Yesterday was a bad day—personally, nationally, internationally—and the opinions, the frustrations, the anger built until, about 9PM, the dreaded pall of futility and depression began to creep upon me. How to battle not only the news of terrible events, but the rash and unwise reactions that predominated the blogosphere? After so many years, after so many trials, have we learned nothing?
I tried to shake it and turned back to my work prepping The Year the Cloud Fell for re-release. Editing—even a quick review edit like I’m giving these books—may seem like an odd method for lifting one’s mood, but it paid off, for out of the blackness of my mood, there came a warm and friendly light.
I came across a paragraph in FC:I, and suddenly I was engulfed by the memory of writing it. It’s not often that I remember actually writing a specific paragraph, but this one was special. I don’t remember the day or the hour or even where I was, but I remember the feeling I had when I wrote it.
This paragraph is special. This paragraph, early in FC:I, was not part of the first draft. This paragraph was written after FC:I had been sold and I had signed a contract for it and for an as-yet-unwritten FC:II.
When I wrote this paragraph, I could see it all laid out, the entire series laid out in front of me. This paragraph set up the epilogue that I would write at the very end of the very last book—an epilogue that I finally wrote a month ago. And when I read this paragraph, I felt again all the excitement, all the hope, all the innocent bravado that you only have after that first big sale, before you really know anything about the business.
But moreover, I remembered why I write, and why I keep writing, even after bitter disappointments. To tell stories, to weave complexity out of words, to build worlds in the mind that are so real that you dream of them. To lay down clues in plain sight, gems for the reader to find if she wishes to go back in search of them. Not to hammer out prose, but to paint it, one color at a time, layering each upon the next. To thrill, to move, to touch, to excite. To connect.