I was reminded it has been just about six months since I started writing Sacred Engines. Coincidentally, or maybe not, it was on the same day I crashed into the realization that I would be finished writing Sacred Engines probably in the next week or so.
It floored me. Sent me for a hell of a spin.
In case you’re wondering, Sacred Engines is the third and final installment of the weird occult fantasy series I’ve been writing and that has consumed an awful lot of my time for an awful lot of years now. Which, probably, is why the thought of it ending hit me so hard.
Red Sky Blues was the first book I ever wrote. I started it what feels like a million years ago and never thought I’d actually finish it. But I did finish it, and then for a while life was life and then I started writing what would become Darkweird. I don’t mind saying, that was a book I thought would kill me. The process of finishing Darkweird nearly broke me. Not just the writing, either. Although there were more than a few times where I would’ve been happy to hit shift+delete and walk away from the damned thing. Everything about that book was a battle. It left scars.
Yet, somewhere at the end, it invigorated me. I swore up and down that after I was finished with Darkweird I’d take some time off, maybe work on some short stories or start laying down the bones of a larger piece. Instead the very same day I sent Darkweird off for final approval and publication, I dug into Sacred Engines. It’s been a full-tilt, nonstop mad dash to the weirdpocalypse ever since then. It is the biggest, strangest, most ridiculous and outrageous thing I have ever attempted–as far as writing goes. It’s left me a wreck sometimes, moments that have found their way into the story I wasn’t prepared for. Moments I had to step away from and process, stunned at their affect on me.
These are characters I’ve spent years with in my head. Talking to them, learning who they are, what they want. They are a part of me, as much as the story itself is a part of me. In a lot of ways I suppose it’s natural to have gotten attached. And now I’m preparing to end it all and say goodbye.
And it will be such an ending.
There’s an incredible sense of freedom to knowing that a thing is ending. I can’t say anything about it, except that when at last Sacred Engines is released into the wild it will be a hell of a thing.
And then it will be all over.
And I keep thinking about that, and it’s messing me up a lot more than I thought it would. My brain is going into some kind of anxious, creative survival mode. Fragments of other stories have been jumping to the fore in fits and bursts for the last couple weeks. I can’t afford to pay them any mind, so I stuff them all into a tight box with a heavy lid marked in big black marker ‘FOR LATER.’
Which is probably a good problem to have. And to be entirely honest, despite ongoing struggles with treacherous biology, I’ve been in a really good headspace lately. Moments of doom and gloom and disconnect still occur–why would they ever stop?–but their shadow never lingers long, and they pass gently. The last six or so months since writing Sacred Engines have been good ones. I’ve gotten a lot done in a lot of areas; I can’t remember the last time I painted so much. My family is flourishing and that, perhaps, is the best part of it all and may have more than a little to do with things taking a brighter turn.
It’s a strange thing to feel something like hope for the coming year, but I do. There’s a lot to look forward to, and I’m eager for a change to get to it.