Well, Thursday has caught me off-guard again. This really shouldn’t happen, considering that it comes every week at the same time—like clockwork, or at least like calendar-work—but I guess I’ve got a mental block in that area. The days do all seem much the same, with very little that stands out from its surroundings; certainly, there exist plain few inherently exciting events. Goodness knows the news cycle is too depressingly idiotic to vouchsafe much attention without losing IQ points each time; it’s probably worse for your brain than sniffing glue, though I’ve never tried the latter, and I don’t intend to do so. If glue-sniffing is worse than paying attention to popular and social media—well, then it is very bad indeed.
Of course, there are exciting things coming in my personal future. The writing of Unanimity proceeds well, with the story arcing gracefully (I hope) toward its climax, but it continues to be longer than I expect. I’m pretty sure the first draft is going to be over half a million words before it’s through! But I do expect it to be complete before the end of the year, and then rewriting/editing can begin, leading ultimately, in the fullness of time, to the release of the novel. So that’s fun.
I also finished rewriting the original portion of In the Shade, that short story I pulled out and decided to complete. I am not, however, going to finish writing the story until after I’ve completed at least the first draft of Penal Colony, which is going more quickly now that I’m not splitting my secondary writing time between it and In the Shade. I expect that both short stories will be complete, rewritten/edited, and released well before Unanimity is ready to go.
I have a tentative plan to put together a new collection of short stories before long, since I write them with some frequency, and release them as the equivalent of “Kindle Singles.” I know there are people out there who prefer to read physical, paper-and-ink books, and sympathize strongly with that point of view (though I do love being able to carry my library around in my pocket). Since publishing even my short stories (which tend to be long) in paperback individually just makes for a product that’s probably too expensive for what you get, I like the idea of releasing a new collection of stories, like Welcome to Paradox City, but with more stories than that collection. I’ve even started playing around with title ideas, like Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, or something along those lines.
And just now, literally, as I wrote this, it occurred to me that—going in the other direction—I could also publish the individual short stories from Welcome to Paradox City as Kindle additions. These would be The Death Sentence, If the Spirit Moves You, and of course the titular Paradox City. Interesting.
Of course, if I release these as individual works, it might be tempting to produce audio versions of the stories, which could be fun and rewarding, but which could reinstantiate the trap in which I use a lot of my spare time recording and editing. I really need to find a way to dedicate more of myself to writing, and its associated pursuits, in the rapidly diminishing (and highly unpredictable) life that remains to me. Maybe I should set up a Patreon account or something.
Discussing audio leads to an amusing little side-note. As I think I’ve commented before, I have a longish daily commute, and I like to listen to podcasts and audio books during the trip. Well, recently, I was fiddling through my phone and found the old, unedited recordings of some of my short stories and the early chapters of The Chasm and the Collision. I listened to one of these on the way home the other day, and it was quite amusing to hear all my mistakes and retakes, and the inevitable copious profanity that went along with them. But it was also surprisingly fun simply to listen to myself reading my stories, so last night I opened up the YouTube app on my phone and listened to the first part of Hole for a Heart on my way home. I don’t know if this is the most narcissistic thing that’s ever been done, but it certainly ranks right up there in my personal experience. It was, however, honestly enjoyable. I wonder what, if anything, that says about me, but it’s at least reassuring in that I still find the story to be a good one, and it makes me want to write more.
I just wish I could finish Unanimity more quickly. Sometimes I think I’m never going to live to see it published, or even to see the finished first draft. Probably that’s too melodramatic—I do tend to be a bit dark, but then again, if you read my writing, you know that already.
And that’s pretty much it for today, on this surprisingly unexpected Thursday. I hope I haven’t shortchanged you, but then again, if you enjoy my writing, there’s plenty of it available commercially.