In Which the Author Finds His Way

I’ve been stressing for weeks over Things Fall Apart, the first book of The Remembrance War.  And I can’t seem to move forward on it.  This lead to all sorts of Impostor Syndrome, and I felt just completely paralyzed with fear that I’m a fraud, that despite getting accepted to VP, there is NO WAY IN HELL I will ever publish a single story.

And then I realized something.  Well, two things.  First, I realized that I might be shooting myself in the face by trying to write TRW as a first-person narrative, especially considering the planned fate of the main character.  But I really don’t want to start drastically re-working that story before I go to VP and get it savaged critiqued by my fellow students and the pro writers and editors we’ll be learning from.  So I set it aside.  If this book ever gets published, it will be a triumph, considering the roadblocks it’s dealt with: not one but TWO file and backup failures, a massive rewrite, and this paralysis.

And lo and behold, once I made that decision and set TFA/TRW aside, the story ideas began floating into my brain again, triggered by everything from an NPR story on the way we respond to crisis to a blip in my memory that annoyed me to an idea Donald Maas asked for years ago and, near as I can tell, nobody’s done.  I’ve got a time-travel crime procedural that may have become a plan for a series of linked short stories about the same protagonist’s adventures in time, a dystopian revolution story that explores the idea of government control and how far is too far for a government to go to safeguard its people, a story about a little girl with an old mind, and several more.

I use Scrivener to write.  I’ve now begun a new Scrivener project in which I quickly write down story ideas whenever they come to me.  When I’m ready to work on one, I’ll spin it into its own Scrivener file.  I now have seven different ideas with some level of flesh on them to later spin out into a tale, and more are appearing every day.

I’m back.

State of the Michael

OK, let’s go by the numbers, because why the hell not?

1. The Remembrance War I: Things Fall Apart is proceeding.  I have not made it as far this summer as I should have–child-rearing interferes with writing like you would not believe, at least it does when your child is five, you don’t want her watching TV all day, and you actually believe in engaging with your child.  I’m a little afraid that I’m going to catch flack at VP for not having finished the damn thing.  I had said in my cover letter that I was rewriting it, but after I wrote that, I threw out a lot of what I’d had, because it was utter shit.  I’m not just saying that–I had characters doing things that made no sense, and the dialogue was awful.  So I’m working from the core of the story, and adjusting as necessary.

2. Work.  Oh, how much do I hate this year already?  I got stuck with co-teaching an Inclusion class, which means I have another teacher in the room who is supposed to be equal to me, and I keep getting sunshine blown up my ass about how much better it is.  It’s actually terrible, and I don’t believe it’s better for the students no matter what the high-priced consultants say.  And I made it clear two years ago I didn’t want to teach like this again.  So of course they dumped half my teaching day on me as a series of co-teaching classes.  Thanks, admin.  Thanks a ton.

Anyway, because of this arrangement, I very nearly walked out of my classroom today.  I just could not handle one of my classes, to the point where I seriously was beginning to see red.  And I am sick unto death of 13 year olds who don’t know shit telling me what I should be doing in the classroom.

Viable Paradise is 32 days out.  Can’t wait.