What to Write This Summer

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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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