My flagship title, my HMS Victory.

I was hoping "The Scorching" would be my flagship title. So I've sent it off, and intend to send it off on that basis. But I'm not sure I'm right.

I'm in writing limbo.

So I've got a couple of small indications that something could possibly happen. It's got me paralyzed.

Then I remember what I thought were my original odds, which were "Slim to None" and realize the small indications aren't enough to really sway those odds, and I get a little perturbed with myself for getting my hopes up.

But I can't seem to help it. The delusion is so strong that it keeps me writing, though in my saner moments I realize that the whole thing is extremely unlikely. Ironically, when nothing is happening, I can get things done, but give me the slightest hope, no matter how unlikely, and suddenly I'm frozen. ( I realize that I'm contradicting myself, but think of it long-term versus short-term.)

Haven't settled on my next book yet. I know that I'm going to write another Virginia Reed novel sometime this year. I know that I want to work on finishing the Lander books. But I'm not sure I want to do either thing just yet.

I very much enjoyed writing "Said the Joker, to the Thief," a straight fantasy novella. I think the way "I Live Among You" turned out was encouraging.

So I'm thinking I should combine the two things--first person narration and straight fantasy.

But I don't have a starting point.

I still need to give "The Scorching" its final polish, which I'm going to start tomorrow and finish by the end of the month. I'm sort of backing away from the idea of sending it to agents, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think the whole agent, mainstream publisher route is likely to disrupt my writing to such an extent that it will be counterproductive. (The Limbo I'm in compounded.)

And secondly, though I hate to say it out loud, I don't think I quite hit the mainstream narrative I was hoping for. I mean, I like "The Scorching" but I think it's a little flawed in its approach. Nobody's fault. It's more than good enough to put out, but I don't know if its what I want to use as my flagship title.

I'm stuck in this process of writing something and then figuring out what it is. But as much as I'd like to think this all through in advance, all that happens when I do that is that nothing gets done.

Ultimately, it seems better to go off half-cocked and hope that something good happens, then to sit and stew about it and not create and even if I do create, still end up with many of the same problems.

The flagship title will happen. Right now, I'd say it's "Led to the Slaughter," or possibly "Tuskers," and depending on how well it sells, "Snaked." "Snaked" probably came out the best narratively, with some of my best writing and characters, so we'll see. If I had to show one example of my writing, it would probably be one of those three titles.

I think, if I keep writing, that one book will stand out, and of course, I always think my next effort will be my HMS Victory.