Have you ever seen the funny photos where a business's outdoor sign will say something along the lines of "My boss told me to change the sign so I did"? I'm feeling a little like that this morning. My brain's fuzzy, due to holiday and novel-publishing letdown plus lack of sleep, but my calendar told me to write a blog post, so I will.
Now, a fuzzy-brained Anne, plus one without direction to her blogging (since nothing is currently happening with Trycanta), tends to get emo. I'm fighting it, people, but I need help. What do you want to see? What would interest you, catch your attention, make you want to open these blog posts, read and even possibly respond to them?
...well, I guess I'm getting better. I only had to redact four paragraphs of whining this time, rather than eight or nine. Even this second try, though, is wanting to trend towards the "nobody loves me, everybody hates me" model, so I'll just say, to all those readers who must be very busy this time of year, miss you, hope you'll be back soon!
To everybody who is still reading, greetings! I'm in my usual state of shortly-after-publishing confusion, with my brain going "Ooh, that would be fun, but that would be nice, but that, but that, but that..." Just in case you have ever doubted, I do indeed have the mind of a five-year-old, and the attention span to mat -- oh look it's shiny!
Kidding. Mostly. What it means is, I'm having some trouble settling into a new long-form project. While I do have Playing with Fire well started, I'm not positive that everything I have is good or keepable, so I think that I need to hold off for a little while longer on that one, until I have the necessary distance to make those decisions.
As it has for several years, when it has nothing else to do, my brain goes dancing back to Trycanta, to Dangerous Truths, and even earlier, to the writing I was doing in that world before the Dangerverse. Some of you who've been around a LONG time may remember some of the stories I wrote then (keep it to yourself if so!).
In any case, I'm considering taking those stories, tossing them into the blender which is my brain on caffeine, and seeing what comes out, now that I'm a decade older and more experienced in writing. However, I hit one big roadblock before I'm ever started, which is: what age should my protagonists be, this time around?
When I was first writing, there wasn't much question in my mind. Naturally the protagonists were the same age as me, late teens/early twenties. But even with the themes I'm exploring, those of childhood vs. adulthood, of making one's own decisions, of the true meaning of maturity, I'm not sure if I want to stay with that.
This is because, in our ever more complicated world, the age of a story's protagonist slaps a big old label on that story, defining who it "should" be read by and what it "should" be like. Some stories escape that, becoming more broadly read, almost universal. But an awful lot never do, so it's a point I need to consider seriously.
Do I want to write this story about actual children? And if so, how do I avoid the dual traps of "get rid of the parents" or "the parents do everything"? For that matter, how do I keep it from becoming a bad knock-off of DV? I've had some tentative ideas in that direction, but they've never crystallized... is it maybe just not their time yet?
Or, if I go the other direction, if I make my protagonists the same age I am now, take these stories out of the "children's" or "young adult" realm, what then? Can the themes I started with hold up, when my characters are so different? Or maybe am I looking at it from the wrong direction? Should I be writing from the parents' POVs?
...you see a little of what I put up with. If you've ever envied me, reread the above, and then imagine what it's like to have that going on inside your head, all day, every day. It's not amazing that I write in the quantities and the style that I do... what's amazing is that I'm still more or less able to function in the everyday world!
So, despite a whiny beginning, I managed to write a decent blog post today, or so I think and hope. If there are things you aren't seeing and would like to, or things you are seeing and don't enjoy, or anything else, please tell me. Silence, in this context, means not approval but indifference, and nothing cuts deeper to an authorial soul.
Thanks, as always, for reading! More news on Playing with Fire later in the week, on its proper day, and Facebook and (ugh) Twitter updates in between times!