Last month, I took a very deep breath and sent an email to OLL participants about the fact that I will be stepping down as OLL’s Executive Director on January 19, 2012. I’m going to head off to write full-time.
Leaving this organization I love so much was a hard decision to make, and the sadness I’ve been feeling as I prepare to pass the Executive Director baton was soothed by all the encouraging emails, forums posts, and tweets I received in response to the news. (To those of you who promised to buy my book when it comes out—I’ve harvested your IP address and will be sending you an order form shortly.)
Whenever I tackle a new challenge, I like to create a timeline so I freak out a little less. Since some people (hi, mom!) got in touch to ask what I would be writing in my post-January life, I wanted to share my timeline with you for 2012.
So, here goes!
January 20-January 30: Feel aimless and wracked by regrets. “Happen by” the OLL office several times a day. Weep.
January 31: Eat a lot of gummi worms.
February: Finish the sixth draft of the Young Adult novel (pictured above) that I began in NaNoWriMo 2006. Sell it.
March: Buy more gummi worms. Finish the romantic comedy I wrote with my friend Dan for last year’s Script Frenzy. Go to Hollywood. Sell the script to Warner Brothers or Dan’s brother, Gabe, who lives in Los Angeles. Gabe doesn’t work in the entertainment industry, so we’re kind of hoping Warner Bros. will step up.
April: Write a new movie during Script Frenzy. This comedy will primarily be a product-placement vehicle for Haribo, and will hopefully charm the candy company into a gummi-based sponsorship of some kind.
May: Begin work on a book proposal for a sequel to No Plot? No Problem!, focusing on novel revision. It will contain every lesson I’ve learned from abrading my nose against the revision grindstone for the past 12 years. If my Haribo sponsorship comes through, the book will also contain at least one gummi worm, likely squished between pages 39 and 40.
June: Still working on that book proposal. Man, these things take forever.
July: Finish and sell the nonfiction book proposal. Rejoice. Agree to turn in the manuscript to the publisher by January.
August: Begin revising my 2010 NaNo novel, a historical drama set in Belgium. Or Holland. I can’t remember which. It features pirate mimes, a kidnapped king, and a group of inept, llama-riding adventurers who end up on a book tour in Sweden. Maybe “drama” really isn’t the right word here. “Pile of craziness” might be more accurate. It needs a little work.
September: Remember that I am under contract to write a book on novel revision. Set the pirate mimes aside.
October: Take a page out of my 2010 NaNo novel and embark on a book tour to Sweden (and beyond!) for the YA novel, which somehow slipped through a publishing industry wormhole and came out in bookstores six months after the publisher bought it. In this fantasy, I’m driving myself around from bookstore to bookstore in an ice cream truck, or a 1970s carpeted van with an eagle airbrushed on the side. Also in this fantasy, I get to meet you and give you ice cream.
November: Continue the book tour onward to Australia, where it is summer and the living is easy. Harvest eucalyptus sap for money. Write a new novel during NaNoWriMo.
December: Come home. Enter a full-blown panic about the novel-revision book, which has not progressed much beyond the blog post I’d written two years earlier. Wonder why I didn’t work on it more in Australia.
January, 2013: Buy a llama. Buy a second llama. Become “the llama guy.” Move off the grid. Begin talking about myself in the third person. The Llama Guy doesn’t need to turn his book in on time. The Llama Guy just gets to eat gummi worms all day. Have a problem with that, publishing industry? Talk to the Llama Guy’s fist!
February, 2013: Feel wracked by regrets. Weep. Move back onto the grid. Finish how-to book on novel revision. Begin planning my next Script Frenzy script and then stock up the ice cream truck, and head out to find you again. How do you feel about mint chocolate chip?
– Chris B.