Being a parent is without a doubt the most awesome experience I've ever had. Time is flying by, days are a busy blur and nights are short, but deeply satisfying and happy. She is our tiny queen and having our world suddenly revolve around her has unquestionably given more purpose to our existence than it had without her. Scattered thoughts and ever blooming hearts - this has become the new normal.
Writing with a newborn is equally as fun but certainly a challenge and I realize that I’m lucky to be able to write, both because I’m on maternity leave for a year and because I have a super supportive partner. For the last two weeks, I’ve managed to write 1,000 words a day. I definitely don’t have very much time to do it so I’ve learned how to write the scene that’s on my mind at the time or the conversation that my characters are having the moment I open my computer. Anything else and it's hard to get going. It’s never a perfect scene, but the story has managed to progress tremendously from this approach - daily and habitual. Writing this way has also let me tell the together the story from beginning to end and then go back and fill in the details.
My vampire story (which is less about vampires than I had originally thought) has climbed above the 20,000 word mark and writing it is giving me the time away from The Whirlwind’s Prophecy that I need to make sure I give the latter a good, ruthless revision and strong rewrite when I return to it.
In the meantime, I’ve been watching and reading work by several different writers. I recently re-watched Spirited Away and was struck by the way Hayao Miyazaki manages to include Japanese legends and culture in his films with both subtlety and scope. His storytelling is magical and nothing about it seems forced in any way. I realized something while watching this movie that I hope impacts my writing in a positive way. It was something akin what Stephen King says about telling the truth when you’re writing but it was also about how art and writing can include specific cultural elements like spirituality and mythology without apology and without being horribly exploitative.
On the reading front, I’ve recently finished two Kresley Cole books about a group of teenagers who are actually the embodiment of Tarot cards and playing an elaborate post-apocalyptic game that grants the winner immortality. I read these on a whim and found that the stories were a lot of fun during late night feedings. I’m also reading the World Water Report by the Pacific Institute and feeling very fortunate to live on Turtle Island where we have access to clean water (although in the long term, our access is threatened in various ways by corporations, private interests and indifference). The report is a great collection of information about one of the most important resources in the world and I’d recommend it to anyone. Bite size pieces can be obtained through following the Pacific Institute on Twitter.
All in all, I am feeling very grateful and excited for upcoming events in June, starting with tomorrow when my dad will be unveiling a public art installation that he designed to commemorate the War of 1812. It’s a beautiful piece and it will be one of my daughter’s first outings somewhere cool and interesting. Stay tuned for pictures! Happy writing!