Life has gotten busy over the past month or so.
I hold down a regular job helping the United States Navy build new ships. That, added to my duties as a dad and husband, usually keep me gainfully employed for most of the day. I’ve now added professional writer to the list.
In late June or early July (who really knows at this point…) I had a piece accepted for publication in an anthology due out sometime next year. The work, Lost and Found, is a piece I started working on in my first week at Johns Hopkins and ended up including in my thesis. I read a portion of it live on webcam as a part of the public reading portion of the program’s graduation requirements.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been offered the chance to publish my first book. Again, this is something I started at Hopkins and have continued to work on in my spare time. I think I finished the first draft in something like 78 days or so and I’ve been in revision and editing mode for about 12 months now.
Those two works are pieces I still work on, with an expectation that the workload on both will increase with publication looming.
In addition to those tasks, I’ve started work on two other books. The sequel to the book I just mentioned is around 25-30% complete (first draft). The second project is a book-length version of Lost and Found. That piece is hovering right at 30% complete.
As I move back and forth between these works and some of the other short stories I have in the old hopper, I was struck by just how different they are.
What do I mean?
I’m not sure what you’d call it (emotional intelligence might be close) but the stories I write seem to have widely varying capacities to both express and be aware of their own emotions. Some of what I write is pure military thriller stuff and while the tension may remain high, there isn’t necessarily a significant amount of gripping emotion. And that’s just fine. It goes with the territory, er, genre. I mean, does anyone really get choked up watching James Bond movies? On the other hand, I have some stuff like Lost and Found where I somehow manage to get folks invested in the characters as if there is a real world, life or death impact.
I can’t really say I’ve not been told about this before. It was fairly obvious in my Hopkins thesis with Lost and Found sitting right next to a story about submarines hunting each other in the Atlantic. But I haven’t quite figured out how it happens. Like there is a switch when I sit down to write that I can flip from “military mindset” to “warm and fuzzy”.