Alas, I am very, very busy. I was busy last week working on edits for Queen of None, but then I ended up in the middle of another, unexpected project, that is going to take up most of my time for the next few days. And my “most of my time” I really mean every waking moment that I’m not chasing around my two-year-old (which really isn’t as much time as it seems). A little cryptic, but a girl is allowed a little mystery, right?

So, that means no Alderpod for right now, unfortunately, and few posts here and at Writing Across Worlds. But I’m putting together something special for next week as soon as I get everything together and sorted out. So hopefully that will make up for the delay!

I am on the search for a job.

I want to be posting something meaty, meaningful, and moving (ahh, alliteration) but I am finding that rather difficult at the moment, swamped as I am with letters of intent and resumes.

The good news is that the NaNoWriMo project has a name: Pilgrim of the Sky, after Wordsworth’s “To a Skylark”–one of my favorite poems. Wordsworth is often forgotten for his contribution to the Romantic poetry movement on account that he was, well, hardly as much of a personality as Coleridge and Byron, nor nearly as much of a heartthrob as Shelley and Keats. But, all aside, Wordsworth and Keats are tied neck and neck for me, as far as poems that make my heart and soul sing.

At any rate, Pilgrim of the Sky is a departure from a clear fantasy/steampunk world, and a trip into sci-fi/alternatite history/Neo-Victorian. It has steampunk elements, but leans much more heavily on actual fact, historical figures and events, and technology than The Aldersgate. In fact, it begins in the present day, in New England; or, more precisely, in Amherst, MA at the University of Massachusetts, where I spent the first 20 years of my life. Write what you know and all that. Both of my grandparents taught as said university, and I attended it for a year before running away to Baltimore. There’s something odd about that part of the world that you can’t quite put your finger on… but hey, it’s no coincidence that Lovecraft wrote about New England, let’s just say.

Things that are different? It’s a standalone book. It’s also a single point of view, that of Maddie Angler. There are elements of horror in it, elements of crime and mystery, and even elements of romance. But then there’s the whole alternate universes/mathematical stuff, that just makes it a bit odd. Even for me.

Come NaNoWriMo, I’m going to put up a page here where I’ll be updating, as well as posting progress, etc. I’m excited, admittedly, to be going in this new direction; I think the AGC will do well with a months’ worth of hibernation.

Other than that, I wrote a short story in my brain while on our trip this weekend. It has to do with herons. That’s about all I have for you at this point.

Anyway, back to the grind.

Growing up sucks. Though there’s a great many things I don’t want back from my childhood (scrunchies, side-ponytails, school lunches, windshield wiper glasses), there are some compromises I’ve made since then I wish could have gone down a little differently.

When you’re a kid, you really, truly believe you’re special. Yes, I know this sounds completely hokey. But I remember very vividly, sometime about the age of eight or so, thinking to myself: “I am special.” And Special had none of the connotation you might be thinking (or are pretending you aren’t thinking… yeah, I bet she’s special..). Special was akin to magic. Purposeful. Important. Worthwhile. Unique!

Then, you grow up. You go to Junior High and are trampled in the halls. Your classmates start taking drugs, and you get the nagging feeling that… I’m not special. I’m downright odd. I don’t fit in! This is terrible! What am I doing here?! Someone LET ME OUT!

Uh, I mean. That’s normal, right?

Well, before the horror of high school, I held on to that feeling of specialness. I reveled it in, and it made me happy. Not haughty, just… well, a bit like no matter where I went, the sun was shining, yeah?

When you grow up, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed by everything from gas prices to politics to the human condition to the fact that your neighbor brings their dog all the way to the poop hut and then lets the dog crap on the ground literally inches away from an appropriate dumping spot AND plastic bags!

And this is not good for the creative process. Like today. I can’t tell you what bee is in my bonnet, but it’s enough that I opened up Scrivener, looked at the pages, and just wanted to bash my head on the keyboard. 14 chapters of an original 30 edited, and I’m still nowhere near satisfied. If it’s not good enough for me, will it be good enough for anyone? Am I being too hard on myself?

I think this is a little more angsty sounding than I initially intended it to be. But the writing process, as any writer knows, is work. It’s even more work, when you have to squeeze it in every chance you get. And who knows if the muse will be with you? My muse, whom I lovingly named Aelfric in college (he’s an Anglo-Saxon, for some odd reason) is fickle and, I suspect, a drunk.

That said, one should never give up. I like to visit George R. R. Martin’s not-a-blog on occasion because, well, he’s successful, but he still gets frustrated.

Maybe we’re still special, just… not the way we once imagined.