contact sheets and airplanes… where do I get this stuff?

2007 is underway, and I’m writing every day. I’ve finished a substantial re-write on a story, but it requires another pass. It’s rare that I will unleash a story upon an editor without at least 4 or 5 writing sweeps. I don’t like to send out work until it’s ready. Judging when work is ready is difficult. Usually, when I think the story is finished, and nothing else can improve it, I estimate it needs at least another re-write.

It’s easy to be fooled by one’s prodigy.

I’m also working on another story but it’s slow writing. I’m yanking this one right out of my head, without much planning. Thus, I’m only coming to understand what it’s about as I write it. I paused it, and switched to my re-write because I think there are two completely different stories competing in it. One is a fantasy, and one is science fiction. I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and doing research. I may have to peel them apart. It’s like pulling transparent backing from a white contact sheet. It looks like a single piece of paper, but once you dig your nail under the plastic you realise they are separate entities, sandwiched together by force of attraction. I need to figure out what each of them is about, and perhaps what unites them, before I can recommence writing.

This is a completely different story than the one I mentioned at the end of last year. That one continues to circle the airport, waiting for permission to land. There are a couple of other ideas that are further back in the queue that check in with the air traffic controller on occasion, and wonder if they’ll ever see the tarmac.

I put a lot of faith in that air traffic controller. She seems to know when to land the planes. I’m sure some of them, way, way back, just fall out of the sky due to lack of fuel. Others ration it somehow and manage to fly long enough to obtain the final clearing for descent.

I want to get more planes on the ground this year. All of them: the dinky two-prop crafts, the streamlined supersonic jets, the massive Superjumbos, the helicopters, the silent gliders, and wacky imaginary stuff like nuclear-propelled dirigibles or dimension-phasing vehicles.

Then I can carry out repairs, re-fuel them, and direct them up into the cloud-studded sky to discover their final destinations.

Ah, extended metaphors. They work better in blogs than in fiction.