I’ve been thinking about what I really want out of my creative life, my life as a writer. There are all sorts of things I want: to write the stories that come to me, to say the things I want to say. To have people read and enjoy what I write. To participate in a writing life, go to conventions, spend time with writers and editors and publishers. I’d even like (if you’re listening, universe) to make money.
But what I really want is to do cool projects. Yesterday, I saw a link on a facebook post by Ann VanderMeer to this wonderful video:
Below the video on YouTube is this explanatory note:
“Myster Odd: a short film in celebration of the release of the ODD? anthology series from Cheeky Frawg Books, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. Volume One is available now as an e-book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wizard’s Tower Press, and Weightless Books.”
The film is by Gregory Bossert, whom I met at the World Fantasy Convention.
Talk about a cool project, the video and the anthology series and the conjunction of the two. What cool project am I going to be able to work on next? I don’t know. At the moment I’m working on a story that I’ve been asked to write for an anthology, and I need to work on publicity for The Thorn and the Blossom. (Now that was a cool project.) And then I have a poetry anthology to put together, probably over winter break. And then what? I suppose the next step is the novel. So I do have cool projects, don’t I? I mean, more than most people, and I’ve been very lucky to have those opportunities.
I’d like to do more. I’d like to be able to be creative more often, but I do have a job, and a commute, and a child to take care of. The ordinary parts of my life take a lot of time. (If I still owe you something, I’m so sorry. I owe so many people so many things at this point. And I’m getting sick. I mean really actually sick: I’ve been sneezing all day.)
Oh yes, and I need to turn In the Forest of Forgetting into an ebook. (Would anyone be interested in an ebook version? Would you?) Just in case you don’t remember, that’s my short story collection, published back in 2006:
But what keeps me going, especially when I’m this tired, when the Advil doesn’t seem to get rid of the headaches, when I feel overwhelmed by my ordinary life and have barely any time to devote to the extraordinary one I’m trying to create for myself, is the thought that there are so many cool projects out there. So many things to do. Because in the end, the cool projects are what count. Not the conventions, or how many people asked you to sign books, but what you actually accomplished.
I’m going to go rest, because I need it, desperately. But I have a story waiting to be written, and poetry waiting to be collected, and all sorts of things that I want to do. Those are the things that keep me going.
Amazing–been reading you for quite awhile and this is the first mention I’ve seen of a child. You have a child to take care of! I’m blown away by the fact if it is a fact. I think just surprised that a child, to my mind one of the primary creative projects of all, is appearing as just a blip in the blog. Forgive me if this is just too personal. You hardly ever answer comments, so I don’t expect it. But I sure would like to know more about you and your child (assuming it is a real human flesh and blood person, and not a metaphor for a fictional creation). That said–if you work, and study, and create fictions, and care for a real live child, you are more than amazing.
I’m so looking forward to getting a hold of The Thorn and the Blossom – now that is a cool thing. I love that it is a book, and yet different to regular books. It looks so beautiful, I just can’t wait.
Would definitely like an eBook of In the Forest of Forgetting also, of course!
Michelle: I haven’t been very good at answering comments recently because I’m so tired and there’s always so much to do. Some nights I can’t even bring myself to write a blog post! 🙂 But yes, I do have a flesh and blood seven-year-old. I don’t mention her often because a lot of people read this blog, and I want to make sure her life is private. My life is out there for people to read, but I feel that her life shouldn’t be, until someday she decides to have a blog of her own. I will say, though, that as children go, she’s a remarkably easy one!
Nik: I’m so glad you’re looking forward to the book! I really hope people like it . . .
When I first read your blog, your daughter was three or four and appeared more often. I
noticed she is more in her own world, now and I think you have become more ‘public,’ and
that makes private life more cherished. It’s been a wonderful trip, seeing your career taking off.
It’s all Dylan Thomas’s “art and sullen craft’ that interests me. Sci-fi fantasy has become more
beautiful in the last few years. I think you one of the pioneers in this enchanting turn of events.
Thanks, Phyllis! It’s been an interesting trip for me . . . And thank you for calling me one of the pioneers. I would actually very much like to be that, and I think it’s important that we return beauty (not prettiness, but beauty) to art in general. Beauty is complex and interesting and usually has an element of its opposite in it. I think that’s partly what I aim for . . .