"A room without books is like a body without soul."
On the writing front, which is what my handful of followers come here to read about, I have long been whinging about not being able to get anything going, about how projects start out strong only to die in infancy, about how maybe I'm not a writer anymore. All of that may be true, but over the last ten days, I have pretty much ignored the muse. No chasing, quite the contrary, I turned off the light and left the room. Not surprisingly, the old coot's been busy since I left him to his own devices!
As you know, I've been looking at one project then another, trying to find that one best project with the most potential. I won't go over the list of stories that have come and gone, one of which is still in the file for development, but what has gradually settled in my sights is the old friend that finally brought me some success: Beyond the Rails III. I have long wanted to write a novel featuring the world and characters I have enjoyed for so long, but have been struggling to find the right angle. I have been looking at bringing back a previous "guest star," but every method I approached seemed stilted. Do I make this person the star, relegating the Kestrel's crew to cameo status? Do I make him or her a walk-on, sharply limiting my ability to really get into their story? Then, in the midst of moving piles of books and papers off the lesser-used desk I needed to move, the muse delivered: This "guest star" will be the crew's sub-plot, their "distraction," if you will. Bonnie was present when the revelation hit, saw me physically jerk with the realization that I had found the answer. Dominoes have been falling into place ever since, and this tale of smuggling, violence, blatant crime and international intrigue is rapidly building into an exciting outline that I will be thrilled to follow along its convoluted path.
And now, having gotten everyone lit up, I have to add that I can't share any details, as we are taught by the great Anne Tyler that talking about our projects makes them evaporate... All of which makes it exceedingly difficult to get outside opinions of the work. Oh, well, maybe I'll come up with something as the process moves along. Working on the short stories, I had a great deal of valuable help from the folks at writing.com. I suppose I could return, but that's a paid site, and one must measure every penny in retirement, plus, sharing short stories is one thing, and roundly enjoyed by all at that august assembly. Sharing a novel requires a large investment from the readers, and sort of gives it away for nothing. Not that I object to that, in fact, I probably give away more of my books than I sell, but I'd like it to have a chance to perform in the marketplace, just to see how it would do.
In other news... Well, there really is no other news. I've been alternating between this room remodel and resting these aching bones. I think this job that would have taken me 2-3 days when I was 27 is going to take me 2-3 weeks at 67! But that's all right. I just need to remember that I have all the time in the world.
What else? Oh, somehow this morning my personal page on Facebook got trashed. There are no pictures, no posts, no nothing. The Beyond the Rails page is untouched, though. I was going to go back and reset everything, but having had ample time to think about it, it's the answer to a prayer! I never wanted a personal page, just one for my books. Seems like I've gotten my wish. I'm going to go look into it just in case there is something I need to deal with, but somehow I think it's going to be fine like it is. I'll next be around here updating my version of events on the 22nd of May, so drop in for a visit. In the meantime, read well, and write better!