won’t deny I’ve been under a lot of stress at work, all that man-against-man that looks so heroic and climactic in stories and yet comes across as petty nonsense in corporate environments. Honestly, the things people fuss over.
So I’ve been quiet. But I’ve also been mentally busy. Yeah, I’m dealing with your clucking and egg stealing, but I’m also considering ideas for my “Tubitz and Meganstein” rewrite. In a nutshell, this is a book I wrote almost three decades ago. I remembered liking it then, and recently I located an old copy in storage (likely the only version in existence). The ideas are dated – in this futuristic world, there is the idea of an old Berlin wall, and also that the United States and Russia finally nuked it out, smearing themselves out of existence and splitting the moon in the process. Increasingly, that future-image is sliding into the same dustbin as hovercars and jetpacks. And there is the writing. Ugh. I’ll talk about that in another piece.
But significant parts of the basic story, that of a young female thief and a young nobleman, opposites in every way, joined in flight, it really appealed. And I’m coming up with my own world, a cool place with neat steampunk technologies and economies and nations. So all those relationships take thinking, as do the changeovers from the old story to the new. For example, in the space-age version, the computers chirp away and form characters on their own. In this one, you have cogwheel calculators. So how much AI can I carry believably with this? Personally I’d think that AI would be almost impossible in something that primitive, but then again, I might be able to carry in clever wording and imagery. I’ve done it before. In Early Retyrement, I describe an early iron age computer, one that works along the lines of a modern one but relies on colored beads for values. Does it work in the story? Certainly. Would it work in real life? I doubt it.
So I’m trying to picture AIs, and come up with a snazzy denominations for currencies, locations, situations, all that. Been mulling it over for days. Then, out of the blue the other day, one of the Indian women at work cocked an eye to me and said, “You’re so quiet Robert. And not angry. You must be working on a new book.”
That blew me away. So perceptive. Most people don’t even know I’m there. If they noticed I was quiet, they’d think I was sulking or angry. To correctly diagnose it as creative effort, that’s astounding.
And gratifying. The creative process is great, but when it’s so intense, others pick up on it, it becomes special in itself.