Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything —
That's how the light gets in.
I am about to start Novel No. 3. Untitled. Teenagers in Spaaaaaace! A space ship in peril. Pirates. Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. An Emperor and star empire. Crossdressing. RaceFail09 -- 2509. Hikikomori. Hyperspace. Conflict with parent, who regards you as a failure. Conflict with peers, who regard you as a dork. Conflict with psychopathic godlike AI, which regards you as a cockroach. Help from a mysterious stranger. Romance. Sex (off-stage, this is YA, yo). Nanites. Suspended animation. Dark matter. Ad-hoc brain re-engineering. Lip-reading cell phones. Hydrazine. Railguns. Hard vacuum. The Hubble Constant. The Fermi Paradox. Capture and escape. A frantic battle. The fate of his ship, his peers, the human race, all organic life, and even the integrity of the physical constants of the universe (...the hell!?) resting on the reluctant shoulders of our protagonist.
Synopsis of the plot: Problem-Trouble-Disaster-WorseDisaster-E
I've been thinking about this one and making notes for about a year. Theme and backstory are pretty much in place. Plan: spend December working out details of plot and character. Spend 2010 writing it.
Onward. Ring all the bells that still can ring.