A month or so ago, I posted several Christmas resolutions about not using the holidays to sell more books, or to insist that I knew what your family and friends wanted to read, or to bribe you into donating to my own favorite charity. Those resolutions worked (all too well!) for the entire holiday season. I quit posting about my books, and you quit buying them or borrowing them to read. Maybe that’s because you just didn’t have time for reading between batches of cookies and last-minute shopping trips. Fortunately, I’m now seeing a reversal. In the past few days, several people have started reading again, which warms both my heart and my bank account.
I also promised myself that I would try to enjoy the season and take a break from writing. That one worked well, too. I’ve lapsed a couple of times, but my total output for the past 35 days has amounted to less than 5000 words. I filled my days with household chores, decorating, shopping (much of it on-line), cooking, and vegetating in front of the TV. I came close to becoming a reality-show addict—baking contests, remodeling demolition derbies, silly quiz shows geared toward offering lots of money in the early minutes and then yanking some or all of it away at the end of the show. Most of these were reruns but ones I had never seen. I’m ready to push the OFF button and get back to work, although I fear I’ll be side-tracked by the upcoming Olympics, as will many of you.
Still, if you’re reading again, it’s time for me to start writing again. I have the outline of a new book and files of research materials to fill in the historical details of the start of the Civil War. I also have the germ of an idea to make this new book an innovative reading experience. The problem? I know what I would like to see happen, but I’m not sure how to get there. I’d like your suggestions. I’ll explain the tentative plan and its problems in tomorrow’s post. For now, I need to stop blogging and start recreating the world of 1859.