Monday, August 23, 2010
Five Books at the Same Time
Yes, I seem to have got myself into a position where I'm working on five books simultaneously! How did that happen? Dashed if I know! It just did. The main danger presented by this situation is imagination overload, a circumstance where I feel so overwhelmed by parallel and overlapping streams of possibilities that I become incapable of choosing any of them, leading to a sessile condition where I resemble a piece of sculpture in terms of my ability to move at all, physically, mentally or morally. "Reflexes of a statue!" was one of my favourite rebukes when I was younger; delivered for best effect to someone who had just failed to catch something or move out of the way in time. Here we see a statue of a lion failing to catch my drift.
Clearly I must be overproducing. Personally I don't believe I am, but there's no other logical explanation for it. Occasionally people "in the know" have told me to slow down, ease off, slacken my pace, in order not to flood the small corner of the market where I dwell; but I don't know how to do that. And anyway I can only write while I'm alive and no human lifespan is very long on the cosmic scale. I write a lot now, true, but I didn't write a single word before I was born, and approximately 13.75 billion years passed between the creation of the universe and my birth. That's a lot of years without writing anything! In a similar manner, I won't write a single word after my death; and between my death and the end of the universe there will be trillions more years...
So why shouldn't I churn out stories and books in the brief time while I exist? I need to do this for health reasons anyway, to keep pace with the ideas that keep effervescing out of my brain lobes. I never need to struggle for story ideas: on the contrary, they keep coming at an accelerated rate! If I don't express them in time my entire mind will effervesce to the point of total bubbulation. That's a word I invented just now, so don't look it up...
What are these five books I'm writing? Let's examine them one by one.
(a) The Brothel Creeper... A selection of my more serious dark tales from the past 20 years, all themed around 'sexual or spiritual tension'. No wordplay, no lightheartedness, no nonsense. Just pure existential crises of souls, minds and bodies. I have only one more story to write for it before this book is wrapped up, but the missing piece is going to be a major.
(b) The Truth Spinner... The complete stories of Castor Jenkins. An insatiable reviewer by the name of Stephen Theaker reviewed The Postmodern Mariner and said something to the effect that Castor, who has the first third of that book to himself, ought to have an entire volume of his exploits; I recently decided to take his advice to heart. So I have been writing new Castor Jenkins tales: there will be eighteen in total and I have only two more to write.
(c) The Young Dictator... A novel I began writing a few months ago: about a young girl who takes over the universe with the aid of her gran. There will be six chapters and I have only written the first one; but the other five have been worked out sufficiently well for me to know exactly where the novel goes and how it ends.
(d) Tucked Away in Aragon... The Albarracín tales. As soon as I arrived in the remote town of Albarracín back in September 2007, I knew I would probably write a series of stories about the place. This is going to be a short book of ten linked tales covering the past thousand years of Albarracín's history. So far I have written four of those tales.
And now for the new addition:
(e) The Coandă Effect... A novella of 22,222 words (I picked that number at random because I like the look of it) that is going to be an exploit set in Romania, partly dealing with the real Coandă effect (and thus with the pioneering aviator Henri Coandă) and partly with a spiritual version of the same effect. The hero of this work is a fictional adventurer already famous thanks to a series of fine comic books. I won't state his name; you'll have to guess. But I am willing to give you a visual clue; and in fact that clue is in the photograph below...
Have you worked it out yet? The blade in the picture was bought in Toledo but not long afterwards I took it with me to Córdoba. That's another clue... Anyway... I have absolutely no intention of taking on any new projects until at least three of the above five are done and dusted. Bubbulation is an unpleasant experience! This means that works in progress such as The Pilgrim's Regress, Ditto & Likewise, The Clown of the New Eternities and various novellas I have been planning ('Bedsteads Across Iberia', 'The Once and Future Peasant', '500 Eyes') are going to have to wait until next year. I have given myself a directive that I must write a minimum of 1000 words every day for the next two months at least. Spare a thought for me; I am coping with effervescence!
You definitely need to make a belt with 'Five at the same time!' inscribed on it, but don't get roped into killing any giants :PPost a Comment
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