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Thursday, June 11, 2015
In a Writing Funk - and a Question That Needs Answering
I've been working for some time now on writing the sequel to the series The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head. Anyone who has read the entire series (and unfortunately that isn't very many people -- you all don't know what you're missing) knows that while a number of things are satisfactorily resolved by the end of v. 6, the Quest for the Golden Fungus isn't finished and there are a great many loose ends flapping around. I feel I owe it to my readers to write the remainder of the Quest and tie everything up.
My problem is, I've written probably half of it and still have no inspiration for that book. It's like I wrote myself out with v. 6 and when I lost some key characters, the remaining characters went flat. I can't even get interested in Is'a'pai'a, who was such a well-developed and likable character throughout the original series. Once Is'a'pai'a became the main Champion, it just turned blah. And I miss Di'fa'kro'mi's voice. I think I figured out a decent POV character, but it just isn't the same.
I also have difficulty with the Medea character. Medea really was pretty unsavory in the myths. Here is a quotation from Wikipedia concerning what happens when Jason and Medea return to Iolcus to confront Pelias:
"While Jason searched for the Golden Fleece, Hera, who was still angry at Pelias, conspired to make Jason fall in love with Medea, who Hera hoped would kill Pelias. When Jason and Medea returned to Iolcus, Pelias still refused to give up his throne. [According to Robert Graves, Pelias has killed Jason's mother and father also.] So Medea conspired to have Pelias' own daughters kill him. She told them she could turn an old ram into a young ram by cutting up the old ram and boiling it in magic herbs. During her demonstration, a live, young ram jumped out of the pot. Excited, the girls cut their father into pieces and threw him into a pot. Having killed Pelias, Jason and Medea fled to Corinth."
It's hard to see ending the book with an adaptation of that. My Medea character may be devious, but I can't see Is'a'pai'a being duped into allowing something like that to happen. In The Wood Where the Two Moons Shine, Is'a'pai'a had sworn to allow Wei'thel'a'han (the Pelias character) to live if the Golden Fungus is brought back and Pelias swore to leave the fortress's Mother in peace. But yet if I concoct a "they all lived happily afterward" ending, it seems too facile and certainly doesn't pay homage to the myth.
However that may be ...
I hit my peak of writing between 2000 and 2010. I went from the end of the Ki'shto'ba series to The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, then got bogged down in that humongously long piece, and finally threw in the towel and started self-publishing in 2011. I really haven't written anything new since, because I had a big backlog of material. For two or three years I was enthusiastic about the promotion part of things, but now I'm fed up. It doesn't seem to matter what I do -- very few people wants to read my books, so what's the point of fussing with everything?
You may say all this is the result of chemotherapy and that may be part of it. My arthritis has also gotten worse, and the chemo and enforced inactivity seems to have affected my muscle endurance, so I haven't yet gotten to where I can even take walks the way I used to enjoy doing. I've been striving for a couple of blocks a day, but that's about as much as I can manage. Of course, I don't drive any longer, so I can't go anywhere without transportation. If, for example, I wanted to arrange to visit my college library and maybe take some of my books to give to them for their collection, I would have to go in a cab or else hire an aide to drive me. And I can't lug armloads of books any more. I lugged plenty in my life as a librarian, I can tell you! So I have a lot of problems that keep me from doing promotional activities like book signings or attending conventions (I never travel). I keep marketing on social media, over and over to the same people. How do I find new people and get them interested? My books really deserve to be read!
Would you like to see a tragic ending to the series?