229. The Only Thing

Today my mum came by to see her grand son and we had a great time, except in the evening when Jay was next to impossible for reasons we couldn’t quite gauge.

Maybe the stomach, maybe just because he is growing. Maybe just … because.

But something else has been growing, in my mind, recently … a thought about my ‘lost’ novella-series, Shade of the Morning Sun.

I just got this feeling – right when I was on the verge of exhaustion thinking about how to make money with my webdesign – that it would be good to simply write more novellas about Carrie Sawyer.

Write more. Collect some. Publish to Amazon.

Not to earn money per se … Because I am almost sure I’d earn very, very little.

No, scratch that. I am sure.

It is because I want to be seen then? Because I want more people to read these stories?

Scratch that. Is it because I want anyone to see these stories? I don’t think I have many other readers than Russian spam bots right now. Like with The Blog, I never promoted Shade. It’s been there since 2011-ish and has precious little real traffic – about 5 visitors per month, probably most by mistake.

Fair enough.

I didn’t do anything to promote. And I thought I had stopped wanting to write those stories. Moved on.

But I find I have a very strong feeling to want to write them again. And to have them seen.

Just a little. I don’t really care how many see. As long as it’s maybe 50-100 people, over a year or so – and who actually read.

No scratch that. Less would be fine, too. As long as they are real readers.

And I gotta go find them. Do some promotion. Buy some ads on book listing sites etc.

It’ll be a loss – almost certainly. But I think I could set aside an amount to do it.

And I want to.

But why? Why really?

Perhaps because of the reason I never really got to write my big fantasy epic for YA 5 years ago or a number of similar big projects before and since.

Those projects were, honestly, driven more and more by the wrong things:

  • the sense that I needed to use my skills to write something ‘big’
  • the need to make money in the most passionate way I could imagine
  • the feelings of some kind of big scene or image that I saw as part of a good story

… and some of the other things, on occasion. Big fantasy project from some years ago did have more passion and some characters in it I cared about.

But mostly that and other failed projects in writing, including the recent one with the dimensions and time travel and Mary Strachan – those projects (even Mary) had that in common that whatever I cared about in them was not strong enough.

It was, at its heart, not enough me.

I don’t believe we write ourselves into every story, but it is true – or it is for me at least – that we do write a lot into characters, if we write … fiction.

Our memories, lives, feelings, experiences, personal situations, hopes, wishes …

And Carrie was always the lost, stray cat of them all … the one who couldn’t figure out her life, even if she had qualities (like the talent for drawing and had gone to college and all that).

But she squandered it, or felt she did. All she had left then, after years of trying, was a good heart and some good kids and a husband and a marriage that occasionally worked.

That’s an extreme version of how I feel about my life right now. Not entirely right, not entirely wrong either. I feel I lost a lot, squandered more and in many respects I feel adrift.

I also feel I have a lot – a lot – of precious things in my life, especially people. Carrie has, too, but doesn’t appreciate them as much. And so the list goes on.

But the bottom line is that that’s probably why I want to write again. Because it is a good way to show myself different mirror versions of my own life. And that’s a strong enough reason!

Not time travel, not fantasy, not all the things I thought I was supposed to write or thought I felt most passionately for.

But people.

It always comes down to people.

I constantly surprise myself. I wanted to have more in common with Tolkien than Hemingway, but I always end up with Hemingway. Or Woolf. Or Dillard, I guess.

I don’t measure up to any of them, but we are talking about subject matter here, perhaps the only subject matter there truly is:

Life.

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