This post is one of my unicorns.
What I mean is I have inched toward this post without warning of its approach for years. In Southern Illinois, as is the case in other parts of the world where they don’t junk cars but “let ‘em rust down,” high school morons hill hop. Hill hopping fits onto the roster of hick track and field, those games that need “don’t try this at home” stickers. Young sixteen-year old men (and women on the coasts) rev up their car engines and catapult over hilltops on country roads, daring other cars to meet them head-on. Thing is, not all other cars are chicken–some just play chicken. Another dozen teens will die this year meeting unseen cars while hopping hills.
Somewhere between hill hopping and unicorns lies this post. No one can catch a unicorn. Unicorns find you. No one expects to die hopping a hill in a Pontiac, but it happens. I’m blindsided by this post because for the last seven years, in the midst of all of my other writing, I have worked on my world of Gergia. No other novel existed–only Gergian books and notes and maps. If Rowling and Rothfuss can work on one series, win a writer’s contest and instantly publish a best seller, anyone can, right? That’s what I thought anyway, and so I pushed off all other projects — twenty novel ideas, dozens of short story ideas, screenplays, journalistic things — for THE SERIES.
The last few weeks, my writing slowed and stalled. I… Was… Crawling… Through… Sentences. It was block in the proper sense of the word–my discipline was trying to force words like water through a clogged toilet. I stalled at the 52,000th word. I would rework scenes, attack the story from another angle and stop at the same place. Another angle, more resistance. It was like trying to chop down a cherry tree with a brand new axe WHILE circling the tree like a foe from some spaghetti western. Only the tree was no bringer of cherries. It was this colossal inbred monster of its cedar mother and redwood father. My axe also turned out to be a cheap camp hatchet.
Something happened this weekend that changed all of that. This week I was armed with an axe and a maul…