My Process: A Macroview

I usually have several ongoing book projects in the works at a time, each at a different stage of the compositional process. For example, at any given moment you can find me compiling preliminary notes and sketches for a forthcoming project, in the midst of a first draft of another, or revising a nearly finished one. When I’m not writing, I’m reading with intentional eclecticism, to guard against unintentional ideological bias, and I’m getting out and physically engaging with the world, to keep me grounded in the sensory details of existence. I have worked this way for nearly two decades. It seems a necessary aspect of my life now.

I started writing (and never finished) my first book in grade school, and periodically repeated the attempt with different concepts until I was in high school, when I finished my first book-length collection of short stories (Low Serotonin), followed in undergrad by a science fiction novel (Hegira) and a collection of free verse poems (Early Poems). The pace at which I worked gradually increased, resulting in nearly a book a year, until fairly recently, when parenting and increased responsibilities at work slowed me down a bit. I see no end to the writing though. My journals are bursting with potential material.

I began writing with fiction, in the style of the New Wave science fiction writers of the 1960s and 70s. I was eventually drawn, by the intense imagery of that subgenre, toward poetry, which I then wrote almost exclusively for a decade. In the past several years I have shifted back toward the narrative side of the writing spectrum, but have brought my poetry training with me. I’m now working in hybrid genres of my own design, not just for the sake of innovation but because this mode of writing feels the most natural and fun for me now.

I’m currently in the final stages of revising an experimental mystery novel (Gnarly Wounds) which Emergency Press is going to publish next year. I’m in the middle of a collaborative haiku rewrite of Moby-Dick (Dick), and I’m compiling notes and scouting setting locations for my next novel. More details on these projects in future posts…


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