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Okay, just about finis. Of course, as soon as I declared the damn thing done, my brain coughed up another brilliant idea, right in the middle of our trip through the Way of Lights. That little something missing from the ending. Another voice in Alesia's head. Except, of course, it will require several additional moments throughout the second half of the goddamn book. Which at least gives me something to do at tomorrow's write-in besides spellcheck.

Still, tonight is the Wineglass Ritual. And tomorrow I will send it to the publisher, and pending edits, I'm done.

Now what to do next.

This has been bugging me for some time. Oh, I have a handful of things I've procrastinated on, edits due on a couple of projects sent back to me with a "fix this and we'll reconsider." And there's the Christmas sale to kick off, next year's tour to plan, plenty of work to keep me occupied.

I suppose I'll also spend at least a month doing some short stories. I'm woefully behind on developing new short projects and there's plenty of subs that need some followup.

But I need to pick my next big project. Time ticks on, and once Swamp Thing hits the shelves, I don't have another major project lined up. Options include:

• Another Nocturnal Urges book. There's plenty to be done there, and in all honesty, a lot of me wants to return to torment my Memphis crew. Creatively it would be a lot of fun. Business-wise, I'm not entirely sure it's a good plan for a lot of reasons.

• A sequel to Yellow Roses. I had planned to do at least one. But something tells me it would be a good idea to sell the first book before writing the second.

• The goddamn haunted church book. Tried to write it twice and it died both times. But somewhere in this project I found my work ethic again, and I think that's all the church book needs. Part of me wanted to save the premise for a potential Yellow Roses sequel, but a standalone would be a good thing for me right now. Dither dither dither.

• Sanctuary. I lost count of how many readers told me on tour this year that they loved the Sanctuary stories and when is the novel coming out? There's the passingly important fact that the goddamn thing would take half the year to whip into shape - optimistically - and has no publisher. I like to think I could get one. I like to think a lot of things that aren't terribly realistic. :) I love that book, always have, but diving into that series tends to send me way off track creatively. Bottom line: it will eat the year, with no surety that the damn thing will find a home.

There's a handful of other things swimming around in the marinade file, but these are the four top contenders. And I honestly have no idea which to do next. The fact is, I need to feed the beast and keep books coming out on a quasi-annual basis. The biggest thing that killed me last year and half of this year was that I had no new book to sell. I can only justify doing this as long as it's bringing in cash - otherwise, it's a selfish distraction from the work that provides for my son.

Usually I feel pretty good about finishing a book. And I do feel good about this one. I got to play with some top-notch monsters, break a dozen hearts and make my First Readers cry, which is always a good time. I got to say some things about respecting the balance of nature and the value of natural harmony that I really enjoyed. I think I set up a good start for this series, and whether it's me writing more books or other authors, there's a lot of places they can go with what I began. I don't take jobs just for the paycheck, and this one grew into a labor of love. I just wish I knew what I was doing next.

Salud, Dreadmire Gang. Kudos to Alesia, Tam, Kancethedrus and Angiss, along with all your friends and foes. It was a lot of fun making mud pies with you. Sorry about those mosquitoes.