And a stone's throw away from 145,000 words on "Confessions". Now that the semester is drawing to a close and my projects and papers are all in the bag, I'm looking forward to a nice uninterrupted stretch of writing on the commuter rail between now and the end of the year. If I can finish the first draft by New Year's, I think I'll crank out some short stories in January before taking up the daunting task of editing the novel. Then there's the matter of the next book as well -- I have a couple of ideas for what I should work on next, so that's not a problem, but choosing which novel gets written first is more of a head-scratcher. Right now it's down to some historical fiction and a more "literary" book about sex, drugs, and a capella singing (don't laugh) . The former may require a little research beyond what I've already done for academic purposes, but like Confessions it's a tale which has been percolating in my head for years whose time is now ripe for the telling; the latter, however, would just be a lot of fun to write and would probably only take a fraction of the time to boot.
Tough call. But after three years of blood, sweat, and data loss to bring my first novel to this stage, I'll consider such dilemmas a luxury!