Abstract and Brief Chronicles of the Time

If Kevin Feige can announce ten Marvel projects over the next three years, I can announce three blog posts over the next three weeks.

Do you ever write a first sentence, or even just a first word, and think about ten (give or take) ways you could go from there? With this post, I got as far as the word “Well,” which I didn’t end up starting this post with, because I’ve realized how often that is how I/we/he/she/me start sentences both written and spoken. Now, to let you behind the curtain, this is most certainly not the way I thought this post was going to start. But, as Sean Connery’s titular character in Finding Forrester argues: “The first key to writing is to write. Not to think.”

Despite the dearth of posts on this blog, I have been writing (and thinking, probably too much) quite a lot. For the last year or so, my work and living situation has given me lots of time to write, and I’m proud to say I have taken advantage of it. I wrote a novel about Wisconsin and death (I only meant it to be about one of those things) which is just now starting to get some eyes on it and we’ll see what becomes of it. I wrote a novella about innocence and Christian mysticism (which happens to take place in Wisconsin), and that’s on the shelf until it isn’t. And now I just finished the first part of a long work of fantasy.

I moved to a new city for a new job about a month ago, and that new job started Friday, and my writing habits are going to have to change. This might be just as well, as I’d like to take a break from writing longer projects and return to focusing my efforts on blog posts. Ideally I’ll be posting one a week going forward. I’ve made similar commitments before…in April 2015 I wrote: “Around this time last year I decided that I was going to try to post something on the blog close to every day. And I failed. Miserably. I wrote consistently for a couple weeks but it didn’t take long for me to give up on the venture.” A key difference this time is that I understand better than ever that a blog takes longer than a day to write, and I now have much more practice with the writing close to every day thing. I’m also not declaring this into the reaches of perpetuity; it’s a temporary goal.

As it happens, I have a plan for the first three posts (the order of two and three could change). First, I’m going to do some metacognition by sharing some of my thoughts on the process of writing fantasy. There will be some inside baseball in that one, but I think it will have broader interest for anyone who likes to think about how we come up with and relate to stories. Next, I’ll have an essay about one of my five favorite writers and one of my five favorite directors, and while proselytizing for both of these remarkable artists (hint: one is Norwegian and the other Japanese) I will discuss some of the things their works have in common which I think are interesting and significant. The third will be an essay about an important theme present in Tolkien’s legendarium, Harry Potter, The Road, and Avatar: The Last Airbender (hint: it starts with an “h” and rhymes with the best Wisconsinism).

And now, mostly unrelated, I just wanted to share Proverbs 20:5 with you. The Bible, the Book of Proverbs included, can feel repetitive sometimes (don’t @ me), but I don’t think there’s anything quite like this proverb, or at least not said quite this way. I find it compelling:

“The intentions of a person’s heart are deep waters, but a discerning person reveals them.”

Forth now, and fear no darkness.

Soli Deo Gloria

-Peter

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