Blast from the Past

Well, while The Baby is napping, and C’s off feeding a friend’s cats and picking up his brother’s dog, I thought I’d try to pop up a quick entry. I’m working on finishing up my grant report for the Teacher Creativity Grant that led to the creation of this blog (fellow educators, GO APPLY!) and will post that shortly. I’ve also been doing some literary archaeology and re-reading the big, sprawling, terrifying novel draft that I was working on with a friend for several years (but no updates since… yikes, January 2015!). 

It’s interesting to go back, because a lot of it is a lot better than I remembered! (And a lot of it is worse…) I just really missed the characters and that world, and wanted to go visit them. Then the inimitable Janet Reid did a post about revision recently, and I decided I should maybe peek back at that stuff.

It’s really interesting how what you write really reflects your state of mind, and how you’re really a new person time traveling when you come back to it to see what you used to believe. One of the things that stuck out to me is that there’s a lot of violence in what we wrote –it’s probably shaping up to be romantic suspense, so that makes sense–but thanks to recent events like the mass shooting in Orlando, present-day-me was a little uncomfortable reading back through the heavily-armed-kidnappers-attack-gala scene, or the main characters’ obsessions with firearms (one is ex-military/from an FBI family and the other is in the mob, so it’s not that it doesn’t make sense for those characters, just…).

It reminded me a bit of how clearly what was happening in the US during the Abu Ghirab scandal was bleeding into Tamora Pierce‘s writing when she wrote some of the Beka Cooper books (which Pierce addresses in the foreword to Bloodhound, I’m pretty sure). It’s an interesting shift in tone for her world, too–sad things happen in Tortall, but there’s some pretty bleak and hopeless stuff that pops up during the Provost’s Dog series.

At any rate, if I ever do revise that old novel–dependent on my partner’s schedule and interest, not to mention my own ability to commit to taking a figurative machete through 140,000 words but no climax or resolution, yikes–it’ll be interesting to see how New Me puts in the zeitgeist of 2016.

An antagonist with a horrible comb-over, perhaps?

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