4.29.2009

2009: A Status Report

A recent Galleycat post offered advice on what writers should blog about. Those of you reading this know I blog about a little of everything--popular culture, my family, current events, writing and film...

One of the panelists said writers need to spend more time writing about what they're writing (sheesh--lots of forms of the word "writer" in that sentence), so here goes:

I was thinking last night about the creative spurts writers seem to work through. I made the analogy, many posts ago, of harvesting different sections of the garden, and I'm pretty much over in the fantasy patch right about now.

We're a third of the way through the new year, and here's a rundown on the edited manuscripts I've produced thus far:

  • "A Fable for Today" 970 words
  • "The Mermaids of Ichnipopka Springs" 4700 words
  • "On the Banks of Royal Marsh" 2970 words
  • "Revision" 750 words
  • "The Scheme" 600 words
  • "Labor" 13700 words

I've also put together 15,000 words on my next novel. It's a great start on a project that's been a lot of fun.

As a batch of stories (about 39,000 words), that group strikes me as the oddest group I've produced in the three years I've been working seriously at my writing. There's a traditional fable in there, a zombie mash-up of a hot-button news story, three works of Florida-creature-based fantasy and a looonngg techno-thriller.

The novel is a haunted house story.

In terms of length and genre, these stories aren't bound by much of a common thread. Nevertheless, there is a similarity in these works, and it's this: the overall tone is one of melancholy.

I was writing some pretty playful dark humor in the last third of 2008, and since the calendar flipped over I've been writing stuff that's far more somber.

I don't know if it's a reflection of the down economy and the national outlook.

It certainly isn't a product of my own mood, as I've been blessed to welcome a wonderful little girl into our family. She's a light, and a great little person. It's not the weather--Florida has been as pretty as ever in the spring.

Like I've said before on this blog, though, I think writers tend to mine a particular vein of creativity until it fizzles out, and then they move on. I'm not sure where the next short story will come from, or what form it will take, but I'll be interested to see how it plays out in terms of tone...

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Uncovering Original Ideas

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope....