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My son Josh texted a couple of days ago (this is how parents communicate with their children in 2012) with a message that, I have to admit, made me chuckle. "I literally just thought of what I should have done for senior project," he wrote. This after months of writing, planning, shooting, agonizing, post-production and a great deal of fundraising (some from very generous readers of this blog) to make SCAVENGERS, the short film he has completed and will premiere at the Westphal College senior show at Drexel University next weekend.
But the fact is, when I read that text, I had to envy Josh just a little.
For the first time in a long time, I'm not actively writing any fiction just at the moment. This won't last long, because my unparalleled editor will no doubt be sending me an edit letter on the fourth Haunted Guesthouse book shortly (right, Shannon?), and after that comes the fifth Haunted Guesthouse book. And I have a few other ideas that are percolating.
Still, after writing, in close succession, the aforementioned fourth series book, a novel completely out of my comfort zone (which doubles as the capstone project for my master's degree, that I'll be presenting for evaluation TOMORROW), then the shorter e-Special Haunted Guesthouse story A WILD GHOST CHASE, coming in December, then a proposal for yet another series (which I officially finished late last week), I now have no projects on the front burner.
Wow. That feels weird.
I use the time when I'm trying to fall asleep for my serious plotting. You can't actually write anything in a dark room with another person sleeping next to you (at least I can't), so phrasing and choice of words is not a consideration. This is the time I figure out where things are going, up to a point--a lot happens during the writing itself, so I like to leave myself at least a little open.
Mostly, I like to think about stories when I'm lying in bed because it keeps my mind off stuff I really shouldn't be thinking about. I distract myself because dark thoughts come in the night, and who needs those?
So now, with no fiction to misdirect my lunatic mind, I'm thinking about a screenplay I wrote back in those days when dinosaurs ruled the earth, and how to revise it; I'm considering second book ideas for series that haven't sold yet, and I'm considering other people's books (right now, I'm reading Chris Grabenstein's latest terrific John Ceepak book FUN HOUSE).
And I envy my son a little bit. He has an idea to work on that he can turn into something when he has the time after graduation (June 16).
Sleep well, Josh.
P.S. A quick word to our American readers: Saying "Happy Memorial Day" seems a little odd; this is after all a day set aside to honor those who did not return from their service defending our country. But maybe we should take a moment during the barbecue, the ballgame or the day at the beach to consider that without them, it's highly possible none of those things would be possible, or nearly as taken for granted as they are today. Thank you, all who serve and have served.