Taking a short break from my Gawain essay (half-way through word-count-wise, but not with my outline; lots of editing in store). I’ve been thinking about Orion a lot recently. Not always explicitly, just sort of hovering in the background, germinating, percolating. I don’t know if it’s a byproduct of thinking critically about other literature, or if it’s that my mind is starting to be ‘okay’ with the idea of working on it again. Perhaps both. I mentioned a while ago how I was contemplating a character changing sides. S/he has. It’s amazing how many repercussions this has, how it makes everything fit into place, and, something I never expected, how it allows redemption for a character I always had a problem with seeing as pure evil. It even makes other decisions—such as limiting even further the Aidenites’ paranormal abilities, adding a diplomatic/political pov—make sense. Cords of Orion will still be a tragedy, but now it has scope. This makes me happy. I still have a lot of sub-creating and outlining to do, but Orion is still alive, and that is very good indeed.
Whiter than Snow, a novela set slightly before Orion, has been developing, too. I made a playlist for it a year ago and it’s one of my favorites: a blend of folk hymns and social justice. I’ve been toying with the idea of loosely structuring it like a saint’s life, and more recently, of adding an element of the white man’s burden.
All my work on Arthurian legends this term, and especially reading for this essay on Gawain, has got my brain turning for this year’s NaNoWriMo. In 2008 I started a novel based on Sir Orfeo and Sleeping Beauty, but it tanked half-way through NaNo and I switched over to To Govern the Night instead. Now I have a better idea of what went wrong and how to fix it, as well as have all the material I’d need to plan the novel properly in September/October. Here’s hoping my second shot at Orpheus-meets-Sleeping Beauty in Celtic Britain works better than the first.
But in the meantime, I’m working on essays, and alternating months with Kelly on our story Bede. We’re past the half-way point now which is really cool. Even if we don’t have a real title yet. And I’ve still got “Masterpiece” in the works. My creative writing process is insanely slow, but I hope the end results show that it wasn’t time wasted.