Making a New Plan

I love planning.

I recognize that not everyone is wired this way. Some of you folks out there get the most joy out of your life when circumstances let you wake up and do whatever seems best to you at that moment. I think that is terrific, even though it doesn’t work so well for me because I just love to make lists.

c3 FINAL ecopyToday is a special day as it is the first of the month. That means that I get to make my plan for writing for the month of September. Figuring out how and when I am going to find the time to indulge in my most favorite activity brings me no end of joy. When I do this, I feel like I am somehow outwitting the gods of practicality, who rule the mundane world. They have decreed that doing my laundry and paying my bills will fill all my free hours and no time will be left for what I love.  I make my little list, looking for pockets of time I can claim as my own, and delight in the fact that THEY ARE WRONG. I’ve proven them wrong for 32 months in a row now and I intend to keep right on doing so.

This first of this particular month, however, is even better than most. I have finished my fourth novel, c3, and it will be out on Kindle by the end of the year. Each book has been a challenge to get into for its own reasons, and this one was no exception. Once I became immersed in it, though, it took over and now I am sad to leave its world. I already love its newly designed cover, once again expertly done by Jennifer Fitzgerald at motherspider.com.

I will spend September moving c3 along to my first group of beta readers, and making minor changes as they get back to me. This will be fun. I enjoy getting feedback on my stories and tweaking them to make them better.

The activity that really excites me, however, is that I will also begin research and planning for my fifth novel d4. Because c3 and d4 overlap in time, and tell the tales of two sisters having simultaneous adventures far from home, I have had the plot of d4 in the back of my mind as I finished c3. I already know that it involves subjects that fascinate me, and I can’t wait to start researching.

There is an old and frankly kind of stupid expression that goes “whatever blows your skirt up” and I probably don’t even want to know where it came from. The fact is that nothing seems to blow my skirt up more than planning to start a new book. It’s enough to make me want to dance for joy.

#SFWApro

Why why one?

After finding out that naming my first novel with a superscript was not such a hot idea, ( see “Hugs and Kisses“) I turned right around and named my second novel y1.  Why? Why “y”?

Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier

Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier

Well, the name was supposed to be x1 to be honest, and early on I had a vision of writing a six book series of novels called x0, x1, x2, x3, x4, and you guessed it x5. (Every one of those numbers are supposed to be a superscript.) You have to admit it does sort of have a pattern to it. Unfortunately the hero of my second book is a big X-men fan, with professor Xavier himself being the most favorite of all heroes. And I personally love Patrick Stewart. Suddenly having x in the title seemed just too derivative. Maybe even edging into plagiarism. The “x” had to go.

But by this point I had come to love the fact that any number at all raised to the power of one is itself.  This second novel was meant to be a counterpoint to all the oneness in the first novel.  I wanted to celebrate the individual here. I wanted to rejoice in the wonderful ways we are all different.  My protagonist was a young gay man learning to embrace his uniqueness.  Why not use “y”?  Zane, my savvy hero, does ask the question “why?” with great frequency.

It turns out that the letter y is not quite as common in book titles as the letter x.  There is Brian K. Vaughan’s series Y: The Last Man (oh yes, I’d forgotten about  the Y chromosome).  And author Marjorie Celona has recently published a book called “Y: a novel” that sounds fabulous and also plays on the the word “why”. There are a few religious books out there simply called “Why” and a host of other books that start with the word “Why” and end with everything you can imagine and a few things that you probably can’t.  (“Why Men Marry Bitches” and  “Why are People so Stupid” seem to me to both try to answer universal questions.  Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers surprised me a little but, hey, give the idea a chance. )

So my second novel became y raised to the power of one, and friends and family dubbed it “why one”.  The electronic world refused to show it as anything other than y1.  To me, it’s just called “y”.  As in, it’s just being itself.  As in, why did I get started on this to the power of thing and now what am I going to call that third novel.

Luckily, a fellow blogger solved that last dilemma for me with an offhand remark. Please visit my blog “Treasure Hunting for a Good Time” to learn more.