The Butcher has work that will keep him from home in the evenings this week, so I have stocked up on my favorite things to eat–brussel sprouts, that sausage vegetable crap I love, peanut butter M&Ms–and an intense desire to knock out chapter 2 of “Ashland.” I’ve been listening to a lot of writing podcasts lately (I’m getting a lot out of Brian Keene’s podcast–though you should have a high tolerance for guys like the guys I went to college with getting drunk, though, I suppose, if you are those guys, this is less of an issue. I like it. It brings back fond memories and makes me feel fondly toward these guys.–and Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace’s.) I’ve also been reading a lot.

They’re full of good advice and hard truths.

I have to say, I used to think that getting rejected was the hardest part. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not fun and, especially at first, lord, it’s really, really, really not fun. But I think this experience with The Wolf’s Bame has taught me that rejection is not the worst, it’s the waiting. I mean, it sucks if someone comes up to you and is like “I’m going to pinch you hard” and then does. But it’s worse for someone to be like “I might pinch you hard, later, sometime” and then you have the anticipation and then the pinch.

I don’t know how “Ashland” will be. I am planning on a substantial revision process, to make sure that I like the pacing. One thing I’ve been thinking about with both The Haunting of Hill House and The Red Tree is, as I’ve said, there’s an economy to them. They trust the reader’s imagination a great deal. And I want to have respect for that with my readers, should I have some for this story.

I also hope to get some work done on the Return to Hill House afghan.

But mostly, I’m excited about brussel sprouts, the Butcher’s most unfavorite thing, which I never, therefore, get to have when he’s around.



Yesterday I saw a bald eagle downtown. I thought I was seeing something… like a mistake… or an impossibility. But it turns out that there was a bald eagle at Radnor last year and a breeding pair in Franklin some time before that. So, it’s actually not that weird, though uncommon, to see a bald eagle in Middle Tennessee.

But it felt amazing.