FayTown Calling Inventory

Spent the weekend taking inventory of FayTown Calling. There is more work than what I’m about to say, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but the majority of the inventory pointed out the last third of the book as needing the most attention. This comes from my last push at this where I took out most of the ending I had written. I wanted to take it in a different direction then and still do. Now I just need to write it. There are a few other parts, but that’s the biggest section.

Biggest section it may be, but not the biggest part. I said in my last post that I may not have been writing, but I’ve been thinking on all of it. That’s true, and I’ve got some themes I am going to need to streamline. Both from a storytelling perspective and from a Lore perspective.

Storytelling is a craft thing. I’m rusty but I’ll smooth that out with work and practice.

Lore, well, I cannot emphasize how seriously I take Lore. Virgil’s world is something I have been sculpting for seven or eight years. Things have been honed a lot, but it’s always been a living thing. In Sorcerer Rising, I introduced certain aspects of the world such as the Aether, the Guild, and the magic system (parts of it anyway). Mixed in were glimpses of things I intend to be larger, the Fay, the Order of the Ring, the Cathedral and the Sisters. The Fay and the Sisters of Truth play a central role in this story and in fleshing that out, I fleshed out more and more of my world, which changes some of the themes that I run into.

I want to ensure I get that right. I’m happy overall with Sorcerer Rising, but there were a few things about the end I just didn’t know how to wrap up. I obsess over my imperfections and have thought of a few different ways I could have handled that. I don’t want to paralyze myself with the thought that something could be better (because it can ALWAYS be better but never perfect, don’t let perfect get in the way of good, great, and done).

I have neither the time nor the patience for perfect, but it must be right.

Slashing, Stabbing, Shooting and…Racewalking?

I’ve enjoyed the Olympics as much as anyone else over the years but it has held a particular place in the hearts of my wife and I. That first year we didn’t even have internet let alone any form of cable package. Reading can only take you so far sometimes and when the Beijing Olympics started, we were on top of everything. For two weeks we finally had something to watch.

Like most others, we saw a whole lot of swimming, gymnastics, track and field, etc. There are just certain events in the Olympics that take center stage, with the rest shunted off to late night broadcasts or less prominent cable channels. Every once in a while you catch a highlight reel from some of the lesser publicized events. but otherwise they stick to the reliable events.

There have been a few events I have always wanted to watch and somehow never gotten to see. Archery and Fencing were the big ones, as well as anything involving a gun. This year, I don’t know if I am better at catching this stuff or if some of the second/third/fourth tier events are just getting better airtime. I’ve caught various types of fencing (didn’t know there were various types of fencing) as well as several archery and skeet/target shooting matches. Archery and target/skeet shooting are pretty much what I always expected them to be. Folks shoot at targets and the most accurate wins, little debate over that.

But fencing, man, fencing is fucking insane.

Before I explain that, please note, I mean no disrespect. Insanity is often times the surest sign I might enjoy something. A lot of the events are essentially things we’ve been doing for as long as we’ve been walking.

 

Anyway, a lot of the other events are just refined activities we’ve always done. Running, swimming, hunting, etc. Then you have more modern events, such as shooting and things like the x game styled events. Fencing fits interestingly in the middle as something we’ve been doing long enough that it’s not modern but not so long that is primal. Fencing was a martial training that steadily evolved into a game, with more and more intricate rules to emphasize the metagame. Watching the bouts, I have very little idea what the hell is going on. Every single flashing light results in people acting like they won the whole damn thing, withi guys in ugly green jackets yelling in french for them to calm down. The announcers are the usual mix of a) emphasizing every self evident action taken and b) not explaining anything.

It’s great!

 

But the real kicker, and what really makes this so much fun, is the intensity.

I would say people in the Olympics are generally pretty reserved emotionally until it comes time for their real medaling performances. All the bouts or meets or whatever are generally brushed off, with each step being taken pretty nonchalantly until the culmination of all of those steps and they either win or lose or move on. With Fencing, at least the ones I am watching, they are going to 15 and each and every hit seems like they just won a friggin medal. I’ve seen guys whipping their masks off half way through, just, cause, why not?

I’ll finish with this tangent. I talked about most of the events being things we’ve always done, well, racewalking is a fucking thing. This is not a good insanity. I thought that was a joke and this is all I can picture.

 

 

Moving Forward

Looking at the last post in January and where I was then vs where I am now, I am shocked at how much has occurred. How much and how little. Two biggies, finished my MBA and witnessed the surprising early birth of our second child. All well on that front, couldn’t be better in fact, but little to no writing since then.

There are a number of reasons I could cite for not being more active this year. The two above took up a lot of my time but I could have made time and didn’t. Really and truly, my mindset has been the true deterrent. I posted on November 24th, 2015 that I would not be posting for the next few days. I needed to take care of some work stuff. There was a thing that was coming up and at the time I needed to focus until it was done. So I took some time off. That was true, but eerie to read now in August. Eerie because I have a visible indication of my thinking before and after that moment, with a massive eight month gap that painfully illustrates how long it took my to get past it. At the time I literally thought it was going to be a day. I realize I am being vague, and that is by design, just know I turned a milestone into a millstone and it has been weighing me down ever since.

That changed today. The millstone has been cut away and I have closed out an interesting chapter of a different avenue of my life.

I made a promise to myself that as soon as this thing was done, I was going to write. Tonight I began to take inventory of where FayTown Calling is. It has been a while, so I am looking at where all of this is to see what needs to be done. The good news is even though I have been reprehensibly negligent of my writing, I never stop thinking of this. Virgil’s world, his story, where I want this to go, has continued to evolve and FayTown Calling has been building up in my head. At some point in the past year I even outlined the series which helped me to frame the overall arch of Virgils McDane and where we’re going with him.

For the foreseeable future I will be taking inventory and developing habits again. I have to relearn some things and reboot. I will continue to post here to develop at least a few of those habits. I will also be writing. The blog is going to serve a big part of that, and in many ways than one. It needs to be a habit, even if I’m not writing about, well, writing. I always felt guilty whenever I posted something up here about gaming or movies or whatever because I was just leaving a visible evidence trail that I wasn’t writing fiction. The truth is though that I do more than write, and while I am going to be making a conscious effort to manage how much I am writing (or not writing), I also have other things I love to do and I want to write about them. Since I wrote my last post, I watched Mad Max and the Martian, went insane over the new Star Wars, binge watched House of Cards, Brooklyn 99, and Stranger Things, played Overwatch, Pokemon X, and Destiny, have continued to hate the execution of Pokemon Go and Nintendo’s business model as a whole, started reading comics in a real way, have read a ton of great books, and had all kinds of other thoughts on a wide range of shit.

Do you care? Hell if I know, but this is my damn blog and I’m gonna talk about it. Because I need to be comfortable talking again. Because I need to be comfortable about writing again and sharing where I am and using that to be excited about writing and telling stories and creating and making up shit and everything else. It’s all connected, at least the way I do it.

Gonna finish this up with an apology. Because a lot of people, more than I ever thought would be interested in my writing or care enough to ask, have inquired about Virgil and FayTown Calling in particular. I have been missing in action and ignored that reader base. I am not the most sociable person, especially when it comes to my work. Just the thought of considering these inquirers “fans” (note that I just called y’all a reader base) makes me uneasy because I feel it insinuates hubris.

So, anyone who has read Sorcerer Rising, and especially if you have inquired about FayTown Calling or anything else regarding my writing, I apologize for my lack of response or attention. Please know, I am honored by anyone who has given me their time and/or money. I am terribly uncomfortable accepting praise. Words always fail me in writing those types of responses, which usually leads to my neglecting to respond at all. What it always boils down to is simple this, thank you for reading my work and I am glad you liked it. Behind those words I am literally going insane with joy and could go on and on and on about how much these message mean to me, but that pretty much hits on the root of it.

As for the status, I am too early to give a timeline. Just know that I have reprioritized this in my life and am very, very interested in getting it done in published. Partly because I have a clearer idea of what I want novels three, four, and five to be.

As I progress, I will update here. Can’t promise pretty but one of the things I have learned in the past several months is that those first, stumbling steps are ugly and oftentimes painful. And that’s okay.

I Still Exist

Been a while, longer than I meant. I know, that song is getting old.

Believe you me, no one feels as strongly about that as myself.

Been wrapped up in…stuff. Without giving out too much detail, things have been unusually hectic for a number of reasons. Mostly work (ALL OF IT, screams the rebellious little voice in my head), though there are some other things going on too (the voice rolls its eyes and snorts).

Writing has taken a big hit. Trying to change my own mindset about that being the easiest thing to drop when the shit hits the fan. Trying my best to get that back on track. Still owe an update on NaNoWriMo, which did a lot, but still not near where I needed it to be.

do have a goal, now personally driven by the very thing that is keeping it from happening. Good news, I’m making moves to reprioritize things. Again, trying not to give too much detail on that, you can imagine why.

Even now, feels like I am writing this from a foxhole. Lots of pressure, lots of noise, and never knowing what the next day is going to bring. That may be too strong of an analogy (and I would never compare an office job to one in the military), but I am also a guy whose central premise of his writing is to have mental and emotional concepts manifest as real, physical monsters and locals.

I tend to see my own mind in those same parallels.

And right now, it’s wartime.