The pull of a new story. Or trying to hold back while I finish things up!

I stepped out of my life for four weeks and 3 days. As I have said before, it was like I was in fairyland–though I did have a cell phone and was able to call home. While in fairyland, I heard lots of amazing stories. (Other people call these mystic worlds: Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales.)

Everyone who discovered I was a writer had a tale or encouraged me to go to this place or that place. Of course, nearly every single place I explored had seen  battles or viking massacres, or some other bloodshed. There were plenty of ghost stories. I walked along a path carved out my giants. Pubs and Inns were named after heroes of old– one of my favorites being Gwenllian the Welsh Princess turn freedom fighter.

Of course, In the written novel world: I have at least one more edit of Other Systems. Maybe even more.

And in the graphic novel world: Famineland 3: Mareton’s Curse needs to be finished. Before I left for Fairyland, Maria told me to redraw some panels and I need to finish up some coloring.

However just like my feet were roaming, now my mind is off wandering. It is looking for the next story to tell. I know what my next graphic novel will be. Maria and I discussed it before I left…and my excitement for that project has not waned, but my next written novel is going to be something different from I have written before. When I try to sleep, my mind is beginning to whisper ideas. The ideas were getting loudest in Wales as I neared the end of my trip. It was shouting on the plane ride home.

Still, this is not the time to look at the shiny new projects when I have to finish the ones I am working on.

This is one of the most difficult parts of the process for me. This is why I have a queue system which Maria and I instated while working on Faminelands 1: The Carp’s Eye. At first, it was pretty informal.

It is a file cabinet drawer. Whenever I get a new idea I give myself a five minutes (which honestly ends up being closer to a half hour) to write out every point, maybe do a sketch. Then I put it into a folder and it goes into the file cabinet. Then I go back to my project that I am working on.

After I finish my project, I can go back to the file cabinet and choose the next project. Sometimes projects jump ahead of others. Some are never more than ideas. Some of the ideas are honestly stupid. Some are great or at least good.

Somedays I want to curse the queue, but it is the way I am able to finish books without getting sidetracked. And besides, if I ever forget the queue, I have a best friend who won’t hesitate to remind me.

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