So I finished the fourth Hamlin Becker story, that epilogue of sorts to An Uncommon Day at the Lake.
I had hoped to make it a succinct 4K words. As it is, it's 5.3K. That's still shorter than the last two (which are ~10K each) and below the pulp standard of 6K (which I regularly exceed). I think it is also fairly succinct in any event. It is entitled His Own Ends
This means I might
stories in StoryHack in 2021. Assuming there are enough issues planned. And that the editor likes them both. Which he will. Because they're great.
What annoys me about my writing "process," such as it is, are the numerous, unproductive periods.
I finished Uncommon Day
at the end of April. I found it impossible to make headway on His Own
until July. Then, somehow, I started writing; but even then, I didn't finish until August was gone. Two months down; two months up. Four months to get out 5K words.
The horrible thing is, the down times seem necessary
. They are, at least, inevitable. No, I am not "recuperating" or "recharging." I'm just lounging
. And my will is empty. Until it's not. And then... not suddenly, but with a certain useful steadiness, I manage to write a complete tale.
So now, having finished His Own Ends
, do I have months of nothing ahead? Probably.
Since Cirsova is apparently not an option for 2021, and I've already got two possibilities for StoryHack, and Stupefying Stories seems to be dying (and my two stories, already accepted by them, may revert to me unpublished), I don't precisely have any successful markets to target in the short term. Not having to write for specific markets, I am going to let my next story be rather... whatever I want. Just some idyllic SF. No pulp, no action, no thrills, no nothing but what pleases me. This is a kind of freedom, to be sure. I'm looking forward to it.
The drag of it is, I still have to do some planning and such. I really would like to free-form it and just write
. But I decided decades ago that, whatever stream of thought I might indulge, there still has to be a story of some sort. A plot. Or at least a point. Hence the tedious preliminaries...
It should be cool, though. It's about a man who decides to produce some good, like maple syrup, except not that. His community resides above the surface of a neutron star. The inhabitants of the star, akin to spirits, maintain the livable fragments above. The story is a kind of journal, about his not-maple-syrup endeavors and his benign clashes with his neighbors and local government. It's idyllic. A summer in the life of his family.
I don't expect to sell it to anyone. I just want to write it.
I haven't done a very good job avoiding Twitter. It's not so much that I want something to read
(however piecemeal), although there is that; it's more that I am so bored
. If nothing else, Twitter provides stimulus. Still, I've been cold turkey for a day. Ha! I may avoid it for a time...