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I've been in a writing slump the past 2-3 weeks--and it has less to do with intrinsic interest in writing than just overwhelm and tiredness in life, especially getting toward the end of the teaching term. Around last week, I decided to try something novel and just rest up when I'm not having to watch my kids or do my day job. I took a nap. I have been reading more. It's lovely.

And yet, though I haven't been writing much, my muse started talking to me this morning, and I got down some good notes on a novel I'm not actively working on right now. It's the prequel to the novel I finished a draft of last year, The Sins of the Mind Readers. My mom finally finished reading said draft and remarked to me that "it's not entirely successful." And you know when your mom thinks your work is not entirely successful, you'd better pay attention. Thing about Sins is it may never be successful. It's a big, ambitious look at the human heart in a sort of literary fiction vein but as science fiction, which is a weird line to cross. However, the one thing I can do to greatly improve it is write the damn prequel because at least 65% of what's tripping everybody up is that they can't understand the plot and too many characters are "off stage," and that's because it's really a sequel to another story.

So I need to write the prequel--and I had some cool revelations about it today. This story--I'll call it Ghanior's story for the main character because I don't have a good title yet--is one I started at 16, and it suffers from some teenage assumptions. For one thing, I sort of assumed that my main character would just be able to leave his home planet and take extremely powerful technology to another nation and no one would really stop him because, hey, he's not a slave. It has been dawning on me in revisiting this story that he couldn't get offworld without breaking major, major laws--hard-won laws that go back to the end of my first novel, Perdita. He would be in so much freaking trouble. So my main revelation is what to do about this, and I had an idea I think is reasonably clever to actually open this book with maybe 50 pages on these machinations, basically becoming a plot between protagonist Ghanior and a few others to get him illegally off-planet with this tech. I think it will not only answer the logical problems but be pretty good, tense storytelling if I do it right. It also fits pretty well with Ghanior's overall character trajectory. He pops up in Sins about 40 years later and really has a history of playing fast and loose with law, so this would be a good genesis for that characteristic.

So I'm feeling pretty good despite little writing happening. I did revise my short story "Oxymorons" for my writers group. It's one of my only things not set in my Continuation universe. It's a fairly near future, climate change story set on the moon.
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