Good morning, everyone! It’s Thursday, and it’s thus time once again for my weekly blog post.
I don’t have all that much that’s new to report, at least with respect to writing. I’ve been continuing to work steadily on Outlaw’s Mind, producing about a thousand plus words per weekday, which means a little over four or five thousand words a week. After completing my daily “quota” of new writing, I’ve been going over to Vagabond, or The Vagabond (I haven’t decided which title to choose, and I’d welcome reader input on the question).
It’s been quite a treat to reencounter scenes that I remember only when I come to them in the book. For instance, there’s a particularly vivid nightmare sequence, set in a supernaturally nasty, gigantic underground sewer system, that surprised me with recognition when I arrived at it during my reading/editing this week. I was particularly pleased to discover that it had been written rather well, at least from my own biased point of view.
In a different way, in can be just as enjoyable to find places where my original writing was a bit awkward, and to realize that I can fix those places handily now. It shows me that—again, from my own point of view, at least—I’ve become a better writer over time.
It’s required an effort of will to keep from looking at and trying to complete the fragment I have of House Guest, a short story that helped win me a national award when I was a teenager, because I don’t want to distract myself from Outlaw’s Mind. The latter is proceeding well, as I said, but it’s definitely growing to be a short novel, and I’m going to have to make a rather nail-biting decision—both practically and artistically—whether I want to include it in Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities or to let it stand alone. It’s growth is, I think, a good thing, because I’ve found that there’s more to the life and character of young Timothy Outlaw than I would have expected from the simple seed that produced the story. This was one of those little notions that popped into my head, and which I “jotted” down in my cell phone note-taking app for later.
It’s amazing that two short sentences can turn into a much longer story than expected, but then again, the story has become about much more than those two sentences ever implied. I suppose that’s not terribly surprising. One could summarize even the entire Harry Potter series in a few sentences, after all, if one were so inclined, but the story is so much more and so much deeper than such sentences could lead one to imagine.
I can’t lay claim to anything like J. K. Rowling’s ability, but I seem to be able to write as much as she does, keeping all other things such as needing to keep a “day job” in consideration. It would certainly be wonderful if as many people in the world read and enjoyed my books as do hers, to say nothing of making a similar amount of money*.
Hopefully, if the internet and its progeny survive unabated into the future, that means that my stories will always be out there, somewhere—even if only as archaeological relics. Once published, the stories have a life of their own, separate from their author, and not subject to his persistence; this may be a very durable form of life, as information independent of its particular substrate.
And with that peculiar reflection, I think I’ll call it good for today. I really would love to have your input on the Vagabond title, and on “My Heroes Have Always Been Villains,” and on anything else that strikes you as worthy of comment. Of course, I want to remind you that Unanimity Book 2 will be published on September 22, 2020, and that it’s already available for pre-order in e-book form. And Unanimity Book 1, is already available. You should have time to read it between now and when Book 2 comes out, if you’re a reasonably fast reader.
Do your best to stay safe, sane, and healthy out there.
*Though that’s not terribly important to me. I’m not saying I would turn it down or wouldn’t be delighted to have such an income, but obviously, it’s not for money that I write, nor for prestige, nor for any simple, short-term, tangible purpose. I write because I love to make up stories and get them down in print and publish them so that other people can read them if they want, because I have always loved to read other people’s stories; it’s been one of the greatest and most reliable joys of my life. But no matter how few or many people read my stories, I think I’ll always be my own number one fan, in the sense of enjoying reading and rereading my own books. I’m not quite as bad a Number One Fan as Annie Wilkes, but I do have my yandere moments toward myself, if that makes any sense.