My life has been insane, and the stress finally caught up to me. I came down sick this week and am only now recovering. Just in the knick of time too, because I’m leaving town this weekend to spend a little time out in the western Washington countryside, the tiny metropolis Portland, my beloved San Francisco, Napa’s wine country, and good ol’ Stanford. My goal is to blog from every city I spend a night in over the course of the next month. That’s setting modest, yet challenging, expectations of myself.
I’m trying to get a first draft of my newest pet project finished before I take off, so that’s been chewing up some time. With all the stress and revisions to The Neverland Wars, I was feeling pretty burned out and like I needed to set it down for a while. A month later, I’m already itching to get back to the book I felt like I was totally, utterly DONE with. Hopefully after my time away from the text, I’ll be able to approach it with new eyes and make the heavy cuts that it so desperately needs.
In the meantime, I am having an absolute blast with “The Immaculate Memory of Megan Reed.” It’s my first attempt at literary fiction, and a sort of spotty-strange romance. I feel like I really needed to get this out of my system. It’s been an exercise for me because it felt like a book I was writing almost for my eyes alone. I allowed myself a little bit more slack and tried to push some creative borders, not worrying about whether or not I came out sounding pretentious…I feel like I couldn’t sit down and attempt to write “literary” fiction without a fair share of pretension from the outset. Still, I’m very happy with it. The process feels cathartic, and I’m almost ready to head back to my home in genre fiction. The few little excerpts I have shown to one of my friends have been well received, so maybe there will be hope for this manuscript someday too.
My goal is to finish this first draft this month, rewrite my Neverland Wars opening next month, and then use July to query and work on some new short stories. I haven’t written a short story in ages, so none of my short work reflects my current skill level. As always, I don’t know if I’m any good at this yet, but I know I’m a heck of a lot better than I was two years ago. Maybe I’ll be able to produce something that will win me a residency or help me get into grad school…my ambitions are spinning like a compass in a magnetic room. I’m twenty-two, and I would like to state for the record that I have NO IDEA what I’m doing.