More exciting to me than finishing a book is starting a new one. A new unwritten book has the potential to be a truly great book, while a book that is nearly finished inevitably and obviously turns out to be not very great at all.
Programming Microsoft Windows Forms is not quite finished, but the manuscript has been submitted — don't forget the Preface, I need to keep reminding myself — and the rest of the work will probably be routine.
And so, on September 5, 2005, I officially commence work on a book that exists in my mind as The Avalon Book, and which I totally dread will be titled by my publisher Programming the Windows Presentation Foundation. Contractually, Microsoft Press gets to pick the title. My only recourse is to come up with a title so utterly cool and entwined with the nature and fabric of the book that they won't be able to resist it. (I titled only two of my books myself, and it should be obvious which two.)
Although the official start date of The Avalon Book is September 5th, some work has already been done. Back in May, I wrote a first chapter, and I've been playing with Avalon on and off since 2003, when I wrote an article on Avalon for MSDN Magazine.
But that was just diddling. As of September 5th and probably continuing for the next nine months, The Avalon Book becomes my full-time job, my reason to get out of bed in the morning, the basis of my self-esteen, the fuel for my dreams — in short, my life.
And that's exciting.