I've been a ghost for a few weeks while I finished the new book. I had a heck of a time with the title. In my previous post I called it "Speak for the Dead" but boy did I not like that one. After kicking a few other options around, I finally settled on "The Open Contract" because it has a thriller-esque feel to it and refers to the plot. I'm happy with that one. I rolled the last page out of the Royal yesterday in time for my birthday party (I'm 32 now), and stuck it in a drawer. It's going to sit for two months. I have a bunch of books to read and other things to catch up on and even some friends to see (who've been wondering why I've been locked in my room for so long). When I go back to the book in November, I'll see it with fresh eyes and put it all into the computer and really make it solid.

There's something strange about finishing a book. Maybe you've had the same feeling. Suddenly I'm at loose ends. The one thing that's taken up an incredible amount of time and effort is done; what do I do now? Do I do another story, some short pieces to fill the time between drafts? Do I sit outside with a cigar and somebody else's book? Do I run more? My mind can't settle on something, and it's a funny feeling.

I'm looking forward to more reading, though. I've got a stack of Black Lizard paperbacks to get through; some anthologies I've never finished; Stephen King's new book, "Blaze", a birthday present, is also now on the shelf. And maybe I'l doodle on some short pieces. I've got a neat title for one, "The Lucky Man", that may find some page space. Who knows. All I know is the book that will get me published is done and it's a good feeling.

Happy Writing.

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