Apparently, the hiatus lasted much, much longer than I thought.
I’m back, though… kinda?
It’s been a notably bad year, with a few really, really good things sprinkled in, to keep me sane. The last major personal upset was that I got nearly all of my mobile electronics stolen (work laptop, cell phones, camera, back up drives, etc…). Other than professional implications (although my company was really gracious about it, especially since the timing, and resulting severity of the theft, was work trip related), the worse personal bit is that a lousy human being out there has a copy of ALL of my creative stuff. And I do mean all. I’d finally gotten off my lazy butt and backed up everything…
Everyone I’ve shared my fears with has tried to calm me down, telling me that the thieves probably won’t do anything with it — hopefully, by now the portable hard drive has long been formatted and sold — but I can’t help it but have mild panic attacks every so often, that some jerk out there has gone through my drawings, or stories… I feel… yuck.
Anyway… This happened some time ago now, so I’m slowly recovering.
But for a while, I couldn’t even look at my stories without thinking of the theft, and the fact my creative work has fallen into a stranger’s hands. This resulted in almost two months of avoiding thinking about my stories… but I finally shook it off, I think … I hope, anyway.
So, back to our regular programming.
Of Rats in Darkest Corners is officially on hold. Before the theft, I did attempt a “Chapter 0” and even started on Chapter 3. “Chapter 0” is at this point horrible. Chapter 3 is going in the right direction content-wise, but feels excessively flat. Furthermore, I think I’m now back to “Fantasy” mode, so the story goes back to its shelf, until further notice. (Of Rats in Darkest Corners current WC: 13K)
On the other hand, Turn of the Wilds: Bent Steel got quite a bit of a bump in word count before the theft. This is the second time in my writing life that a character comes out of nowhere to overtake a story and, just like the first time, it’s all kinds of awesome! I also clarified a direction for the book, so — yey! The biggest frustration… This is actually the SECOND book of the Turn of the Wilds group of stories. Tarnished Red comes first. And Tarnished Red is, unfortunately, stagnating at a couple of chapters, that I’ve been thinking about rewriting anyway … It’s not that Bent Steel can’t stand on its own — but I’ve had this constant nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it’d be better to finish Tarnished Red first, even while Bent Steel was flowing onto “paper” like nobody’s business. And that’s not a good feeling to have. (Turn of the Wilds: Bent Steel current WC: 50K; Turn of the Wilds: Tarnished Red current WC: 6K)
BUT … after my “return,” the story that’s coming back into focus, mostly for reasons of it being close to the (at least official) finish line, is Broken Circles. This one also comes with its own set of frustrations — since the first 20K words were written way back in college, they need a major rewrite not only for language, but also for content. There are also so many side stories (ones that are already on paper, and others I wonder if I shouldn’t tell anyway), that the word count promises to majorly bloat out of proportion. And there’s also the (at least for me) natural fear that I won’t be able to tie all the loose threads into a good end. I mean, I HAVE the end in my head, and in a quick abstract. I know what happens with each of the characters. I know how the plot gets wrapped up. I have the content… but what scares me is whether I’ll be able to pull it off as writing and storytelling. There are some very, very tough scenes coming up. I’m an ambitious writer, but I’m not a good writer yet. And having to write some of these scenes intimidates the fuck out of me. (Broken Circles current WC: 103K)
Finally, the “guilty pleasure” space opera story that turned into a mainstream one … Dancing with Demons. About a quarter in, it stumbled onto a good and I think worthwhile plot, so I’m now taking it out of the “guilty pleasure” category. I’ll keep the focus on Broken Circles, of course, but I’ve found that my writing process must allow for me to jump between at least a couple of stories, or otherwise my writing goes flat. So, Dancing with Demons has come into the spotlight. It’s mostly Star-Warsy type action (think the Knights of the Old Republic games, not the movies — without the Force, and with more factions and mercenaries =), with two awkward (hopefully, not in a Star-Warsy way) love stories (one just kicking up, another already going strong) thrown in the mix. It’s been pretty fun writing it. I don’t know if now that it’s “serious,” the enjoyment of the process won’t change — but I still like the story and hope to bring it to an end someday soon. (Dancing with Demons current WC: 24K)
So, that’s it for my long overdue update. Toodles!