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Quiet on the northwestern front...
I’m just about to head off to teach Viable Paradise tomorrow, and things have been busy around here with preparations to travel for most of the month of October because we’re also visiting family and going to World Fantasy Con. (We’re fortunate to have an excellent roster of catsitters and house-watchers lined up; the cats at least will be thrilled with New Monkeys because, with the exception of Molly, they are weirdly social cats.)
I’ve been quiet On Here because I’m in the middle of a concerted push on Angel Maker, aka Karen Memory Adventures volume 3, which is the book I will be kickstarting net year. We’re also figuring out How To Kickstarter, which is pretty immersive, and we’ve only just begun.
Stand by, street team, we’re gonna need you when the big push comes!
Anyway, I’ve got a little over 92,000 words, and I’ve gotten myself stuck on a plot problem leading into the climax. Just at the appropriate time, it turns out, to be forced to take a few weeks off and let it stew. But I also really want to have the draft finished, so that frustration is there.
It’s been such a pleasure enjoying my work again. It’s been so long since writing felt easy and fluid and I could slide into a flow state and just make words happen. Yesterday, I was working on a scene in the midst of many disruptions that made flow impossible, and I know it’s ragged and I have to fix it later. But at least it got done.
One of the hard things to learn about writing for me has been to not be too precious about it. I’ve trained myself to write just about anywhere if needed, and I might even get a little work done while we’re traveling—though I’m not counting on it. But when I was much younger I used to surround the work with little rituals, and it turns out when something disrupts the ritual it disrupts the writing, too.
Now, I mean, I like a cup of green tea or some other hydrating beverage beside me while I type, but it’s not necessary.
And breaking those associations gives you back a lot of freedom.
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Now, of course, it can be effective to create a space that you only use for creative writing, and treat that as a meditative practice. But at a certain point in a writing career the travel demands do pick up, and it’s nice to have the work be able to travel with one. When you’re bored in a hotel room, say…
Anyway, soon I will be in a hotel room, and unlikely to be bored at all, since I will be up to my eyeballs in student manuscripts. But maybe I’ll have a brain wave and figure out how this climax is going to work, since I know more or less what it needs to do structurally but I’m at a loss for how to make it happen.
And then a long and multifaceted denouement that I somehow have to make not feel like the ending of the cinematic version of The Lord of the Rings.
One ending, not six!
Hope your work is going as well as mine has been!