This summer and fall have been a bit of a whirlwind, both at work and in life in general. The boyfriend and I took a once in a lifetime trip to New York City and tried our best to cram in the city’s highlights in just shy of 4 days–and managed to see Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen before he left the show. We’ve dodged health issues, the relative failure of both our mini Apple Orchard and our summer garden, but also an amazing visit with my Mom, too.
The result is that things for the website, and the actual writing of fiction took a backseat for a while. The sage words of a dear friend have been ringing in my ears recently, who warned me before I launched WelcometoSanKeros.com that eventually I would probably run out of immediately accessible content and that lags like what has happened were the kiss of death for fiction projects like this. Well, he was right that it was bound to happen–but I refuse to let that be the end of things.
I’ve got a handful of pieces–some in the universe of San Keros, others just short forays into other projects that’ve been placed on even further back burners–that are in various editing stages. I’m going to try to get those out as quickly as my process and life allow. But I also am getting back to writing in general–and I plan on making it a bit more of a priority.
There’s more of a story here, really. I was really struggling this summer to feel like I had anything really meaningful to contribute creatively. I felt like the world didn’t need another middle-aged white dude spewing out more middle-aged white dude fantasy. I was worried I was trying to force myself onto a stage that was already filled with the trampled voices of people of color and across the spectrum of faith and gender. I felt like I didn’t want to be part of any sort of system which made those voices less likely to be heard. I still feel that way. It’s the same reason I’m slowly finding myself slowly peeling away from the world of comics, too. It’s so much of the same, not enough of the new, of the unheard and underheard.
But then I met a rat in New York City, and got a surprise call at work.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve lost friends to time and distance, lost hobbies due to lack of funds, lost my sense of self-value in the wake of this profound feeling of helplessness that came unbidden and crashed through my life like a tsunami.
But you know what I haven’t lost? San Keros. It’s beats inside me, like a second heart. It’s winding streets and moonlit parks are where I wander when I can’t sleep at 3am. I ache for Seth to find the love he needs, for Hrothgar to be whole and for Beth to believe in something more than herself. I want Jessye Corman to continue building her neighborhood in the image of what she’d imagined it always could be. And I want to share all of that with the world. All of them, every street and every smile and every heartbreak.
I might not be worthy to tell these stories. But they sing in me, and the longer I ignore them the louder they beg to be set free. So that’s what I’ve decided to do. I’ll do my best to do justice to their stories, and to those of you out there who’ve connected to this wild, fey city that lurks beneath my ribcage. Like the worlds outside our doors, San Keros isn’t perfect. It can be an ugly, unfair place, but it’s filled with more hope than our own, I think. That city that straddles the uncanny and the uncaring shimmers with more possibility than most can see. Magic gives us that chance.
Hell, maybe that’s what magic is in the first place.