It's August 25th, and I know exactly where this month went. I spent eight days in Seattle* and most of the rest of it in the Mark Isles.
* Well, in Washington state, anyway ... er, mostly in Washington state. We spent a lot less time actually in Seattle than I'd expected.
The Mark Isles is a fictional place. It exists only inside my head and in the entries of UnfinishedTales And, perhaps, in the imaginations of my handful of readers. Fictional worlds are contagious, aren't they?
This will be a disjointed post, I think. Too many things I want to say, too hard to decide where to begin. This is only a journal, only my journal, this isn't for publication. I don't suppose I need to organize it. I have been working hard at writing for most of a month now, setting all my words in careful order, everything chronicled in exact sequence. I can be sloppy about it here, can't I? Just this once.
I finished writing a novel this month.
That makes two I've written.
I've written two books.
Sorry, can't quite wrap my head around this idea. Five years ago I'd never written what I considered a complete book. Now I've written two. Two.
It feels momentous in a way that even finishing Prophecy did not. Once could be, after all, a fluke. Twice -- that's a trend, isn't it?
It's taken me a long time. Averaging one book every two and a half years is slow by the standards of most authors (although it's faster than George R. R. Martin has been doing with A Song of Ice and Fire, admittedly). John Ringo, who published his first book in 2001, has a total of 22 books published now, with at least one more coming out this year. Granted, nine of those books have co-authors, but even so, that's a lot of books for five years. I can't quite describe how it makes me feel to reflect on that. Not inadequate; perhaps longing. This thought: "If I could write that quickly, maybe I could get them all out. I wouldn't have to pick and choose which story to tell. I could tell them all." This thought: "If I only write one book every twenty-six months or so, how many will I be able to write before I die? How many ideas will die with me?" I wonder if John Ringo wonders about the ideas that will die with him, too. I bet he does. Perhaps stories breed like rabbits, and the more stories you manage to write, the more ideas you have for new stories.
These thoughts do not depress me. Oh no, I am not depressed. On the contrary, I am elated. In this moment, right here, right now, I am as happy as I have ever been in my life. Lut needed something faxed so we went to my workplace a few minutes ago so I could send it out. As we parked the car, as I walked back into my house, as I looked at the green growing weedy things all over my yard, I felt full of joy. In my kitchen with its cluttered counter and floor littered with grocery bags full of Diet Coke I hadn't yet put away, in my living room strewn with Tria markers and the picture of Easy I've been working on but still not finished, in my bedroom with the bedding I need to launder, in my den with this entry incomplete --
-- in each place is a reminder of things yet undone --
-- and in each place I find joy.
Time slips past me, moment by moment. With each thing I do, with each thing I do not do, it slides away. Fast or slow, it passes, all the same. I think: there is never enough.
I know: there is always more. That moment is gone; this one is here. The next one is waiting for me.
I want to do a hundred thousand things, but I only do one at a time. That's all right. Better than all right, in this world full of so many good things. In this moment, everything is possible.
What will I do next, after I finish this entry? I haven't decided yet. Play Puzzle Pirates, do the dishes, clean the kitchen, work on that picture, write my next entry, compose starters for Game of October --
-- or savor this feeling, the rapture of being alive in the world, of finding no choice unappealing or daunting --
No, I haven't decided yet. But I'm pretty sure whatever it is, I'll enjoy it.