Ah well. There IS a reason for this blog's name. :) And as all you long-suffering readers know, every so often I leap off topic and tell you about how I'm faring in the fray. Here are 2010's first “notes from the front.”
On the publishing angle: December 2009 saw the completion of the final edit of Through A Rain Of Fire, the first novel in the WWII trilogy I'm writing with Ruth Rockafield. The edit has emerged more or less unscathed through critiques and 3AM perusals, and we're now sending it out. After much nail-chewing and hair-pulling, we've opted to switch from targeting agents to targeting presses. So far, we have four medium-sized presses where we would love to be accepted. We'll see what they think! Replies should start coming in within two weeks—we're nervous, but we're confident that we have a good story and it's on its way to finding a home.
On my own: I've gotten some excellent critiques on my YA historical, SS-5 (http://frontnotes.blogspot.com/2009/10/historical-note-teenage-spies.html) – many thanks to Kelsey, Kayla, Liberty, and all the folks on Storytellers, ChristianWriters, and FairyTaleNovels for their invaluable input. With their help, I've leaned back, gotten a good objective squint at the novel, and will spend the next few weeks on the necessary changes. Then off it goes to agents' desks (I will be targeting agents with this one). The positive feedback on this novel has been incredible – here's hoping the agents are as excited about it!
In writing news: Ruth and I have nearly completed A Fire Is Woken (bk2 in our trilogy)! Our goal is to finish by the twenty-eighth of February. We've a few thousand words to go, but for two NaNo vets, that shouldn't break a sweat. Once it's finished, we'll set it aside for a few weeks pre-edit, while we launch into writing the final novel, A Dwindling Fire. That'll keep us occupied for a few months.
I'm also working on a satirical murder mystery—but that's a subject for a new post. :)
I'd just like to give a shoutout of thanks to all the folks on Storytellers, ChristianWriters, FairyTaleNovels, and my two writers' groups, who consistently support, encourage, and help me in my insane writer's life. You all are amazing. Thanks so much.