Finished the third Virginia Reed Adventure.

I finished "The Darkness You Fear: Ghosts of the Lost Blue Bucket Mine."  On the last day of the year.

The publisher at Books of the Dead is open to it. I'm sending it to Lara for editing on Monday, after tinkering with it over the weekend. She'll take about a month, and in the meantime, I'll do some research and add as much verisimilitude to the story as I can.

The basic plot is done, though.

I do want to add some historical detail and descriptions to the 2nd draft, which I figure will add about 10% to the 75K words of the 1st draft.

Thematically, I thought it came out really well. Ghosts are hard to do, but once I realized that, in my story at least, they are symbolic of "guilt and remorse" the plot worked itself out.

It feels like my books get more and more complicated as time goes on. I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

It's as if I need the challenge.

At the same time, I wrote "I Live Among You" as a very simple book, and it came out well. "Tuskers" also had an original concept that was meant to be straightforward, too.

Really, why don't I do that?

I'm going to go ahead and publish "The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Murders" myself. I'm all caught up at my publishers -- each of them have a book in hand (or almost in hand.) It would be a very, very long time for the next book, and by then I'll have written more books, so I may as well just put it out there. I like it a lot. Maybe that will be enough.

I'm not going to try to find another publisher -- it was pure luck I got these two publishers without a long strenuous dispiriting search, and I have no intention of tackling that process now. It was the idea that I could publish what I want when I want that got me into this writing thing again.

So it's time to take the plunge. (I did do "Cyber Flash" as a self-published book, but that was more of a lark.)

I suspect I'll sell far fewer copies than the books the publishers did, but so be it. I've written a lot of material and I want to see it put out into the world. Sales are nice. Reviews are nice.

But having written the books and knowing they can be accessed by others if they so please -- that's the real reward.