lovely, dark and deep

autumnalI took this photo in my yard.

I have a yard now.

Possibly obvious, but I no longer live in Manhattan.

I left the city in a blur of cardboard boxes and craziness and I owe a great number of people goodbye cocktails that never happened and probably even more people a “by the way I’m moving” update. My apologies. Time, as it does, got away from me, and here I am deep in autumn and leaves out in the woodsy mountains and now I have to make my own cocktails mostly but I am very much okay with that.

We lived in Manhattan for almost four years. I am going to miss parts of it dearly and other parts not at all. I already miss the ability to have sushi brought to my door, drinking sparkling rosé and eating pommes frites at Lafayette. Probably most of the things I will miss are food-based.

(Though as if I needed a sign from the universe that it was time to go, my favorite restaurant closed.)

I will miss Bryant Park and the High Line and the lobby of the Ace Hotel. The Met and the Morgan Library. I will miss walking up Park Avenue very late at night in the winter and buying used hardcover books at the Strand and Shakespeare in the Park but these are all things I can do again, that I may do even more now that Manhattan is for visiting.

So I have a house now, with stairs and rooms and trees outside and mice inside (teeny adorable mice it is difficult to be too terribly annoyed at even when they get into the Hallowe’en candy). I have never had a space of my own that did not come along with a diminishing number of months for occupying it, a space that can be painted and personalized and stayed in and lived in and it is nice but strange and I am still getting used to it.

I am organizing books on shelves. My new office is not office-shaped yet. Many things are still lost in cardboard boxes, waiting to be found again and put in new places.

Also I am quite literally in the woods. My internet is currently questionable at best though supposedly that might change in the future. I will try to keep up with things as well as I can. I am remaining on Twitter hiatus for now but I might drop in now & again more often than I have been.

I am still writing. New book is book-shaped but is not the right book-shape yet, which is a fussy confusing stage that there is probably a cake analogy for but I’m not sure what it would be. I write things wrong before I get them right, apparently it’s just a thing I do.

I am tearing things out and rewriting and replacing other things and trying to figure out which parts are book and what parts are not book and how to put them all back together properly and in what order. If this were indeed a cake analogy it would involve a very messy kitchen and there would probably be gluten-free flour in my hair. Sometimes in this non-existent analogy kitchen I sit on the floor and cry amongst broken eggs and ruined cake layers and sometimes the mice come out and whisper baking tips and advice to me before running off with more chocolate.

So, yes, still writing.

Every time I crawl out of the writing cave to peek at the internet someone somewhere is asking when my next book will be out. Here is your answer: I don’t know. If I knew I would tell you. I’m busy trying to get it right and make it good and find the proper way to tell this particular story, which feels more important than doing it quickly.

(I don’t have circus movie news either. No one tells me anything. It is, apparently, how such things go.)

A few new circusy things:

easton-press-editionThis very fancy, very limited, very pricey but very beautiful leather-bound, signed & gilded edition of The Night Circus is currently available from Easton Press. (They also have a very shiny edition of Ready Player One.)

vintage-childrens-classics-night-circusVintage UK has a Children’s Classics line that includes books for older readers and they’ve just added this new edition of The Night Circus. (It is in good company, including The Handmaid’s Tale. They have such great covers.)

I shall try to update the blog more often in the future. This year has been a blur of writing and moving. Whenever I find the time to stop and say something here I’m often at a loss for words.

To those about to NaNoWriMo, I wish you many words and endless inspiration and unexpected surprises. Last year’s post with lots of NaNo-related links including pep talks is here.

Merry NaNoWriMo Eve, Happiest of Hallowe’ens and Blessed Samhain.

pumpkin

happy bookaversary

lots-of-circuses

The Night Circus was first published five years ago today.

It’s been a wonderful, strange, emotional roller coaster since then and I am still so very grateful to everyone who embraced and supported the book and visited the circus.

Thank you.

I have been a bad blogger this year. I have been very deep in the writing cave and I really did have a blog post half-drafted that was a summertime check-in of sorts around my birthday but now it is September and beyond the point of summertime check-ins.

This is not a proper check-in. This is just a quick September bookaversary internet hello before I crawl back in my cave. I might grab a pumpkin to autumn-up the cave decor while I’m here.

I am fairly certain there will be news of varying sorts to post here in the foreseeable future. I might even be allowed back on Twitter sometime soonish. Lots of things are afoot and busy and buzzing like bees.

 

post-nanowrimo time again

I keep forgetting it is December, probably because I finished my NaNoWriMo-ness early this year.

I do hope all of you who NaNo-ed enjoyed yourselves, regardless of how many words you wrote, and I hope you’re proud of yourselves because you should be.

All I really wanted to do myself was add 50k to this draft during November and I managed it in 21 days which was excellent timing because my last week of November was very busy. Look, word count graph!

nano 2015 graph

I do so love a word count graph. I should probably just make my own little motivational graphs to use all the time but I don’t think it’d be the same. Maybe I’ll just stick gold stars on things.

So the good news is that this draft is much longer than it was, the not so good is that it is still quite a ways from finding its end. It wants to be long. I am going to try to talk it into being perhaps just a little bit shorter once I find the end of it. It keeps looking at me and pouting and going “but I’m epic!” and then we have debates over the difference between epics and fairy tales and myths and regular old novels. It is consenting to becoming book-shaped, though. It is much more book-esque than it was even before November, and it is very much a winter creature so I have a feeling I will be sledding towards the end of this draft over the next few months and thus things will likely be quite quiet around here though I will do some annual end of the year posts.

I wish I could say more about the not-quite-book but at this point I can’t, really. This point is still alchemy and ingredients and I’m not quite certain how the finished product will turn out, exactly, not enough to describe it properly.

But here, have two sensory hints about it, early winter holiday presents:

Right now the new book smells like snow and beeswax candles and leather and honey.

And it sounds like this, a peek at the beginning of the ever-changing playlist:

playlist sneak peek

hiatus time again

flower

My brain does not like summer in general and this one in particular. It is too hot and too bright. I’m tired at odd times of day and I forget to buy almond milk for my coffee.

I was already planning on curling up into my sweaters and my head in the fall but I think I shall start the curling early, even if the sweaters have to wait. I’ve been mostly neglecting the internet anyway but for some reason making it official and giving myself rules works better for my brain. And it seems more polite to announce than to simply vanish.

Starting August 1st I will not be on Twitter (I will tweet if there is particularly tweet-worthy news or information to be shared but I will not be reading my @ replies.)

I will blog if there is blog-worthy anything, though there usually isn’t because right now involves a lot of things that are still incubating and not sharable and not a lot of news. My day-to-day news of late is usually the not-blog-worthy type of things like “got new red lipstick” or “made blueberry pancakes” and “still in Dragon Age withdrawal.”

I will be on Instagram & Tumblr occasionally. Lipstick & pancake related news might turn up over there.

I don’t know how long this particular hiatus is going to last. I am planning on crawling into my head and not coming out again properly until I find the end of this book, which I know at this point seems like it has been a very very long time coming. I threw out everything I had in January and started over, so really it is going quite quickly and I have so much more of it figured out even if I haven’t convinced the words to cling to the pages in the right order just yet. It is much less like word soup now than it used to be but it is still a word soufflé and I need to be careful and quiet with it so it doesn’t collapse.

So I’m going to step away from the internet (mostly) and figure out how to get from soufflé to whatever the next stage of this analogy is (probably cake) and someday there will be a proper book and hopefully someday is a lot less far off than it used to be.

blank pages

notebooksFor as long as I can remember, blank books have made me anxious.

I love them, though it’s maybe a bit strange to love something that makes you anxious, but I do. I love crisp paper and fancy bindings and the clever little elastics to keep them closed. I particularly love the ones that have pockets in the back though I rarely put anything in the pockets.

I used to get blank books and journals and fill a few pages and stop, having ruined them with lousy handwriting and messy thoughts. And then I’d feel bad about letting them languish and didn’t like having long gaps of time between pages so the rest of the pages would stay blank.

I can’t even count how many once-blank books I’ve owned. I can count the ones I’ve filled cover-to-cover on one hand.

You would think, after all the time and all the words and all the writing, they wouldn’t make me nervous anymore. But they do.

I don’t have the same anxiety about blank pages when I type. Maybe it’s the mutability of a file, the possibilities of a blinking cursor are a more flexible sort, easily taken away again with a few additional keystrokes. I spelt additional wrong on the first try, easily fixed here.

And I type faster than I write longhand.

But I like writing longhand, even though it makes me feel slow and awkward and uncertain. I loved this piece that the lovely Daniel Kraus did on Booklist about writing longhand.

I suspect I just need to do it more, but there’s that horrid feeling of ruining something pristine mixed with too much possibility.

I have a couple of notebooks going for the novel-in-progress and pages upon pages on my computer, but I just pulled out a new blank book to work in and it’s making me nervous. Compounding the nerves that are already there from being back to the writing phase that’s just me and the world in my head and the pages to fill.

I’ll figure it out. I’ll spell things wrong and spill ink and hopefully this will be one of those books that gets filled cover-to-cover, and I’ll be able to make something of what’s inside.