Normally when I don’t post here for a long time, it’s because the novelty of something like Twitter has caught my eye. This time, that’s not it at all. It’s just having a new baby around, and my wife home for many weeks of maternity leave, all meaning I can’t find a decent schedule rhythm. So I don’t post. Um. Or sleep. Or eat properly, I keep forgetting meals and getting a bit ill from it.
But I do write, I’m proud to say. Slowly and only now and then…but good stuff, keepable stuff, usable stuff. I’m REALLY proud of that. Having my first son, I was unprepared in every sense of the word for the way your life changes from pre-kids to in child res (I made that up, that makes zero sense). I really lost my writing.
This time, mechanisms were in place, both in the mental process of writing and in the physical act of it, which meant that I stopped writing for a bit…and then started up again.
The metaphor I use is, it’s like a prop-plane getting too high and stalling, so they nose-down and dive toward the earth, so that the force of wind rushing the propeller around will start the engine and they can level out.
It’s sort of like that. Mostly, I just like talking about that fact of prop planes.
Anyway, at the moment I’m not talking because over the past week, I have had the most astonishing revelation about writing. About my writing. I’ve realized the single major, glaring flaw in everysinglestory — nearly — that I’ve written in the past five years. Possibly longer, but it wasn’t an issue before that.
AND I see why the stories that I have sold…have sold.
it’s my characters. My people. And the stories I DO sell tend to be ones where the story isn’t about the people. It’s about the language, or the story-within-a-story, or it’s a myth-legend type, or whatever.
It’s a huge thing in my brain that’s shifted. I can look back at every story I’ve done since 2005 or so and I can look at them and see how, when I insert this new formula — as it were, it’s not as mechanical as that — I could re-write it and turn it into something worthwhile. OR, the new formula doesn’t insert and I quickly realize that the story’s just junk, and I can leave it well alone.
Ancient stories, even. Stories I haven’t even looked at in four or five years. I can see it.
I can see it all.
I will now become a being of pure light and be one with the cosmos.
Or go to bed, one or the other.
It’s really interesting and mostly, I’m just exploring it. And also not talking about it in very much depth here, because I want to keep it close to me, to continue to learn and use it and Do Stuff.
It’s nothing nobody else don’t know none (Double Negative Meter explodes). It’s just a peg and a hole in my brain that took a little bit to slot together. But it did, and it drastically reshapes my writing.
So I’m off writing short stories, and having lots of family around. (I should say, when I point out that my schedule is wrecked because of a new baby and a wife home all the time, people get the impression I resent this. I don’t. I like the new baby, inasmuch as you can at that age, and I LOVE that my wife’s home for weeks and weeks. We’ve gone shopping for CDs for the first time in ages. One of my favorite things to do with specifically her, I take no joy in going CD shopping on my own and probably wouldn’t bother. So I am schedule-free, but pleased).
I am hundreds of pages behind on homework, because it just piles up each week and I have little time to keep up. But I’m slogging away. It’s all interesting, this anthropology, or I wouldn’t be slogging.
I’ve discovered I’m quite good at math, to my astonishment and the disbelief at everyone around me. and I want to post about that at some point, because it’s sort of funny.
And that’s all I have time to post, because now a baby is fussing and snuffling in the bedroom, and I have to feed him something before he fusses loud enough to wake up my wife or, heaven forbid, my older son. Or EVEN WORSE…the cats. GASP.