Spent a while working on…

Spent a while working on reorganizing and refamiliarizing myself with the Sri Lankan story cycle. (Also re-sent the URL to the readers' list; if you want it, you need to ask to be on that list.) I hadn't added the stories from last spring ("Monsoon Day" and "Savitha", though I have this odd feeling that there was one more...) to the hidden page (hidden because I don't want this to count as publishing, sorry), so I added those. Added the revised versions of "Bodies in Motion" and "Lakshmi's Diary". Rearranged in the order I think I want to present them -- strictly chronological, going back from today to Sri Lankan in the late 1940's, then coming forward again through another family line. Here's the current order:

  • * Minal in Winter (Minal - Hyde Park, IL / Massachusetts 1999-2000)
  • * Bodies in Motion (Chaya - Evanston, IL 1999)
  • Ramesh's Story (Ramesh - New York, NY 1997)
  • The Light at Dawn (Maenaka - Hyde Park, IL 1989)
  • Lulu's Husband (Luluah - Hyde Park, IL 1981)
  • * Lakshmi's Diary (Lakshmi - Hyde Park, IL 1969-99)
  • Pieces of the Heart (Leilani - Hyde Park, IL 1966)
  • The Student (unfinished) (Arvind - Hyde Park, 1952)
  • * Seven Cups of Water (Medha - Colombo, Sri Lanka 1948)
  • * Sister Mary ("Mary" - Colombo, Sri Lanka 1949)
  • unwritten but plotted (Raksha as young teen - Massachusetts 1967)
  • * A Gentle Man (Suneel - Massachusetts 1979)
  • The Emigrant (Riddhi - Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1979-83)
  • Season of Marriage (Raji - Colombo, Sri Lanka 1981)
  • unwritten but plotted (Ashok - Colombo 1983)
  • unwritten but plotted (Vincent- Colombo 1983)
  • Challah (Roshan - Boston, MA 1998-9)
  • Savitha (Savitha - Berkeley 2001)
  • * Monsoon Day (Medha - Colombo 2002)
In the process it became reasonably clear what I want to work on next; I could do the Ramesh/Maenaka/Luluah set, but I think for class, the Leilani/Arvind set will transition more smoothly. I'm not entirely sure that first set will stay in there in any case; there are separate problems with all three of those stories (which were originally written for different purposes). Not insuperable, I think, but I don't want to just cram stuff in for the sake of filling out the collection, y'know? If they don't serve a real purpose, out they go!

I'm pretty happy with the overall arc, and it's satisfying having both ends reasonably well set. For a while, I thought I was going to end with Minal, but I think it makes more sense to start with her, and end with Medha. Minal is perhaps more me than any of the other characters; there's something very satisfying about the idea of starting the book with her. And Medha...well, I wouldn't want to be her, but when I get to be her age, I hope to have something of her composure, at the very least. Her peace with herself, y'know? Her not really giving a damn what the rest of the world thinks. That'd be nice. Something to aspire to...

I'm starting to feel like it might actually be feasible, this idea of having a draft of the collection ready by the end of the summer. Two stories revised by the beginning of March, and maybe that first set of three by the beginning of May? Leaving me the summer to write the new stories that are only plotted in the second half of the cycle. We'll see -- it's going to be fun trying, at any rate.

I'm still a little astonished at how slowly I write. I mean, I write fast when I'm writing -- but that happens so rarely, compared to people like M'ris (four stories this week!) and Tim Pratt. I guess I just feel like with this large project, I need the time to mull things over in my head, letting connections evolve relatively organically. But perhaps that's just an excuse for being a lazy bum, letting myself get distracted with all sorts of other projects.

Like continuing work on the SH POD. Which I'm really going to go do now, sure I am...

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