One of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, in addition to being a novelist is also an advice columnist. When asked if the pen really is mightier than the sword, he said, “I choose my words so the least amount of people get hurt, but that’s also hard to achieve.”
I’ve been pretty busy with work these past three months, which is why there’ve been so few updates — regular bouts of 12- to 16-hour days, along with a strong schedule of time with family, keep me from feeling like I can set aside the time to write the more intense rounds that are coming up. There’s a lot of angles from which I could tell this last run of our story here, and a lot of ways in which I could tell it — though given that at this point I’m writing about the much less distant past, and about people with whom I’m lucky enough to still call my friends today, I haven’t had enough of those long, quiet moments from which I can choose my words well enough to hurt the least amount of people. There’s some stuff coming up that I’m afraid of writing off the cuff. I want to be deliberate in how it comes together. I’ve been super thankful for the continuing stream of “Go for it” messages that I’ve been getting these past couple of months from the people who know what’s coming up. It’s helped.
What’s also helped has been an editor making it all the way through to end of “Making Magic” — I’ll be folding in his changes as updates to the original posts. (Thanks, Mr. V.) Reviewing his notes made me remember how much tighter things were in the earlier session, and I’m inspired to begin shifting back toward that density of story and language as the story accelerates into its conclusion. Expect tighter, shorter stories, with more action.
I’m going to take both “Gray” and “Interregnum” offline for now, though. They inform a lot of the final third of our story, though only a few pieces directly join up with it, pressing on through from “Making Magic” directly. This time last year as all of that was coming together I was on a roll, pushing myself to write consistently, daily, for many weeks, and I was happy enough being successful. Only some of that material was culled from journals or from other writing projects, so I now have the confidence that I can write that much, and that well, for that long. Still, again having gone back and re-read the first third, I’m afraid that most of those two stories don’t feed into the core of the overall narrative. Those stories will find a home, it just may not be here.
The good news is that I’m about to take a short vacation from work, where I’ll focus on playing with the kids, cleaning my office, and writing. I actually returned to writing earlier this week, blocking out a tight outline of the rest of the story. I even wrote half of the second-to-last post, given that I want to make sure that I bring this thing in for a three-point landing. So you can expect new content to start appearing as early as next week, or if I wait to get a couple of posts in before I start throwing them online, you’ll see the story continue as late as the week after.
That’s where I am with it, and how I hope to be getting to the end. Thanks again for reading.