No fat pigs purchased, though.
It’s been 16 months. I am embarrassed; I feel I owe the two or three of you who were reading me an explanation. But I have none. Somewhere in the beginning of last year I became unplugged from Nova Terra. I’ve missed it; I’ve missed the tiny piece of my identity that said blogger, which snuggled up to writer. Where did it go?
Every time it would slink through my brain that I had this blog thing to do, I would wring my mental hands in panic, exclaiming that I had nothing to say! No, nothing! I knew that I could well enough foam out of the corners of my mouth about the on-going clusterfuck that was the Earth-grazing meteorite named Mitt Romney–but I was doing enough stress about all that. (So much stress that I spent Election Day in bed trying not to vomit. I didn’t realize until a recurrence several days later that I’d merely been reacting to an new medicine I was trying–I used to get sick over excitement all the time as a kid.) This election threatened to make dramatic changes to my life–I’m on disability–and I don’t even want to feel that powerless, that terrified ever again. So writing about that would have salted the wound–and I am sure sooner or later I would have moaned over its pretentiousness and redacted it.
(Think about it: Isn’t a good thing that Facebook keeps scrolling our momentary faux pas into the past where we don’t have to see them with more dispassionate eyes?)
But on looking into my documents folder, I see that the big thing sucking down my writing energy was trying–and failing–to make something real, something an agent would like to see, out of Monsters. I’d started writing this book back in 2005 and then when my life fell apart in various dramatic ways, I’d just kept writing the damn thing. And writing, and writing, and then when the story was finally finished in all its badness, I had 300,000 words. I was shocked. So I split it into a trilogy. All I could do, really, not being an established writer who can get away with that sort of overkill.
The problem with the first book of a trilogy–well, mine at least–is that unless you have Peter Jackson and New Zealand to distract today’s audience, you only have a third of a plot. And the first third, yet. I sat down and said, “So much for that.” At some point I’m going to take it apart–there’s a lot to take apart, as one of its flaws was that the structure was too complex–and see what just one of them looks like. I majored in watercolor, and every so often my professor would mosey behind me and tell me I had too many paintings going on in my painting. It was sort of like that.
I just had all this STUFF exploding out of me! Characters and backstories and biology and history and culture and . . . it was fun, but it wasn’t a novel, and that was the job I decided I wanted to do. So I iced it, and went on to Book #2. That one also started being too many books at once, so I took the advice of my ever-patient editor (he’s a beta tester software engineer, proving that skills transfer) and knocked it back to a single one. It’s a decent length right now, and we’ll see where we are by the end of the summer. As I get better at writing, and he gets better at editing, we ask more of what I pull out of my head and fingers. (And yeah, sometimes other body parts too. It’s science fiction. Give me a break.)
But it occurs that the more one writes, the better one gets, at least a little bit, so I’ll start trying to keep Nova Terra up to date. I might tuck in a longish story here and there; might have some painful recollections. It might devolve to crappy journaling and whinging upon occasion, but whacks to the head with the dead fish are acceptable, and I suppose practicing my writing is better for me than doing the 3 am squirrel o’ obsession thing.
At least from my point of view. Welcome back!