Small update ere we get into the meat of this blog post, yeah? I’m currently in the thick or polishing up The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis, Tales of Calopa: The Fahlworth Papers, and Tales of Calopa: Tuning the Orchestra for their packaging into the upcoming Lexicon Calopa book. New maps, new tweaks, new surprises for any Calopa fans out there. I’m aiming to have this bad boy available for you all for the Holidays.
Because I like you.
I realize that in certain cultures that this is an indecent proposal. I regret nothing.
I’ll also be updated my listed books and the list of what you can expect from me in 2017. It’s going to be a pretty big year for me, release-wise, and I’m sincerely hoping you are remain crazy enough to tag along for the ride.
But let’s get into this post, or we’ll be here all day discussing the ins and outs of my projects, and that’s only fascinating to me. No fun for you. Unless you’re a stalker. If you are, just remain in the voyeur perch of your choosing, and the appropriate authorities will be along shortly.
Let’s talk hindsight. It’s an undervalued tool for creative types out there. I’m not talking the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” brand of hindsight, but the two-pronged tool that you can use to improve what you’re doing right now.
I bring this up because I’m employing it a lot as I pour over the first complete novel I ever finished, The Rhyme of the Golden Aegis. I put this out into the wilds in 2013. It’s 2016, and I’m only now really in a position to improve it. That’s not the smartest way to go about it, mind, so don’t hold that up as the how-to of your own work. Don’t be like me, kids.
But it is damned useful. By taking the time to make this collection, and going back, I’m able to do a bit of time-travel and personal improvement all in one go. That’s the two-pronged nature I mentioned, earlier. I’m taking what I know now to improve on what I did then, and I’m also forgiving myself for a lot of missteps along the way.
And, yeah, it would be easy to accuse me of pulling a Lucas and going Special edition on this thing. But, I promise the whole point isn’t to add superfluous shit in the background, or a completely unnecessary song and dance number into the mix.
Pictured: When Science betrays all of us.
This is pure polish. For you, it could be that time and space necessary to pick up a work from years ago that you didn’t release and look upon it with not only fresh eyes, but more compassionate ones. Even if you ruthlessly edit it into shreds, you can smile a little rueful smile and forgive that younger, less inexperienced you.
You were an idiot back then. We all were. It’s a prerequisite for living on this planet. Or for running for a political office. Either or.
Now, there’s this great artist exercise I see getting thrown around in various communities from time to time, and it has to do with re-doing a piece of art you illustrated years ago. It shows you how far you’ve come, how your tastes and sensibilities have changed, and gives you some solid proof that the slow march of your efforts have eaten up more road than you had first thought.
I’ve never taken it upon myself to do this, but in a way that’s precisely what I’m doing now. And that’s exactly what you can do with any old piece of work, particularly things you left to collect dust in the trunk to get back to on some ephemeral date. That “one rainy day” that everyone talks about, but doesn’t appear on any calendar.
Note: I should totally make a Procrastination Calendar. Someday.
I had something witty for this . . . eh.
Now is as good a time as any for you, and it’ll do you a world of good if you are willing to go into the experience with a forgiving heart. Because that’s what you really have to latch on to: not what you did wrong, not admonishments about how idiotic you were, but rather what you did right and what can be improved here and now based on what you’ve learned since.
And, I won’t lie: it’s also a slice of nostalgia. If you don’t go in for that sort of thing, feel free to tell those memories to get the hell off of your lawn.
But if you do dig on it, you can use it, and view it through the clear spectacles of the Present that you’re currently rocking. Yes, those glasses are “on point”, “on fleek”, and on whatever other plug-and-play positive adjective might come into use in the future. I don’t keep up. I just roll with it as it comes along because to do otherwise would only hasten the cold embrace of obsolescence and a membership to AARP. I ain’t that old yet, damn it.
SHUT IT, tricycle-waif, or so help me I will inflict 19th century child mortality rates upon you.
Consider it a snapshot as you polish it up armed with more information now than you held back then. Use it. Let it influence you, and distill it through that wisdom. The end result will be greater than the sum of the parts from Past and Present. Like a Lego set getting even more bitchin’ with the inclusion of blocks that just weren’t available back then.
Yes, I like Legos. Shut it. I’m allowed.
Crack open that old portfolio. Have a go at it. You may just surprise your present self with what your past self left for you.
That’s all from me for now.
Until next time, Horns Up.