In keeping my promise, this time I’ll update you on what I’m working on right now.
You’d think that with quarantining amid a global pandemic, time would have opened up to do more writing. However, I still have to work, I still have home responsibilities to both my family and our home and pets, and most importantly: after staring at a computer screen for work all day, it’s still really hard to do more of that in the evening and on weekends, even if it’s to be creative.
So what am I working on?
My recently completed novel titled “Limits” (I like one-word titles) is about two people stuck together on a small spaceship. As I wrote it, the role of the ship itself diminished, but it was the original reason for writing the book. You see, as early as my high school years I dreamed of a ship that could take off and land without the need of runways (‘VTOL’ – Vertical Take Off and Landing), but flew like an airplane. The margins of my high school workbooks were filled with doodles of this ship, which I called an Airlifter. It was powered by two large fans located within the wings, which could rotate once the wings created lift, effectively changing them from lift to propulsion. I never stopped thinking about my Airlifters, but over the past ten years or so the concept changed. The reason was air. If the ship required air, that meant it could only operate where there was an atmosphere. And that just felt too limited. So, over time, the propulsion system changed from using fans to using Selective Gravitational Field drives. ‘Limits’ barely touched on it, but I felt that it required more attention.
At about the same time, I started thinking about people who run large corporations. Usually Chief Executive Officers, or CEOs, we tend to think of them as filthy rich, impersonal demons who try to squeeze every hour out of their employees before ruthlessly casting them aside when they’re spent. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, they weren’t all like that. At least, not at first. And I wondered if I could turn that into a story: how does someone go from being a teenager with big aspirations to becoming the head of a large corporation, perhaps even the largest corporation?
That is how the story was born for the book that I’m writing now. The working title is CEO, although I’m fairly certain I’ll change it to ‘Rising’. As with Undying and Limits, it uses technology as a means to write about people. It starts with the first (accidental) discovery of the Selective Gravitational Field drive, and takes us along as its inventor becomes the head of the largest corporation on the planet. While the technology is the guiding factor, it becomes secondary to the story about Mike Newburgh and how he lives through the changes in his life.
I actually started ‘CEO’ before I started ‘Limits’, but now I’m excited to write the whole story. From a writing perspective, you might be interested to learn that this will be the first novel that I’m writing in actual chronological order.
As I’m getting older, I’m slowly starting to acknowledge the finite constrictions of life. Since there are still so many stories that I need (and not just want) to write – more on that in my next post – I’m going to have to make some changes in my personal life. I can’t quit my day job since that’s financially not viable, but I can dedicate more time to writing. Starting on July 1 2020, my goal is to spend as much of my down-time as possible on writing. If I write instead of watching YouTube, TV shows or movies, I feel that I should be able to complete ‘CEO’ within a year. After all, I’m already 40,000 words in.
I’ll let you know how it turns out!