What to Write This Summer

I had no idea how I was going to spend my summer at the keyboard. I knew there would be a story for the third ReDeus anthology but beyond that, I was uncertain. Had After Earth succeeded, there was a possibility Mike, Peter, and I would be quickly pressed back into service. Or a pitch I had sent out might generate work. Or something out of the blue would turn up.

Instead, the answer appears to be None of the Above, which is not the first time I find myself with nothing on the books.

Having now drafted my story, and letting it sit for a day or two before polishing, I look out into the summer months with lots of possibilities. If I am left to my own devices, my instinct says it’s time for my first Crazy 8 Press novel. While I’ve contributed to several releases and have the one short out there, I really should have a book of my own.

There are three possibilities and am not yet certain which one will bubble up to the top.

First, there’s the Young Adult idea I almost did for Actionopolis but when we couldn’t come to terms, they allowed me to keep everything but the title. I’ve got an outline and maybe a third of it written, having received feedback from an actual young adult. It’s been sitting quietly waiting for a few years.

Then there’s the Urban Fantasy that doesn’t involve vampires. Again, there’s an outline of sorts, some character sketches, and I have a bunch of research already completed. It has been suggested I look at James Blish’s Black Easter and Sandman Slim to see similar works, so that will require some more attention.

I wrote a Damon Runyeon-esque story for Mob Magic and always intended to go back and revisit the world and lead character. I envision a series of short stories that could then be collected but the stories themselves have never quite suggested themselves so maybe I just need inspiration.

It’s sort of neat to have these options and finally the time to write for myself. On the other hand, I also know that without a contract and hard deadline, I will procrastinate, poke at the story and let other things distract me. The summer calendar is already filling up with family obligations and social plans so I will need to be more self-disciplined than usual in order to make the most of the time.

Then there’s the specter of a teaching job. This is the month I was told that principals will be calling prospective hires for interviews. Should I actually land a fulltime post the summer will dramatically shift to preparing for that crucial first year. That in itself may be the sort of time lock I need.

Possibilities abound and I like having options but I dislike the uncertainty that comes with it.

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