Thursday, June 13, 2013


Why hello there, blog! Fancy seeing you here!

As you can probably tell, random reader who wandered here probably by mistake, I'm not so great at this whole fidelity-to-blogging concept. But I'm going to try to improve! Even if it's just endless posts musing over why I thought it was a good idea to put "andromeda" in my blog title. (I was in search of that sweet alliteration high. I was not in my right mind. Alliteration does that to a person!) But that is an issue to tackle another time. When I'm, y'know. Emotionally prepared for such philosophizing.

Instead, I will talk about writing, because that seems to be the common theme here.

I actually started writing a sequel to Know Not Why about a month after I finished the first draft, back in ye olde days of 2010! It was right after -- like, possibly the day after -- I graduated from college, and I really needed something familiar and trustworthy to fall back on as my life hurtled into bleak time-to-move-back-home-with-the-'rents! uncertainty. At the time, it didn't really feel like a sequel as much as it did a seamless continuation of the same story. I had been hanging out with those characters for like a year already; they were there, bright and distinct in my brain! I made it about three chapters in and then got distracted, as is my way.

And now all of a sudden it's 2013 and it's been so long since I wrote these folks that they have all up and abandoned me. The nerve!

Sequel anxiety is totally a thing, right? Like, when you hope and hope and wish and wish for that long-dead canon to come back to you, and then it does, and it's all awkward and rusty around the edges and somehow just isn't the fairytale sequel you had dreamt of at all. X-Files: I Want To Believe. Was that really the best plot they could come up with after like ten years? (But Mulder and Scully cuddled in bed so, you know, movie existence justified.) And I know no one is ever going to forgive Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (Except me, because it brought Marion Ravenwood back, finally. Now I just need my Jurassic Park IV where Dr. Grant and Dr. Satler fall in love anew while wrestling some raptors, because I'm sorry, I'm sorry, why would you even include that breakup unless you wanted to target my poor heart specifically, Steven Spielberg?? Watching Jurassic Park in 3D at the movie theatre only strengthened my ardent belief that there are some couples you just don't callously break up. YA JUST DO NOT.)

In case you can't tell, the worth of sequels to me tends to be based on how much -- or how little -- the right people are cuddling each other in them. It's just how I live.

Anyway, the point is, now I get it, o ye Want To Believes and Crystal Skulls of the world. SEQUEL ANXIETY. Your muse gets nervous. The story gets nervous right into its bones. This sequel could be good, or it could take everything that was ever good about the original story and do some jaunty Irish step dancing allll over it until nothing is left but dismay.

Basically, right now whenever I think about writing about these characters again, I love it in theory. In practice, it comes out something rather like this:

Howie: I am Howie! I do the banter things! It's either funny or you will hate me for it, based upon your aesthetic preferences! I say 'yo' sometimes, yo! The Violent Femmes are good! I hate being called Howard! Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck. Fuck.
Arthur: I am Arthur. I wear ties. How do you do?
Kristy: Teehee!
Cora: Fuck you. (Not to Kristy, necessarily. Just to the world.)
Amber: Charlotte Bronte Charlotte Bronte disdainful truth bombs Victorians stop eating that Mitchell.
Mitch: [eating something enthusiastically]
Emily: Let me sail, let me sail, let the ORINOCO FLOW!
Dennis: I have a goatee.
Howie's Mom: I write romance novels! I'm a cool mom!
Rudy: [is probably naked] SUUUUUP.

In short, I certainly had visions of producing a sequel this summer; the reality hasn't been quite so fruitful so far. I'm also currently wrestling with a handful of other writing projects, at least one of which (but ideally all of which!) I would love to get done sometime this century. In addition to a Know Not Why sequel. If, indeed, it needs a sequel at all.

That brings us to the ultimate question: are requests for a sequel genuinely requests for a sequel, or just the highest form of praise? Is leaving your readers wanting more a mark of success and an 'all right, time to move onto something else now!' indicator? Or should a sequel really be A Thing That Happens? I definitely have more stories about these guys drifting somewhere around my brain and heart; I'm just wary about my ability to tell 'em satisfactorily.

Either way, I think the grimmest truth here is that my work ethic, writing-wise, best resembles that of New Girl's Nick Miller -- that is, before he got all driven ("I'M HEMINGWAY, YA IDIOTS!") and actually finished Z is for Zombie, leaving me in the dust.

And, well, I have whole bunches of half books for you! They usually involve ladies and magic and silly fairytale lands, if not quite arts 'n crafts stores. That's ... something, right?