The Book of Resurrection, Eastern Promises, Production Notes, Desolation, and an autobiography. In the year since finishing my third novel, Drawful the Awful, these are the various projects I’ve undertaken. Even if I wasn’t entirely sure of them going the distance, I tried to always have a novel in the works in addition to my writing on this blog.
What was missing from all of them was a spark of belief I knew I needed. In order to carry a project past just rough draft to dedicate myself to editing and rewriting. None of these had the right hook in my heart. Not like Beneath the Wood, Five Talents, or Drawful the Awful did.
I’m glad I kept writing in addition to this site, because long form writing takes different tools and sensibilities I didn’t want going rusty, and seeing what worked and didn’t work with those half dozen projects has inevitably helped.
The worry that’s bound to creep up after a slog of projects that don’t pan out is, of course: “What if I’m done?” I’ve faced similar worries at different times in my life:
When I’ve been unemployed: “what if I never find a job?”
When I’ve been dumped: “what if I never meet anyone I click with?”
Those are natural anxieties, and I’ve found success in all areas comes when you’re busy building rather than being fixated on failure.
I’ve found a job both times I’ve been unwillingly unemployed in my life. I’ve always found another date. This weekend, I found the next novel I want to write. In telling the idea to a handful of close friends, most remarked that they haven’t seen me this excited about a project since Drawful. I finally have a project I don’t just want to write, it’s a project I feel I need to write, and thanks to the practice I never stopped giving myself: I feel ready to write it.
The Spectacular Seraphim versus The Fame Monster follows Sienna Shamma, who retired from being an L.A. superhero because of an exploitative and emotionally abusive ex, Maddie Gordon. Months later though, a demon that has always possessed Maddie that was feeding off the glut of attention Maddie leeched from Sienna’s heroics is now going through withdrawals and is transforming Maddie into an increasingly terrifying and violent monster terrorizing Los Angeles. Sienna must resume her role as the city’s hero, but can she after her prior experiences in the spotlight, especially when she finds out the monster is one she dated last year?
There’s a lot of little elements of my past year in this. Inspiration from friends, real life, movies, and so much more. I want to thank each and every person for every bit of it because I’m going to do my best to weave all those strands of emotion and experience into something wonderful.
If God said, ‘Rumi pay homage to everything that has helped you enter my arms,’ there would not be one experience of my life, not one thought, not one feeling, nor any act, I would not bow to.
This is the story I want to tell. This is the story I need to tell.
‘I’ve found my line– from now on this comes first. This is my immediate duty- without this I am nothing.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald
We move forward.