I've been trying very hard lately to make myself write, but it's very difficult to do without being distracted. Even when I yank out the modem cord so that I'm not constantly checking SuperHeroHype.com, I can only last a few minutes before I plug it back in.
I'm a lazy writer. I have to force myself to keep writing if I want to make any kind of living at all doing it. Nora Roberts has written more than six hundred books in her lifetime. Ditto Danielle Steel. How can I keep up with that? I'm not saying I want to write a novel a week or anything, but I don't want to be that author that comes out with maybe one book every ten years. And it's going to take that long if I don't get writing already. I try to use my acceptance with CICADA as encouragement, I read and re-read the updates section of my Locus magazine that show all the other books that working authors have been turning in for five-, sometimes even six-figure advances. Lucky. I'm not interested that much in the money (I've adapted to the idea that I'll probably be having to do some real work, possibly in a library, on the side while I write) - but I know that I can never even hope of getting a six-figure advance if I'm not writing.
Anyway, I've changed some ideas with The Boy Who Would Be Queen again, changed the time and the setting. Basically, I'm going to try to make it as weird as possible, so that I can have some modern conveniences (which are, I'll admit, easier to write, and according to my parents - better received) but still keep some of the medieval parts that I like about all the other books that I read. That's one of the upsides of writing fantasy. Don't know enough about the medieval world - but writing about modern times is boring? Do both, then.
I'm thinking about dusting off Reading the Willow King, a novel idea that I've adandoned of late. It still has a lot of promise, and it keeps coming back to me when I find myself writing lines of it in my head when I fight with my sisters (primarily because the three main characters are based on myself and my sisters).
I've also been working more on "Magic Doesn't Grow on Trees". It's going to need some serious trimming once I've finished the first draft, but it's coming along, and I think I'm succeeding at making spoiled rich girl Ravine a little more sympathetic and kind without being too obvious about it. There's nothing worse than when a pampered character acts like a bitch to everyone, but on the next page suddenly exclaims, "Oh! I've been so rude! My entire life is unsatisfactory, even with all of my material pleasures! Hop in my limo and let's go volunteer at the nearest soup kitchen!" I'm determined to have Ravine continue to adore her material wealth at the end, but she'll be more considerate of other people's feelings hopefully. And hopefully, people will find her mindset funny, rather than repulsive.
I'm also re-reading some of my books for Green Man Review. With my hunger to read new stories and new books that other people insist on publishing, even when I don't have the time or money to read the mall, I've found that I've rarely re-read any of the books that I own. The exceptions are Robin Hobb's books, Patricia Wrede's, Joanna Bertin's, and Tanya Huff's, but I still have the three books of William Horwood's Duncton Wood series, which I've read once, adored, and promptly never read again. And I've had them for nearly eight years, I'm pretty sure.
I think it's about time to start recirculating certain old books into my to-be-read pile, like, every bundle of three new books should be separated by one old one, or one old series. Right now, after I finish Kelley Armstrong's Broken, I'm reading Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, And Thorn series for review.After I read some more new books (the new ones on my pile include Child of a Rainless Year, Crime and Punishment, and Nicholas Nickleby, to name a few), I might try going back to reading The Wild Road and The Golden Cat by Gabriel King. Both are (or were when I last read them) very weird books about cats and magical cat highways and the bizarre things that humans did to them. Who knows how much I'll enjoy them no.