Transition Girl

Why transition girl?... Best answered by a quote from the Iliad....."The soul was not made to dwell in a thing; and when forced to it, there is no part of that soul but suffers violence."

Saturday, February 17, 2018

home stretch

I finished 2017 and started 2018 in a productive frenzy, reaching the milestone of a completed third draft of the manuscript for the Peithosian Gift and a draft of suitable quality that copy editing is now well underway. Will have something on the market by the middle of the year. Home stretch with a finish line within sight.

My feelings on reaching this milestone (with this book and all that have come before it) are always mixed. There's the achievement delight - something finished. There's the marking the moment - ruling a line on taking the story further (at least until I decide to write a sequel). No writer is ever really finished when the writing on any particular piece is done. There's always an urge to tinker a little more. But this needs to be balanced against that feeling of accepting the time in the particular world of that particular story is done and it is time to move on.

Sometimes I reach that point so ready to step away that I want to run at pace as far away as I can sprint. Three parts into the Panopticon series, I was ready to let my child of the light, Gabriel, take a holiday. I have a very rough story-board prepared so I could start drafting the next part, working title - the Helotry - but I'm just not ready to return to this family of characters.

In contrast, I remain excited about the world in the manuscript just completed. I feel there are enough seeds planted in what I have already written to offer some genuinely new directions and creative exploration. No story-board yet but a working title - the Peithosian Curse (obviously). The added bonus is that the lovely lady who has been editing my current manuscript is so excited at the prospect of a sequel, it is almost enough to inspire me to name this project as the next cab off the rank.

But there is a bit to do before I go there. I set a different goal for writing this year. Something to challenge me - something different. I set a goal of writing a stage play. Almost two months gone in the year and I have a working treatment (the scene by scene staging of the play). Two lines of dialogue and the terrifying thought that I have a hell of a lot more dialogue to write before it resembles anything remotely stage worthy. I'll give myself until Easter to see if I have set too hard a task for my writing skills.

And, in truth, I probably should have set a different goal if I was going to venture into contemporary fiction about a dysfunctional family. I was encouraged to consider converting one of my short stories into a novel and I believe the idea is worth contemplation. The short story - the Hunger - looks at an event in a young girl's life whose father happens to be a "fixer" in the underworld. I think it would be an interesting juxtaposition of the innocence of youth and the impact of a much darker world. It's probably been done before.

Finally, reporting on another short-story beyond a home stretch. I was recently asked to contribute to a new e-publication, 300and1 words, that specialises in sharing life experiences. The editor had read one of my poems and associated story in another e-publication - Poets Unlimited - about the passing of my mom. Here's the link to the micro-story as it was published in mid-January - - it is a good example of how one creative piece can be reshaped for a different audience.

Plenty of ideas on where my next creative escape will be - it's a hard choice because it will consume me for at least three years of writing anew. I am excited about the possibilities and many a moral dilemma to explore.


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