Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. You incredibly complex man, you.
I’ve seen many good folks sharing all sorts of stories about Ellison. Three that stuck out: John Scalzi’s piece for the LA Times, Neil Gaiman’s heartfelt blog post about their friendship, and this wild thread where Ellison publically plans a conspiracy to commit murder at Dragon Con. I’m sure there are many more.
If you are interested in reading Ellison’s work (there’s a reason he’s an SFWA Grand Master), I recommend starting with either I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream or Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman. He also wrote the greatest episode of Star Trek ever.
It’s strange to me that in a few days April 2018 will have come and gone and we’ll be moving towards summer here in Seattle. Time—as ever—ticks forward. I realize that for the last few months, April in particular, things have been rather quiet around here. Damn near ghostly, in fact; so I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on what’s been happening.
I’m still hard at work on rewrites and edits for Coal Belly. That seems to be my usual state of being lately. Edits tend to be difficult for me, namely because my eyes see what my brain wanted and not what should be there. Thank goodness for copy editors. That said, it’s coming along at quite a clip, and I’ll be reaching out to my beta readers this summer. Then, once I get their feedback, I go back through it all over again.
The fourth Bell Forging Cycle novel has been in the works for some time now. While there hasn’t been any prose written, I do have a rough outline, and think I know where I want it to go. Now, whether Wal behaves is another matter. So often we writers create characters and then the characters do something wildly different than what we planned. It’ll be interesting going back to it after having written two very different books in the interim.
So that’s been my spring. It’s odd writing posts like these, because while a lot has been happening, it doesn’t always come across that way when you lay everything out. Once that progress slider is full it seems like everything should be done, but in truth, the first draft is only the beginning.
Okay, back to work.
“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.”
It has been a while since I posted a quote. Figured this tidbit from Madeleine L’Engle was pertinent for most authors. So… yeah, what are you doing reading the internet? As much as I like you coming here and hanging out, you should really get back to writing.
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
Kari-Lise shared this quote with me today; it was too good not to post here. It’s solid advice from an incredibly prolific artist. So, what are you going to do? Wait around for the lighting to strike or are you going to show up and get to work? In the end, it’s up to you.
“Even if what you’re working on doesn’t go anywhere, it will help you with the next thing you’re doing. Make yourself available for something to happen. Give it a shot.”
Sadly, life conspired against me this week and there will be no Friday Link Pack for today. Sorry about that folks. We should be back next week. In the meantime enjoy this quote and if you’re really jonesing for some links check out some of the previous Link Packs.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
In between projects I’ve been re-reading On Writing again and this quote jumped out at me. Nice reminder on those days when the end isn’t in sight, everything feels terrible, and we’re sick to death of everything we’re working on. Go to work. (It’s worth it.)