Somehow, the year has already slipped into June. I am not entirely sure how or when that happened. For those of you who have not been following my blog for long, I work full time at a youth camp as their Equestrian Director and Assistant Junior Camp Director. When the summer begins, work at camp becomes all-consuming, so my involvement in the writing world – blog, social media, etc. – tends to fall by the wayside for a time.
This back and forth between two very full and distinct worlds reminds me of all those portal fantasy novels I love to read, where the main characters are torn between two places that they love, and when they are in one world, that world is the most important thing and the other one fades into the background. But as soon as they return to the first world, that other world becomes more and more like a dream.
Although it’s a bit of an exaggeration to compare the two aspects of my life to two separate fantasy worlds, the novelist in me can’t help but enjoy the similarity.
So here I am, emerging from the camp world of horses and kids and long days and late nights and sharing the Gospel under the stars, to give all of you here in the writing world a bit of an update!
(And before you get your hopes up, I do not yet have a release date for Book Three in the Songkeeper Chronicles! More news will hopefully be forthcoming soon on that front. For now, all I can tell you is that I’m very excited about this book, it is currently in my editor’s hands, and I already have an incredible image in mind for the cover art!)
Update One: New Series
In other news, I am hard at work on a completely new series. This series has been whispering siren songs to me in the dark for the past four or five years, simply begging to be written, but the Songkeeper Chronicles was still at the forefront of my mind, so I kept logging notes and trying to quell my rising excitement at the prospect of getting to write this story. Guess what? I am now, finally writing it, and I am beyond excited about the tale that I am getting to tell. It is a thousand times bigger than it was when I first imagined it, so I am grateful that the story has had time to grow in the back of my mind all these years.
Even now, because of the time of year that it is in the camp world and the hours that camp work requires, I am forced to write the story much slower than the impatient writer side of me would like. But in the long run, I can tell that it is building a much richer, much more developed first draft than I would get otherwise. So I am writing in sessions of paragraphs and sentences, crafting slowly, layer by layer, and the story is being paintstakingly folded and hammered and heated and cooled, like a marvelous Damascus blade.
Can you tell how excited I am about this one?
Part of me is simply bursting to spill it all and reveal every last beautiful, heart-achingly, epic moment of this tale to you all right now. So I’m going to change subjects before I lose my last ounce of self-control and simply point you all toward my Pinterest and Instagram accounts where I’ll continue posting sneak peeks of my research and inspiration as the story progresses.
Update Two: Instagram
Speaking of Instagram, this woefully-behind-the-times author just recently acquired an account! Still learning the ins and outs, but for those of you who follow my Facebook page, my Instagram account is intended to be a slightly more relaxed and intimate view of my life as a writer, wanderer, and wordsmith. (Don’t you love that alliteration?) I would love to connect with you guys over there if we haven’t yet!
Update Three: Short Stories
As a fantasy reader and writer who loves nothing better than devouring massive books, I have never written much in the way of short stories. I have penned a few here and there but never devoted much time to it. After all, why tell a story in 1000 words when you can tell it in 100,000? (Right?) Actually, wrong.
Now that my work on the Songkeeper Chronicles is drawing to a close, I am also spending a lot of time studying different aspects of the writing craft, seeking to grow in my abilities and learn new techniques and methods of storytelling. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with a massive book (thank goodness!), learning to write with the sort of sharp, beautiful clarity and impact of a short story is incredibly useful.
So, I am experimenting with short stories, particularly now when (in the camp world) my schedule is so busy!
And I recently sold a short story to Splickety Magazine for their Medieval Mayhem issue that only just released today. It was my first experiment with historical fiction – although the medieval side of things kept it much closer to the fantasy settings where I feel so at home – and is the tale of a repentant crusader who is wracked with guilt over the bloodshed at Constantinople.
Isn’t that a cool cover? Care to read the stories within?
So there you have it, an update to those of you in the writing world from me in the camp world, and now I would love to hear an update from you all too! What have you been reading lately, where are you wandering, and for those of you who are fellow writers, what have you been writing?