Books, news, & views from Karen Traviss

I love the smell of novelty in the morning.

The thrill of the new. And will this paint wash out?

I like change. I don't mind what it is as long as it's different. I'm a planner by nature, but I finally accepted that a five-year business plan is just a flexible framework that can always accommodate a good but unexpected opportunity. The last seven or eight years have been a stream of unanticipated gigs out of left field, and it's been well worth shredding the old plans to do them.

The unexpected continues to show up on my doorstep. I'm now working on two completely fresh projects -- one novel series, one comic series, both of which will be revealed in due course -- that I wouldn't have imagined myself doing a year ago. The comic gig especially: it's way outside my comfort zone, which meant that I jumped at the offer right away. If I'm not learning, I'm dead. And the more new stuff that gets thrown at me, the more I want to do -- even the grinding domestic tasks that I've been putting off. I was so amped by this new comics gig that I redecorated the entire house in under a week, disgorged the contents of my cupboards onto the charity shop, and shampooed all the carpets. (I'm not good at pacing myself. You know that by now.) Okay, it totally buggered my back, I'm still scraping paint out of my hair, and my right arm's going to take a little time to recover, but my batteries were fully recharged. My biggest fear is knowing what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life.

While clearing out the closets for charity, I'll admit that I didn't have the courage to donate Humphrey the Humping Chihuahua, who I found at the back of a cupboard with batteries flat but his pervy smirk still intact. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him. We've been through some pretty testing times together.

On the topic of small dogs, if you're a US reader and you haven't seen the latest Harvey ad from Thinkbox, then enjoy this. Unlike Humphrey, it's in the best possible taste.