Time to return to the weird. Rogue Blitz has been completed, thanks to some excellent feedback from my trusted readers (A big gold star sticker to Aksel, especially). Some of the oversights in my edit were embarrassing, but we got there. With that story folded into a tidy email and posted off to Raez publishing, I can muse on my own creations again.
In October last year, I wrote a large portion of a story while on a plane. The first draft came back to Perth with me and disappeared beneath the work for Monstrous and Rogue Blitz. In the last fortnight, I fished it out and got stuck in.
The tale remains nameless, but it’s one I’m genuinely invested in. If I were a needy pop star, I would say the work is a personal statement, I have been brave and exposed my inner workings, I am very naked on this album…but who would talk like that <ahem>. What I probably want to express in this story is a feeling of getting older, desperation against the rat race, a search for value, fatherhood, and a recognition that some simple things can be heart-warming.
Please do not misunderstand my intentions, it’s not self-help drivel. This month has been overwhelming with the number of writers I’ve seen plugging miserable anecdotes about personal struggles. Such articles are usually accompanied by a photograph of the author looking mellow, bathed in sunlight, a knowing smile on their lips, arms folded, ‘…I’ve been through so much. Let me share.’
Let’s play. Let’s pretend. Let’s walk somewhere magical…
As it is now, the ending to my newest story makes me well up. When my wife read it, she said, stony-faced, ‘It’s you.’ Bloody hell, she was supposed to be in tears. Perhaps what I feel when I write this story is not yet on the page. Perhaps, it never will be. That is the struggle to become skillful in the art. Evoke the correct emotion, at precisely the right time, and move your audience.
My aspirations for this story – let’s call it, ‘The French Singer’ for now – is that it will be a story I can push down more commercial avenues than those available to my current fiction. I hope it may sneak into some competitions disguised as self-actualising shite, but then surprise a few judges with a touch of magic.
…high aspirations are back on the table it would appear.