Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Promising Start

How much of this plan is really a publicity stunt is a question I don't much care about. Of course it is, if it's done right. But that isn't what will keep me doing it, and so at the same time it isn't. It doesn't matter either way.

What does matter is the feeling of getting the keyboard back under my fingers for more than just killing virtual enemies or pointless internet debates. Blazed through eight pages yesterday of brand new, original story telling.

This time, it's a very real and human story of two women in love, and that's where I'll leave it for now. The link will be available by end of the week, of course!

Since starting this story, I've had several thoughts, two of which I want to address here. One, I've looked at that burst of creative force, and I can tell this is something that isn't going to be stymied. It was dammed up, waiting to be free, and not something I'm having to dredge up or force. As such, it is high time I also get started with the slow work of composing and polishing the second novel in Kama's series. This will be comfortably manageable, after trimming more fat from my schedule. Following the rule I did when I first began her story, two pages a day minimum no matter what, will make this very easy, and I can anticipate releasing her next story by the end of the year along with an anthology collecting all of this year's short stories.

The second thought is about the relationship between the novel and these short stories. This first story, as I said, is realistic. It's human, contemporary, simple. We're not talking people who can shift into wildcats or airships and what all. It makes me think about what an author is.

What I mean by that is how, on the one hand, there is a large world of readers out there who read voraciously across genres and forms. On the other hand, even among these readers, there is a strong tendency to identify authors in little boxes of genre and form. Part of this is facilitated quite naturally by the authors themselves, as in someone who sticks to poetry is a poet, what have you. However, there's also a kind of artificial, consumerist construct behind this, such that even very famous authors who can command vast audiences will often adopt pseudonyms when they write outside of the narrow confines of genre people come to expect of them.

I suppose I get it. It's kind of like when your favorite band puts out the new album you've long awaited, and it is very musically different. If it had been another band entirely, new to you, you might have loved it, but for some reason, because it isn't what "your" band makes, you're disappointed. You measure it against their canon. My Pandora station, affectionately named Eclectica Maximus, reflects the diversity of my tastes, and it is mostly background for me. If I were actively listening as a fan, like when I buy a new Dresden Dolls album or something like that, and suddenly they had a sound closer to, say, My Brightest Diamond, I might feel bothered, despite liking both of those very much. As it stands, my station can hop between Samuel Barber and the Wu Tang Clan, and I enjoy it tremendously. I'm not attached to the consistency of it.

So also with my writing. I adore fantasy and science fiction, and my first novel falls under the steampunk heading. This is not all I wish to write, however. Not by a long shot.

I'm taking a gamble that there are readers out there who will appreciate this, who will understand that I want all of what I do and create brought under my name and given that stamp. If I write fantasy, or mystery, or a slice of life, if I play with different points of view, if I delve into erotica or stream of consciousness, whatever, it will still all be mine. It does not in any objective measure change the quality of any one thing I have made in itself.

At any rate, I am full of other thoughts both related and distant, but it is best I return to the work. I'm so very glad I can do this with joy.

And as a final note, though she does not read this blog, nor would I expect her to, my thoughts are with you, Sydney, as you fly back home and buckle down for a new semester and continue your brave strut through life! I've learned more than I can find words for from you, and you'll always have a friend in me <3