In 2002 I wrote a novel called The Luminous Music of Trees, a YA fantasy in a rural, agricultural, low-tech society, that has this kind of fairies-or-maybe-elves?-type creatures in it—in other words, a book that is totally different from the stuff I write now which tends to be urban, contemporary, and for adults. But I I still think fondly of Trees, when I think of it at all, and so, while I am waiting for my first readers to get back to me on Lucidity Effect, I decided to reread this old, trunked novel to see if it could, possibly, be upgraded to match current quality standards.
It’s SO WEIRD. Simultaneously I feel 1) I am reading something someone else wrote, and 2) I am intimately familiar with the rhythm of every sentence, even though I don’t consciously remember any of them. Seriously, I wrote this thing before I had babies, before I was married, way before the yurt, back when I worked for a living and had leisure time to do such things as graduate school. In other words, when I was a completely different person.
It shows. There is an innocence in these pages I haven’t felt in years—and didn’t know that I was feeling at the time. There are cliches and tropes I didn’t realize I was tapping into. There are pieces of a worldview I don’t hold anymore. The characters are more…thin…than what I would write now—based on less experience, I guess. Will I feel that way in a decade, two decades, looking back on what I write now?
Content aside, even the way I wrote that book is totally different. Which is to say that I wrote it entirely by the seat of my pants, just opening the file—holy shit it was written before Scrivener!! On Ubuntu!—and tuning it to see what would happen next. Like watching a favorite show…in my head. Which makes me realize how little craft I had back then. I was writing entirely on gut instinct.
Actually, the book is surprisingly coherent for having sprouted free-form out of my head sans even a scrap of planning. I’m intrigued by the possibility of trying to resurrect it. I’m considering it. There are some good scenes in here, and the ending is cool and surprising.
On the other hand, it isn’t something I would be interested in reading now, really. No offense, book, but you just aren’t my chosen subject matter at the moment. For example, it’s about teen-agers. And farmers. And can a book with no sex scenes really hold my attention? Long enough to rewrite it? If I don’t feel like reading it, there is no way I’m going to have the drive needed to rewrite it….
It’s a thinker. We’ll see whether I can finish reading it or not. I guess if I find I don’t really want to, that will answer that.
In other news, there is a short interview I gave up at fellow writer’s Rick Novy’s blog here. In it I am so charming I just can’t even stand myself. Seriously. You should go check it out. And take a gander at Rick’s cool steampunk book Fishpunk. I want that hat! As long as it doesn’t smell.
And, to finish up, Toby Streams the Universe will be FREE FREE FREE tomorrow and Thursday, so it’s a good time to get a copy. Go go go!