After The Crisis, The Future

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I needed a few days off. The main reason? I found myself falling into a writing crisis.

Yes, I’m aware there’s other news out there. For example, I’ve heard that there’s a U.S. election of some kind taking place tomorrow. Well, yeh, but that’s nothing compared to this.

You may have seen my weekend Instagram. I put up shots of “Miss Constable” and the original painting for the Conventions cover. Out walking a few times, I found myself also snapping photos of leaves and old buildings nearby while my troubled mind whirled…

Sunset. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Sunset. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]

The undertaker lived here. Hertfordshore, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
The undertaker lived here. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Autumn leaves. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Autumn leaves. Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]

Because I had been wrestling for several weeks with all of the material I have for Conventions. I was also approaching the point of no return creatively. I had to commit to how the novel would finish.

And if it concluded as I had planned it would, the tale was over. I had nowhere else to go with it. Yet I also had been thinking for some time that I had characters I could “grow,” that I could say much more about still others who are barely introduced in the story, and that I could address so much more about the peoples, cultures and life of the time.

However, I simply did not have the space in just the single book and I was finding that insurmountable problem increasingly staring me in the face. So I was an irritated guy by the weekend, and trying to hide that from our houseguests – my 22 year old nephew and my in-laws. My mind wouldn’t stop; indeed much of the time it was “yelling” at me. It was a terribly uncomfortable sensation.

I retreated to my office at one point finally last night – which I couldn’t do earlier because my nephew had been sleeping in there on an inflatable mattress – to try to calm my mind and have a systematic think.

At last, I got there. I committed myself to three novels spanning the era and to staying with the characters into the early 19th century. That gives me huge additional flexibility, much more space with which to build upon them, and also provides me a clear writing focus for possibly years to come.

Having taken that decision, suddenly the writing canvas has spread out before me gigantically in ways I can’t yet begin to explain. Conventions will not be an “end,” but only an opener. Now I have to start to get my head around that new writing reality and plan accordingly.

I’ve done three novels already on young people in America, France and England in the 1990s. So now it will be three, also full of twenty-somethings, on this earlier era two centuries before. That’s a rather large statement of new authoring intent and an objective to post on the internet on a routine Monday morning.

And it also feels today as if a huge mental burden has been lifted off of my shoulders.

“Give Way.” Hertfordshire, England. [Photo by me, 2016.]
So watch out, I’m coming through. Hopefully you’ve also noticed no more tacky ads on this blog. I’ve upgraded WordPress to get rid of the company’s ads over which we bloggers have no control.

I did so because late last week I noticed an absolutely awful gambling ad appear below a post. I don’t want you visiting and seeing rubbish like that and associating it with me and my work. It was definitely NOT John Lewis.

Bottom line is I hope to be on this site for a while. I hope also that if you can that you will stay with me well beyond Conventions for a journey eventually to around “1812.” There will be more sailing ships, and “dashing” captains, friends helping each other, friends fighting, Thomas Jefferson, a fellow named Napoleon, fashionable outfits, romance, and lots lots lots more. 🙂

_____
UPDATE: And I see that’s my 900th post on here since 2013. Wow.

2 comments

  1. Sounds like Clio, the Muse of History, and Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry, are busy in your neighborhood.

    My first novel was written as a stand-alone, but there were enough unanswered questions in it to stimulate branching out in other directions, in a family saga sort of way, so now I’m embroiled in both a prelude (a hundred years before) and a sequel (several years after, featuring a formerly secondary character) to the original story.

    Well, that’s life in the Parallel Universe, for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are also those pivotal moments when we feel the crunch. Decisions have to be made that may impact what one does for years to follow. The idea of writing a book that ends up in the bin is not much to my liking.

      Liked by 1 person

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