Right after my last post, I went up to Canada for vacation. This was my first time going in September, and it was a different place (same lake) and a different experience. I had gotten used to the rather warmer temperatures of summer, so when it turned cold halfway through the week that was a big change; I went out on the lake, but only a couple of times. It’s also different because this was the first time we didn’t have any other friends or family staying in other cabins at the same time, so it was just a small group. Very different. But I enjoyed the trip quite a lot, even though for the life of me I still can’t figure out why Canadian pay-at-the-pump systems ask you to pre-authorize a certain maximum charge instead of just letting you pump gas.
Since I got back, I’ve been catching up on work stuff, but I’ve also been busily revising Gray Area. This is a difficult process, but so far the rewards have been amazing. Just the little bit I’ve already changed, and it was mostly a matter of inserting small amounts of new stuff, has already made this a much better book.
I’m still working through the smallish changes, but then I’m going to come up on the biggest and I’m really not sure how I should proceed. The simplest option is to let this suggestion go, and leave it as-is, but I think it’s too good an idea not to try. The next easiest for me, and the one that makes the most sense without upending my narrative, is for the protagonist to guess at something that’s revealed at the end. The hardest would be for that reveal to be made openly, which would introduce sweeping changes. And I’m not actually sure if the suggestion was meant to be the easier way or the much harder way. My gut is telling me to go for the middle road, because I can still squeeze some interesting mystery out of it without my having to rewrite huge amounts of text. (I will however still have to look over huge amounts of text and make changes to anything that contradicts the new format.)
During the middle of this week I didn’t sleep very well; for two nights in a row I had intense dreams that felt like they kept me from sleep. It felt to me like a mix of health problems—because allergies have not been friendly to me lately—and generalized anxiety. At that same time my wife and I were embarking on a big investment, but I didn’t think I was anxious about that and I still don’t; yet I can’t rule it out as a factor. Another factor was definitely that I left for vacation with my code in a state where I wasn’t fit to release, and I was upset about not getting out a new release this week too; some of those dreams were code dreams, which are incredibly uncommon for me. But the third and maybe one of the biggest factors was, I think, that the head space I’ve been diving into for Gray Area is one of hatred, violence, and self-doubt. If that doesn’t make a man anxious, I wonder what can.
I think I’m gonna get an excellent book out of this process. But boy am I gonna have to back off of it well before November, because I need to get in a wild and wacky state to handle the next Paranormal Curio book and time is passing fast.