Siri’s and my co-written novel continues to be in the front of our minds as we finish up our edit (the book’ll be out in May!), so bear with us for just a little longer. Next month we might actually talk about something else! Though I make no guarantees.
The sekrit project (as we’ve dubbed the novel) has proven to be eye-opening in many ways. I’ve had to plot, write, and edit differently than usual. It’s been a long time since I wrote with someone else, and rarely with the level of coordination that this has entailed. So, before I jump back in (I’m ~66% of the way through my parts), here’s 3 things I’ve learned from working on this project.
In a break from our normal subject matter here, I’m going to talk about football.
You can’t escape it around here these days. You see, we (meaning me, Kit, and the rest of Colorado) won the Super Bowl on Sunday. Well, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl. I did very little to help.
Super Bowl 50!
I don’t want to tell you how old I was when we last won in 1999.
So, as Siri talked about last month, we’ve been co-writing a novel which we’ve dubbed the Sekrit Project and have proceeded to infuriate everyone by keeping to the “secret” part of the name. And I am pleased to say that it’s more or less done, and is now in the pipeline for publication here at TDP. So it’s in the editing process, and I find myself free until we get comments back.
Free! ::kermit arms::
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed writing this book. I enjoyed working with Siri. I did not so much enjoy the fact that we gave ourselves eight months to go from nothing to polished novel draft. In retrospect, that is obviously not enough time and I don’t know what we were thinking. But hooray! We did it! And I’m pleased with the story and hope everyone else likes it as much as I do.
But it is nice to have a little bit more leeway in what I’m working on at any point and not have a mad dash toward the finish line.
So what am I going to work on now?
GUYS It’s Star Wars week! \o/ I am so excited and I am not really sure how I got here.
I mean, I’ve always been more of a Trekkie. Yes, I saw the original trilogy at a young age and I’ve seen them a fair amount of times since then. I even went through a phase in middle school (though, admittedly, driven by wanting to have something to talk about with a friend who was way more into it than I was) where I read a bunch of the EU (now, sadly not canon) novels.
(I also saw each of the prequels on opening night, each time, hoping against hope, that it would be a good experience. My parents always told me about seeing the original trilogy in the theaters, especially the first one, with the Star Destroyer coming in from overhead, and I guess on some level I was hoping to recreate that.)
So I’ve been kind of following what’s been happening in the Star Wars universe out of a vague, detached interest. It all seemed kind of inevitable, Disney buying the franchise (I mean, they’ve had that ride at DisneyWorld forever, right?) and J.J. Abrams directing the first new movie.
(Coincidentally, some members of the Trek community refer to Mr. Abrams as Jar Jar Abrams. Not in a nice way. And I would tell you why but then we’d never get out of here, so you’ll just have to extrapolate.)
And then they started filming, and then the …
I am sick, friends. My throat is sore, my voice occasionally meanders off, my ears feel like they might pop–the works. Just a cold, of course, which…why is that something people say? “Just” a cold? Sure, it probably won’t kill you, but you can throw medicine at it until the cows come home and it’ll do jacksquat and you just have to sit in your misery.
I can’t really take any medicine right now anyway. Just the occasional cough drop (read: fancy candy) and nose spray.
Hooray, nose sprays.
So, where’s the relief?
Have you been anywhere remotely related to books or writing lately? A book store, a library, websites across the web, mailing lists. You’ve probably noticed a trend lately. Write a novel fast. Plan a novel in 30 days. Be ready.
Nanowrimo is coming.
Sometimes it is weird to see what a huge thing Nano has become. When I first did it, back in 2003, there were only a few thousand people participating. You could easily keep up with the entire forums, if you wanted to. Your friends had never heard of it, and thought writing 50,000 words in a month was crazy when you brought it up.
Like Siri, I have fond thoughts about this time of year. Not just because hints of autumn are starting to show up, and there’s the promise of hot chocolate and golden leaves and peppermint-flavored drinks. Not just because it’s back to school time and I can hoard notebooks for cheap.
But because it is library book sale time.
When the World Was Young
by Kit Campbell
In the early days, when the sky was clear and we were still part of nature, there were no mountains and no valleys. The world was flat and unmarked, unscathed by the passage of time. The first people spent their days next to quiet rivers and hunted across verdant plains, and life was peaceful and meaningful.
I know what you are expecting, child. You are expecting a classic creation myth, full of gods and the forces of nature, pulling at the land and mankind until what we know now comes into existence. This is not that sort of story. Oh, I wish it were, but alas, our past cannot be explained away so easily.
In those days, we had few cares. We hunted and scavenged when hungry. We slept when tired. We admired the scenery around us and, at night, watched the streaking of the stars across the sky. In the winter we gathered together for warmth, and in the summer we lay out in the flowers.
Who can say when things began to change? Who can say when exactly it was that they came?
Some of you out there are probably aware of a podcast known as Welcome to Night Vale, which takes the guise of the community radio of a small desert town somewhere in the US where, as I heard it said somewhere, all conspiracies are true. It ranges from being completely absurd (Hiram McDaniels, literal five-headed dragon, often somehow manages to pull off the disguise of being Fred Chen, normal human being) to creepy (there is a faceless old woman who lives in your home whom you only ever see out of the corner of your eye, if at all) to intriguing and sweet and occasionally feel-punching.
As a podcast it works great. They have traveling live shows, which follow the same basic structure of the radio show, and is not as distracting as you would think to be able to see the voice actors even though they in no way resemble the characters they portray.
But now they’ve got a novel coming out in October and I find myself…conflicted.
Ah, the Hero’s Journey. A staple of not only fantasy literature, but an overarcing plot archetype that can be found in stories across time and culture and genre.