There’s a bit of a lull right now between books, and I’m trying to find other uses of my time. Promoting ALT is one, but if I did that 24/7, I’d lose my mind. I also have SPR to look after, a long reading list to work on, and–more importantly–I have other stories to write. This last item is the topic at hand.
I may regret doing this later, but it’s late and I’m feeling pretty good about it all, so I’ll commit to it now. Consider this a semi-official announcement of two projects. I’m doing this here so you all can hold me accountable if, in a year’s time, at least one of these projects is not finished. This is also my way of keeping me motivated. Sometimes I need to guilt myself into writing, and this is another way of doing it.
First up is a novella. It’s a story I’ve been struggling with for the better part of five years, as its origins are rooted in facts which I still have trouble reconciling. Initially, part of the problem I had with it (other than its personal side) was that I couldn’t figure out how it should be told. I thought it could be a novel, but then I wondered if I could sustain the narrative for 70k-80k words, and so I shelved it. A few nights ago I started thinking about it again, and then on Friday I opened my notebook and wrote the first scene. I’ve decided it’s allowed to be a novella. That’s a good size for it, I think. Oh, and the story? It’s about a friend I used to have who heard the voice of a god inside his head, and decided to leave his family and friends behind to join a cult. I wish that part was fiction. It isn’t. The rest of the story will be, though. It’s about how one man’s religion destroys the world, and it’s tentatively titled TO THE CENTER OF EDEN.
The second project is a collection of stories I’ve mentioned on a few occasions, tentatively titled THINGS I LEFT BEHIND. The concept of what this would be has evolved over the last couple of years. When I first started brainstorming, I imagined it as leaning more toward the memoir side of things (and some of its pieces could still be categorized as such), but some ideas I’ve had for it are either too personal, too abstract, or not interesting enough to suit its pages.
To date there are three memoir-like pieces written, but not much else, and in light of this fact I realized that I have a long list of titles and premises for stories I’ve been meaning to write. I also have a bunch of “finished” stories that either haven’t seen the light of day, or were published so long ago that their homes of publications have gone under. I used quotes there because a lot of them need to be revised, but that’s a different beast as the groundwork is already in place. So, I’ve decided to approach this thing like an album of sorts. I’m going to list out the titles and pick the best twelve. Those not written yet will have a single rule: they can’t be longer than 2k words. Any stories that either a) run too long, or b) can’t be edited down, will be sidelined for a separate collection.
And now, the lists:
Titles – Unwritten:
A Cynical Side of Sunshine
A Language of Names
Girls From the Internet
Saving Granny From the Devil
The Center of the Universe is a Small Kentucky Town
The Pissed Off Writer’s Union
Digital Human Management
Growing Up Guilty
How to Sleep at Night When You Hate Everyone
Things I’ve Let Go, Things I Can’t Forgive
The Idea Salesman (Incomplete)
The Men in My Family
Titles – Written/To Be Revised:
Refrain of the Faceless Man
Things I Left Behind
The Great Wall of Suburbia
Dead Ohio Sky
They Would Judge His Trespasses
In These Fragile Spaces
Jeff & the Antichrist
Yikes. There’s a lot more there than I expected. Maybe two collections are in order after all. Given the potential lengths (Crude Sunlight is about 20k on its own), that may be the only way as far as print is concerned. Digitally, they could be combined into a single set, but that’s something I can think about later. For now, I have some writing to do.
There’s also TLM, which is with my editor right now. She’s shooting for an April deadline, but that isn’t set in stone (even if she refuses to acknowledge that). The book will require some extensive editing in regards to story arcs and resolution. I expected this. It took 19 months to write, and it’s only natural the later parts may not quite fit with the early parts. And, let’s face it, when I got to the end, I just wanted it to end. So, I’ll be fleshing out some scenes and removing others altogether.
I think that’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks.