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The biggest downside to returning from a vacation is trying to get back into your everyday rhythm. Case in point: starting to blog again after nearly two weeks without writing anything other than my travelogue aboard the Stennis. I kept a journal during the entirety of the trip, logging my experiences as my father and I traveled across the country together, but now I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing things for you. Fifty plus pages of journal about a ride across the ocean on an aircraft carrier? Totally doable. Five hundred words about what’s going on in my life and the literary world this week? That’s a little bit trickier. Nevertheless, I’m here to try.

Let’s see. I want these, first of all. Something about being surrounded by officers in their dress uniforms just makes military fashion seem right, even if the Nintendo version is a little silly.  Second, there’s this thing right here, one of many places I’m going to be submitting a short story. Got a microfiction piece that’s n0t been published elsewhere? Send it in. They’d be happy to see it. V tipped me off about it a few weeks ago, and I am quite grateful. On a related note, has anyone ever heard of The Rag? I’d not, at least until recently. It’s worth a shot, I suppose.

One of the things that I did miss while I was gone: Sonia M’s February challenge. I intend to make up for that with the March challenge, which seems far more targeted toward writers like me than the February challenge did. It’s the first one I’ve missed since I started doing them, and I’m a little sad that I didn’t get an entry written, but there has been a lot of progress elsewhere that more than makes up for it, at least as far as I’m concerned.

So, yeah, my writing projects continue. One of the best things about my recent trip was the opportunity to have a LOT of time to myself, for my writing. See, Arsus and Rime have been pretty quiet lately, so the progress on my working title, “Swords of the Ancients” has been stalled. As such, I have been venturing into the darker side of my imagination, contrary to the advice I got from my father last week. Dad told me that I should write a wholesome story, and be more of a Tolkien than a Stieg Larsson, for example. That’s all fine and dandy from the outside perspective, and I really do appreciate his concern for my writing, but if you pretend that the shadows never exist, you’ll never see what hides in them. The things that hide in the shadows of my own mind are what I find fascinating. Human nature isn’t as clear cut and good as we would like it to be, for whatever reason, but those bits of darkness are so compelling… Just imagine the stories we might learn from the things that go unseen in our world.

I dunno. Maybe it’s just the stories of the great writers of the past, but I feel like there’s got to be something more than just heartwarming tales of puppies and stuff to write about. Even Tolkien had to embrace a little of the darkness to create the depth of the villains in Middle Earth. I guess I’m just talking about not just a casual embrace, but making passionate love to the darkness and getting into a committed relationship with it, and maybe even moving in together, and getting a joint bank account, or at least a two-seater bicycle. Yeah. It’s exactly like that.

4 Comments

  1. Yeah I’m also trying to connect with the darker side of my writing, but being the nice guy I am, finding it isn’t that easy. But I think it definitely improves your work. Light and shade!

  2. I know what you mean about having to get back into the rhythm. I’ve been working a lot and I getting more sporadic about commenting on blogs, replying to comments, checking in with social media ect. But, the more I get out of the habit, the harder it is to get back. Hang in there! Glad you had a great trip.

    • Thanks, Sonia. I’ve only been doing this for a year, but I’m beginning to see how challenging it can be to keep up with all of this stuff. Thank you so much for all the inspiration and the writing challenges.


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