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Yes, it is that time.

My deadline beckons me, and I have to stop doing all the fun things I’ve gotten accustomed to doing lately and go finish this book that is now on its (ahem) THIRD DEADLINE. This one is January 31st. (I think when you set the third deadline for yourself–or worse, your editor sets it for you, then you really do have to go and finish the damn thing.)

I know, People of the Internet. This means I have to stop doing fun things like opening presents and drinking wine and meeting friends for lunch and talking on the telephone and taking baths and sleeping eight hours a night and eating candy and cooking dinner. (Sorry, honey, no dinner for a while.)

I may even have to give up some of the not-so-fun things I’ve been doing a lot of lately, like shoveling snow and ice off the driveway and folding laundry and washing dishes. I don’t think my book will let me take down the Christmas tree either.

In fact, I think I’m just pretty much going to move to Starbucks and emerge right around the time the groundhog comes out. They have an armchair there in the corner that already knows me well, from last year when I was camped out writing Kissing Games of the World. My plan is to live there throughout January, living on Zen tea and iced tea (I find if you drink the two things simultaneously and alternately you are never either too hot or too cold. That is my tip for the day.)

Already I am practicing saying “no” to things, a word which is not in my native language. But it is good for me to practice…and to tell you the truth, there is a wonderful sense of purpose when you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, and it’s not just hanging out and reading the Internet every single day. I’m taking my inspiration from Nova and BlogLily, both of whom have just undertaken and succeeded at massive writing and revision projects, despite the fact that they both work full-time and had to get up early in the morning, work in coffee shops or trains, and stay up late at night to get it all done.

This is the only way I know to really, really complete a novel: to be immersed in the finishing of it, to bat away all the distractions and focus the mind completely on what comes next and next and next in the plot, even when you think you might go insane.

To tell you the truth, I am happy and grateful for this moment–to put away the candy and the telephone calls and the overindulgence–and dive back into this book, which I love, and be for a while with these characters of mine who are right now so screwed up and pained and confused, and they are waiting and calling out to me to come and solve everything for them.

It’s so nice that I already know how I’m going to do just that.

I’ll be checking back in here and recording how it’s going–the blog is an indulgence it’s hard to give up. And also! Almost forgot!! I’m going to be showing up at various blogs here and there this month, doing guest posts (don’t worry–I already wrote most of them) and answering readers’ questions and comments about my work. I’ll keep you posted in case you want to come visit there, too.

In the meantime, hope all your resolutions are resolving themselves. My resolution is to…well, you know.