December Update

A busy first week of December: 

  • I finished a first draft of a short story and began the first draft of a second short story. 
  • I began writing notes for a memoir about money.
  • I mailed “The Shadow,” the excerpt from Perceval, to another magazine.  The waiting begins…. (could be several months)
  • The climactic scene of the Perceval series has been stewing in my mind and I realized a major thematic point reaches a resolution, triggered by a surprising character, and in an unexpected way.  I’m starting to feel I need to sketch out the scene on paper, although the stewing process has been quite productive so far.
  • A friend sent a link to a government site, the NIC, which publishes unclassifed reports regarding present and future trends re: foreign policy.  At first, the import of this link didn’t hit me.  And Internet Explorer would not connect me to the site (finally reached it through AOL).  But after reading and exploring the site, I realized that it would be an interesting resource for researching the future.  The most recent report, which I plan to order, extrapolates to 2025 what the world will be like.

December can be a frustrating month because of the holidays with their craziness.  This year, with the economy in turmoil, I suspect the holidays may be quieter than last year and perhaps not thwarting my writing and reading as much.  As I’ve watched news about the economy, I’ve been torn between wanting to turn it off and learning more for use in my writing somehow.  I had imagined at one point that the New Economic Party is able to gain a foothold in the future federal government because of some economic catastrophe that throws the global as well as the American economy into a depression.  Global civilization is so completely dependent on money and yet its value is an arbitrary decision based on supply and demand and what humans decide has value and what doesn’t.  I was watching stock market sales online the other day, marvelling at how quickly the price of the stock fluctuated.  Who decided the price?  How much does psychology enter into the process, i.e. perceptions of the world or government?  Last Monday, economists finally confirmed that we are in a recession and had been since December 2007.  Technically, the recession isn’t news, it’s a year old, just the economists’ announcement, but the stock market took a dive anyway.  I wondered if those buying and selling on Wall Street had greeted the news with an “oh, that’s old news” instead of perceiving it as somehow momentous, if the stock market would have remained steady or even risen.

The news at Publishers Marketplace has been rather grim this week also.  Major publisers announcing layoffs and restructuring, hiring freezes and freezes on pay raises, and even one publisher putting a freeze on acquisitions.  Deals continue to be made, however, and books are published.  It’s been interesting to see the dwindling number of fiction deals, however, and the increase in nonfiction.  Maybe I need to put the Perceval series on the shelf for a while and focus on memoir….. 

Books make the perfect presents for Christmas this year for budget-tighteners.  And they provide hours and hours of entertainment.  Buy books!


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