Editing. Oh editing, why must I love and hate you equally? Or perhaps, hate is to strong a word. Abhor? Avoid?
Honestly, I really and truly do enjoy the editing process. It is a necessary and vital part to any writer's process, one that really does tighten and mold a story into its best shape. But somehow, I find it very hard to stay motivated to continuing editing. Part of that is because I'm a very fast editor. And since I know I get through many pages quickly in a day, I often find myself procrastinating instead of getting through my set work for the day and switching to other projects.
But the other part of editing that distracts me is the research. I'll start looking up, say, different types of guns that might fit a certain section, and then end up several hours later going back to my story because I've been reading all sorts of interesting articles. And then the pressure mounts and I get uber-focused and voila! Editing is done.
Then I collapse on bed and get ready to do it all again the next day.
Another aspect of editing is that I find myself getting obsessive. I won't want to clean or cook or buy gas or groceries. Instead, I slip into every stereotype of a crazy author and refuse to live until the editing is complete...
BUT I cannot let myself turn into a hermit. I cannot let the editing process take over my life until I emerge blinking into the light of day a few seasons from now.
Come to think of it, I'm the same when when I'm getting near the ending of a first draft...
What I continue to learn about the writing process is that I adore it more and more, but I must also constantly work at fine-tuning it to fit the changing needs of my life. And I need to always remember that free time is more than worth the mental health it returns.
Alas, I must finish this blog. My book is waiting... the editing... the editing!!
Excerpt from Evriskon: Future Lost
When I wake, my chest is tight with an unknown pressure. My entire body aches, and I do not understand why. I try to remember, but there is only blankness.
Who am I? I think silently.
Another name occurs to me, but I refuse to let the word form. To distract myself, I open my eyes.
But I do not understand any of what I see.
The pressure on my chest pushes against me as I try to take in a deep breath. I try to see what it is, but there is nothing. It is then that I realize that it is the air itself that is thin, elusive. It is what is oppressing me.
My head throbs in the glare and I close my eyes to seek relief. I roll over and the throbbing goes down a notch. Face down, I open my eyes again. It is as before. Nothing makes sense.
The ground is blue. Blue earth. Blue dirt. Grass appears to grow in spiraling tufts, but it is white.
Maybe it’s dead.
But when I reach to touch it, it is soft. Alive.
Suddenly, understanding who I am is not as important as where I am.
I slowly push myself to my knees, fighting dizziness. My eyes squint as I look around me. Understanding is slow to come. But when I look up, I see why the glare is so harsh.
Then I remember…
Running. Flashes of lights. That incessant buzz, throbbing in my skull, burning against my skin.
They are close.
But I know I can escape. I believe it, fiercely, until I run into a wall. A wall built of dead bodies.
I will hide there.
But then I sense movement, a scurrying somewhere around the bodies. Insects? Roaches? Maggots? I try to steel myself to approach closer, but I see a tiny glint.
It is worse than I thought.
Tiny machines waiting within the mound to catch those trying to hide.
Machine logic. Humans trying to play dead would find such a place naturally appealing. A perfect place for a trap. And for a machine, there is a twofold benefit – no need to collect our bodies for later disposal. We’re already in place.
I stop, searching for a way around, but the only spaces for me to run are those from which I just came. I turn around, straining my eyes for some side alley, some open door. Anything.
But my time runs out.
Flashing lights of searching drones and hybrids round the corner. I want to cower down, but know that is a child’s choice. A foolish belief that I will get saved. There is no one else. I can only save myself.
Or if I can’t save myself, then I can at least face my death head on. Not bravely, not fighting. Just simply at peace.
The decision made, all tension leaves me. All fear. I can now see the helmeted figure of a hybrid leading a group towards me. Unwilling to let my last sight be that of a soulless, Nexus-controlled machine, I look up into the sky. To the end, I will choose my path.
The stars catch my gaze. Despite the fires raging in parts of the city and smoke from distant gunfire, the sky is partly clear. The stars beckon. I stare, recognizing the constellation Cygnus. Hadn’t some habitable planet been found, just before the Takeover?
Yes, there. Somewhere by that star near the swan’s head.
I close my eyes.
That will be my last sight.
A new world, one free of our genocide.
The buzz of the machines is closer. My eyes stay closed as I wish. I imagine myself forming a hole, a portal to step through. Energy surges. From within me, from around me – I don’t know. Perhaps I am dying. But I spend that final moment pouring every ounce of energy out into that last desire. A name slips from between my lips.
I am gone…
My eyes blink in the glare.
Two suns. My final wish. And somehow… somehow I am here.
A few months before, I shifted myself. I didn’t understand what happened, or how I was suddenly in another place. Was it magic?
No, I can’t believe in that. I don’t want to believe that. It must be some unexplained science, some new ability in my brain based on a physics mankind had yet to understand. Or so I hope.
I’ve been cautiously experimenting with shifting myself from place to place, evading the hybrids and drones of the Nexus. But shifting is exhausting. Which is why, when I was running through the remains of the outskirts of Bristol, my ability to shift had already been drained.
Then I remember the energy surging around me. My own? Or from somewhere - or someone - else.
My voice sounds flat in the thin air, and I dismiss my worry for how I shifted and am alive on another planet. Instead, I change my focus on how to stay alive. There is air, though it is thin. But I need water. I still have a few squished protein bars in my pockets, but I know they will soon run out.
To live, I need permanent sources of sustenance.
Then it hits me.
I escaped. I’m free.
But I cannot celebrate, because I am completely alone. When my life ends, so, too, does the last remnant of free humankind.
This is the moment I realize…
I must return.