©2022 Michael Raven

I have been obsessing over a single word these past two or three days. I can’t recall when it earwormed me exactly, but it slipped in between the thin places and started gyrating in my noggin and… well… I’m not quite sure what I mean to do with it, but it seems like a word that has some needing to be done with it for whatever reason my subconscious wants it to play with.

It’s actually a pretty banal word, all told.

The word?


And, worse yet, I’m not sure what to do with it.

I have this urge to play around with a reoccurring theme of mine with short (and long) fiction that never quite gets to the place where I want to take it, and so, it crumples under its own weight and turns into a pile of ashes, sticks and unconsolidated mortar like a lipsticked pig. But these reoccurring theme that I never can quite explore to my own satisfaction is the idea of some badass knight errant type of grimdark woman who is in a world gone crapsack. Except: in my current dough-like envisioning, I’ve gone back to the idea of it being a recovered verdant world full of morally grey choices and morally darker grey people trying to make ends meet. Folklore, either created or borrowed from my British Isles friends or from my Eastern European forebears should play a role, but not just the vampire and werewolf motifs popular with today’s urban romance novels. Instead, gimme a striga, rusalka, or a baobhan sith, please, if we’re going to deal with folklore nasties. Wendigo, my Wendigo.

But, you see, it’s just a vague sense of what this might be and, so like a broken rattle missing more than a few seeds, my brain just cries hinterlands! Hinterlands! HINTERLANDS!!!! over and over, hoping something more worthwhile supplants the will o’ wisp fragments of plot and intrigue bouncing around my skull for the ride.

It’s been since early November, when I had my meltdown during NaNoWriMo (shh, we’ll not speak of such sordid things), that I’ve been inclined to write fiction of any type. And now, tick tock tick, the demons are picking the door of the inner chamber I had locked them behind and I am getting the urge to set them free. Woe is the world if that happens because, I have serious doubts as to my ability to write worthwhile fiction.

Chances are, you’d have such nonsense foisted on you here.

Then things would go from bad to worse right quick.

6 thoughts on “Outlands

  1. Hahahaha…..Michael, you’re not alone! This post is going to resonate with so many readers as it did with me. 😀

    NanoWriMo works for few but I’ve mostly heard experiences of writer’s being burn out. I haven’t attempted it but I do wonder how healthy it is for the mind?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Burn out is a real possibility. But I think that’s mostly because people do more of anything but writing when they participate. I’m guilty too. It’s not that hard to write 1700 words a day. They don’t have to be good words, they just have to be writing. Revisions afterwards are for making it look good.

      But, as I’m find of saying, I have no shame with posting works in progress and knowing they are not finished products. So it goes to reason that I definitely don’t have much shame with anything I don’t post. 50k words is tough, but doable.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Bury the doubt. I’m sure, like me, you’ve read some pretty terrible stuff (both on WP and, let’s be honest, actually published), so the best thing is to put pen to paper and get going. You already write from the heart so I have confidence in your ability to create longer fiction.
    I’m waiting…!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha. I’m still traumatized from the early pandemic read I was given in exchange for an honest review.


      I know… I’m my own worst critic, but I like to temper my enthusiasm for my own prose after reading some of unpublished novels I’ve written after the fact. Some are truly cringe-worthy.

      Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I’ll go full Stephen King and just barf it out and hope revisions make it look slightly less like tripe.

      Liked by 2 people

Post a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.