The Insanity and The Ecstasy
Wow, has today been a mixed bag, highs and lows all over the place. I’m having a lot of trouble settling to anything right now because my head’s still spinning from it all.
As is traditional for the first day back after a vacation, the day job was nuts today, and is likely to be that way all week from the look of it. Oh well, I knew that was coming. I’ll also be busy on that front for most of June for other reasons. As if that wasn’t already going to be a busy enough time for me. I swear, I’m going to turn around and it’ll be July already. June will be lost in the haze.
I managed to finish editing both short stories I was working on. I worked on The Nandora Tree yesterday and have put it back in the drawer for a few days before I see what I think. I’ll let you know how that goes. The Way Out Is Through got dealt with as planned on Sunday. Yesterday I read it through again, decided it was better at least and sent it off to my test readers. And waited with my breath held. I turned blue and decided it was a good idea to start breathing again. This morning, they both emailed me about it. I read those halfway through my work day and all that insanity started to seem distant and unimportant. You know you did a good job when the email starts with “Holy Crap,” then talks about not being able to put it down. I needed that boost at that point in the day anyway, but it has reminded me that I’m still my worst critic, because I really didn’t know what I thought about this story, almost from the beginning, when I finished writing it. I’m waiting on more specific feedback, but that was a wonderful start and enough to keep me going for a while.
It was actually quite timely, really, because now that I’m entering the edits for The Nine (started yesterday), I’m finding serious issues, at least with the first chapter. I’m almost tempted to scrap that chapter at least and totally rewrite it. I’m having serious angst about whether I’ve maybe started the story in the wrong place, but I don’t think so. In fact, after the above feedback on a story I was seriously thinking of stuffing in a drawer and never letting anyone see, I’m leaning more toward thinking I’m perhaps being a little too hard on myself, that the issues with the chapter aren’t that bad, certainly nothing I can’t resolve with some work. So I’m going to keep plugging away, moving forward and try not to get caught up in making chapter 1 perfect, just better. Writing is an iterative process, each draft theoretically an improvement on the one before and it’s my first time through the book. It’ll be polished further in the future. I have to remember to keep my perspective in these early days of working on it. Hell, I only finished it last month!
I still haven’t hauled out my outline for Where The Ether Flows to reread it. I’ll probably do that tomorrow or the next day, certainly this weekend if I haven’t done it by then. I think I’m ready though, and I’m definitely willing and prepared for the story to shift and evolve somewhat as I write through it, being the first book in the trilogy. It happened with Bound, and I’m fully expecting some to happen this time too. First draft of the first book is partly about learning my world. I have a bit of a jump on that with the two short stories I’ve already done, but writing short fiction isn’t quite like writing novels. I’ll just have to dial in and see where Devan takes me.
Of course, in the midst of all this, another very old idea that’s been kicking around for a good two years now has begun to unfurl a bit. Because I really needed another story tugging on my brain as I get started on a new trilogy. Oh well, I shouldn’t complain, especially since I always like the central ideas of Thaumaturge and wanted it to become something more. I’ll get to that one another day. In the meantime, I’ll make notes and see what develops. Sometimes this stage reminds me of a polaroid photo. Take the picture, then wait and watch to see what it turns into as it develops before your eyes. It’s quite delightful, actually. I like it almost as much as actually writing. There’s nothing I like more than the act of writing, trust me.
Okay, enough blathering out of me. I’ve got to get back to work while I inhale an awesome grilled cheese sandwich (always use garlic marble cheese, trust me). I shall leave you with tonight’s picture, taken a little while before my trip. No, I didn’t haul my camera with me on my visit with my parents. I was too busy for that anyway.