It's only the middle of May, but this year so far has brought about a great number of changes in my life, and as I have held on, white-knuckled, a lot of what I used to hold as important has flown straight out the window, lost to the swirling oblivion.
|Photo iillustration courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/b3d-blender-tornado-severe-weather-814151/|
Many of these changes have been forced upon me, and as my head stops spinning and I try to catch my breath, I work to begin making sense of it all.
One thing that has become clear is that I am going to have to let go of a lot in order to move forward, and one of those things that I need to let go of is the presence of writing in my life as the be-all, end-all of everything. Not that I am quitting writing or anything like that, but in order for me to enjoy it and sit down and do it every day, I have to do it for its sake, and for no other reason.
I alluded to this before, maybe a blog post or two ago, but it is now clearer to me than ever. Of course, much of this, if not most of it, or even all of it, is going on inside my head, and it is enough to drive a person insane.
Again, that doesn't mean that I am quitting writing fiction, or quitting publishing. In fact, what I am letting the wind take away and scatter is what has held me back from doing more of what I love for the reasons why I love it. Maybe this means that I will never be a professional writer, or whatever, but I don't care. I am doing this for me.
One of the (actual, physical) things that is getting lost to the wind is my update of my short story collection, Tales from the Fringes.
While the original is certainly far from perfect, I have come to terms with the fact that it is okay that it is imperfect, and that at the time that I published it, I did not know what I was doing. It was, after all, a learning experience, and of course the first time around what I publish is not going to be perfect, and of course I have learned a great deal about writing and publishing since then.
I just need to stop revisiting these same projects over and over so that I can move forward and focus on all of the new projects that I am writing right now, which are far better than anything that I have written before, and it would be a shame for me to postpone them or put them off any longer because I am too focused on making something perfect that can never be perfect.
The next project that I will be publishing is my flash fiction chapbook, which does not have a release date yet because there are still a couple or three stories that are being publishing in journals, and they have first rights, and I want to give people enough time to read and enjoy them in those places, first. I will, of course, let you know when those journals publish them, and give you a release date for my collection--when I have one.
The forthcoming collection's title is Dispatches from the Information Age, and I might write some more short shorts to put in it while I have time to work on it. It already has around 25-26 stories, and is around 70 pages (the way it is currently formatted), and I don't want it to get substantially longer than that. In fact, especially if I write more for it, I will probably edit it down and choose the best 20 or so stories.
I only plan to release it in print form, and I am going to take my time with the cover art and interior formatting to maximize the aesthetics of it. I am going more for artistic expression than "professionalism"--whatever that means.
Following its publication, hopefully sometime next year, I will be putting out my second novel, and sometime after that, my second short story collection, both of which are in progress. For the novel, which has changed names a few times since the last time I spoke of it, I have commissioned my artist brother to do the cover art, and even from our initial conversations, I know that it is going to blow people away--hopefully in the same way that the contents of it also do.
Thank you all for your patience, and for continuing to read this blog. I might not have the largest following, but I certainly have one of the best, and most loyal. I appreciate you taking the time to read what I write, no matter how inane or rambling it sometimes turns out to be. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!