Is it telling that so many stories that are percolating are sad? Even those with projected happy(-ish) endings, are mired in either a starting place or a current limbo of bittersweetness. I’m find it hard to break out of that rut, to find the light most of my stories tend to arc towards, either by way of hope or magic or some such thing. It’s been a while since we’ve had any sort of update on the state of my writing life here on the site, so here we go. Brace yourselves, mes amis.
The Miracle Season is on pause, as I try to regroup and reshuffle some of the stories there. I’ve been musing on restructuring and refocusing the entire cycle of tales on something entirely different, and it has me a bit excited so that may be a thing. I just am finding it hard to find a way into this world I’ve built through this new lens. I love the world of San Keros so hard, y’all, and it’s been with me for decades now. I promise I’m not giving up on Hrothgar, Seth, Beth and the gang. Their stories are just changing, as I am, as the world is. I just have to find another door back.
I’m also outlining another universe of stories, and those are a bit further along in the concept stage. If I can truly get back to the writing life, I may have a piece or two from that series out this year. Several are outlined, and some even have partial first drafts already constructed. They’re emotional, very character driven, relatively short pieces that will eventually integrate into a larger, superordinate story. I suppose that describes the Miracle Season, too, so maybe I’ve just got a “type”. If San Keros is a world I’m nostalgiac for wanting to have grown up in as a child and a teen, this new world is a somewhat sarcastic take on what a world like that would be like if it simultaneously didn’t take itself seriously at all and at the same time was serious as a heart attack about all the things. The ridiculousness of our modern world when you’re spat out in your 20s to find your way, but by the way, there’s magic. If that sounds fun to you, stay tuned!
Bucking that trend, I’ve got a few short standalone pieces in outline at the moment, though they’ve been that way for some time with the exception of one of them. One’s a piece of Young Avengers fanfic that spins off the Young Avengers Reverse Big Bang pieces I wrote several years ago. The rest are more slice of life, real world tales that are helping me stretch myself beyond the tropes and crutches the last decade or two of immersing myself in fantasy fiction have instilled in my psyche. So if you’re more of a realist, there’s stuff on my plate that would appeal more to you than my previous work. Feh, I feel like I’m writing my own performance review, and I’m over it. Time for some recs.
So let’s talk about a few things that ARE filling me with joy right now…like Heartstopper, by the incomparable Alice Oseman, which is the very essence of the wonder and hope and heartbreak (in a good way) that I keep finding myself woefully lacking. The books are based on the webtoon, which likewise spawned the recent Netflix adaptation. I don’t want to go so far as to say that the story is perfect, but it’s an iconoclast in its genre because it’s a LGBTQIA+ love story that relies on none of the tragedy porn and depressingly standard classic and dangerous tropes that so much queer fiction has been based on since I was old enough to devour it. It’s also emotionally honest, adorable, and well-paced.
If graphic novels aren’t your jam, maybe try So This is Ever After by F.T. Lukens, which is a fantasy that feels more like best friends playing D&D but the fantasy world is real and so is all the mess. It’s epic fantasy that loves to play with and mock its own tropes, with a fresh, young modern voice that keeps its heart and its sarcasm real. I sometimes still yearn, weeks later, for news of more stories from the world of this book. Alas, a lad can hope. I keep finding fiction that seems to encapsulate all the pieces I’m currently struggling to find, that used to be at the core of the stories I used to tell. So I’ll stick with these two for today’s update.
I’m just tired, y’all. So, so tired. Like all the time. I’m fine, for the most part, though–don’t perceive this as a cry for help in any sort of serious way. This is just me trying to remember how to flex my writer muscles after 3-4 years of doing very little in that regard. The world is just a lot these days, and it got harder to find the hope in it I used to. But I promise I’m working on it. I hope you all are too, because the world needs a whole heaping platter of it, sooner rather than later.
And if not you, then who?
“I wish I could tell you I was the white knight of this story, but the truth is I was the dragon, just living in a deep cave of denial. Also, obviously, full of a hoard of drama and a propensity for torturing allegories until they are well and truly slain.”–Unnamed WiP