Ooh, argh, I do seem to have been remiss in not posting anything here lately. To make up for that, here are some thoughts I wrote on the occasion of my birthday a couple of weeks ago:
Today is my birthday, and I have decided to write about the kind of year I’ve had. If this comes across as bragging, please accept my apologies; I certainly don’t mean to boast. Much.
My first novel, Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience), was published this year by somebody other than me (Elsewhen Press). I went to England for the launch, which was fabulous, and visited London for a couple of days, something I have wanted to do for years. I completed writing my second novel, You Can’t Kill the Multiverse (But You Can Mess With its Head), and contracted with Elsewhen Press to publish that one as well (I’m just waiting for the first round of edits). I also started serious work on my third novel, Both Sides. NOW! I am, as of this writing, about a third of the way through it, and can say, without a doubt, that it’s not quite like anything I have ever written. And, that’s saying a lot!
I self-published the fourth and fifth Alternate Reality News Service books in print: The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Mutant Technologies (a general collection of articles), and; The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide to Sex, Love and Robots (a collection of the advice columns Ask Amritsar and Ask The Tech Answer Guy).
These were two of five books that I have completed on my Web site, Les Pages aux Folles. In addition to them, there was also a collection of Daily Me articles called More Reality Than You Can Shake a Penguin Engine At!, a general collection of articles called An Article Here, An Article There and Pretty Soon You’re Talking About Real Text, and a collection of cartoons called Delicate Negotiations: Round Three: Grannies and Shemales (Just Don’t Mention the Goat Head). (If the volumes haven’t been bookized on the Web site yet, it’s because I’m still waiting to exhaust the backlog of Alternate Reality News Service stories that will complete books four and five. I have, though, already started writing new ARNS and Daily Me articles, and they will appear as needed.)
Oh, and I sold a standalone short story that will appear in an anthology called Doorways to Extra Time in the next month or two.
Of course, most of these projects have been developing over the past two or three years; they have only been completed recently. Still, it’s quite an accomplishment.
Why am I writing so much these days? I think there are two important factors. The first is every writer’s fear that some day the inspiration will dry up, that the words will stop coming; this prods me to I write as much as I can while I can. I’m not sure that this will be true in my case; my experience has been that creativity feeds on itself, and that at some point the process becomes self-sustaining. This is compounded by the fact that I apparently had a heart attack about a year ago (I say apparently because it was so mild I managed to blink and miss it). This has, of course, got me thinking about my mortality, with the sneaking suspicion that I won’t be writing after I’m dead. Of more immediate concern, drugs I am taking for my heart have caused me to feel weary much of the time, which has caused me to have days when the creativity did dry up. I still write, but the ideas don’t flow as easily as before. I hope this is not a foretaste of things to come, but…
The other factor is that, in my late teens, I fell into a deep depression that lasted for the better (or, more accurately, worse) part of a decade. In that period, I talked a lot about wanting to write, but created virtually nothing. The current creative streak I am on is, to some extent, an attempt to make up for lost time.
Blah blah blah. I’m supposed to be celebrating a birthday, here! And, by any measure, I have a lot to celebrate.
Wow. You know you must be important if somebody is willing to shut down the electric grid in an entire city for six hours just to spoil your birthday! Not necessarily in a good way, but important nonetheless.
As it happened, I spent much of the time writing by candlelight in a tablet with a pen – damn, I wish I had a pen in the shape of a quill for just such an occasion! (I think I’ll get myself one – I expect this is just the start of a series of such occasions.) I spent most of the rest of the time reading by candlelight. It wasn’t how I had intended to spend the waning hours of my birthday, but it had its own special retro charm.
Thanks to everybody who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. I feel like Jimmy Stewart at the end of It's a Wonderful Life, except, in my world, whenever a politician lies, an angel gets a noogie. Yes, the haloes do get in the way, which makes the whole process rather messy. Although by no means the only one, this is the main reason politicians aren’t especially welcome in Heaven.
[originally published on the Ira Nayman's Thrishty Friednishes Facebook page]