Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Olding man

Ups and downs. Yesterday, I sat down and attempted to write on the short story I've "had in the works" for months. It wasn't the best day, and wasn't the best time. I didn't finish it. A month or so back came the climax of the story's prepatory life. I should've done it then. Every day since fed a little more doubt into the system. I knew that, and still thought I could handle it. At about 10:47 I hit a wall; I wasn't prepared at all for how much all the naysaying would multiply. When I shut the door to my own head, when I went inside to pull the story out, I was frightened by all the negativity. "This story is stupid," I said to myself. That, and other things an author would be best served not saying to themselves. Acknowledge that you will right bad stories, sure, but if you're going to admit it, then admit it after you've finished it, after you've edited it. Right before publishing it. I saved what I did put down. I didn't make the mistake I would have five years ago and rest my head on the backspace.

At work, I finally tackled a knot that had been waiting for me all semester. It was a living mass made from computer power cords, as big as my head and heavier in addition. I had to hold it up to loosen everything. I was tired before I began; my hands cramped and my fingers burned. Somewhere in the middle the heart of matter showed me a glimpse of light and I had insight into how to start the last book in my supernatural series. That had been something else on my list of things to do, and with a flurry of note-taking, I've started that process. I felt good about that. That, and a nice review I received from an author who let me do a blog post on her page. When I sent it to one of my various author groups, I used her own words, and titled it as "Second Book Ever to Be Awarded This," the pronoun being the ranking I received for the review, the "8-pointed star."

It read thus,

"This is a novel which should be read twice to make certain none of the nuances and overtones are overlooked. It definitely can't be skimmed. Miss a word, you may miss an entire sentence. What imagery and the writing..! The words flow, deep, dark, and delicious, into some of the most descriptive images I've read in a long time. In spite of the many mis-uses of personal pronouncs (and you know how that makes me cringe), this is livre noir at its best. Though it would be ideal to read this novel all in one sitting, unfortunately, I had to interrupt my train of thought by sleeping. Please tell me this is a series. I have to know what happened to David and Jarvis and even that hapless mortal Nick."

If you follow the blog at all, it was the initial draft of this review that made me (poorly) copy and paste from Wikipedia. Let's hope I learned from that mistake. At the same url, I had a blog recently go up concerning what it was like writing the series up to its halfway point. For a short synopsis, I reference the knot I mentioned earlier, except in metaphor.

Publishing it has been somewhat of a different story. That review I quoted is from the first book, which came out two years ago. The third came out in Feburary, and the fourth is slated sometime in the Fall. Just the other day I looked up from all the editing and editing and editing and thought that maybe, just maybe, I was working too far out ahead of the situation. Perhaps I could do to spend more time marketing the books I already have out. If it's a series, then the first books are going to be where readers start, anyway. And because I had given it so little thought, I really had no plan for how to slow down, much less how to market. Let's hope I learn something from that oversight, too.

I hope I never get so old that I am entrenched in my ways of doing and thinking. Today, I can at least say that I'm still flexible enough to think freshly on some old things. Things I never thought I would. Like how to restore a story about the future to its past. Or how to save a man from his past, for the sake of his future.