Yep! I’m a fourth of my way into November, and I’m thinking of projects to write about. Not that I’ve stalled. No. I even wrote four thousand words–today–on my delicate little Nautilus. It is a delightful write, mostly because I can escape this world into somewhere else. A somewhere else much more dangerous.
I’ll be up front with my readers: I recently spent three months away from my job, on disability and stress leave, due to the circumstances of a particularly nasty divorce. I continued to work at a job that took up, quite often, 12-13 hours of my day. I found a terrible depression brewing, and it came to a head after I had my tonsils removed. One day I simply woke up and didn’t know who I was. I had free time, finally. What to do? I didn’t know; my default was television. So I had a small breakdown.
And the next day started writing in this blog again. I’ve finally broke (most of) the habit of defaulting to the television for my free time. I then went to therapy, made some awesome friends, and then returned to work. While I’ve returned to my high-stress, high-octane job, I’ve found returning from work ends with me sitting at my computer with a powerful need to write. This is a very good change in habits, methinks, but I can’t say how long it will last.
That stated, I have several projects in the wing. New ideas haven’t yet presented themselves–mostly because any fresh thought tends to fall into one of the projects as “fodder.” When the ex left me I fell into a strange ignorant depression: I stubbornly said, to myself, “Fine. I’ll go on without her.” It worked for a time, but given the fact I entered into the high stress job to grow a family, my reasons for attending said job were removed entirely. Yes, it paid the bills. No, it fulfilled nothing of my spiritual self, of which I require words and time.
Gosh. I sound like Cervantes. That’ll teach me to read Don Quixote before bed. I’ll try to stop code-switching a dead Spanish patriot.
Project One (or, standing title, I, Pawn Dreamer)
I used to identify my ideas under “projects.” I started Project One before even the Soren novel (in fact, Soren is a small character in this. A teenager. This is where he came from). It’s a grand foray into abstract storytelling, where one character unwittingly tells another character’s story, even though neither know of each other. The ex called it my Magnum Opus. Given the difficulty of writing, the complexity of the story, and having to juggle several perspectives at once, I might have to agree. That novel didn’t die. It’s finished in a rough draft form. It also needs some connective tissue, given I wrote much of this book as excerpts and interactions. In fact, I have a whole file of excerpts I didn’t even use. This project needs polish, some fresh eyes, and a loving scalpel to slice out the superfluous stuff. Unfortunately I haven’t had anyone nearby with the writing chops (or focus) to actively read and help me with this project. It is a spiritual behemoth.
I need help with this.
Project Two (or, standing title, Her Back was a Spiderbite)
This is a time-travel story, where a magic-user from the Dark Ages teams up with a bogeyman from the 1800’s and a modern-day grifter to save the world from a Moriarty-esque character with magical knowledge. Most of this book takes place in 1863 Boston, where the trio tries to suss out the whereabouts of a powerful magical tome. True to my magical “style,” Miss Dark Ages is my Soren character, with fewer hesitations toward death and maiming. All I remember of this is she spends a week tattooing the grifter to protect him from psychic attacks–in his dreams. This is about 1/5th done. I hit a wall when I realized, well, I need to world build and not let my characters simply lead me through.
David and His Shade
The first book in a series, this novel wrote itself one NaNoWriMo a few years back. The book grew out of a short I wrote, of a demon graveyard–daemocursus–that demons gifted to New York City after a two-mile-high Worldtree fell. You can imagine how much more complicated this story is. Its focus is on David, a 13 year old boy who fought dearly to get into a school of magic, and succeeded. Mephistopheles, a vampire, and a faerie hunter are all lauded professors at this school. When David unwittingly opens a doorway to another place, Lost Boys attack the school, and it’s up to David to figure it out. First draft done, it needs very little TLC to get in fighting shape. I know Chapter 7 needs to go. This book needs editing work.
Another time travel novel, this one came on the heels of my divorce. This surrounds the unlikely story of a girl who is saved by a man who doesn’t exist. My brother has spent the past six years talking about writing a book about a computer AI who could arguably be God. This story is the opposite idea of an AI. This man does not live. He is not dead. He exists in the purest sense of the word: his soul is intact. Yet he exists outside of time. Think a modern Great Gatsby slash Vampire novel, sans blood sucking. I’m only seven pages in, but recently read it, and wow. Vibrantly morose.
Project Three (or, standing title, Philosophy of Zombie)
This focuses on two shipwrecked brothers who unwittingly sit by while the zombie apocalypse ravages the continents. They pontificate philosophically while surviving and, ultimately, return to the States and continue to pontificate while shooting the undead. Fun stuff. Only two chapters in, but this has a vibrant, alive feel to it, despite the content.
Red Wing Black
Daring ex-druggie decides his devilish charm isn’t enough, and goes on a Walkabout with a gun-toting woman with something to prove. Alcohol, sex, and hallucinations abound, all while the MC tries to make sense of himself. A sulfurous angel is his conscience, a pack of hyenas is his motivation, and a haunting dream is his deterrent. Mostly, he wants to be strong like her. And get in her pants without getting his nuts shot off. But when he gets what he wants, is he fulfilled?
Burden of Blades
Post Apocalyptic, this is of least interest to me: a man from a nomadic tribe is taxed with writing the exploits of his warrior brothers while explaining the wasteland that is the United States post nuclear war. Sounds fun? Not really. But I randomly have bouts of Eureka moments. I’ve mostly absorbed this into my Nautilus novel, but it still exists as a standalone.
Not to mention books 2-4 in several of the series, including my Soren and David novels. I’m certain Nautilus will get a second go, as well, given the scope of the book. Thoughts? I wrote this mostly to keep everything straight. If I were to pursue another storyline, I’d most likely delve into Prisn or Red Wing Black.
I’m also looking for other ideas. I’m toying with the idea of writing a nonfiction book, a sort-of memoir, as all the young thirtysomethings are doing these days. I’d probably title it, “How To Chris,” because it sounds funny.