Pretty much every piece of writing I have is a WIP. I can’t seem to finish anything. Someone recently asked what I am writing right now.
Well, it’s complicated. Of course, the procrastination thing is one problem. But also I’m suffering from writer confusion right now. I cannot write a poem to save my life, but I’m churning out fiction and non-fiction pieces. They may not be good, but at least I am writing.
Officially, I am supposed to be working on a poetry chapbook. However, that project is on hold for now because I decided I just need to write more poems and get more poems “out there” in journals before jumping on the chapbook train. I just don’t feel ready. Am I making excuses? Maybe. Am I scared I’m not a good poet? Maybe. At any rate . . . I am still writing poems. Just at a s-l-o-w rate.
I entered a writing contest a while back and the piece I entered was about my conversion to the Eastern Orthodox Church. I wrote over 10,000 words, so I’ve got a good start on a – dare I say it – book? Or I’ve got chunks I can take out of the piece to send to journals. I continue to add to this piece periodically.
I am also trying my hand at short stories – although mine tend to be too long! I have a couple of friends that are going to critique the stories for me – they may end up getting trashed, but I would love to get them revised and in shape to send out!
I also have 3 wanna-be-novel projects. Giving that I love YA literature, two of them are YA pieces.
The one that I’ve been focusing on is about a girl whose father is American and whose mother is Thai. She has spent most of her life living in the Washington, D.C. area and occasionally visiting Thailand, but when she is 16 her family moves to Thailand to live. Part of the reason why they moved is some sort of secret event in the girl’s past (secret as in I know what happened and she knows what happened, but the reader doesn’t). Once in Thailand, she struggles with the language and customs. She has to face her past and re-invent herself while being caught between two cultures, two languages, and two religions. (Do not be impressed. I only have like 15 pages actually written.)
The second YA project is kind of a fantasy novel about two teenage brothers. One of the brothers dies, but he actually finds himself caught in this other dimension – it’s basically a dimension that angels have to pass through as they are coming to earth or leaving earth. And these are damn scary angels. Turns out there is a problem with humans getting caught in this place and not being able to get out and it is affecting the angels, space, time, etc. (Strangely enough, I got inspiration from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series.) So somehow (haven’t figured out how yet) the “dead” brother is able to communicate with his older brother to tell him that he’s found a door from earth into this other world/dimension. And, of course, the older brother sets out on an adventure to save his little brother. (The little brother is having an adventure of his own in this other world.) A side story is that right before the little brother “dies” the older brother found out this deep dark family secret and that turns out to be related to this other dimension also. (Again, be even less impressed. I have like 3 pages written.)
I’m not sure if the third novel would be YA or adult because it has both kinds of characters. Working title is The Two Sons. It’s about two American families living in other countries, one in Cambodia (or maybe Laos – somewhere close to Thailand, anyway) and the other in South America (right now it’s Peru). There’s some narrative about both families’ lives initially. But pretty soon, both families suffer the loss of a child – one a son, and the other a daughter. The daughter was a twin, and her twin brother goes through some really tough stuff – runs away (right now he escapes from Peru to Bolivia in the night in a canoe over lake Titiaca – exciting right?), gets into drugs, etc. Meanwhile the two sets of parents have by chance met one another and their lives have become intertwined. It turns out that the person that helps the wayward son find healing was an important person in the life of son of the other family. (I think I have 35 pages.)
So, as you can tell, write what you know . . . Thailand, Asia, death of a son . . . I guess I need some new topics. But surely at least one of these ideas has promise.