One of my main projects these days is writing a fantasy fiction novel. People like to ask me about this, so here's a brief overview.
In my story, I am trying to draw on everything I've learned about the ancient and medieval Real World. I have, after all, one degree from Harvard's Folklore & Mythology department and another from Cambridge's Anglo-Saxon, Norse, & Celtic department -- I might as well use what I've learned! But it's very definitely a fantasy fiction story, set in a world much like our own, but definitely not actually our own. After all, by writing fantasy, no one can complain I've made mistakes in the history or anything :) and I'm not constrained by even so much Real World history as I would be even writing an alternative history novel.
Hmm, when will it be finished? Good question! I've been mulling over the plot and/or setting in one form or another for many many years. I started writing in graduate school, gave it up when I needed to really concentrate on the Ph.D. dissertation, came back to it a year or so post-PhD thinking it needed a few tweaks to get it going ... and promptly started revamping it from the second paragraph onwards ;) Yeah, I regularly break all the rules found in how-to-write-your-novel advice, but such is life :)
Late 2001, I started up CWIL (Cambridge Writers of Imaginative Literature), who are about half-a-dozen people (give or take) meeting fortnightly at the Starbuck's coffee shop in Borders bookstore in Cambridge (UK) city centre. It's a good group, fun but serious, and is going great guns. A steady stream of critique keeps my inspiration levels up, though writing still gets delayed by the intrusion of Real Life, marriage, etc. ;) it's getting there. When it's finished, I'll try to sell it, and start writing a different story in case no one wants the first :)
Mmm, yes, I'll put those degrees to work yet :)