Tag Archives: Princess of Stars

Another brief note…..

Princess of Stars is now live on Kindle, and should soon be available in paperback, as well.

I suppose an author should speak well of his own work, but my sense of relief at having completed this book, and with it the Divine Lotus series, is so profound that any promotion I could make for it would sound false in my own ears.  This has been an effort of three years, one geographic relocation, the end of a major relationship, separation from loved ones, so on and so forth, all adding up to a very long struggle simply to finish this book in some form or another.  At the end it became, perhaps, a prime example of the adage that ‘no book is ever finished, only abandoned’.  I managed to crawl, at last, across this finish line, on my hands and knees, and collapse in exhaustion and relief.

Not that this series has not been a tremendous learning experience, and not that I don’t think I created some interesting and entertaining characters and narrative.  It is, however, a relief to be done with it, and now to have the freedom to move on to another project.

Which, at the moment, appears to be an idea that I’ve had for a while, a standalone book that currently bears the unimaginative working title of Siege— which is, wait for it, about the siege of a great city of an empire, and what happens to the people on both sides of the siege lines.  I’m calling it fantasy, although more along the lines of Richard Adam’s Shardik or Peter Dickinson’s The Blue Hawk, set in a world in which there is little or no magic, but which resembles our world only in the universals of human life– loss, fear, struggle, hope, courage, hatred, and love.  I’m hoping the lessons I learned from telling Kathy Pennington’s story will help me tell a better one with Siege– but it is journey I am just beginning, with only 15,000 disjointed words out of a guesstimated 150,000 (it does feel like it’s going to be a long story).  I’ll be at this a while.

Beyond that– who knows?  I have learned not to prognosticate about my writing too much, because I have so often been way, way off-base.  Suffice it to say that I’m happy to be off on a new road, and eager to see where it leads.

Later.

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Princess of Stars Update #6– Crawling back into the sunshine….

Princess of Stars is now at 30,000 words, one-fifth of my rough estimate of 150,000 words. In the unlikely event anyone has noticed, it has been about six weeks since my last update, largely because I spent most of that time not writing Princess of Stars. Kinda logical, when you think about it….

Why I wasn’t writing is complex. Chiefly I was going through one of my periodic funks in which I find it hard to exercise the daily discipline of getting my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard. Usually I get through it, but this spell took a little longer than normal to run its course.

Why was I finding it hard to write? That’s where the complexity comes in. A new, physically demanding temp job, personal life issues, and financial worries all contributed. The biggest factor, though, was an emotional certainty that my writing really doesn’t matter. I’ve blogged about this before, and it’s something with which I have often struggled. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming, at least for a while, and I just grind to a halt. It becomes a deal easier to play a computer game or watch a movie than it is to get words down.

In a way, writing is a bit like faith. Sometimes, you just have to practice it, no matter how you’re feeling at the moment. Yes, it is a discipline, and being disciplined about it is usually the hallmark of a professional. By that standard, it’s pretty obvious that I still have things to learn about the craft. No surprise there….

Along with that, I think it’s helpful to pay heed to the work of others you find inspiring. Personally I can hardly watch any halfway decent production of Shakespeare without feeling inspired and motivated about my own work. In this particular case, I think it was a movie that helped recharge my batteries– sadly, not Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two. That, and listening to James Newton Howard’s soundtrack for the picture. Music has always been an important aid to my writing, sometimes helping me (I think) to a higher level. The soundtrack for Mockingjay Part Two captures its epic proportions, and reflects something of what I’m trying to do with Princess of Stars. That sort of resonance is priceless.

It is also helped when I remembered that I am, at bottom, doing this for myself– not an audience (which I don’t have) and certainly not for any critics. I’m not looking for the approval of editors or literary gatekeepers. I want this story told, and only I can tell it. However imperfect or inconsequential it may be, I still want to complete it.

So, once again, back to work. Like faith, the writing process has its mountain-top moments and its long trudges through the dark valleys. Bring your persistence, and your favorite music.

Later.