Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

This is how I roll in writing and in life.

Accounts for the multiple mistakes I’ve made over the decades.

Also accounts for the things I know.

And the things I will soon learn.

And write about.

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When It Comes Time

If it weren’t for all the roadblocks and distraction that keep crash landing into me, I’d have so much more time and attention to write.

But, of course, it’s the obstacle course of life itself that gives so many artists our fuel—our very reason—to do what we do. After all, the more we get tripped up or take the wrong turn, the more stories we have at our disposal when it comes time to create and share.

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Scoreboardishness

My writing output as of late has tapered off more than I wanted it to. Naturally, I want to know why, so I make the effort to account for my time and my actions.

I’m working extra control center shifts to fill in for a co-worker. That takes time from my writing time.

0-1.

But, I’m earning extra money that could be spent on new book covers.

After further review, the previous call has been reversed.

1-0.

Football season is well underway. American college and pro ball games, as well as an occasional German Bundesliga football match, have been occupying some of my time.

Do I write while watching these games and matches?

No.

1-3.

But I do imagine story-related issues while watching.

The referee points to center ice.

2-3.

(Yes, I know that’s an ice hockey reference.)

(Which reminds me…ice hockey season starts in a few weeks. Good thing I wrote this post now.)

I would like to point out that, although I have not created much reader-accessible content lately, I have been churning out pages of world building and character profile content for two separate series behind the scenes. Certainly, I should get points for that.

“So ordered,” says the judge.

4-3.

(It’s cool that I’m the judge.)

Anything else?

Yeah. A nearly thirty year project of mine is coming to a fought-against but necessary end, and I find myself experiencing some unexpected and confusing withdrawals. As disorienting and debilitating as this time has been for me, I want it to be known (especially by myself!) that I’m not unhappy with myself for sacrificing writing time and instead spending it on me.

Although…I’ve noticed I’ve been cranking out private content like a madman these last few weeks.

That’s considered a form of writing.

We refer to the replay booth in Toronto.

(Yeah, another ice hockey reference.)

Writing in a personal journal is still considered writing. Those specific words might not ever be seen by the book reading public, but the thoughts and emotions that go into those words, along with the insights and motivation that come off those pages in response to those words, just might find their way into something I eventually write for others.

Actually, I can guarantee it will happen that way.

Toronto reminds me it’s still baseball season. Why am I not bothering New York City with this replay?

New York City agrees with my logic.

5-3.

I like that score. I prefer shutouts against my opposition, but this score is a good indication that I am still doing the one thing I love doing.

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Because

There are a number of libraries within striking distance of where I live. I visit one of them at least once a week for no other reason than they exist. I’m often looking for a change of pace / scenery as a way to spark my creative spirit, so perhaps you could say that taking trips to the library is a vital way of practicing my craft.

More accurately and more to the heart, though…going to the library as often as I do is my way of celebrating the fact that they do exist.

Of course, every library patron has his or her own reason for being there…

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…and those reasons are just as valuable as mine.

“Why do we even need libraries anymore?” is one of the dumbest questions a person can speak out loud in my presence. Simple as that.

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Upcoming Workload…With Good Intentions

What I tell myself I want to work on and what I actually work on are almost always two different things, but let’s have a go at it anyway.

1) Just when I thought I was finished building an alien star system for an upcoming novella series, I decided it could use a bit more detail…and much more uniqueness. Of course, depending on how unique I want it to be, this R&D project could take a while. But I’m OK with that.
2) My currently unnamed science fiction short story is turning into more of a crime scene than I expected. Out of the four endings I’ve created so far, I don’t like any of them, so back to R&D mode for this story, too.
3) After an hour’s work of calculations last night, I decided that my time travel story, “All the Time in the World,” might turn out better if I changed the year in which the story takes place. I also came up with a reason why that idea would undermine some of the story’s drama inherent to its current timeframe. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to make this too easy for myself.
4) Continued work on my Metzgerhund (young adult) project has unfortunately taken a back seat as of late, but I still think about the mental and emotion evolution of my five main characters on a somewhat regular basis.

I’m looking forward to seeing just how far off this intended work load turns out to be.

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LINK: Someone Said Science Fiction Might Be On Its Way Out

I still hear this comment from time to time: is science fiction on its way out?

This claim almost always causes me to pause. No doubt, the bulk of my mental reaction is out of defensiveness, especially considering that I am currently attempting (in my own fumbling, fragmented way) to make a mark in the science fiction literary community; now, or so it seems, I’m being told I may have missed my window.

Even if someone could prove this missed window scenario to be an undeniable fact, don’t believe for a second I would just stop writing science fiction stories altogether. I enjoy the genre too much. I would write for my own amusement and as a way to push myself to understand science and physics. The true bummer, though, would be that my opportunities and avenues to share my stories with others would diminish greatly, which means so would some of the joy I take in writing them in the first place.

I recently came across Orson Scott Card’s thoughts on the issue of a potential end to science fiction literature as we know it, and I realized that, like all things subject to evolution, the science fiction realm I have been attempting to join is simply morphing into a different form.

Are We At The End Of Science Fiction?

Like anything in life that’s subject to the influence of evolution (which is…everything!), we science fiction writers need only learn how to adjust our craft and our marketing to match how the science fiction literary universe exists at any given moment. The cool part is…being that we deal in science fiction in the first place, we are already keenly aware of the evolutionary construct.

Hmmmm…maybe that’s what attracted many of us to this genre in the first place.

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Feels Good

After long last, and after way too many obstacles and blindsides, I’ve returned to a more active writing lifestyle.

Yeah, it feels good to be back.

But, why did I stop? What was I doing all this time? What derailed my attention and my soul in such a damaging way? Why didn’t I tell anybody what was happening?

Those are questions I might revisit and answer in some form, one of these days. But, for the time being, I’m planning to have some fun with this.

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