Thursday, January 31, 2008

Everything's Coming Up Clark

So after secretly laughing at me for having two separate blogs, my wife finally caved and created her own outlet on the internet: Everything's Coming Up Clark.

This will be the go-to source for all things Clark family related--baby pictures, news and ramblings when the time comes, notes on the remodel, dog-thoughts, and whatever else Amber feels like jotting down. If you like keeping up on that type of thing, it's the place to be!

And as an added bonus, my wife is freaking hilarious! Check it out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Clean, new space

This post has been a long time coming--I bookmarked Jonathan Carroll's comments back in October about what it's like to start a new novel. He compares it to sitting in an empty apartment before moving in:

That is what it is like for me to begin a new novel. You've chosen a place to live for the next year or more but it has nothing inside it yet. Only the walls, the floors and the windows. Because you have created this space, only you can furnish it. But you're really looking forward to the task, no matter how long it takes.

It's been almost seven years since I started my last big project, Dreams of a Shaper. With that winging it's way to agents, the time has come to move on and get working on something else. Tonight I finished the last character sketches, lists and notes before I start actually putting new words down on blank pages.

I'm thrilled, I'm scared, I'm champing at the bit to go. Hope it doesn't take another seven years, but if it does then so be it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Traction

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.

And the answer is....

When last I posted about the upcoming birth of our first child, we hadn't found out yet whether it was a boy or a girl. So for the record it's (drumroll)....

A girl!

We're so delighted, not least given my family history. There have been only a handful of girls born in the Clark family in the past century, so neither of us thought it particularly likely that we would have one. But whether it was the fertility drugs or just meant to be, we are so looking forward to welcoming our little daughter into the world.

I'll be honest and say that pregnancy has not been what either of us expected. The physical wear and tear, the months of constant nausea ("morning sickness", yeah right), along with Amber recently turning up with gestational diabetes have all made it a rough road. But when I think back to the day we found out it was a little girl on the way, I feel certain it will all be worth it.