My oldest son upgraded my computer for me about two months ago--moving me to the newest thing--a solid state hard drive, a new quad-core motherboard, ram, etc--all in a shiny new case. You can tell that I'm not a techie because I'm not excited about its sporty appearance, nor am I quoting the specs. About ten years ago I would have been--largely because I probably built it myself. Times have changed and I no longer want to know what's under the hood. Now I just want it to take me the places I need to go as quickly as is reasonably possible. I want to know that it will still be running when I return, and that my data will be safe. My son rolls his eyes at me when I say this kind of thing. However my new computer is super-fast and that I love it and the boy who put it together for me.
However when he re-installed the OS he forgot that my copy of Win7 is actually an upgrade, so for about two months Windows has been issuing me warnings that it was going to fire the doorman and turn off the electricity if I didn't deal with the situation. This meant looking for my Vista CD and re-installing it and then re-installing 7. The fallout? I'll also have to re-install Office, Expressions, Chrome, and that little farming game I like to play when I'm supposed to be writing or studying. Then I have to re-customize everything in Office so that I can format documents quickly, etc. A minor headache of course, but a headache all the same and I've been putting the project off.
First I was just waiting for Christmas break, and then I was waiting for Christmas to be over, and then I was waiting to not be writing. Sure enough yesterday it shut off the background pictures and my desktop is black. And now I'm getting mafia like threats--"You could be a victim of fraudulent software, if you know what we mean. Contact Microsoft. We'll make you an offer you can't refuse . . ."
So I started moving files to another drive and backing up the pictures I've taken over the last month. In the process I found a file full of short stories that I hadn't so much forgotten as I had deemed them "not good enough". Not good enough because none of them are especially fun stories--and they are clearly from a period of time in which I was still attempting to write straight literary fiction. The work is actually pretty good, but I prefer the material that makes up the SING collection because it's more representative of my current longer works. As I looked through it I spotted an emerging theme. I clearly spend a lot of time thinking about women and our ability (or sometimes inability) to control not only our own destiny, but the destinies of those we love. There is some of this in SING, but it is far more pronounced in the earlier pieces. I didn't realize I was such a feminist.
At the rate I'm going, I will probably not complete Bright before May and even then it will need intensive edits to bring it to the standards I set. It will (hopefully) be released next August. Meanwhile I don't want to lose any audience I've gained--faithful and kind as they are, people do eventually shrug and wander away. So I've decided to release this collection under the title of the story that kind of defines it, "Souvenir". Estimated date of release? Late February/early March. I'll know more once my primary beta reader (Gary) takes a gander at a couple of the pieces.
Meanwhile, send good vibes my way as I wipe my drive and commence installing Vista, re-installing drivers and all the other software that makes this writing thing so much easier.