Yesterday, I sat down, and in one marathon writing session, I finished the first episode of God in the Machine in something like two years. I had stopped writing 70% through the episode, and it was complex con-job, clockwork sort of episode. So it was monumentally hard to come back and try to close it off after all that time.
But I did it, and I was thrilled. It was the first episode of GitM that I’d done since 2008, as I said, and it was also the first story I had finished since Nathan was born, back in March. Since then, it’s been all kids and school and life. Which is fine, it was planned for and I knew I wouldn’t be writing much. (I kept my hand in. I never stopped writing, or wasn’t able to. I just focused elsewhere).
Today, it’s back to a short story I’m working on. It’s a long story, but I don’t know how long yet. Where God in the Machine was done on computer (it always is), this story’s done by hand, my preferred method of working. if nothing else, I really really like having a stack of pages covered in ink when I reach the end of a project. There’s something attractive about it.
I think I posted a link to that wonderful Neal Stephenson exhibit in the Museum of Science Fiction. I hope I did. They showed that huuuuge stack of pages which was the complete handwritten manuscript for his Baroque Cycle of novels. That was a monument to hard work, and I loved it. I want to do that some time.
I’ve begun watching a huge number of short films, mostly via Youtube. It’s astonishing, the level of quality and vision and creativity on display in some of them. I want to post some of them here, as I remember. but not right at the moment. I’m blogging ’til my tea is ready, and then I’m going to open my fountain pen and get working.
I’m only reading two books right now, if you’re wondering. One is General Sherman’s Christmas, which is pretty terrific, and by an author who seems to have made a whole career out of examining famous Christmasses throughout history. (He wrote an amazing book on Silent Night in World War I, which if you haven’t read about, you probably need to. Google it.)
I’m also reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Wonderful, huge, detailed book (which he handwrote – I always take a measure of pride in noticing authors who handwrote these magnificent books I’m reading). I’m only a little of the way into it, but chugging on through.
I’m also reading and proofreading and making notes on my own novel, The Nondescript, getting ready for a second draft. It needs to be expanded, details filled in, scenes, added, stuff wrapped up. I have, I suspect, a tremendous amount of research to do, but that’s okay. “research” is just an overly serious word for “an excuse for reading and learning fun things”.
Tea’s done. Time to go write some horror.