I’m lost in a day with nothing to do, yet there’s so much nothing that I don’t know what to do with it. Rather than go looking for things to do, those have found me. Things are changing, these are nice problems to have and I’d rather be writing, but that’s the same story. These are daily anxieties, always worse in the middle of the week. I never could get the hang of Wednesdays.
Steampunk robot librarian, by Keith Thompson
If I was keeping a diary like I did when I was on the streets, this would be a volume in the teens. Some of those old journals are still here, in the studio. I salvaged or retained seven (of ten) in the end, and most of what’s in them is on this blog, when I used to use the public access machines in the library to get my words out.
I’ve looked at some challenges a fictional young girl faced, to help with my own. I find other people’s issues easier to deal with than mine, perhaps because detachment helps me to step away and see things as a bystander. My own issues remain the internal ones I have to deal with alone (sometimes while I stand there), but it’s nice to have someone around to talk to, even if it’s not about what’s confusing me in my head. And there’s always more of that when those other people aren’t around, like separation anxiety. But there’ll be more stories.
My fictional side has had to sub-divide like my actual life, as more and more writing seems to land in my lap. A small job I’m very much enjoying at the moment is reading some children’s stories for another writer, after they asked in a writing group if there was anyone they could approach, and I found myself referred. They’re stories with more than one level, very much like my own children’s book which deals with life issues, but more about life’s small matters and manners of etiquette, much of which can be applied to a more grown-up context as well. But in these stories, those small eggshells are about equally important things, like letting the slowest one catch up in a race.
I have enough of my own stories to compile The Unfinished Literary Agency collection, but there are more short works in progress, so the final running order isn’t finalised. There’ll be 17 stories, with possible bonus material, some previously published in various places, and others unique to or adapted for the book. By my own admission, this second collection is better than the first as a stand-alone, but the two also work together as 42 short stories. I should have the book compiled and edited soon, so that I can get a page count (and cover price), then publish in January.
Some of those other stories are only at the planning stage, as the inspirational basis for them is in development itself. The one with the most potential has a bit of the Cyrus Song about it, wherein a young doctor brings a rescued cat to live with a writer, and the author and the cat sit up talking at night using the Babel fish. There’ll be a third anthology yet, so it’s nice to have so much developing to write about.
Silent Gardens is still doing its quiet thing in the background (I’m writing it, quietly) and my fervent appetite for interesting things is being rewarded, as I find out more of the history connected to the people and places around my parents in history. That book is still very much out in March, and I’m far more confident now that my chosen style will gain it a wider audience than the small one it’s written as a gift for.
Before any of that, there are two more fictional tales published over the next couple of weekends, ‘August Underground’s Diner’ (a restaurant review), and ‘Another Nativity (a Play)’, my alternative nativity, adapted for the stage.
There’s much more I could write about, with all that’s in my head, but there’s simply not time. That’s why it’s sometimes nice to have someone around to just talk to, or at least a lot to write about once it makes sense. Most of the time though, the socially anxious writer just writes.
I’m glad I have you, my diary. I think I’ll get the hang of this.