Well, over the weekend, I finished the first draft of Star Wanderers: Reproach (Part VII). Technically, I finished it at 4:30 am on Saturday, but I’m counting that for the Friday May 31st deadline that I set when I started the project. I was determined to finish the thing before I went to bed, and nearly pulled an all-nighter. Still recovering.
Star Wanderers: Benefactor (Part VI) needs some work before I feel it’s ready to be published, but I’m not sure if that’s what I want to move on to next. From a business standpoint, that would appear to be the most prudent decision, since my Star Wanderers books are selling fairly well and expanding the series while the momentum is still good is probably the surest way to capitalize on that. However, from a creative standpoint, I think it might be better to give this draft some more time to mull around in the back of my head, like I did for Genesis Earth, Bringing Stella Home, and Desert Stars.
Also, I really want to finish the first draft of Lifewalker. All of my friends and family who have read bits and pieces of it are raving for me to finish it–literally, every time I talk with my Dad, he asks me when it’s going to be done. I really do enjoy the voice of the main character in that one, and I stopped it only to finish Reproach, not because it was giving me any troubles. If I go ahead with that now, I can probably finish it by the end of the month, with time to start work on another project (possibly Benefactor).
It’s difficult for me to talk meaningfully about a project that only I and a couple of other people have seen, so here are the first few paragraphs from the current draft, just to give you a taste of it:
My given name is Isaac Jameson, but most people know me as the Lifewalker. It is a fitting title. I am a stranger and a wanderer; death has cheated me not once, but thrice. For more than three generations, I have wandered the Earth, watching men and women spring up as wheat, bear seed, and pass away with the autumn frost. Yet with each passing generation, I alone remain—with each new crop of humanity, death refuses to harvest me. Some would see this as a blessing, but it is not. It is a curse worse than the fever that steals an infant from its mother, or the blight that takes the mother from her newborn child. It is hard enough to say goodbye to those you have known and loved—those who have shared everything in their lives with you, holding nothing back. But to say goodbye to everyone you have ever known—to find yourself a stranger in your own homeland, a man washed up on the shores of time while the world spins wildly beneath you—yes, that is a fate that can make death seem like a mercy. But I digress.
I suppose I should start this volume with a brief description of the land of my birth. Far to the west, beyond the lakes of the north and the great river of the plains, a series of great, craggy mountain ranges cross the land. In the heart of these mountains, almost a year’s journey by wagon from the eastern coast, lies a great salty sea. It is a desolate and lifeless place, and so far as I can tell, always has been. I only visited it once, but saw no signs of habitation along its briny beaches, ancient or otherwise. However, only a few short miles to the east, the ruins of a once-great city still stands. Its rusting skyscrapers are not as tall or as numerous as those in Boss-town or Old Neyark, but there are enough to show that it was once a place of some importance, before the years of the Blight.
South of these ruins, and beyond the numerous villages and communes that thrive in its shadows, lies a wide mountain valley with a freshwater lake at its center. The lake is extremely shallow, and the reeds grow thick along its southern coasts. It is a good place for catfish and mussels, as well as heron and other waterfowl. The mountains rise sharply all around it, but more especially to the east, though none of them are quite high enough to boast a peak that is snow-capped year round. A monument to the letter Y can still been seen on the face of one of the nearer foothills, though the coloring has long since faded. The northeast border of the valley is guarded by a mountain that looks like a young maiden, sleeping on her back with a hand on her pregnant belly. Some say that the child she carries is the hope of the new world. A narrow river runs just south of this mountain to the lake, through the heart of the land of Provorem.
Just for fun, I posted a longer version on the minecraft server where I currently play. It’s possible to make books inside of the game, and fill them with a couple thousand words of text. I’ll probably do a couple more minecraft books with bits and pieces of Lifewalker, and possibly a couple of other projects as well.
At the same time, I’ve got an idea for another project, one that has the potential to turn into a series of heroic fantasy novellas, along the lines of Star Wanderers. I talked it over with my brother-in-law over the weekend, and while the world and the characters still need fleshing out, I think the core idea is pretty solid. Part of me wants to drop everything and work on that right now, but the other part feels like a deer in the headlights with a semi full of story ideas bearing down on me…
All good problems to have. But don’t worry–if I don’t have anything new published before the end of this month, I’ll definitely have something by the end of July. That’s my unofficial goal now: at least one new published something every two months.
Gotta write. Later!