Let’s just get this out of the way: my desk, actually BOTH of my desks making up an L-configuration, look like something from an episode of Hoarders. There are layers to the mess. Some of the layers have layers. But it’s been productive.

Projects: I was pretty hung-up on an idea project. I had in mind lots of scenes that I was dying to put together, but it made no sense to me how they would fit together. A bunch of cool scenes back-to-back does not a story make. Once again, the answer came to me from Larry Brooks’s Story Engineering. My block was my brain’s way of telling me that I was on the wrong track. I re-imagined the whole project by way of scenes, in particular giving each scene one (and only one) important job in the overall storyline. Once I had this, filling in the scenes was a breeze, and there still were some pleasant surprises. Things seemed to fit together much better than the amount of planning would have indicated. While I normally write short, this came out at over 10k in the first draft. I have some excellent alpha readers taking a look at it now: it will be interesting to see if they think this is s step up or not.

Novel: In a holding pattern for this month, awaiting feedback from readers.

Reading: Been a year of long-form reading so far. I’ve been reading encyclopedia-sized novel after novel, including 1Q84, Lonesome Dove, Tristam Shandy, and 11/22/63.

Morale: still hobbling. I re-sprained my ankle in a spectacular indoor fall, and I’m now wearing a brace. It will be another few weeks before I’m able to run again. A bit stressed out still. Need to have a fresh story ready for critique at Paradise Lost II by March 20.

And one more thing…. (In a forthcoming post)