A Sky Full of Wings has a release date! June 20, 2012. I was expecting it to be later in the summer, but the sooner the better. I spent all week working through the editing process and filling out the cover art form and the marketing form, and it's a relief to have all that finished. It's now off to the proofreader.
I'm especially excited about the cover for this one because I submitted five of my own photos for the artist to work with, if they speak to her. Sky is set on the shores of Lake Champlain, and I have hundreds of photos I've taken from our family camp. I chose five with different moods and colors from flaming sunsets to cool, watery blues. I think any of them would work and frankly, I'm glad I won't have to make the final decision. Honestly, I stressed more over the cover this week than I did over the edits, mostly because I already worked this story really hard before I subbed it, inspired by the comments of a certain friend who gives a new definition to the phrase, "brutal reader." Much appreciated brutality, though.
What's next? Well, I can't rule out the possibility of another Notice story (Varian and Josh have certainly wormed their way into my brain and their story shows no sign of winding down yet). But for the immediate future, I'm going to devote my time to Another Healing, which has the characters from my short story The Rosebud, written as my offering to the 2011 Charity Sip Blitz -- James, the man who can heal, but who falls in love with everyone he helps, and Ambient, the man James pulled out from beneath a truck and who fell in love with him and broke the "curse." I've been having a heap of fun with these guys and finding out what's really going on.
Shorter projects have kept interrupting this poor novel, but I finally reached the end of my rough draft last week. I'm not one of those lucky writers who can outline a story before writing it -- I need to write it to see what it's going to be about. On the other hand, not being bound to an outline frees me up for the plot twists and turns that happen along the way. I've learned to give in to blind trust that everything will work out in the end, and so I charge full speed ahead, as eager to find out how it's going to end as the readers. Once there, I always breath a sigh of relief, and then go back and start making the beginning match the ending. I always find, amazingly enough, that I need to do very little plot revision. All the seeds were planted and grew to fruition on their own, with very little assistance from me. The only thing that comes close to describing it is to consider what it's like to sit down to chat with a friend. You don't know what your friend is going to say next, and you might not even know what you're going to say until you start to say it. For me, writing is a lot like listening to people having a conversation, or transcribing a movie. It's just a matter of getting it down in as descriptive a way as possible.
Anyway, Another Healing is shaping up, and A Sky Full of Wings is on the way!