Today, I posted the final chapter of my sci-fi western romance, “From Hell: A Love Story.” It’s the third story I’ve finished this year, “Finding Mister Wright” and Fearless being the other two.
I always get a rush of mixed feelings whenever I write the last words to a story. Relief for having reached the finish line, but a sense of sadness, too, at saying goodbye to characters I’ve come to love over the drafting time. Some stories never move much past that first draft, for me, but others find their way to revisions, rewrites, and re-posts. Still others become launching pads for completely different stories…or, the same story woven in a new pattern, as is often the case for me.
My issue at this point is: What do I write next? I’ve got a continuing timeline set up for my sci-fi western characters, but I feel like giving them a rest for a bit. I’ve been doing some off and on revising of Fearless and “Finding Mister Wright” over the last few months, and I’m enjoying revisiting those worlds, but it’s not the same as new writing. It’s been years since I’ve gone without a new writing project, I’m not sure I could handle not having one! The good news, I suppose, is that I’ve got a few twelve-plus-hour plane rides to consider my options (or maybe start playing with that heretofore unknown something new). That’s right – I’m out of here for the next few weeks while I visit my family in Japan. So, I won’t be around to read/comment/blog much or at all. But, don’t worry – I will eat lots of yummy sushi and green tea soft-serve in your honor!
So. I’ve done romance. I’ve done family stories. I’ve done science fiction with a western twist. Maybe it’s time to poke at that detective murder mystery? What do you think? What helps you decide what project to tackle next? Do you rassle your Muse into cooperating, or do you let the faerie ramble?
On a side note, as many of you know, I recently had a bit of a rough go. Many of you offered kind and supportive words for that, and I have to thank you. Your words really helped me move past what could have been a downturn. Some of you even said saying farewell to one friend would allow me to make room in my writerly life to make new friends…and I did! A mutual love of a shared universe put me in touch with a talented writer with whom I’ve enjoyed some of the best writing conversations about character, plot, and issues that I’ve had in a long time. And it’s felt glorious! The extra-awesome part? This writer is also a visual artist, who has offered to do art of my story, with my original character! I’ve been floating on clouds ever since I heard that. I will share if that’s allowed…but I may want to keep this one to myself.