Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday—the last Thursday of May in 2021—and so, to the possible consternation of many, it’s time for another of my weekly blog posts.
It’s been a reasonably uneventful week, though at a personal level, it feels like it’s been full of drama. I did not feel well at all over the course of the weekend, for various reasons, and that rolled over into the beginning of the week. Because of this, work on the (handwritten) final portion of In the Shade didn’t proceed at quite the hoped-for pace. Nevertheless, I am within spitting distance of its end. I should be finished with the first draft by perhaps midway through my usual writing time tomorrow, and I can then begin typing it into the computer and then moving on to rewriting/editing.
My overall mood tends to be slightly buoyed when I’m writing new things, so I get nervous when I enter a period solely of rewriting and editing. The psychology of this feels rather transparent, to me at least—writing new things, especially new stories, is basically all that gives me any reason to be alive, so the writing of first drafts supports me a bit against my tendency toward nihilism and pan-antipathy. Editing, while absolutely essential—and a legitimately creative process—is somehow unable to provide the sense of worth and value to life. This was why, during the course of the very long editing and rewriting of Unanimity, I had to take a few breaks to write short stories.
Thankfully, In the Shade, though long a for a short story, as mine so often are, is still not going to take too much time to edit and rewrite. Then putting together Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities shouldn’t take much longer and may take less time. After all, it’s a collection of things that have already gone though all their edits and are just going to be merged and ordered and laid out together.
From there, I’ll go on to finish Outlaw’s Mind, which will be another interval of new writing, followed by another interval of editing, and thence to publication. After that, I’m not sure what I’m going to write next. I had considered doing my silly little fable-type story, Neko/Neneko, but that was largely because I had an artistic coworker who hoped to draw the cover for it, and I thought that would be great. But that person is no longer my coworker, and I haven’t seen or heard from her in quite some time, so there’s not as much impetus. And without that impetus, I don’t feel particularly strongly about the story.
Other things that tease at my possibilities include the potentially quite large story Changeling in a Shadow World, or a very old book idea of mine called Destiny (originally The Maker of Destiny, but that seems too clunky), or another horror story whose title oscillates in my mind between The Created and Entropy. And there are at least two more books in the “saga” of Mark Red in my head, but I’m not sure that anyone’s interested in reading more about him, and if no one is, it’s hard to revisit prior characters when I could make new things. Also, of course, I could someday try to recreate Ends of the Maelstrom, my long-lost handwritten book from high school. And I have a significant list of jotted down short story ideas as well, some of which—knowing me—could easily metamorphose into novellas or novels.
This is all assuming, of course, that I live long enough to do any of it, which I often don’t think is the best of the available options.
In the meantime, I’ve pretty much given up on doing more video entries for Iterations of Zero, at least on anything like a regular basis. The process is just too lengthy and data-storage intensive, and I don’t like looking at myself any more than absolutely necessary. I’ve written a short post on the subject that I mean to put up on IoZ soon, and I have a final, whimsical and silly video that I’ll post as well, but I think I’ll hold off on doing more of them. Videos, I mean. I may try to work back toward doing some of what I call “audio blogs” (the term “podcast” seems far too grandiose, though that’s how some of them show up in Google searches, to my surprise). IoZ still struggles to find its way, so to speak. Sometimes I consider just nixing it and posting the occasional material that I would have put there on this blog. I’d wanted to keep this venue dedicated to my fiction writing and related topics, but maybe that’s a silly idea.
Well, it’s not as though any of this is of any consequence whatsoever. Talk about iterations of zero—I think all that I’ve written, here and elsewhere, and the songs I’ve sung and played and recorded (and some of which I’ve written), and pictures I’ve drawn, and all the rest, are just a very small pebble-splash with evanescent ripples in the middle of an ocean far vaster than the Pacific. In a certain sense, that’s undeniably true—for me, and for anyone and everyone and everything else—given the size, scale, age, and future of the universe. But it’s possible not to find that fact disheartening, and even to find it uplifting, if one just has a personal meaning and reason and justification and purpose. Alas, all my versions of such things have long since fled. I can’t be arsed to find or invent any new ones, even if I knew how, and I have no hunger for delusional or illusory comforts.
But writing stories is its own justification, even if no one ever reads them. It’s pretty much what I’ve got, anymore. And, on that pleasant note, I think I’ll call it enough for this week. I truly hope you’re all as well as you can possibly be, and that you remain well…and even improve over time.