Whew. I just finished drafting the story under the working title, “How Jjangguk Took Down Kim Noh Wang (The Madman of Pyongyang)”. I’ll be doing some tidying and editing sometime this and perhaps tomorrow morning evening , and then soliciting comments soon after, not just from my regular crit group but others who’re willing to give feedback on more Korean- and Asian-political matters that are semi-allegorized in the story. It’s 95 pages long, double-spaced, which is pretty much the longest single fiction story I’ve written this far, aside from a few drafted novels. Certainly it’s the most coherent long piece of fiction I’ve written over 15,000 words.
It’s another story set in, and all about, Korea. I’m starting to feel a little exhausted writing about Korean stuff, though, and wary about typecasting myself as far as my writing goes. For a slight chance of pace, the next thing I’m writing is going to be set in a slightly futuristic Burma, with the deceptively ominous title, “A Killing in Burma”, but after that, I think I’ll be working on something set in Canada (and taking a break from re-working that “Comfort Woman” ghost story I was working on, until maybe December or January). Maybe I’ll rewrite another long piece, “Winter Wheat”, which was about biotech and agriculture in Saskatchewan. That might work, and I’m thinking of setting it just a touch further into the future than it was in the original draft. I’ll also be redrafting a short story called “The Crystal Methuselah” for the rest of the week, in any time I can spare when not marking exams, and I think this Sunday, I’ll set out to rewriting an older fantasy piece I had the crit group look at, titled “Professor Whitney’s Resignation”. Next week, I will be doing little or no writing as I’ll have two huge stacks of essays to grade. I’m giving myself a week and a half to finish them.
The other thing I need to do this weekend is print a bunch of stories out, write a cover letter and then modify it for different submissions, and then send them out. I have… let’s see… eight finished stories waiting to be sent out, four pieces (including “Jjangguk”) waiting for critique, about 11 drafts waiting to be redrafted or totally rewritten, into second pass (some trunk stories, and also four remaining stories from the Clarion West workshop), and about 12 stories in the first-draft queue.
Of course, that sounds like a lot, and it is. But some of the things in the first-draft- and rewrite/second-draft- queues have been there for more than a year, and others I expect will still be in the queue a year from now. The ideas are too good to abandon, but I’m not quite ready to really write some of them yet. (And there are two novels in among those stories, one in the first-draft queue and one in the redraft queue.) Similarly reclacitrant stories in the queue include “The Egan Thief” and “Peaches, the Strong Arm of the Flower Underground”, which regular readers will not have not moved a white in weeks.
Anyway, for now, it looks like my writing lineup is:
- Tidy up “Jjangguk” and send out for crits.
- Get some drafting done on “A Killing in Burma”
- Redraft “Crystal Methuselah”
- Redraft “Professor Whitney’s Resignation”
- Maybe redraft “Winter Wheat”
- Try to get “The Egan Thief” done by sometime in December.
- Consider redrafting “Comfort Woman” during December/January.
That’s probably not an exhaustive list, but we’ll have to see what else works its way up into my imagination in the meantime.