what next?

I’ve been going through a period of excess creativity. Makes it a bit difficult to focus on a project and follow it all the way to the finish line. That’s nothing new, though. It’s the volume of idea stuff that’s kind of unprecedented for me. I’m working through as much of it as I can, plotting and planning and taking notes. It more than makes up for the years I didn’t write because I didn’t have a single viable idea. Now I’m kind of brimming with them. Grateful for each and every one, too…I know it doesn’t always happen like this. Best to grab it when it circles ‘round.

With so much happy activity commandeering my imagination, it’s hard to know what to jump to first. Small, quick works are a sensible choice. Take one idea as far as it can go for the moment, then switch to another one and do the same until I hit a wall, then jump to yet another…or maybe swing back over to the first one again. However it works, it’s time-maximization I’m after – bringing each project forward a little bit until there’s a front-runner who just can’t be ignored, then seeing that one through to the end and circling back to the next. The hope is that everything gets a little bit of brainspace, just enough to dump the ideas as they arrive without losing any inspired material before the next thought pushes it out of the way.

I got quite a bit done this spring following this pattern. Rolling it into summer as well.

The question remains, though: what next?

The answer: Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing, which I finished writing in May, editing and proofing in June and currently have in production with my fantastic publisher Booktrope. We’re aiming for a mid- to late-summer release. It’s a step out of the ordinary for me. This one still has my trademark messy characters working their way through difficult situations, but a coming-of-age drama and much more straightforward than any full-length work I’ve ever written. I’m very happy with how it turned out. Hoping it’ll find an audience when it finally hits shelves. More information to come as it progresses.

After that, I’ll be starting revisions for Joe Vampire: The New Paranormal. This will be the big wrap-up for the Joe Vampire Threelogy, and it still needs a bit of work before it’s special enough for publishing. Sad times saying goodbye to the dude vampire. I’ll play with that for a bit during the summer and see if we can get him out late fall/early winter.

And after that, another Young Adult/New Adult title – a smaller, darker story about cults. Like Phenomenal Nothing, this one is a style-stretcher for me. Not sure what will happen with it, but I’m pretty stoked to write a little more and see what it becomes story-wise.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I’ll be throwing my hat in the ring to enter the Dark Crystal prequel contest. That film is a cornerstone in my childhood imagination. I latched on to the astounding visuals and cinematic storytelling Jim Henson and company concocted for it, and it ended up informing my creativity on all fronts. It’s worth a shot, and should be a bunch of fun to work on.

There are plans for another holiday story, too, sort of a companion piece to last year’s Unlisted.

And I still have Starstruck, the rock star alien abduction comedy, on the whiteboard. Keeps getting pushed back in favor of new projects. It’ll grow into something finished someday soon.

That should get me through July. Then, in August, I’ll be…

Nah. Just kidding.

(Sort of.)

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