Summer Writing Plans

The school year is finally over.

I hadn’t written a word of real prose in months. Though I’ve had time to write in the literal sense, it feels as though I can never find time to write. Maybe that’s an excuse. But sometimes I think that teaching strongly forces a mindset antithetical to writing. On average, I work ten to twelve hours per day during the school year. Most of these hours I need to be in a mental space that demands constant attention to a thousand competing concrete tasks. Even in the evenings and on the weekends, I struggle to get back into a mindset of out-of-the-box thinking, imagining the fantastic, and unstructured creativity.

But now that changes! Over the last few days I’ve been trying to emerge from writer hibernation, get my bearings, and choose a project for the summer.

Red Soil Through Our Fingers, released last January, is doing better than I hoped for a first novel. I’m far from breaking even on it financially, but profit certainly isn’t the only metric for a book. I was able to get through the whole writing, revision, and publication process successfully, and get my work out there. About two hundred copies are out in the world by my count, and the few reviews that have come in so far are almost all positive.

I’ve attempted the sequel to Red Soil Through Our Fingers a few times, but it has been difficult to gain traction on it. To be honest, I feel overly constrained by the pre-existing narrative and characters, as well as the very Hard-SF tack of the first novel. I’ve been itching to do something a little more imaginative, with new characters to explore. So I’m tabling Red Soil for now.

I broke ground this week on a new novel, which takes place in a fictional star cluster somewhere in our galaxy. The book is as-yet untitled, of course, but I can say that I want to explore how conflicts between strong, wealthy nations can steamroll over the less-powerful caught in between. I’m also directly facing an element I avoided in Red Soil: religion and its interplay with science and society. I’ll post updates later in the process when I have something concrete to share.



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