Can we all just agree that the last few years have been, well, weird?
Now that that’s out of the way, I am looking to take a modicum of control over the weird in the coming year. Because I’m a writer, and weird is what writers do.
I haven’t been writing much this year for…reasons. After a pretty good run of Patreon stories and finishing A Winter Lullaby, my last novel a little over two years ago, it’s been difficult. I’ve only done two stories in the last six months–one because I’d committed to doing it, the other because I wanted to prove to myself that I still could.
But the fog is clearing a little bit. The day jobbery has calmed. My gaming schedule has been cut WAY back. As Winter looks ready to dig its heels in, my brain is starting to turn to creation again. And last week I made the decision that in 2022, I am going to embrace the weird and write a novella for the sake of doing it.
More importantly, I decided it was going to be something fun, and weird, and with a little something to say. Something I was going to write just for me. And I also wanted it to be something with zero obligations–not the continuation of other projects. So that meant nothing from the Cobalt City universe. No sequels to Ink Calls to Ink or Of Rooks & Ravens (though I have outlines for those). No projects that I got deep into then abandoned.
While I wasn’t adverse to revisiting older ideas, I didn’t want to pick up where I left with something that I’d gotten stuck on. So as of a few days ago, I’d narrowed it down to two ideas. in fact, I posted this five days ago on Twitter.
And two days later, I expanded on the first idea with this blurb.
Well, since our Christmas plans got scrappped due to weather, I’ve had some time this morning to soak my brain in jazz and coffee while going through old notes and outlines and things are starting to take shape.
The problem with following through with We Were Meant to Burn is that big portions of the book are nebulous. I have an outline of the first eight or so chapters, but things get very squishy in the middle and the ending keeps evading me like an arboreal kraken picking it’s way through fog-shrouded pine tops. And as weird as We Were Meant to Burn is in portions, it’s also a good follow-up to A Winter Lullaby in the sense that it’s a horror-tinged bit of cosmic weirdness in a small town/suburb.
Heavens help me, We Were Meant to Burn might even be commercially viable if I take the time to do it right and treat it with care.
And 2022 is all about shaking off the cobwebs and doing something a little reckless while only writing on weekends. Which means I’m going with the other idea. I’ve got a 15 pt. outline that I am likely to revise a bit while the main elements are going to remain in place.
The working title is DELVE, and it will be, as advertised, a 2nd world* contemporary fantasy** dystopian story about bread and circuses***.
*The same world as Rooks & Ravens, complete with the Vale Lands, Caliphate of Dust, etc. that I’ve written about in numerous forms already.
** Except instead of classic fantasy, it’s a modern world, just the evolution of what was once a high-fantasy world that still has all those fantasy trappings.
***And by dystopian bread and circuses, I do mean professional sports. Think Rollerball, except in this case the sport is televised and highly manufactured “dungeon delves.” Like a Japenese game show x fantasy LARP x a mountain of cocaine.
I’m looking forward to combining my love of underdog sports movies and fantasy gaming with that delicate balance of people who love the sport willing to risk their health for a chance at a better life and the people who exploit them for money and control, viewing the athletes as expendible “product.”
Yes, the whole thing has the strong chance of being a goddamn mess. It might also be amazing. There’s no way to know until I’m done.
I guess we’ll all find out in 2022.
This world is a motherfucker determined to chew us up and spit us into the trashheap of history. And we get no guarantees. So stay safe. But keep dreaming. Keep fighting. And most importantly, stay weird.