The Hell-Bound Pony

For this title I want to thank Meredith Woerner of io9.com, aka Unicorn Farts, for today’s title.  I’ll neither discuss unicorns or farts, but as I read her weekly reviews of True Blood–or as it is sometimes called, “Sookie’s Magical Fairy Vagina”, which would make a hell of a lot better title–there was a line she delivered in her last review (as of this post) that made me laugh.  Which is something I seem not to do much of these days.

By this time tomorrow my Camp NaNo story, the first part novel of The Foundation Chronicles, should be finished.  Sometime tonight I’ll write the last chapter, get another twelve or fifteen hundred words in the bank, type, “The End” at the bottom of the document, back the novel off to my Seagate drive, and consider it fin.

Another novel finished.  Give me that Fluttershy cheer . . . (deep breath) . . . yay.  Since the start of this year, good old 2013, that’s two novels written, one novel published, and a novella thrown in for good measure.  In terms of new material we’re talking about one hundred and forty-five thousand new words:  thrown in the blog and a few articles here and there, and we’re adding another one hundred and twenty thousand words.

That’s a quarter of a million words this year.  I’m tired.

A section of my mind is thinking, “Okay, what’s next?”  That should be getting one of my short novels in shape for publication, because I need to get something else out there, start cutting into this backlog that’s building up on my computer.  But there’s a section that’s screaming at me to take a break, to step away and do nothing for a while.

Yeah, right.  I know how that works, because it’s happened before.  In the past I’ve said, “Oh, I’ll set this story aside and come back to it in a month.”  Next thing I know, it’s five years later, and while I’ve gotten very good at driving the Nordschleife on my computer, I’ve not looked at said story once.  It lingers on, like some creature on life support, waiting for me to either rescue it from oblivion, or pull the plug.

Today I was going to blog about something that I felt bothered me, then realized–why?  Why bother?  Not write, of course, but why rant about something that I don’t care for, but no one else will give much of a shit about.  After a bit of reading and thinking, I decided that if I write about the monkey that seems to have crawled onto my back, I’m indulging in a bit of the insane, time wasting crap that has occupied my mind of late.

No, what I should do is finish my story, then think about what comes next.  Think about what in the future, and not what’s pissing me off, or what’s bothering me, or what sort of annoyances I can drop like a bad habit instead of hanging on to them and allowing those little things to bug me for no other reason than I want to be bugged.

Saddle up that one trick pony and ride that sucker straight into hell.

And enjoy the scenery along the way; I understand there are some painted roses I should see . . .

In Perago Est Hic

Writing is not for the faint of heart.  Sure, you can keep a diary and spill your guts to yourself every day, and hope that no one ever reads it and discovers that you spent a lot of time talking about sex and even giving your genitals a name.  This happened in one of the most famous diaries to be published, although in the original version all that stuff was cut out–about thirty percent in total.

It’s a long. torturous journey that doesn’t always end well.  It’s entirely possible that you’ll spend months, maybe years, working on a story that you need to tell, only to see it rejected by publisher after publisher.  It’s enough to drive you mad, and there have been instances where people have simply given up for a while, or for good, or, in the case of the guy who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces, he killed himself, and it took his mother another eight years to see the book published.

One can find a lot of pain in writing.  It pulls at you, it frustrates you, it takes so much of your time.  It’s exhausting, because most writers are working a regular job, and a lot of times when you have your work in progress before you, it’s about nine o’clock at night, and you’ve been up since four AM, and you only have about ninety minutes to get said what you want to say.  It’s sometimes more of a job than it seems, because maybe times you don’t want to write; you want to call it a night and play games all night, and let your brain become mulch for the vegetables.

Then again, when you reach the end of your story, one that you’ve worked on for weeks or months–or even years–you feel such satisfaction.  You’ve finished a task and you realize what you’ve created, and it’s suddenly like all the emotions you’ve poured onto each page comes back and hugs you hard . . . and you know you’ve done something good.

Yesterday I finished Suggestive Amusements.  Last chapter, a few thousand words to write, I wrote during the afternoon and into the evening, and somewhere past nine PM I wrote “The End”, and it was all good.  As I neared the end, the emotions began manifesting as something real, and I was both sad and ecstatic.  The ending, particularly the last few hundred words, brought forth the tears, but at the same time I was happy the story was finished.

The novel was a chore at time.  It was a tremendous undertaking.  It caused a bit of soul searching, and even came close to beating me about enough that I needed to step away a few nights and just enjoy life.  There were moments when I wondered if I would ever finish the story–or is what I was writing was worth finishing.

Now is the time to publish.  Now’s the time to get one of my novels formatted for Smashwords and Amazon, and get a good cover made.  Then edit another story, and get it published.  Then . . .

Write the next tale.

It’s what I do.

The State of Incompleteness

Time marches on, as does my cold and my novel.

The cold is at the stage where I can get by now and semi-function throughout the day.  Fever is gone, stuffy head is history:  all that remains is the slight infection in the chest that makes me want to cough every fifteen minutes.  This was similar to what I went through during the summer, but this one seem to be a lot less severe; with that infection I found it almost impossible to speak without choking up and coughing out a smidgen of fluids before I stopped.  There’s annoyance here, but nothing that’s keeping me down–other than the feeling I’m completely worn out due to a lack of sleep and food.  Give it another week, and maybe I’ll be back to my old self.  Maybe.

“But what of the novel, Cassie?”  Glad you asked, because I was going to tell you anyway.  Suggestive Amusements is through eleven chapters, and I’m facing the final seven chapters leading up to those two most magic words every writer wants to see, “The End”.  Actually, every writer wants to see the word, “Congratulations,” at the beginning of an email, but that’s another story . . .

Everything about Erin’s history has been revealed–well, almost everything.  Didn’t think I was just going to make it that easy, did you?  The tales were told–well, not all of them; I might still have Erin think some more about Hypatia, who she had a real thing for–but there was something I did in the chapter that is meant to set up just a touch of friction.  That’s how it happens:  you bring up the truth, and before you know it, you’re trying to backtrack with a few white lies that you think will make things all the better in the future.

How that’s going to play out won’t show for a few more chapters, but it will play into things.  Erin is playing with her fears, and even though she can see things as they are about to happen, she can’t always see the future, damn it, because sometimes even preternatural goddesses can’t get past those pesky quantum multiverses and the various futures they hold.  While you might be able to see, that doesn’t mean you can figure out which one you’re going to be.

The story is about to go a little off the rails in the next few chapters, which is how I want it.  Like it or not, dealing with creatures like Erin is going to leave a mark, and that won’t always going to be a good mark.  Being creative is a curse; having a muse show up to push your creativity in the right direction is probably going to screw things up in ways a person could never imagine.  I even included an example of something that happened to one of Erin’s charges, and it offers an example of what I think this “creation stuff” can do to someone if they’ve wrapped themselves up in it so tightly that the trees are all they see.

Yet we walk into this business with eyes wide open.  At least my muse is nice–

For the moment.