By December it is all but impossible to get involved in a long anything - story planning, 100 000 word draft, or a 40 000 word structural edit. I'm back with a short story that I began early this year, though I'm finding that at 32 pages even that is not short enough not to suffer from interruptions.
However, one of my resolutions for this year was to get/have something published. And this story,
The Harrowing, will be it. Self published at that. Accompanying it will be the story of how I negotiate the self publishing process made possible by Amazon.com, the biggest market in the world.
The Harrowing is a science fantasy, one of those mash-up categories. Not elves and wizards therefore not fantasy. Not entirely in the world of possible, therefore not entirely in the realm of science fiction. The world is a fictional water planet where the viewpoint characters are attempting to resist an alien takeover.
The clash-of-civilisations theme has turned out be the one I return to again and again both in my reading and writing. I'm sure that says a lot about who I am - with my migrant background. I can well remember us (my mother and siblings) mystified at the instruction to 'bring a plate.' And bringing an empty plate. Oh, the embarrassment. We learnt of course that it's a way to share the load of party cooking, and that you bring a plate filled with food to share.
One of the greatest books on the clash-of-civilisations theme that I ever read, is The Inheritors by William Golding. That's all I'll say about it. Because it is worth getting hold of, be it for 50 cents in a secondhand hole-in-the-wall stall or free from a private library.