Thanks to some feedback from my buddy Aaron and a lot of thinking while working on a big garden project, putting in two stone-walled terraces on the slop in our backyard, I've really cleaned up and tightened a bunch of the setting concepts for my Illyria fantasy novel, Dahvo's Treasure. I'm almost done compiling these in basic form into a setting document (complete with a map and a diagram) that sets the stage nicely.
I've also written out longhand (thanks to several trips to a library near my kids' school with a notebook, an iPod, and earplugs) a decent outline for the whole plot, which I've translated into a more detailed electronic document for the first ten or so chapters. I've got a decent draft of the first chapter out and made good progress on the next two chapters, which I hope to jump back into soon, as I'm eager to return to the actual writing as opposed to the prep work.
I feel pretty good about the whole thing; new ideas and insights into the characters are popping up again, the setting is feeling pretty fleshed out, complex, and believable, and I think the plot works on a variety of levels. If I can push through with a manuscript I can see taking the story in interesting places for several sequels. Oh, and I also wrote out a chapter by chapter synopsis and a short setting document for another related novel concept, an urban fantasy police procedural I'm tentatively calling Elfshot.
Not much point doing all this if I'm not going to indulge in a few dreams.
Anyway, in the past month this writing process has gotten enjoyable again. I don't pretend that all the elements I've created to this point are perfect; all of them can be improved. But I do feel that they're pretty good at this stage, and that is satisfying.