Archive for August, 2015

As I have noted recently, after ‘finishing’ “The Mad God’s Muse”, we welcomed our new daughter into the world, and I began working a second job. It’s eaten a good two months, but now I have a bit of free time again.

Only I have forgotten how to write.

Okay, perhaps that’s a little hyperbolic, but it’s built on a kernel of truth: every time I stop for any extended period of time, it’s as if I have lost everything. The reasons vary, the causes for the stoppages. Chiefly, it’s that writing is not my day job, and so it must always give way to matters of practicality: I am a weak creature, and have become far to accustomed to luxuries such as food and shelter. My writing has yet to provide me with such extravagance as a living wage, much less the vast sums of wealth I have always envisioned as my rightful due for my genius, so I must needs program, too.

During those gaps, I forget.

I forget how to start. I forget that it was deliberate, an intentional process, not some foolish notion of being guided by a muse, of waiting for inspiration. It is art, but art, like code, does not simply come into existence. It must be crafted. It may be joy, but it is also work.

I forget the work is actually good. I remember it as drek, as half measures that desperately need editing and rewriting. I avoid it, ashamed of it, not wanting to take up what feels like an impossible task of making it even marginally acceptable. But in fact, when I finally force myself to return to it, the work is much better than I remember.

I forget that the story is still not done, or that there might be people who would hear how it ends.

I forget that the characters themselves want to live, to have their moment in the sun and be who they would, and they cannot do that without me to channel them, to dream them, talk to them, cajole them.

So, this week, having caught my breath again, it is time to remember, time to take my seat in the morning and type words, even if I throw them away later.

I’ll remember soon enough.

Still trying to shake the exhaustion. I suppose it may be some time until I feel normal again, but at least I am recovering.

As I work my way back to writing, I can’t help but consider that coding is, in many ways, every bit the creative effort of the written word. It’s another language, to be certain, but it has the same capacity for eloquence or thud.

But only in the right circumstances. In the ever more rigid world of corporate code, we have fewer and fewer options. The ‘one true way’ notion permeates everything, its adherents woefully blind to the notion that monoculture creates myopia and a dearth of creative solutions.

I just walked away from a position where the powers that be (and they were good people, just less visionary than they might have been) chose to encourage one-size-fits-all solutions, to the exclusion of myriad approaches.

All this time, and we have yet to learn the lessons of the Tower of Babel. It’s sad.


Okay, so, status report: for the last three months, I have basically dropped off the earth because I have been working my ASS off as a programmer, and have had no time for writing. Oh, and my new daughter was born right at the start of that period, too. Yeah, it’s been…busy.

Hopefully I will have a bit of time here to rethread the plot for book three soon. It’s broken now, in that one of the characters who played an important role died in book two. (Yes, it was a surprise to me as well, but it was best.)

I also really need a final editing pass on the second book. And in theory, the first book is being considered by a publisher, though in practice that may just mean it is moldering away in someone’s inbox. We’ll see.