Work has begun on The Dubious Commode, though it was off to a bit of a sluggish start. January felt like a parting blow from the holidays, so I was barely coherent when the weekend came around. Second weekend into the new book, and I'm saddled with a bad cold. Bah. I still work through it, though. Writing is my special downtime, in a way, so the time I carve out of the weekend for myself is sacrosanct.
But February's now here, and while I'm still recovering from a bad cold, my mood's pretty high. If things go according to plan, I hope to be done with The Dubious Commode by the end of April, and it'll be rounds of edits and revisions after. The book may very well be released sooner than scheduled, but if so, I'd like to aim for a five-month calendar as the best case scenario. I had a good reason why I needed to ease up on my release schedule, and that reason still holds up, but as you've already seen, I'm prone to being too eager when things go my way.
I'm also looking ahead and am brainstorming for Voices in the Briars, and I do think I know what to do with that lovely "Dance of the Knights" video I shared in the previous blog post. It'll be part of the story, for sure, either as a single scene or a recurring one, depending on the plot. The plot for "Bluebeard" involves a lavish party / ballroom scene in which Bluebeard convinces his future bride's family and friends that he's both wealthy and harmless, after all, and I'd like to play with that.
One thing I also would like to try my hand at is urban fantasy. Granted, I've done something along those lines already with the Dolores series, but I'd like to amp it up some more though not necessarily with the use of mythology. I've been digging around other cultures' take on elements since I really like the idea of powerful beings representing the different elements though not along the classical lines of fire, water, earth, air, and aether. I prefer the Chinese agents of earth, fire, water, air, and metal.
What I've read about Wuxing is really fascinating, and I love the idea of the elements' interconnection and how they work together to create and destroy. I do have a vague -- very vague -- idea of a possible urban fantasy story making use of the Chinese philosophy on cycles and the role of elements or agents in the creation and maintenance of life. I've got a few random notes written about the story, but nothing's yet coming together since that's not my current focus, anyway. I might be toying with it once I get going with Voices in the Briars since the slot following that book's planned release is still empty.
I'm currently reading an M/M zombie apocalypse series, and I stumbled across the sub-genre recently; however, the first series that caught my attention ended up being a DNF -- sadly in the third and final book because the second book was a forced finish, and I figured I couldn't devote another minute putting up with a histrionic main character. Or one-half of the main romantic pair, anyway. The book I'm reading right now is more balanced in that sense though it does treat the zombie apocalypse more lightly compared to the first series, which is rather heavy-handed in both the gloom of a dying world and the hurt-comfort trope.
It's a fun sub-genre to read, at least, but it's definitely not one I'll be voluntarily looking for in the future. Reading these books did feed the muse, though, hence the resurfacing of the itch to write urban fantasy. Knowing me, the angle will most likely have something to do with ghosts or vampires (in the folklore sense, not the paranormal romance sense).