I'm in full-on head-down-work-on-the-book mode, which should be good news for those of you anxiously awaiting The Labyrinth of Flame. Scene outlining is continuing to work well for me, and I'm quite happy with my progress on the draft (hooray!). I even have little fantasies of finishing this first draft by the end of November...but I know all too well how life can throw nasty curveballs into optimistic plans, so I hesitate to say it's anything more than a fantasy. I do think I've an excellent chance of finishing the first draft by the end of the year, which has been my goal all along. Reeeeallly looking forward to the part where I start revising, as that's my favorite type of writing.
My Labyrinth of Flame draft even got a little test drive this past weekend, as I read a section from Chapter 2 at MileHiCon. I thought maybe nobody would show, as my timeslot was at the very end of the convention - but nope, some die-hard souls attended. (Including the always-awesome Ian Tregillis - who earlier in the con read from his upcoming novel Something More Than Night, which looks to be terrific. No surprise there; if you haven't read Ian's earlier Milkweed Triptych, you are seriously missing out. His skill with plotting is incredible.) It's always tricky to read a section of a book 3 to an audience who hasn't read any of the previous books in the series, but I think it went okay. (I get so hugely nervous before readings that I consider it a win if a) I don't faint or throw up, and b) nobody either falls asleep or leaves the room in disgust.)
Other highlights of the con included: sharing my own NaNoWriMo experience at the NaNo panel and seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of those who hope to try NaNo for the first time; expanding my TBR list by leaps and bounds upon hearing all the intriguing books mentioned by my fellow panelists at the "Fodor's Guide to Fairyland" panel; sitting next to Paolo Bacigalupi at the group author signing and hearing him discuss everything from the evolution of Chinese science fiction to how to get boys excited about reading. Not to mention all the lovely conversations I had with other writers and SFF fans in hallways, at dinners, and between panels. I'd try to mention names but I just know I'd accidentally leave someone out. Suffice it to say the con was full of wonderful people!
Last but not least, I've been invited to be a guest on the Lady Business+ podcast - and the host (Renay) is taking questions in advance. So if you've got any questions you'd love to hear me answer "live" - about my books, or anything else - now's your chance! Email questions to thisisladybusiness (at) gmail (dot) com.