||[Jan. 11th, 2016|07:53 pm]
I've been half-joking with the returning students that since this was the first Christmas Break in years that found me not working on a novel, I spent it meandering and not really knowing what to do with myself. That's (a bit of) an exaggeration. But not quite a month after sending Secret Project to the publisher, I have been restless in the writing sort of way since I am In Between in the activity that usually rules my days and mind. Thus my brain has been spinning out the next two possibilities:
(1) Short book that for the most part won't require research. This would be a science fiction young adult novel that I literally dreamed up a few weeks ago - not the ending, of course, since my brain apparently wants me to work for it at least a little bit. The premise is an already-happened alien invasion of Earth, but one where the aliens weren't coming willingly and most would scurry off as fast as their appendages would take them if they were able.
(2) The next giant historical novel, the one about the Mississippi River. Another one that's been in my head for a long time, like the Shenandoah and Arizona novels before it. Research intensive. I would prefer this be a large single novel, but I know how well that worked out (or didn't) for my Shenandoah and Arizona novels plural.
In a small writing note I discovered last night that the painting I would like to use as the cover of the first Arizona novel, should I ever self-publish it - a painting by Frederic Remington - is not only public domain, but at least one museum also offers up a free-use photograph of it. (That would be the sticky part in copyright - the painting may be out of copyright, but not necessarily online pictures of it.) The cover of the second book would likewise be a Remington painting, but I haven't found any free-use photos of it yet.
Semi-related, I have a large collection of pre-World War II postcards of places in Europe and Asia that were destroyed or severely damaged in the war, including Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Nuremberg, Rotterdam, and several places in Normandy. I've toyed with the idea of self-publishing a book of these - a "Here's what these places looked like before they were destroyed" collection, including text about the places in the postcards - but there might be copyright issues there as well. The oldest postcards would be public domain automatically, but the rights to a few might still be owned somewhere. Since some were photographed and published in the Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan eras, that could be a thorny but interesting search.
Today was my first workout day of the new year, and actually the first workout I've done since October. I ended up not leaving myself time to do as much as I wanted, but I still knocked out an elliptical mile in 9 minutes and 40 seconds, along with some weight pushing (as opposed to weight lifting, that is). My only New Year's Resolution was to get to the gym at least twice a week, preferably three times; since I was going at least twice every week in the months leading up to my trip to Europe (so I could gallivant around Europe without giving myself a heart attack), I know it can be done if I just put my feet on the ground. Or the elliptical treads, as the case may be.
Now back to awaiting Secret Project edits, though now I will do so either listening to David Bowie or watching The Prestige again.