mind it has a concentrating effect on. The canine mind seems to benefit from it too.

The dogs are waiting for new books, too.

As part of the lost-in-the-woods-ness that’s been going on here, I’ve had a loaner dog that I take on training missions with Trixie. This adorable walking carpet has the hearing of a geriatric rock’n’roll guitarist, the drive of a rusted out tractor, and attention span of my nephew. Combined with Trixie’s insanely high-drive, it makes for a hell of a training pair combination, enough to drive any amateur dog trainer around the bend.

And yet, with the snow, they’re both a lot lot more attentive, as demonstrated with the 100 yard down-stay at right. (I understand this doesn’t mean much to most of you, but the occasional dog geek out there might share my enthusiasm).

Anyway, the office here is dusty as all hell, but the words are flowing again. I’m currently working on volume 3 of the Kabrakan series, volume 9 of The Clarke Lantham Mysteries, and a nonfiction book that’ll fulfill a lifelong ambition of mine (more on that one later, obviously).

My apologies for my absence, and for missing my customary New Year’s blog post. But writing I am again, and there’ll be some new surprises in the coming days that I think you’ll enjoy.

In the meantime, I am still podcasting more-or-less daily over at The Every Day Novelist, so if you miss hearing my voice on pod, head on over and take a listen. It’s a podcast for writers, rather than readers, but if you’re not a writer you may still enjoy the inside-baseball aspect of it.

Until then, I shall trudge off into the sunset to write some more words and work on the other secret projects. Enjoy the view!

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