Hello and good day! It’s Thursday again—and it’s a new month, the lusty month of May as the song says—and thus it’s time for a new edition of my blog.
I’m feeling physically rather better than I have for the previous two weeks, which is certainly a good thing in and of itself. Hopefully that’s a trend that will continue for a while…though of course, it cannot continue forever, for anyone. Which is fine, too, as far as it goes*. It had better be fine, because it’s not as though we can do much about it. There’s no option given us for the amendment of the laws of physics.
I’ve been troubled by a feeling of disquiet and gloom that often comes with not writing any new fiction but instead only editing. Of course, that sense is probably all tangled up with the fact that I’ve been a bit unwell physically, so I shouldn’t draw too many conclusions. Still, it’s happened to me before, and the pattern I’ve noticed leads me to say to myself that I’d better always be writing something new if I want to hold the black dog at bay. If this conclusion is erroneous, at least it’s one that leads me to keep writing, and that’s also a good thing in and of itself.
With that in mind, yesterday I broke down and wrote a new page of fiction. I decided not to work on the novella I’d recently begun, which is a sort of psycho-supernatural horror story. I think I’ve done enough horror for a while. I like it, of course—both to read and to write—but after all, Unanimity is a veeeeeeeeery long supernatural/pseudoscience-fictionish horror story, and Free Range Meat is a short horror story, as have been most of my recent works (though one could argue that Penal Colony is not horror). I think I need a break, and maybe my readers, such as they are, could use one as well. With that in mind, I decided to begin a story I’ve been planning for some time: Neko/Neneko, a modern fable.
What decided me to get writing on it was that I thought of a fun way to open the story (fun for me, anyway). I’d always known that I was going to begin with the line “Neko was a cat,” because it’s a tautological introduction, if you speak any Japanese, and I found that amusing. Then, two days ago, it occurred to me that I could turn that opening into a little homage to the beginning of A Christmas Carol, surely one of the most beloved “modern” supernatural stories. It’s not exactly a fable—there are no non-human animal characters as far as I can recall—but it’s definitely positive and inspiring, and I’ve particularly enjoyed listening to the recording of Patrick Stewart’s live rendition of the tale.
Thus inspired—and driven by internal necessity—I wrote the first page of Neko/Neneko, and I feel good about it. I don’t want to slow down my editing too much; there’s a great deal of it to do on Unanimity in particular. I think I’ll stick to no more than one page a day of the new stuff, which is fine because it’s not going to be a terribly long story (you’re welcome).
In the meantime, though I’ve suffered a diminishment of the rate of editing over the last few weeks because of physical ailments, I’m getting back in the saddle, and should be making decent headway. Of course, Free Range Meat is going to be finished long before Unanimity will be, even though I’m only working on it one day a week. It’s just so much shorter. After that, perhaps Unanimity will speed up ever so slightly, or perhaps I’ll start that project about which I’ve been speaking for some time, i.e. the releasing of the short stories from Welcome to Paradox City as individual Kindle editions, as well as creating a second edition of the paperback. Then, of course, I really want to make a second edition of Mark Red, because there are some minor issues in the layout and whatnot that irk me as I reread it.
Hopefully, I’ll live long enough to get all of this done**, but I guess none of us has any guarantees. It would be nice if I were able to make enough income from writing to be able to do all this full time. Then I could make greater and more rapid progress. Perhaps I should consider joining Patreon or something along those lines (though that might just be depressing).
Better yet, everyone out there could spread the word about my books and stories and encourage your friends and families to buy them. I know they’re not for everybody—I tend to be a bit dark, though I also tend to try to be a bit funny, too, if only darkly and dorkily—but I think they’re pretty good, and that a lot of people would enjoy them. And that would certainly be enough of an excuse to have been born as anyone could ever ask for.
*Please forgive the sentence fragment. Actually, is that a sentence fragment? Does “Which” count as a subject in this case?
**I’m being melodramatic. I’m in no imminent physical danger of dying in the short term as far as I know.