Counting the possibilities

I find myself at a threshold, an abyss. Staring into the vastness, I know the brink I now balance upon is the prelude to the endless darkness of pure possibility (fooled you! I bet you thought this was headed into some morbid gothic ennui).

Possibility is a darkness. Few understand that darkness is in fact a positive thing. No one can determine what lay under its impenetrable shroud. That is what makes life intriguing. Fun even.

I haven’t written anything solid for a good two weeks or so. Rather than getting upset about it, moping in the lost potential, I see this as an entry point, or rather, a re-entry point.

I have the last vestiges of Harbinger beckoning me. That is one enormous loose end I am keen to tie up. Disparate Whispers is done, and forgotten for six months (until the TAG Hungerford Award is resolved early next year), leaving me to concentrate on a new batch of stories.

Starting slowly today, I penned an arty micro fiction story, entitled Counter. Here’s a teaser:

Two thin lines of black rubber stretched across the northbound lane. Bluish energy sparked from ends of sprouting copper wires. An aberrant vehicle counter.

The liberation of this story lies in the fact that I do not intend on submitting it anywhere – at least not anytime soon. That in itself is almost a relief. Of course, I have plans for a collection of micro and flash fiction stories in the medium term future, making this story but a part of a greater and more exciting possibility.

Without work to return to, I have the leisure to luxuriate in more short stories, in and around novels (Harbinger and Outcast). Many are swelling in my mind, desperate for release. As a sneak peak, these include:

The Moonlight Man (as per the teaser on my website), The Cruel Summer Series (five micro fiction stories for the Flashshot contest of the same name), Soap Scum and Pubic Hair (don’t ask!), Achilles Forsaken (also as per website), Room Two (continuing the Stratton memorial series, including Hear No Evil [Room Four] and Room Three) and a whole bunch of others (several noted on my website, under Projects).

Another idea really tugging at my thoughts is doing a collaboration or two. The thought of working with other writers of equal skill is appealing, but as I found at the KSP writers centre, the experience/quality can vary significantly. On the one hand, I’d like to work with a pro, someone with novels published, or at least significant short story credits. On the other hand, I’d also like to work with a talented up-n-comer (which, technically, I could be classified as – but this year will change the boundaries on that little ideological map, let me assure you). I guess I remain open but passive on this one.

There are also a number of viable novel ideas forming, or fully formed in my brain. There is of course, the Harbinger trilogy (Harbinger, Outcast, and a title decided upon but yet to be released to the public). I also have a foundation-breaking prequel, which I am very tight lipped about, but have a concrete plot and many viable notes on nonetheless. Finally, in the Harbinger mythos, I have tentative plans for a fifth book, with a new set of characters, following on in the future following the trilogy. In addition, there is my epic fantasy novel – with a major twist. That particularly one, which will be either a pleasure or a pain in the butt to write, could be slotted in after Outcast, depending on schedules. Finally, I am developing a very grim science fiction mythos, incorporating the planned short stories/novelettes Achilles Forsaken, Prometheus Untamed, and Hades Unleashed. There are also plans on the drawing board for a cross-over fantasy book in this mythos, a real technology meets magic tale. I’m fairly psyched about that one. Two grim worlds collide.

Then there is Shadowed Realms, hopes and dreams for expansion, print magazines, and anthologies. The anthologies are the fun part. I am brimming with excellent ideas and themes, ones that would make excellent, excellent anthologies.

Okay, enough of the dreaming. While I find it therapeutic to ‘brain dump’ these ideas on virtual paper, I find my problem is too much dreaming. Those darn possibilities make it hard for me to concentrate in the present. I constantly find myself drifting away with every new idea.

So… we received another Shadowed Realms submission today. The pattern is becoming consistent – the submissions are steadily trickling in. In many ways, I have liked each and every submission received, which makes it difficult to decide what goes and stays. At this rate, we could be accepting many of those received, and suggesting re-writes (and re-considerations) for several more). We have to wait a few more weeks before the schedule is finally determined, to see where the ‘average quality’ of the submissions lies. Ange, being extremely intuitive (and let me say, intuitive to the point of near-psychic – where I see the ‘technicalities’ of syntax and grammar, she sees the words form pictures, the ‘flow’ of the story, and is uncannily accurate in picking up plot blockages or passive/redundant words), and I are finding it difficult not to rip into the stories and rearrange them wholesale to our tastes. The one lesson we are learning is allowing the author to retain their ‘voice’ with the work. I understand how sacrosanct this precept is to writers.

Speaking of Ange, she celebrated her final day at TAFE today. Tonight, she is out on the town, reaping the rewards of her successful studies (and a few drinks as well). I’ll be picking her up from Joondalup, so it seems I’ll be burning the midnight oil yet again, toiling with whatever it is I toil with at that time of night.

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