Balancing act

I spent most of my writing time this morning transcribing notes and making little changes — pencil work — to a few bits of fiction I’m working on. I adjusted an older short story of mine and fixed a big flaw in it, one that a couple of editors pointed out when they returned it to me. So I think I have that ready to send around.

Mostly, though, I am balancing on a high wire between my two major efforts: Finnegans Festive and Sleep of Reason. The former is nearly finished and the latter is barely begun. Both demand my attention and time, yet each comes from a different creative source in my poor head. The Finnegans novel is part of a series of stories with characters I know pretty well and have been watching evolve for years. It is a mystery, and there is a crime involved, but there is little that is grim or frightening about it.

The other novel is from a darker place. I guess it would be classified as horror, though there is no supernatural aspect to it. I think there can be plenty of horror that dwells inside the average human psyche to tell a good tale without resorting to the supernatural. I’m not sure where the urge to write this story comes from, but it is insistent. The evolution of my protagonist continues to present itself in my mind, generally when I’m trying to concentrate on the mundane realities of my day-to-day obligations. So I scribble a quick (or not so quick) note on a scrap of paper and shove it into my pocket for later.

Given unlimited time and solitude, I would still feel the tension that exists between the compulsion to write these two stories. I’ll finish the first draft of Finnegans Festive then set it aside to stew for a while as I then give full attention to Sleep of Reason.

I know that some writers are plagued with a lack of ideas. I’m grateful to be in a state where there is not the case.

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