#1: New Digs

Oh, hello! You’re the first ones here. Come in. A few new faces, I see. And a lot of familiar ones. Those who’ve been to my old place will recognize the same furniture: There’s the chair of injection-molded naivety. There’s the dining table made from reclaimed despair. That’s the same lamp, yes, 60-watt optimism. Here’s the sofa I got off Craigslist. Have a seat. Would you like some tea?

This week I made a few updates to my personal site, including a new “About” page. I’ve also been finishing up the final Kickstarter delivery for These Days: the annotated hardcovers for backers of the Marginalia Bundle.

Open book with marginalia

It’s the first time I’ve re-read the book after publication, and after adding my notes, I’m struck by how much serendipity, both externally and internally, there was during writing process. One thing I’ve realized is that in the beginning, I was looking for solutions outside the book. I was doing a lot of research, trying to learn more about the ideas I was exploring. In some cases it helped but was for the most part counterproductive. As I got further along, I discovered that there were often better solutions to be found in my own memories, and in the world of the book itself, and these solutions lent the novel greater degree of realism, too. Sometimes, the characters would be struggling with an issue and they would have a sudden epiphany, and as that was happening, I was having the very same epiphany, that, oh shoot, the thing I made up off the top of my head ten chapters ago? I can use it here.

As I work on the rough draft for my next novel, I’m trying to adhere to the following rule: no research. At least not while I’m writing. How I go about it, well, that’s a topic for next week.