A while back I gave you an overview of my writing plan and called it the Magician’s Spyglass. My magic, of course, is story-telling, and the spyglass is a metaphor for looking at the long view ahead. But I have also recently been thinking about the purpose of my writing and where I need to go in sailing my fictional ship with pink sails.
Here is where I’ve been, the view over the aft rail. I have my novel Snow Babies contractually obligated with PDMI Publishing to be published (though the time in the future when it sees print seems to be drifting farther and farther forward.) The novel Superchicken is finished, and the publisher accepted submission, but they have not yet made a decision on its possible publication. The Bicycle-Wheel Genius is completed and being seriously edited by me. The Magical Miss Morgan is completed, edited, and about to be submitted to the YA novel-writing contest that I last participated in with Snow Babies. I am currently writing two new novels, Stardusters and Lizard Men, a science fiction novel about planetary destruction and renewal, as well as using the energy and creativity of youth as a natural resource. And When the Captain Came Calling, a novel about the origins of the Norwall Pirates, that boys’ club of liars that forms the center of most of my Norwall books. So, there is that. I am still sailing straight ahead into stormy seas with my writing. But I am not wearing an eye-patch over both eyes. I am looking at the rough seas and squalling storm clouds dead ahead.
So, as Prognosticator, I must gage the winds, evaluate the white-caps, and take a sounding or two. I have these problems to overcome. I am limited in funding because of poor health, mounting medical expenses, a large tax burden, and a steady retirement income that may be threatened by a Texas Republican trend to cut everything out of public schools, even teacher pensions. This State will never ask billionaires and oilmen to foot their fair share of the bills. They would much rather take away education money because, after all, you need to keep the masses stupid if you are going to continue to farm them like hogs and cattle for every dollar you can squeeze out of them. Stupid people vote Republican, and so are the cherished commodity that Texan Empires are built upon.
The environment is changing for the worse. With COPD and severe allergies brought on by the exposure to farm chemicals in my teen years, I have trouble breathing fresh Texas air (made up of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, butane, and other by-products of fracking and refining). I also have experienced seven Dallas-area earthquakes in the last two years that directly result from fracking in the oil shale beneath our feet. Soon our drinking water should be flammable, judging by the Pennsylvania experience. Global warming has given us record heat-waves and drought in the last decade, though all the officials in this State are insisting it is all in my head. I was imagining the heat two summers ago when we had 99 days of temperatures over 100 in a row. So there is the reason my Stardusters novel is about environmental Armageddon.
The likelihood that I am ever going to make more money writing and drawing than I spend on the endeavor is increasingly small as the publishing industry continues to change and continues to benefit the booksellers like Amazon more and individual content creators less. I will need to write a post or two on that before one of my six incurable diseases kills me.
I must continue to write about artists and writers that influence and engage me. That is lifeblood to me, a commodity that I may soon be short of; I need to write about how I create the stories that I am writing. I also need to chronicle the life I have lived as a teacher and an educator, because the valuable lessons I have learned as a teacher and a mentor to the young will all be lost if I do not do everything I can to pass them on. That is the primary reason that my teacher-story, The Magical Miss Morgan, now exists. These are all things that I am now predicting I must write about. The water is churning and navigation is becoming more difficult… so onward we sail until I can shout, “Land Ho!”