Tan Said


The Three Cs

Got my three Cs – coffee, computer, and cookie. The cookie is an indulgence. I ate breakfast – granola and yogurt with blueberries – a few hours ago, but I feel hungry, so what the hell, I indulged myself and ate a cookie. Salty caramel, if you must know.

Admittedly, eating the cookie was a little bit of stalling. I was stalling my start today because yesterday’s writing events surprised me. Handley attacked Kanrin with a sword. Kanrin killed her. What was going on with Forus Ker? He just sat there watching. Meanwhile, the ship’s alarms continue to go off. Kanrin’s nets have been compromised. And where are the rest? What are they doing?

None of this was planned. The destination is known but the path is a wildly winding way.

Once I finished writing those pages and concluded that chapter, I cleaned up errors and checked continuity. Then I walked, and wondered, where are we going now? What’s supposed to happen?

All of this took me down paths about immortality and death. Born with a fear of dying, and still capable of suffering injury and pain, one doesn’t abandon those fears, despite the evidence of past experiences. Even if you’ve died and returned before, or you’re not sure that what’s happening is reality, virtual reality, or a hallucination, and even if you’re doubtful if the outcome matters because of everything else happening, coping with the natural emotional and intellectual stresses inherent in these paradoxes challenges your will and sanity. Put yourself in that position and imagine. And remember, whatever the brain or personality might decide, the body may have different ideas. We’re not the masters of ourselves that we’re told as children. It’s a lesson we learn as we age and our bodies and abilities decay. It’s a lesson that’s reinforced as we meet others with lesser and greater abilities than ourselves. Exploring these avenues of similarities and differences and the impact on our decisions and actions is one of the most exciting and delicious parts of my writing experience.

When I walked and thought, I struggled to know what was to happen next in this story? It’s stupid of me to wonder, but I can’t resist. I know, though, I’ll slip into the moment and begin typing, and things will come out that I never foresaw. Consciously, I don’t know what’s next, but once I assume the typing posture, out it comes, if I just let it.

Yeah, it feels like weird fucking magic, typing something when I don’t know what I’m going to type. After all these years of writing, the process still astonishes me. I hope it never stops.

Now fortified with sugar and caffeine, it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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