Monday, January 1, 2018

Tales of the Splintered Realm

I realized in the last few weeks that it had been several months that I have updated the blog, and I thought it would be a good idea to share what's been going on. I also thought that New Year's Day, since it symbolizes new beginnings and all, would be an appropriate time to launch a new venture of sorts.

1. An Update
Things have been going well for me academically. I received an email two weeks ago from my university that I have completed the first half of my doctoral program; I have earned 30 doctoral-level credit hours towards my degree in Educational Leadership. I have also completed a local program that gives me certification as a building-level administrator in New York State. This means that my transition from classroom teacher to building-level administrator is underway. It's been a great seventeen years as a high school ELA teacher, but I am definitely ready to move to the next phase of my career.

2. A New Venture
That said, I have had the wonderful opportunity this year to teach an elective in poetry and creative writing, with some very talented and insightful seniors. It's been a joy to break down stories to their nuts and bolts from a writer's perspective, and to examine how and why stories work they way that they do.

One of the revelations to me personally in this process has been that I am not a novelist. I have attempted to write a few novels now, and they have never found completion in a way that I have found satisfying. While I want to be a Tolkien, I am more of a Sir Doyle. My wheelhouse is short stories, where I can mine a single idea or follow a leaner narrative to its conclusion. I have realized that this gives me the flexibility to tell a wide range of stories across the Splintered Realm, and that over the course of time these would become a larger narrative. In effect, I am embracing a more episodic than climactic story form, where the sum total of the short stories may ultimately tell a larger, albeit circuitous, story.

This story is going to be about Mim and Rand, and their various adventures across the Splintered Realm. These are not going to be released in a chronological fashion, and I am going to jump back and forth across their story as the whim strikes me. I have posted the first of these tales, a story I wrote almost four years ago but recently revised. This is going to be the template I follow, aiming for 2,500 to 5,000 words per story.

I have published the first of these installments, and will update as I get stories done. My goal is to publish a new story at the beginning of every month, but that will depend on how life goes. This is definitely a side project, so time will tell...

Happy New Year all, and thanks for reading.

- Mike