Sorry about the radio silence over the past several days — busy week both at the day job and with Unmortal et al. Good news is Unmortal is a lot closer to coming out of the oven than I anticipated; I might be able to give all six of you this thing as a Christmas or at latest a New Years' Eve gift. I'm proud of it the way I was proud of Fall Of The Hammer and Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned and (most of) Flight Of The Vajra: I feel like I hit most everything I was aiming for, and I had a blast writing it. What comes next, though, is a little murky.
If you saw my earlier Rogress Preport posts you might recall I have a bushel of new possible projects on the horizon: Shunga-Satori, Absolute Elsewhere, Cosmotika, Charisma, Nâga. The bad news is that they are all currently in various stages of incompletion or unrealization. I'm about 86.19% certain that's due to me only being able to devote so much time to actually thinking about any one of them. That confidence factor goes up a bit when I realize the one project out of the bunch that I have, in fact, done a fair amount of thinking about so far (Shunga-Satori, that is) seems closest to being something I can sit down with and begin writing if only experimentally.
Of the bunch, the one I am most stuck on right now is Absolute Elsewhere, which promised to be about how matter transmission would transform the human future, but almost nothing I originally planned for it held together. It came apart like a sweater in the washing machine on the wrong cycle. So I scraped from it what few pieces seemed like they endured the most and set it aside. Charisma is in marginally better shape, but that's like saying a dismantled Hyundai sedan requires slightly less assembly than a dismantled Scania 18-wheeler. Cosmotika and Nâga are mostly notes without a center.
I hate being stuck on an idea. Doubly so when experience has taught me that in retrospect the way through that is just to trust in your future self, and in your present perseverance. Jiggle with it long enough, keep your eyes wide enough open, and eventually all the things that seem disconnected and intractable will find their place. You have to be willing to feel stupid for a little bit, and that's even more frustrating a feeling when what you're dealing with is not someone else's work, but your own — your own, as yet uncreated work.
Juggling this many ideas at once, even when most of them are fragmentary at best, reminded me how humbling it is to take responsibility for an idea. That's probably why I tend to be quite conservative in terms of the ideas I do decide to develop: it's less of a maintenance burden, so to speak. So I have a habitually high bar for wanting to commit to something: if I can't see myself spending the next 12-18 months with a given thing, really diving deep into it, then I don't do it. I'm as surprised as you are that something like five new ideas all parachuted in and made themselves at home in such a short span of time.
But something about every single one of these ideas, even if it was only the most fractional of elements, lit me up. Something about each of them said, take responsibility for me in only the way you can. So here we are.