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Rant #6: In Which the Author Takes The Easy Way Out

As the new year approaches, I feel it's time to make a list of writing resolutions for 2006. Mind you, I'm as likely to keep these as I am to keep my regular resolutions (standing list: lose weight, go to gym, clean office, learn Swedish), but I feel they're worthy goals to strive for, and by stating them publicly I may shame myself into achieving at least one or two. So here goes, my ten writing resolutions for 2006:

1-To show my respect for H.P. Lovecraft and his achievements, I will not write any more Cthulhu Mythos stories. I will, however, take every opportunity to remind people that there is a raging and long-standing debate within the Lovecraft academic community as to whether or not the so-called Cthulhu Mythos in fact exists.

2-I will write and attempt to sell a vampire cockroach story, just because I can.

3-I will banish Civil War Generals II from my computer, and if you don't think this is a writing resolution, believe me, it's more closely related to my word count productivity than just about anything else this side of breathing.

4-I will write at least one more Bigfoot story. In theory, I will do this because I acquired an insane amount of research material in order to write "The Road Best Not Taken" and probably ought to use it for something other than office insulation. In reality, it's because I downloaded some sound files that are supposed to be "sasquatch calls", and whatever they are, they give me four or five stories' worth of the heebie-jeebies.

5-I will write another Bubbas story, and it will not include France.

6-I will finish, in no particular order, Thunderhead Road, Black Water and Crimson, and at least one other long-standing project. It's time all the long-standing projects got to sit down, as their legs are probably pretty tired by now.

7-I will never write a rant for the web site in list format ever again.

8-I will not write about writers, failed writers, blocked writers, writers who had one hit and who are now being pressured to come up with a followup, writers who have moved back to the ancestral manse in East Earbuckle, New Hampshire to discover the unspeakable evil lurking in the long-abandoned dumbwaiter in the servant's quarters, writers hunting down old friends with mysterious tales in order to uncover the even more mysterious truth, and writers who find when researching their next book that they've stumbled into ancient evil which may be unspeakable but certainly can be written about at great length and hopefully with a gratuitous sex scene tossed in for the precocious fourteen year olds who've bought this at the local B&N because the nearby Gamestop finally got wise to the underage kids trying to buy copies of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

9-As atmospheric as writing by candlelight may be, I will endeavor to find a form of scribblers' ambience that is less likely to set off the shrieking horror of a smoke alarm at 3 AM.

10-I will murder my darlings, relentlessly and without pity or remorse. I will, however, keep a cut file. You know, just in case.

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