Over the last few months, while picking up the pieces of my shattered multi-state directorial debut, I’ve been getting back into the thing that brought me to my crushing kneecapping.
I’ve said before that I shoved aside a lot of writing projects and waved at a lot of deadlines as they went whizzing past to make that film and when the film didn’t happen, I looked around at the wake of my life over the last year and saw a lot of torn and broken pieces of myself – my writing, my reputation, and the critically wounded body of my Muse.
Slowly, I’ve been getting back into the well-worn grooves of the thing that makes me the most happy, and it’s been hard. I’m writing something for an anthology due forever ago and getting the words out feels like pulling dandelion roots. I have a pile of stories in various stages of decay, but I haven’t the foggiest idea where I was going with them. Stitching the final scenes of two novels, and I wonder if the endings feel flat or empty, or if over all they just don’t work. I’ve been submitting, and while I expected rejections (it’s part of the process and it keeps us humble), the first one shot back so fast, I needed a minute before marking the notation in Grinder. I feel like I’m pushing flat tires over what were familiar ruts and I am in terrible shape. Didn’t I used to have a mule, or a horse, or maybe Starlite, Skydancer, and a Phouka? This used to be simpler.
So every day I rotate my words, novels and novel synopses, short stories and submissions, and because 6 unfinished projects simply isn’t enough, I’m tackling the mother of all soul-crushing assignments – The Dark Crystal Author Quest.
From October 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013, The Jim Henson Company and Grosset & Dunlap of the Penguin Young Readers Group will be accepting writing submissions to find the author for a new novel set in the world of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. This author search is open to all professional and aspiring professional writers.
This new Dark Crystal novel will be a prequel story set at the time of the Gelfling Gathering, between the Second Great Conjunction and the creation of the Wall of Destiny. We’ve placed all known lore from this era on DarkCrystal.com, the definitive home of The Dark Crystal. There you will find all the knowledge available for you to shape and build your story – and all we ask is that you share your stories with us. Source– Dark Crystal Author Quest
I can do this. The word count is doable, the world is familiar (and populated!), and it has an end point – at least from here, I can see the end point. This is pretty much like all of my ideas: I already have everything I need. I just need to use my words and bring to life a world last visited by many of us in 1982 and jack the timeline back about 1,000 years. A large chunk of the lore is open to interpretation and as foreboding and grim as parts of Dark Crystal were, this is essentially a Heroes Quest, a The Body/Stand By Me with Gelflings. Well, not really, but it’s a lot easier to break down parts of a story into recognizable bits when tinkering with the lives in someone else’s world.
I have a lot to do over the next 5 months, and I have a lot to look forward to. I’ll be a little overwhelmed, a little short and a lot scattered, so pease accept my apologies in advance. I want to come out on the other side of this craptastic year having accomplished something I can be proud of.