Mass Hysteria! is done! Or at least the first draft is. There's still plenty of adjustments and edits that need to be made before it goes off for formal development and edits sometime in 2016. But for now, it's finished.
You may recall I mentioned writing a short companion piece to this story in an update last month, but I think I may hold off on that one for now.
I'm itching a bit to get back into the sci-fi groove, but I'm also a bit too burned out on all the real-life horrors of late to want to continue writing about cannibals and humans decimating one another so completely and so viciously.
Since my last blog post on my writing affairs, and in between finishing Mass Hysteria! right after Thanksgiving and today, we've seen terror attacks on Paris, on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, and in San Bernadino yesterday (some refuse to call these last two terror attacks, but I'm calling it like I see it.). In the US, we've now had more mass shootings than we've had days in the year thus far (336 days, 355 shootings. But it's still fairly early on the Eastern Standard Time zone at the time of this writing. Those shooting numbers will go up again soon, if not today then by week's end, no doubt).
So, no. I'm not in a particular mood to write about yet more horrors at the moment. Mass Hysteria! took a bit of a toll on me, and it got brutally dark in some areas. For now, then, any more stories in this world are off the table.
Mass Hysteria! is a complete story all by itself, so no worries there. Whenever it does release, you'll still get the complete arc and know everything you need to know. The story I had tentatively titled Checkmate was little more than a subplot I had to drop and which was not working well with the central narrative of the story proper. I'm also becoming of the mind that...well, I dropped it for a reason. It wasn't working. It just was so not working. Maybe rather than trying to shoehorn a separate short story out of it, it's better to just move on. I'm not even in a particular rush to edit, which is probably a good thing (and besides, I can't afford it right now, so that helps, too). I need to come up for some fresh air for a little while and get some distance between myself and the work.
And then there's that itch for sci-fi again. Science fiction is where I made my dent with the release of Convergence and Emergence. There's a third book to be done, eventually. Maybe not right now though. Not until I've gotten my head into a little bit better of a space for the long-term commitment it would require.
The idea I'm tossing around now is, actually and funnily enough, post-apocalyptic. And although that doesn't exactly inspire all kinds of happy thoughts, I think the kernel of the idea carries with it a certain amount of hope for mankind as a whole. We are, as a species, survivors, and it's important to remember that, even when things get as bleak as they are at the moment, and especially as anger threatens to consume us. It's easy to be angry, less so to be hopeful (at least for me).
And that's what I need to write about right now. Survival. Change and adaptation. But most of all, a little bit of hope that can shine against the darkness.