Back in the saddle again. Or more accurately, back at the keyboard again--but that doesn't evoke the same rhetorical power as the title of the Gene Autry or Aerosmith songs. It has been much too long since I've invested in my stories. About a year ago a significant challenge upended my family's routine and scuttled the writing schedule I had established. Although I had begun to outline the Wolf Code sequels, other demands consistently stampeded across the roads leading back to creative solitude.
In September of 2014, after being away from A Sheltering Wilderness for four months, I wrote, "I have found the writing life to be quite the mental game. The longer you are away from your project the easier it is to stay away--that is, unless you get the irritating itch to return. Inertia is the name of the game: once the ball stops rolling, it takes a much greater force to get it rolling again" ("Returning to Writing after a Long Break"). I have been wrestling again with this inertia. As I've noted before ("Anyone Can Write!), Stephen Pressfield has it right when he personifies all that keeps writers from their stories as Resistance. These formidable forces undermine creativity at every opportunity. Writing is immersion in another world, and discovering that world takes discipline.
Grand gestures often prove hollow, so I will not shout from horseback, riding through your town, that I'll have a book for you next month. I prefer quietly to sit down and work projects to completion. Yet I also know the writing life is about accountability. And if you've read the first Wolf Code book, you've earned the right to ask about the sequels. Feel free to drop me a line to ask how the novel is progressing.
In the meantime here's a preview of what's on the horizon. Book 2, titled Wilderness War, will divide evenly between the wolf narrative and the human narrative (as opposed to one wolf chapter for every two human chapters in the first book). Although I hinted at the connection between the two narratives at the end of the first book, this novel will reveal how they are intrinsically intertwined. While the new book will continue Don's point of view and Kan's, here you will also get insights into Tsula's and Lana's. As you might have guessed, this structure is more demanding and has required me to clarify several pivotal points in the flow of the narrative. I now have drafted a relatively complete chapter outline, which is what has been missing for months, so the prognosis looks good.
Hands on the reins, I spur my trusty steed forward. Open skies and new roads greet us. The adventure continues....