It struck me in the middle of working on Shunga-Satori the other day that in some ways I'm writing Welcome To The Fold again, but inside-out. (You'll see what I mean when it's done.) Most people will not notice the similarities; or they may notice, but not mind. I both notice, and mind.
Maybe this is only because I have a stern rule with myself to not write the same things over and over. Life's short, and I have a lot of ideas I want to explore that (at least outwardly) have nothing to do with each other. But now that I've noticed the way this project resembles others inwardly, it's too late. The most I can do is make this work as successful as it can be on its own terms and move on.
I think most artists are doomed, for lack of a better word, to revisit some themes endlessly. Over time I've noticed one of my own: A group of people, drawn together at the cusp between the end of one way of life and the beginning of another. They strive to make something new, whether it's a new place to live or a new kind of person to inhabit the new world. They don't always succeed, but they do try. And in trying they open up possibilities for others, if not always for themselves.
It's not hard to see how every book I've written is some echo of this idea. I don't even have to squint very hard to see it. If I end up telling one version or another of this same story for the rest of my life, maybe that's my karma. Or maybe it's that I have trained myself to see everything I produce as being some variation of this model, when in truth those things do not resemble each other much at all. Living so close to them, all I can see are the similarities.