I’ve just read a book that absolutely fascinated me. Great story, the author could work on his writing skills and maybe linger a bit more on some the better scenes. There’s lots of obscure legend and wordplay that is rather a waste of time, even if philosophically the author was presciently predictive about 2021 – and wrote it a decade before. I almost feel I know the author. His ideas are somewhat familiar to me.
I’ve been working on bringing some books out as Indies. I am waiting on my proof-readers to finish CLOUDCASTLES and so been looking at books where the rights have reverted or they’ve never been published. The result being re-reading books by a person I almost feel I know. Sometimes I could (and maybe should) write it better. Sometimes… well I feel I got it right. The scary part is knowing coarsely where it is going to come out, but not all the twists… and when I go through it remembering the research and things I make reference to, fleetingly.
Seriously, I think , as a writer, it’s a worthwhile exercise. Firstly, I keep seeing things I did wrong. I might fix a few of them. Secondly, well, it has me thinking about where the sequel to DOG & DRAGON (one the reverted books) would go. It’s also chock-full of Celtic myths and settings which I feel need more exploration. How do you feel about re-reading something you wrote ten years or more back and haven’t looked at since?
It’s… perhaps part of what we do, to try to recapture the past. The way we once were. I spent today at sea with an old commercial lobster-potter, filling in as the deckie, so he could go out to sea (bureaucracy – and besides it’s hard). He’s a grand, tough old man, still fishing in the way his forefathers fished (sight marks on the shore – not GPS, pots made by hand of tea-tree withy) and he’s been doing this for at least 70 years. It’s his life, the steady beat of the diesel I’ll swear makes the blood course in his veins. That era of fishing and fishermen is all but gone. But I am glad to have been there, to seen it, been part of the sweat and toil and the excitement too. There is an enormous and raw vitality there, men doing something that urban dwellers have all but forgotten what is, and how it feels. I ache. But there is an enormous and deep satisfaction to it. It takes me back down the ages. And likewise with those books. They take me back too. And at least for a while I am that man.