Good News

Posted: July 2nd, 2022 under Background, Good News, the writing life.
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Most of you will know that four years and 5 months ago I was bucked off, landed head down, and got a concussion that messed with my brain quite a bit.  It was only about six months after the previous concussion (that one involved a mountain bike and a pothole with an overbite) and…yeah, damage is cumulative.  At first I couldn’t read more than a few sentences at a time (short simple ones) and couldn’t write anything.  Also couldn’t knit worth beans, and couldn’t read music either.

Long story shortened…it became obvious over time that although I recovered the ability to write coherent prose, I could not write fiction anywhere near my previous standard.  And after four years and–was it two, or three, failed book attempts???–I pretty much quit trying and worked harder on what I could do to recover physically and the rest of mentally.

Then, out of Paksworld,  in May this otherwise frenetic year, came an idea begging to be written.  And very tentatively, I started.  And it…moved.  Breathed.  And is now behaving like my other books, in that it pulls me forward (rather than me trying desperately to push it forward) and hands me what I need to do a scene or a sequence, and has built interior and exterior connections the way a book-length work must.  It’s at 35K words now, and shows no sign of quitting.

This book is set after the end of Crown of Renewal, and though a lot of familiar characters are in it, they’re older and in a different time of life than they were.  They’ve grown up, or grown out into new dimensions, or aren’t where they used to be.  Well, except Dragon, who lives on a scale of time and space the humans (even the half-elven humans) don’t have.  There’s Prince Camwyn, who was perhaps 15 or 16 when iynisin invaded the palace in Verella, and his friend Aris Marrakai, two or three years younger, who woke and discovered the danger but all else were enchanted.  Camwyn’s been gone for years now, in Dragon’s care, it’s thought, without any memory of his past, Dragon has told the king.   Aris, grown to be of age to squire Arcolin in Aarenis, still misses his friend and worries about him, feels guilty that he wasn’t faster that night.   Dragon wants Camwyn on the throne of Horngard, the mountain kingdom in the Westmounts  from which Arcolin fled long ago, as an abused bastard.  Horngard has declined even more since Arcolin left, a series of bad kings and worse councils has left it poor, depopulated, half-forgotten by the rest of the world…and prey to banditry and petty tyrants warring over scraps and rags.

I’m a very happy writer, grateful that if the same plot daemon isn’t back on the engine room, someone is keeping the revs up and the process going.  If you’re going through a bad patch in your work, whatever it is and whatever caused it…I hope you have a similar experience of unexpected success.

17 Comments »

  • Comment by Scott Zrubek — July 3, 2022 @ 7:10 am

    1

    Yahoo!


  • Comment by Jae Sheddy — July 3, 2022 @ 11:22 am

    2

    Nice! I can’t wait to read it!


  • Comment by Kathleen — July 3, 2022 @ 3:17 pm

    3

    Yea! It’s going to be a long 2 years. I will enjoy every post between now and publication!


  • Comment by Robert Dybas — July 3, 2022 @ 5:28 pm

    4

    All of the fireworks on the 4th expresses my Joy at this news!


  • Comment by Berry Kercheval — July 4, 2022 @ 4:09 am

    5

    Yay! I’m glad you’re ok (ish) and writing again. Thanks for the update.


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 6, 2022 @ 8:57 pm

    6

    Thanks, Scott. It’s now at 41,000+ and it feels really solid. I’ll be updating progress here and on the Universes blog on my main website–probably alternately.


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 6, 2022 @ 8:57 pm

    7

    Thank you, Jae! I can’t wait to finish it, except that my hands refuse to write as many hours of the day as they used to.


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 6, 2022 @ 8:59 pm

    8

    Thanks for your enthusiasm. It’s over 40K now, and still expanding in my head, which tells me it’s not going to stop short of the whole story (barring falling on my head again.)


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 6, 2022 @ 9:00 pm

    9

    Thank you, Robert. I appreciate the support a lot. The fireworks in my head when I realized it really WAS determined to be written were bigger than anything I saw (of course, we’re miles from good fireworks displays and in a bad drought year so…low bar.)


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 6, 2022 @ 9:03 pm

    10

    Definitely OK. Not the same as I was, but OK, because the storytelling has come back into my head. I had high hopes for the Vatta book at first, but it never jelled…it was a disconnected series of incidents with no oomph to pull from one to another.

    This one…this one feels like the “good old days” when my backbrain was handing me gobs of plot every day.


  • Comment by Rusty — July 8, 2022 @ 12:38 am

    11

    I’m so glad to read about what happened. Suddenly, Elizabeth Moon disappeared and I wondered, worried a bit. No one else quite gets inside the thoughts and feelings of their characters, and interspersed with journeys, battles, other challenges, it makes for such wonderful reading. The characters are alive. Their environments rustle, crackle, their winds blow through our minds. I wish everything happy for you Elizabeth, including non-creaking bones – but I suppose that’s too much. Cheers ….


  • Comment by AJLR — July 10, 2022 @ 3:03 pm

    12

    I’m so pleased for you, Elizabeth. It must have been so very hard this last couple of years, and then to have this story behaving as it ought is wonderful. 🙂

    May your story live long and prosper (sorry…).

    Amanda


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 11, 2022 @ 6:43 pm

    13

    Rusty, thank you. Having the story “shape” well…that’s enough to make me very happy. The joints and bones and hair and stuff just goes with surviving to my age and having Life Happen. Thanks for your good wishes.


  • Comment by elizabeth — July 11, 2022 @ 6:47 pm

    14

    Amanda, I LOVE the “live long and prosper”…stone fan of TOS when in college. A bunch of us used to commandeer the one TV in the lounge on Thursday nights, to the horror of those who wanted to watch something “real.” I didn’t have a TV during most of the time the later series showed up, or I was working with our autistic kid in the evenings. Good times. Anyway, I really want to see more of the Patrick Stewart ones, but just don’t have the time to binge watch. Someday……


  • Comment by Daniel Glover — July 27, 2022 @ 8:40 am

    15

    What I like to see is that there have been other popping in here from time to time, like me. Checking in on Paksworld!


  • Comment by Linda Hay — July 27, 2022 @ 8:07 pm

    16

    I too was moved to see if Paksworld was live again, and so glad I did. I finally understand more about your horses and where you have been these last years. That you are writing seems a miracle. Rusty said it very well, your characters are alive. And that you are writing means we will get to see them agin.

    The comments on the new book are giving me the sort of lift which planning foreign travel used to offer. If I can’t walk the foot paths in England, at least I’ll be able to make another visit to Paksworld … and these previews are like like getting a trail guide or the route maps in the mail.

    May your endeavors be blessed.


  • Comment by elizabeth — August 15, 2022 @ 7:36 pm

    17

    Linda: Thank you. This book is VERY alive, now at over 125,000 words. It has rounded the final big curve on the track and is in the home stretch; will probably be about like the first Paks book, 150,000 and some extra. It’s not the end of the story, either. If I can get it to my agent early enough, we might get an offer on it this year (must be available for editors to look at a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving) and might get it contracted and considered for scheduling in ’23.


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