Seriously, does anything warm your winter more than a visit to a tropical world of Steampunk adventure? I submit there is not!
I hope you're enjoying the latest tale. Going through the creative process with this one is proving to be a ton of fun for me too. This one's been sitting in the process stages for a good three or four years, maybe more.
It was about five or more years ago that I first tried diving into the steampunk world. Funny thing, I'm not really an enthusiast for the genre. I don't read much of it, though there are some really wonderful stories out there from such people as Cherie Priest and and Scott Westerfeld. What can I say? Something sparked and the kid in me took over. I can't draw, but I wish I could, so I just started writing things. A lot of it came fast and furious and it was a blast.
My creative process is a little wild and sometimes tough to navigate. Often my pen can't keep up with my brain. I'm constantly brianstorming and notetaking and when I get a cool idea, I can't think straight until its done and out there. The kicker is, a lot of the time, these ideas overlap in various points in the process. Fans of my work know this maddening experience. Good ol' Hondo will publish a story, have you enter a world, then suddenly shift gears and bring you something completely new and different. You're victims of the high tides of my creativity, then the waves hit the beach.
So when I first dove into the Gloria Star (formerly the Mullen) adventures, I was able to crank out a solid four or five stories before my attention wavered. Also, life kind of kicked in and I was unable to keep my promise to get this story out there as intended. I knew it was good and I kept that notebook handy. A couple summers ago, I sat in my basement and cranked out the draft that finsihed the narrative arc. I can't tell you how much fun that was.
Right now I'm having a lot of fun rediscovering this story. There's stuff I forgot about and it's been a blast seeing this movie in my head all over again. The trick is making sure I fit it into the grand narrative arc of the adventures which I just retooled. One of the reasons I think the process stalled is because the narrative was wandering. I had tried to fit in some characters that I thought were cool, but really had watered down the strength of the ensemble. I got locked into a need to tell the stories chronologically, which put something of a leash on the creativity. "Palace of the Monkey Goddess" fell later in the narrative, which was hung up on "Wolves of Edinburgh". The latter story was, I thought, the linchpin where I could bring the narrative into focus. But the story just wasn't clicking.
So I needed to screw the courage to abandon the logical thing of a writer and just let the art and the joy guide me. "Palace of the Monkey Goddess" screamed to be finished. As did "Revenge of the Squid Queen", which actually takes place before this story. But so what?
So I'll make you a deal. I'll crank out the best stories I can in whatever order they call to me. You read them and tell me if you love them or hate them and trust that the narrative will unfold for you. Sound like a plan?
But enough of this. There's adventure for you to read.