Today was a most frustrating day … almost.
Acting upon a desperate implorement, the Domestic Avatar returned, albeit briefly, to do the vacuuming and other essential domestics. After that, I spent several hours either staring blankly at the computer screen, or wandering around the house, staring blankly at pieces of furniture. I even strummed the guitar for a good long while. An impressive feat, given my musical talents extend to pressing play and increasing the volume.
All this failed to relieve my predicament. While the uninitiated would call it writers block, I prefer to analyse the issue a little deeper. In fact, my problem was more of the overly fantastical imagination. My story ideas file is brimming with, well, story ideas. A quick glance at my web page (which I also formatted for an hour today while stuck for something to write), specifically my news/projects page, will demonstrate a number of very cool sounding stories are on the drawing board. Or, more precisely, lay in tatters, waiting for me to reconstitute the threads into a completed, cohesive tale.
Today, I was torn between my half finished Brand chapter of Harbinger (my third for Brand, after my most recently completed one), Naked Azure Sky, Achilles Forsaken (for which I did craft a few important notes) and a few new ideas that popped into my head. The problem with being spoiled for choice is such awesome ideas demand my attention. And given my attention span for projects wavers between 1-3 seconds, it seriously dents my discipline.
I also find I have great ‘fragments’ – most often scenes of stories, or the beginning of a story, but this in itself is more torture than inspiration. I find I need to have a reasonable idea where the end of the story will be, otherwise the story loses puff. If I have an ending, especially a great one, then the story springs forth with more fluidity.
Yet, when Ange returned home this afternoon, and after we had a quiet discussion of her day, I found myself ‘unblocked’ so to speak.
I knuckled down to Naked Azure Sky, the third of my flash Dread Seasons Quartet.
It spilled out quickly and fairly painlessly, despite my not knowing what would happen in the middle of the story. After re-reading my current draft, I find the beginning is strongest, then the very end, with the last third a little wavery. However, I am pleased with the result thus far.
A piece of good news (well, sort of) that buoyed me today was a query I sent to Weird Tales magazine in the US. These guys are the big boys, the one that started the careers of HP Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (Conan series), as well as kick-started Stephen King. While I have a number of pro markets I wish to crack, Weird Tales is what I consider the jewel in the crown. They aren’t the richest market (the pay is good though), but to me, they are the most prestigious. Anyway, I queried whether they would consider looking at my personal fave story, Hear No Evil, even though it was a reprint (it will be published by Borderlands magazine soon). The editor stated he’d have no problem considering the story. He even revealed his grandfather was born in good ‘ole Melbourne (St. Kilda actually). It’s nice to build a rapport with editors, even if it is such a fleeting one.
So now, Hear No Evil will be bundled off in the post, with some severe finger crossage on my behalf. If that fails, I’ll try my soon to be completed Dread Seasons Quartet.
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