Writing Update July 2020 and Virology Podcast Recommendation

So I’m easing back into blogging, if only because so many of us need something else to focus on. Racial injustice and the global pandemic are still very much issues taking up a lot of my attention and I’m not committing to a schedule for this blog yet. Today, I’d like to do a quick update on my writing progress and share a link to a virology podcast.

Writing Updates

Chains Carried on Wings 2 – first draft ~76% complete

This is my main project at the moment. I envision this series as a trilogy and once book 2 is done I’ll be writing either Terrestrial Magic 3 or Chains Carried on Wings 3.

I also have approximately half a dozen short stories that I’m still deciding what to do with. Some of them need editing, but I’d rather work on my novels at the moment than make time for them. Maybe I’ll put out an anthology at some point?

Recommended Podcast

This Week in Virology – I recommend getting information on the pandemic from scientists. The hosts of this show are experienced virologists and microbiologists, as well as science communicators.

Musing About Finishing the Books Whose First Drafts Date Back Years Ago

With the release of Natural Sorcery, I have now officially published all of the long-form stories whose first drafts date, at least partially, from my undergraduate/early graduate lifetime or earlier. This is a huge relief.

It can be hard to realize how your writing changes and evolves until you go back to something that you’d written years before, and then suddenly you can see all the differences. And I’m still going to have the same problem with respect to drafts that I’ve started during my late graduate phase–which will inevitably have to wait their turn for publication until I complete at least one of the series I’m working on right now–but at least then I’ll be working with drafts that came from a time when I was a better writer.

And it’s not just the writing style on its own that makes me relieved to be working with things I wrote when I was older. The ideas I have for how I want to move these stories forward have changed. Terrestrial Magic as a series is always going to have its wild, chaotic world-building that can never be tamed. That’s what I’d seeded into the story when I started writing it forever ago. And I’ve accepted that in order to write that series–which I still think is very much worth writing, despite how hard I made the world-building and plotting on myself–I have to just let go and have fun with it.

But it’ll be nice to start some writing projects with world-building and plots and themes that’ll feel a little bit more like I can control them.

Unless, of course, I move on to my next projects and realize that much of this is wishful thinking. Because for all I know, my writing will always feel at least a bit like it’s gotten away from me.

One of the things I’ve had to accept, in order to start publishing, is that it’s next to impossible to have the perfect book. Projects are always going to be flawed and are probably never going to feel like exactly like what I intended. But finishing them and putting them out in the world still has value. Especially if these books find the readers that connect with them.

So really, I always have to be aware of that line between when the book really isn’t ready yet, and when it’s as ready as it’s going to be. But until then, I’m going to let myself dream just a little bit that maybe the perfect project does exist. Even if I know it doesn’t.

Writing Updates 2019

The first half of 2019 went well with my fiction writing, while it ended up taking a backseat in the second half due to graduate thesis writing. Still, I’m almost done with the first draft for the sequel to Terrestrial Magic–half a chapter left to go. This is how my 2 current projects stand:

Terrestrial Magic 2: first draft ~98% complete

Chains Carried on Wings 2: first draft ~15% complete

This is slower than my target goals for the year, but I’m not too discouraged by it–writing a thesis is something of an anomaly.

First priority is Terrestrial Magic 2, and after that comes out I’ll switch over to trying to complete the second Chains Carried on Wings book.

I do have other projects in the works (which I started before deciding to do indie publishing), but I’ve committed to completing Chains Carried on Wings (which I’m currently thinking of as a trilogy) before publishing or working on any new series. Two series running at once is a good maximum at this point.

I don’t want to commit to any dates yet, but once I finish grad school, I’ll be trying to finish up Terrestrial Magic 2 as quickly as possible. My first drafts tend to be pretty clean these days, so I don’t expect many complications in the editing phase.

Other than that, I’ve got half a dozen short stories–a few set in the world of Terrestrial Magic–that I still don’t know what to do with, but will eventually make available somehow.