I’m leaving later this week for an undisclosed location, the identity of which you’ll have to guess from the picture posted above. Before doing so, however, I wanted to post an update about what I’ve been up to since I finished publishing Connected online in June. While I’m not sure very many people are still lurking around here or checking in periodically, I figured those of you who are would appreciate hearing about my plans for the immediate future.
On the positive side, I had a terrific summer and hope yours was equally rewarding. While spending some time out west in June and visiting the Delaware beaches in August, the main thing I accomplished was sticking to a pretty intense workout routine that helped get me back into shape. I’m looking and feeling hot again so be sure to get your marriage (or other) proposals in promptly 🙂 I also did a little renovating, both here and over at The Annex, and I hope you enjoy the new look of the place.
What I didn’t do the last couple of months was to spend very much time writing. But now that the cooler weather has arrived, I’ve managed to get myself back in the groove and I’m reasonably satisfied with the progress I’ve been making lately.
Currently, I’m working on two stories. One is a very short story that’s pretty close to being finished and I may post it later this year, perhaps beginning right after Thanksgiving if everything goes fine. It’s about the spirit of Christmas and the idea for the story goes back to the last holiday season when I was looking around trying to find some gifts to share with you. I didn’t really have time to work on it back then. However, the idea interested me and now I do have a draft in hand. I need to look at it again and make some changes because it may be be a little boring in places. Once I’ve done that, I’ll have to decide whether it’s good enough to share with you.
I don’t know that anything I ever write will be as good as Connected. But I enjoy writing when I can find the time and I don’t mind sharing freely with others. On the other hand, I don’t want to embarrass myself either with a story that isn’t very good. Like I said, it’s a pretty short story, currently just six chapters. I don’t want to say more than that right now because it would involve giving away too much.
Suffice it to say it was written as kind of a lark just to see what it would be like to do something like that. Whether it works is harder to say. In any event, I’ll let you know around the beginning of November if I plan to go ahead and publish it online.
The other story I’m working is a much bigger one, a story that’s more in the grand style of Connected. At the moment, it focuses mostly on one main character and two topics that one reader has already told me bore him to death: sex and sports! It doesn’t really have a big topic like war lurking behind it. It’s more an attempt to deal with something I think a lot of people go through, trying to balance their personal and professional lives and the special difficulties and challenges involved in doing that when one is gay and facing a hostile work environment.
That may sound kind of boring, but I’m not finding that to be the case and the story does feature a character we’ve already met, a young boy (now grown a bit older) that Tommy and Andy ran into on the boardwalk down at Rehoboth Beach. And now he’s trying to live the all American dream and finding it isn’t as easy as everyone seems to think.
Does he still have his teddy bear? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out 🙂
This project is not nearly as far along as the other one and whether I’ll stick with it remains to be seen. But it’s been coming together pretty good so far and I’m happy with what I’ve managed to put down on paper. I have portions of Parts I and III done, and quite a bit of Part II. But this trip I’m taking will definitely slow my momentum, especially since I’ll have to turn my attention back to the short story I mentioned above upon my return. But both the character and the story interest me, at least at the moment, so hopefully I’ll get back to it at some point in the not too distant future.
It does poses a challenge, however. As I’ve mentioned before, Connected went through multiple drafts over a period of several years. There were times when I set the whole thing aside for months or longer and even a couple of times when I abandoned the story. To give you some idea how things changed along the way, Nolan and Josh didn’t even make an appearance in the story as characters until a couple of months before I began publishing it online. That should tell you a lot about how much a story can change over time when you try not to rush things and do them right.
Before, when I was just writing just for myself, that wasn’t a problem. I was the only person I needed to satisfy and I could afford to take my time in an effort to get it right. But that approach probably won’t work as well any more. It’s hard to keep readers dangling for a couple of years waiting for a new story.
That’s led me to think about changing my approach to this story. Instead of trying to have the whole thing pretty much written before posting it online, I’m thinking more in terms of publishing it as several smaller stories rather than one large one.
The initial story would introduce the main character and carry his story forward to a certain point. But the story itself wouldn’t be finished. I would continue it in one or more sequels. For a storyteller, the question is whether you can maintain interest in a story over time. At the moment, with this story, I think that I probably could because it features some characters that I like very much. But how quickly I can get any parts of the story finished is hard to say since I’m not writing it in a strictly chronological order at the moment.
I doubt I could finish the first couple of parts before next spring at the earliest, especially since I am going to have spend time trying to get the short story I mentioned above in shape if I’m going to put it online in November or December. To make a long story short, I wanted you to know that I’m working on some things.
Like I said, I’m heading off later this week and will be away until just before Halloween. But I do need to get back here because I’ll be participating in AIDS Walk at the end of the month. Now there’s a worthy cause and if you want to help out you can go here or here to contribute. Or, alternatively, I would encourage your support for some of the groups and organizations that try to help help homeless boys and girls, especially homeless LGBT youth.
That’s it for now. If you have questions or comments, feel free to drop me a note or to post a comment. I’ll get back to you (or publish your comments) once I get back if I don’t get to them before I leave. In the meantime, I hope you’re being good … or as good as you can be 🙂
If I forget, be sure to have a happy Halloween and let your true inner self run free.