Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Explanation ... of sorts ...

I owe you some explanation. At least, I feel I do.
In previous posts (now very close to a year old), I made some commitments I thought I could meet. Life, as it always does, had other plans.

I won’t bore you with the details but I switched jobs and, in doing so, what free time I was counting on having last fall ended up shrinking as the past twelve months trudged by. In addition, I had to do some re-evaluating of my goals, when it came to my writing.

One night, I was sitting down with a good friend of mine, enjoying some early spring warmth and the conversation turned to my fiction writing. It often does with my friends. They know I’m passionate about fiction in an almost disproportionate measure when weighed against my blasé attitude towards the topics of Information Technology (which my day job revolves around). In other words, if someone gets me talking about a certain author or genre of fiction, my eyes tend to grow a bit wider, I speak more (and with greater fervor) than usual and I become giddy as a school boy.

My friend asked what I’d been working on. And I told him all about the projects I outlined last August: THE BOG, COMMUNITY, THE COMPLEX.

Knowing I’m rather lazy, he pointedly asked me about THE BOG. I explained to him I’d found nearly 60 pages of manuscript that I’d drafted in 2002 and wanted to polish up and finish. I thought it was great that I’d gotten a 60 page head start. Who wouldn’t want to hit the ground running and be ahead of the game, when it comes to writing a 300-400 page manuscript?

What my friend said next both irked the hell out of me and relieved me of a weight I’d been carrying for quite some time.

He turned to me, draining the beer in his hand and said, “Don’t do that. You’re not that guy anymore.”

And damned if he wasn’t right.

I’d been picking at THE BOG for a long time; every six to eight months, I’d pick up that manuscript and try to fidget with it some more. What I never realized is, I wasn’t trying to tell that story for a reason. I wasn’t that guy anymore. I wasn’t trying to tell that tale, I’d worked my way through whatever I was trying to do with it and it was now stale.

The same thing goes for THE COMPLEX.

I wrote THE TAKEOVER back in 2001. When I’d completed it, I had some issues with an apartment complex and wanted to work my way through venting about that situation. Again, I had a considerable bit of a manuscript (nearly 40 pages) and thought it would be awesome to take that work and finish it.

But again … I wasn’t that guy anymore.

So, my friends, I looked at my various files and pieces of started novels and began to re-evaluate who I was and what I was attempting to do with my writing.

And I thought long and hard on the subject.

The honest answer was: I didn’t really have too much to say anymore. I used to use my writing to vent about things I was going through and turn that anger on its ear and use it productively. That was ten years ago.

Now, I’ve got a wife and two kids and precious little free time to work on anything but homework with my children. On top of that, I’ve taken a teaching gig in my free time to augment our incomes. Sure, it’s fun and it’s fairly exciting to get in front of a roomful of students and discuss Information Technology and its security. But putting together a curriculum eats into my free time an awful lot.

So, my friends, I am sorry to say that I’m scrapping my previous commitments and have decided that restarting those old projects is not for me.

However, I’ve got two other new projects and I’m restricting myself to two so that I don’t start to overload myself. This means they will be attainable goals.

One novel is called THE SOUND and it’s a novel that I have a lot invested. It involves one of my favorite settings for a novel and the twists in the plot still get me excited.

The other novel I’ve just started and have completed an outline for is called A WHISPER IN DARKEST NIGHT. It’s a more personal story and deals with loss (a certain fan of mine will get a kick out of that) and life in a small town where everyone knows your business (but you).

Over to the right, you’ll notice a new feature of this site: I’ve added two word meters to show what progress I’ve made and I’ll be keeping them up to date while I work on both THE SOUND and A WHISPER IN DARKEST NIGHT.

I know that I’m disappointing some of you by not delivering on what I'd discussed earlier but I promise that what will come will most certainly be worth the wait.