Hopefully it will come as no surprise that my NaNoWriMo push this year is about where it was when I mentioned I’d try for it. I did allude to the insanity of the plan, after all.
What surprises me is the backup I found the other day. I was looking through my flash drive backups for something else entirely, and found a backup of nothing but my programming folder — which was, it should be noted, the only significant casualty to my flash drive dying earlier this month. It was an up-to-the-day backup, too.
This borders on being a religious experience. I think Great Cthulhu wants me to continue work on that roguelike.
In other news, life is pretty awesome. Things are looking up in general; my kid is doing great (save for some acid reflux and colic), and has begun occasionally sleeping as much as four hours at a stretch. (This is actually better for Kat than for me, as I sleep like the dead. She doesn’t.)
And, I now have a signed copy of The Gathering Storm. A friend of mine got it for me and shipped it down, for which I am now eternally indebted. I’m reading the book now, and of course it’s great. It also has me thinking. See, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson have a funny place in my writing/reading history: they’re the two writers who, more than any others, got me writing.
I’ve wanted to be a professional writer for a long, long time. My earliest major writing project would have been when I was about ten, when I decided to write a sci-fi trilogy. For years, that project (called Trikan) was the largest body of cohesive text I had managed to assemble. (I’m looking it over now, and it’s . . . er, not as bad as I thought it would be, actually. It’s also eight thousand words long. Go, younger me. But it’s still never seeing the light of day.)*
After Trikan, there was a lengthy period when I didn’t get any really significant writing done. It was Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time that inspired me, the summer before I left for ASMSA, to get to work on a big project again. That was when I started the project formerly known as The Storms of Heaven, and when I wrote most of the novella Ghost Ship — which astute readers (and people I’ve trapped in conversation long enough) may recognize as the work that formed the basis of Derelict. If I hadn’t read The Wheel of Time then, there’s a pretty good chance these would never have gotten written. It was a pretty influential work for me, to say the least.
Fast-forward to last year. Having heard of Brandon Sanderson via his connection to The Wheel of Time, I picked up the books of his that were out at the time (Elantris and Mistborn: The Final Empire — I didn’t spring for The Well of Ascension until it came out in paperback.) I read them. I loved them. And they inspired me to write again. If I had to pick a single influence that got me started on Derelict in its full novelish glory, I would pick Brandon Sanderson.
I didn’t make these connections until recently — not as such, anyway. The knowledge was there, in the back of my mind. The reason it comes to mind now is because now I’m reading The Gathering Storm, which is by the two authors who have influenced and inspired me the most.
I wonder what’ll happen this time.
*Interestingly, the science vessel from which the characters of Trikan hail was named the Blue Star, and the salvage vessel from which the characters of Derelict hail is the Blue Star IV. I was not aware of this, and to my knowledge wasn’t aware of it at the time that I wrote Ghost Ship. Funny how the mind works.