Writing Update:

I’ve completed 55,000 words on my novel Highway West. My current estimate is that it will eventually reach 100,000 words. I think the rush the last couple of weeks burned me out a bit. Chapter five had been as difficult as pulling nails. The story is fun, but after a while I also get the urge to do something else as well.

Trying advice of what I’ve seen from other, more experienced writers, I’ve started taking breaks and working on some short stories when I get that restless urge. Sometimes, I get so many ideas and thoughts that it is like information overload. Or I try out ideas in a short story before moving it into the novel.

I tried this with “New Gods of the Lost Children” and tulpas in the Crossroads universe. It works.

Today, I completed the draft of “What You Need…” It started when I was considering Poppy Z. Brite’s move from horror to chef drama novels. I enjoyed what I read in the Outsiders, but it made me wonder if I limit myself too much to speculative fantasy. I’m not sure they have a name for the stuff I write. I like magic realism the best. I wondered if I could set a fun story in a restaurant and thus came up with the restraint with no name. insatia hated the idea. I was amused and the idea kept bouncing around in my head. I finished “What You Need…” today. I’m happy with it, although finding a market for it will be a real bitch.

The opening paragraph is:

Jeffrey Davis was the second most feared food critic in Seattle. Tony Giuliani was feared the most, but then he once stabbed a waiter with a shrimp fork for getting hair in his soup. With good behavior, Giuliani was expected to get out of jail in three months. That kind of notoriety was difficult to overcome, Jeffrey realized. He swore that he’d take advantage of the three month head start and try to seize Seattle’s culinary scene by the throat. Determined, he had visited every new hole in the wall theme restaurant hoping to find a new flavor of the month. The key to holding the public’s interest is finding the new flavor.

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