Yes, indeed. While I am still devoting the largest part of my creative energy and time to the novel, I’ve decided that I’m going to make a serious effort at posting some fresh fiction here more than once every… six(ish) months. I am motivated in this by reading the work of other authors.
Particularly, by the blog of Chuck Wendig. He does a regular flash fiction challenge over there, and while spending idle moments at the day job reading through back numbers, I was struck with this thought– a prompted flash fiction is something that I can probably do during these same idle moments, and a prompted flash fiction with a deadline means I might actually put words where people may enjoy them (hopefully) before the projected end of the second draft effort on the novel. Which may, possibly, be done by early December.
So, today we have I Held Your Heart Once. The title comes from the challenge, as do the first and last sentences. I might have been at this sooner, but those three elements were the products of the previous three challenges. You can, therefore, understand me to be blaming a famous and rather good author for keeping me from posting any new writing here for a month.
You can. But I think I’d prefer if you didn’t. I’ve been busy.
I was listening to a fellow speaking of human sleep arrangements lately, and on the way to his main point, he mentioned some people from the Solomon Islands objecting to what their London hosts thought was lavish treatment, a separate hotel room for each one of their party. “What,” I’m told they asked, “if one of us has a nightmare?”
Dreams are funny things. I can see how people can come around to the notion that they present a window on an actual separate reality, since there is sometimes such a wealth of detail in unfamiliar settings that it is very hard to credit the subconscious with such inventive powers.
…but then there are the dreams in which things are so deeply wrong that you really, really hope there’s nothing at all to that notion, because the partitions between the wings of the multiverse are just not thick enough if that stuff is on the far side.
Guess which sort I’m going to recount for you? I have been battering away at the novel and a story for an anthology I’d quite like to get into, and so haven’t been able to run up stories for this enterprise in a while, but last night’s vision of global, possibly universal, destruction was so affecting, I thought I should at least try to squeeze some of it out of my head for presentation here. So, if you ever wondered idly to yourself, “What sort of nonsense is running around inside the heads of writers,” I offer a small but vibrant sample. Be careful to not get any on you, it is almost certain to stain your clothes.
A while ago I made a rash declaration, and today I actually made good on it, on a day behind the projected schedule. The first eight pages of what I’m currently calling Impossible Bodies are done, the effort to write a novel has left the dock, and while there’s a slim risk it may sink it isn’t going to stop.
I’ll reiterate what that previous entry said about this enterprise’s relation to NaNoWriMo– I’m starting now, but I have no illusions about finishing at month’s end. This will be, at best, a six month voyage, and I anticipate having to pick up more lime juice before the first draft is over. Today’s initial efforts yielded eight longhand pages, with roughly 18% having lines drawn through it a moment after it landed on the paper. If I have seventy days like this, I’ll be close to the modern novel length (unlike NaNoWriMo’s traditional goal which would be about 200 printed pages).
None of this, I hope, is going to have much effect on events here. Tiny objects will appear now and again to amuse. I may even howl entertainingly about obstacles encountered in the novel or other attempts to be a fully-functional author. But I thought that I should probably let everyone here know that I was actually making good on that earlier threat. The world needs more detective novels with non-traditional supernatural stuff in them, right?
Of course it does.