Past week’s been alright. Started the first class of my MFA program, and it’s gone well. My goal last week was to get used to returning to classes, so that’s been my main focus. Overall, it’s an odd feeling having homework once again. Not unpleasant, but a little strange.
Most of my independent reading over the last week has been the comic Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler. I’ve recently been listening to the Writing Excuses podcast while doing real-work or as background noise, and the occasional mention of Tayler’s comedic space opera caught my interest. It feels a lot like Star Trek meets Warhammer 40,000 meets poop jokes.
(Also, if you’re interested in writing or doing the ‘trying to be a writer’ thing like I am, I highly recommend Writing Excuses. It might just be that I’m a complete fanboy over Brandon Sanderson’s work, but I’ve really enjoyed their show. It manages to be both funny and informative!)
Additionally, I ended up reading A Moveable Feast by Hemingway for class. It’s about his experience being a poor young writer in Paris during the 1920’s. I’ve not read anything else by Hemingway, but I’ve found the memoir to be strange and lovely.
And last, I started reading The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams. Well, re-reading, technically. I recall checking out and reading the series way back in high school and enjoying it, but honestly can’t remember much at all about the story. I’m only 50 or so pages in, but at least I can claim I’ve been reading something other than classwork and comics which make me giggle.
As I had anticipated, I didn’t get a lot of writing done last week. Schoolwork, yes (which has mostly been discussion posts analyzing film or text), but my own work, not so much.
Rule has sat dormant, but I started dabbling on a new short story. I’m currently calling it “An Early Harvest” and finding it quite pleasant to write. It’s set in the same storyworld as “How the Thrun Earned His Wings” and Jiharel (“Under the Stars”).
We need a short work for my current class (under 15 pages) to practice workshopping, and “Thrun” comes out to about 20, so I needed to brew up a new story idea. I stumbled upon and grasped this image or idea of a type of fruit which flowers for the whole of summer. When the first frost comes, the flower curls and hardens into a clear-blue, sweet, crisp fruit.
I’m currently calling it a krystalmiere, but that name will likely change.
So I had this vivid, tiny image, and I needed to find a story which would involve it. I’m not yet sure where the story leads (I’ve discovery-written about 500 words of it). Thus far, it’s been the memory or retelling of an adult’s experience being a young, orphaned boy and sent away into the countryside to live with a distant relative.
My image is somewhere between Victorian propriety and a plantation from the American South, in hills near a mountain chain. The story definitely drew some inspiration from the framing narrative of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe of the children being sent out into the countryside during the Blitz.
I’m enjoying the creative process as a break from revision.
Last Week: Focus on classwork, read and write as I can. Generally accomplished.
This Week: More of the same, to be honest. Classwork needs to be a priority, and I’ll fit in work on “An Early Harvest” when I can. Hypothetically I should read as much of The Dragonbone Chair as I can around schoolwork, but in practice I know I’ll be reading more of Schlock Mercenary.