The story I labeled “Consolamentum Version 2 (The Long Mix)” in my sidebar projects tracker is, in fact, quite different from the original. And it’s turning out, perhaps, to be a completely different story. The original was narrated by an eight-year-old kid, while this one is narrated from the POV of a teenager, probably in his junior year of high school.
The other major difference is that, in the extended version, I’m writing something semi-autobiographical. Not wholly so — lots of bits and pieces are stolen from others’ lives, so much so that when I go back and smooth things over, the bits that are me might be unrecognizable. It all is very — very — loosely based on a real event in my life, the dissolution of a friendship. But so much unreality, and so much of others’ lives, are mixed into it. I’m finding this random mix-and-match recombination of life events in a very prosaic way rather liberating, in a way that writing characters in a rather remote time sometimes isn’t. Of course, there’s also the risk that since some of it is so close to me, I might mistake it as better, realer, than it is on the page.
Anyway, I’m 4300 words into a story that was supposed to be 5000 words, and I’m finding myself lost. The reason is that this story is fundamentally about something different than what the original story “Consolamentum” was about. So I think it needs to roil and boil a little longer, and while I leave it doing that, I’m going to go back to work on “Jinni the Quae” for a while. Leapfrogging from story to story. It seems to work for me, at the moment anyway.
Good news for those awaiting my HG Wells love/alien-VD story: I’ve started reading the Moura Budberg bio, finally.
The bad news? (Well, sort of bad?) The Wells/Moura/Gorky thing might well end up as a subplot of the novel I’m planning to work on this summer, set in the same world as “Lester Young and the Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues.” Of course, in that, it will be piecemeal, but I might work on a standalone short story as well, or maybe even just in preparation for the big project.