I’ve largely been keeping my head down while working on getting Mouse Cage ready. All my little paranoias are coming back out to roost even as the manuscript approaches the point I can re-read it to enjoy it, admittedly, but progress is fairly hopeful on the whole.
Trouble is, every time I manage to put my head up to check on the state of the world, it’s all very worrying and demoralizing. Bad enough that, in fact, last night I had a nightmare about nuclear war kicking off – also about mysterious gaps in the floor appearing in the fashion of a platformer video game, true, but the main show was a nuclear war that kicked off due to events in Ukraine.
I don’t want to dig far enough into current events to tell you about it, but I will say that the news coming out of Ukraine is bad. And if you do a little bit of digging into the atrocities, it could give you nightmares too, so I suggest you don’t.
I don’t know what wise thing I can possibly say about it all. I know at some point it’s going to filter back into my art somewhere, though, and I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that.
Anyway. Ducking my head back down to my work and ignoring the world for a little while again, I can say that the Mouse Cage manuscript is definitely getting into shape.
Right now I’m going to be working on Mouse Cage fairly intensively, with some feedback from very kind friends who are giving it a quick once-over, and with a lot of luck? Might manage to get it out to you all by the end of May. Maybe a bit sooner.
Structurally, it is an intriguing beast of a manuscript. In some ways it’s very disconnected from itself, built from the bones of much older stories which I’ve finessed together – including the subplots from an early draft of Dog Country, back when Troy Salcedo the laboratory mouse was in the manuscript. In other ways, Troy’s journey through his life and the way he navigates an imperfect romance with Jennifer Dixon has all pleasingly woven together across the entirety of the manuscript.
It’s a very different book, with a very different structure, but that’s all part of the fun, right? However, it is also utterly nerve wracking, because it’s entirely possible not everyone will like those differences and I may flub somewhere without realizing it.
So. To deal with all that nervousness, both about the world and the writing, I am going to take advantage of the cold weather as an excuse to make myself a large mug of hot chocolate.
I hope you all have a bright and warm April ahead of you, that the news gets better, and that you all find safe places for a bit of mental respite from everything going on right now in the world.
As ever, thank you so much for your support and interest in my work.