A new tack

Gosh, it’s been over half a year since I last considered my writing strategies. Things change, things stay the same. But.

It’s so useful to me to have this personal blog where I can clock the direction that I’m going, might go, have gone. So I can see where I’ve come from, and where things might twirl around to.

Over those six months, however, we’ve sold our home in the North Pennines, and moved to our new permanent home in the village of New Galloway. That’s been a huge investment of time, emotional and physical energy, but we’re settling in very nicely now. My new permanent writing place is a tiny study area upstairs with two large monitors for lots of screen territory to spread out in.

Over that time, too, I’ve been delighted to have had some success on the poetry front. Continuing publication with VisualVerse.org and now Wildfire-Words.com, as listed in my Writing Archive here, has given me confidence to consolidate my efforts from over the past four years of creative writing exercises into my own personal, curated archive of poems, which I shall hope to print, for family and very close friends, by autumn time. It’s something that feels like a lovely duty, something I must do, wrapping my thoughts and feelings up in poems that fit comfortably in a slim volume. So that’s one new thing, really, as I follow my nose on the trail of positive affirmation.

My adventures in science fiction, however, feel like they’re drawing to a close. I’ve had a lovely time learning some better craft with one of the Orbit writing groups at the British Science Fiction Association, and I mean to finesse the third volume of the trilogy (originally Daughters in Eden) into a better product called Freeing Eden, and self-publish as a replacement for the conclusion of that effort. That will be good to do, but I have one further novel up my sleeve.

My emerging romantic historical fiction is growing apace. Aiming toward another foray into agency land, or failing that again, a more disciplined approach to promotions and marketing, perhaps as an author member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI), when I’m happy with the finished effort. Just now, the writing beckons, and that must be a good thing. I’m so excited about the development of the ideas in this book, which I’m hoping might have a broader appeal than the highly restricted sci-fi (hard) genre I’ve been banging my head against the wall to break into.

Because what I’m finding, as I chat with acquaintances and colleagues in writing groups, is that there’s real interest in the ideas and themes I’m developing in this romantic historical fiction, an interest that I hadn’t seen when I tried to describe my sci-fi ideas. So if I can create a real character progression, concentrating on the protagonist who is clearly identified, and with whom I hope the reader will empathise, so that the eventual novel does sing, then I’ll be a happy writer.

Meanwhile, the writing group challenges and weekly or monthly tasks are energising too, and help to keep me on my writing toes. And my regular forays into joy, on the RoadsToJoy.blog, are good emotional anchors. I might consolidate these blog entries into a set of tangible volumes too, when and if our family cashflow recovers from the big set of moves.

Finally, I’m also aiming to finish, this year and into the first months of next, the archive of our local philanthropic group, the Allendale Lions Club, during its first 20 years of existence. That’s a kind of journeyman writer’s job, developing with little fanfare and a lot of perseverance, for minimal reward in the end. Good discipline, I guess.

And so that’s where I’ve tacked to, as I sit here in the middle of May and think about where I’ve come from, and where I’m going, over the next year.

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (AllendaleDiary.org), community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

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