Hello! Sorry, it’s been a while.
It’s six months since my last post, which is by far the longest break I’ve taken from the Gyre. Not only have I not written here, it’s also a few months since I reviewed for Horrified (the last thing I covered there was the excellent debut novel by Ally Wilkes, All The White Spaces, which I heartily recommend to those of you who love polar terrors like At The Mountains of Madness or The Thing).
I have, though, been busy writing fiction. Firstly, I wrote a short story which came from nowhere, and is a ghost story without a ghost. It came to me quickly, and was written and re-written within three weeks, which for me is really fast. I say it came from nowhere, but that’s not true. There was a line of dialogue in a Shirley Jackson story which leaped out at me, and a whole story unfurled in my head in seconds, spinning off from that.
Secondly, I finished the fourth story featuring my itinerant cosmic technician, The Engineer (whose debut was published by STORGY last summer). It’s with my test readers for now and although not even reaching novella length is still the longest piece of fiction I’ve completed for ages. Unlike the other story, this took months. The first ten pages wrote themselves – they were lots of fun – but as you get further into a story, there’s more complexity to hold in your mind, so (for me anyway) the writing slows down. With the other three Engineer stories, I now have around 90 pages’ worth of blackly-comic urban fantasy, which is a good start towards something book-length.
I vowed to let my batteries recharge after the effort of writing this one. When I finished it, and for a day or two afterwards, I felt free: I had no other stories on the go; no reviews pending; no idea for a Gyre post. And then a few days later the anxiety crept in: a feeling that I needed to be writing. Silly, I know, but I’m sure I’m not alone: does anyone else get that?