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24 April 2009 @ 10:27 am
indulge me.  

I should be writing, but I’m going to indulge myself with a brief blog post, first. At least, I hope it’ll be brief.

I have a variety of cool things in my office, but probably the crowning glory is the shelf of books I’ve written. I get great satisfaction from just sitting here looking at them all in a tidy row. But there’s also a significant part of me which puts each new book up on the shelf as it arrives and thinks check!…okay, where’s the next one?

This is not something that takes a few days or weeks to set in. It happens immediately. Probably part of that is–well, for example, I just got PRETENDER’S CROWN a couple weeks ago, and A FANTASY MEDLEY the day after that, and they went up on the shelf. check!

But I’ve already written WALKING DEAD, TRUTHSEEKER, and more than half of DEMON HUNTS. I am *so far ahead* of the books hitting the shelves that while getting the books onto *my* shelf is extremely satisfying (and I still jig around like an idiot for about three days after getting a box of shiny new books), it’s also just the culmination of something I started years earlier, and I’ve moved on to something else.

I had a really, really specific goal back when I first sold, with regards to shelf space. I wanted, when somebody walked into the sf/f section of a bookstore, for them to see a whole chunk of space dedicated to C.E. Murphy’s books. As of next Tuesday, if all my books are on the shelf (not including the anthologies, because I’m pretty sure WINTER MOON gets shelved with Mercedes Lackey, not me, and A FANTASY MEDLEY isn’t likely to be in stores), there’ll be eight C.E. Murphy titles taking up a visible amount of space. I have, hands down, accomplished what I was after.

But I think a little part of what also drives me is the fact that *I’m* three books ahead of what’s on the shelves, so I sort of always feel like I’m playing catch-up. Trying to catch up the books on the shelves to what I’ve written. Logically, of course, that would mean I should stop writing for about a year and a half, but my brain doesn’t quite work that way.

I’m about two weeks shy of finishing DEMON HUNTS. My next book isn’t due until the end of October, which means for the first time since writing HOUSE OF CARDS in what, 2006, I won’t be behind the 8-ball. I’m going to take some time off (though, honestly and probably indicatively of my inability to turn it off, the word wars are going so fantastically well that “time off” might mean “I’ll write for a couple hours in the afternoon to maintain the wars and the cameraderie/community”, I don’t know yet) and I’m going to try hard to re-set that goal-meter in my mind to a slower pace, to less of that check!…where’s the next one? thing. T’ain’t natural to me to do that, and of course the reward of *seeing* that new book is a pretty compelling reason to keep charging forward, but yes. So close to done with the push, so I need to remember maintaining the breakneck pace is neither necessary nor desireable.

That was inevitably more indulgence than I intended. Ok, back on my head. *scoots to work*

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on April 24th, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
The 8 in a row is a wonderful, wonderful image and I shall look forward to seeing it in all good bookshops.
Cally Beckeldestmuse on April 24th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
I read the Negotiator trilogy last night. By far my favorite of your writings thus far :) and she's a LAWYER!
kit: negotiatormizkit on April 24th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
You read all of it last night? O.O I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Cally Beckeldestmuse on April 24th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
I read fast, but yeah, it took me about six hours to read all three books. I loved how none of the characters were stereotypical at ALL. I never did figure out why Grace was of the "enemies" though.
kitmizkit on April 24th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's in there. She wasn't. Janx threw it in to buy time.
Cally Beckeldestmuse on April 24th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
I picked that up, I just remembered her confronting Janx about it and him being, "but... well, yeah, I was trying to buy time, but I wasn't leading you on a wild goose chase!"

I dunno. I think I worded it poorly. I just sort of assumed he wouldn't out and out lie to her. I kept expecting it to come back and bite them in the butt, have her actually be an enemy. So I kept waiting for it and waiting for it and then it didn't happen, and usually it does. Not a bad decision on your part, just left my expectations in the dust a little on that one point.

But I loved Grace and I'm glad I found the books at the library
kitmizkit on April 24th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Oh. Maybe I dropped the ball. :)
Cally Beckeldestmuse on April 24th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
No, I think you just misdirected me. =D but it was the only thing that at the end I was like "I was -sure- something else was gonna happen with that..."
martyn44martyn44 on April 24th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
The muse is a harsh mistress.
kitmizkit on April 24th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
I find the bank account is a much harsher one, myself. :)
Brian: panda bouncinglogrusboy on April 24th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
Had the camera in my phone not broken, I would have long ago posted proof that Winter Moon doesn't always get shelved with Lackey. By which I mean I've seen it shelved in the wild with Murphy. I can't say one of your fans wasn't responsible, but for once I'm innocent. Of this. This time. I might go do some creative reshelving in the future though...hmm....

So, do you put placeholders on your shelf for books in progress but not yet printed? I would totally do that, but I'm pretty sure I'm a walking psychological case study.

Honestly, I think you're too prolific and too full of ideas to take much time completely off. You'd probably start going buggy in short order. That "a couple hours in the afternoon" thing might work. Keep the voices in your head placated and all that.

Or if you'd like to fill the shelf more quickly, the volume of writing you do on one of your novels could make 3-5 volumes of a YA series. O:)
kitmizkit on April 24th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's cool! I've never seen it shelved with my stuff. Yay!

I did put a placeholder up for HANDS OF FLAME, 'cause all the stained glass spines looked so neat, but mostly I don't. :)
Geek of Weird Shitgows on April 24th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think you're too prolific and too full of ideas to take much time completely off.

. . . as is evidenced by the fact that she wrote a comic book in her "spare time." *chucklesnort*
Brianlogrusboy on April 24th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
If it has pictures, it doesn't count as writing. (Just kidding!!)
SaffronRosesaffronrose on April 24th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Indulge yourself to your heart's desire--not to your writer's guilt about getting more words on a page.
Lady Doom: BFF!lithera on April 24th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)

The only way you won't be writing in that time off is if you're tied down somewhere. Or, well, you know if you're off travelling and galavanting around the world. *chuckles* I'm looking forward to seeing the next two and reading the edited version of Walking Dead (which is sort of funny as Greg Rucka has a book by the same title coming out next week...) and everything else.

And anytime you want to take some time off and not write, you're welcome to visit. I'm sure I can keep you busy showing you around the city. I love her so.
shui_longshui_long on April 24th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
But we poor readers are 5 books behind you - not having yet got our hands on Pretender's Crown. (But I see Amazon now has it in stock for shipping, so must do something about that!)
Liannelianneb on April 27th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
Wee! I was in the local bookstore yesterday and there was The Pretender's Crown! Now I just have to find some reading time after I finish the library books that cannot be renewed because there's a line-up of requests after me)
kit: inheritorscyclemizkit on April 27th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC)
Oooh! First sighting! HOORAY!