Thursday, July 7, 2011

[July 7th] The Project Merry-Go-Round

“My life is like that, but only less fabulous and the carousel has a jet pack strapped to the horsey.”

I crack open an imaginary book. The spine creaks, the dust avalanches down the hardcover and pools around the yellowed pages. Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve opened this book and the guilt feels as though my body is under a siege of spiders. The book is filled with titles, the titles sit neatly stacked one below the other and much like literary accountancy, numbers have nested in flocks.

The pages stare back in accusation that I’ve probably forgotten the Defoesque title I’ve given it at the start. It certainly sat through without supervision long enough to accuse me of neglect and much like a horcrux schemes against me, meticulously cataloguing my ideas, curving c’s into vicious vertical smiles.

I’m of course referring to the “Book of Unfinished Works that I really want to write, submit and subsequently publish for the sake of my sanity and satisfaction” or in other words the to-do list of the projects that I really need to get to, if I want to tell people I’m a writer with a straight face.

The first thing I’ve written in months is nonfiction for Beyond Victoriana as part of my series on Bulgaria, its history and its application for the steampunk genre. “Slaves in the Ottoman Military” deals with the sensitive topic of the Ottoman practice to forcefully take young boys from Christian families in order to turn them into an elite fighting squad for the sultan called the ‘enichari.’ The article will go live on Sunday.

I’m interested to pursue my interests in writing nonfiction again. Only the librarian gods know how many books I’m interested in reviewing [old habits die hard] and I’ve also volunteered to join the crew of the World SF blog [after yet another seducing invitation from Lavie Tidhar], but only as a very occasional contributor. On the minus side, I’m no longer working at Apex’s The Zombie Feed and handling their Twitter feed or marketing. I’m good at it [even though I learned that I like zombies, but don’t breathe them to be excellent at it] and in order to do a satisfactory job I need more time and energy on a daily basis, which I don’t possess.

Fiction-wise, I’m way behind. The ‘edit my way through all the short stories’ isn’t going well at all. I find some are lacking a small piece to make them work, others need expansion and I am not sure if I don’t need to write a brand new story for the same concept. So that makes six stories to edit, nine to write and a novella to finish. Not to mention getting to my novel, if I’m to submit it this year.

What have you been all up to yourselves?