What’s Up?

An update on what’s new in the writing life of C.S. Gomez.

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I almost have my Associate of Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Langara College. This semester sees my last course in the program and it is, appropriately enough, a creative writing course; specifically, Screenwriting. It’s pretty exciting because although I have very little experience in writing screenplays (a seven-page adaptation of Poe’s “The Raven” and a 30-page original short), film itself as always interested me. It’ll be fun learning some more of these skills and who knows? They may come in handy in the future. I have to (in)formally pitch my project idea on Tuesday. I think I’ve decided which one I’ll do. Details to come…

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I’m having a great deal of trouble deciding where I go from here. Do I enter into a publishing program at Langara or elsewhere? Could I stand being a journalist until I get my big fiction break? Do I go into another hobby of mine, graphic design? Do I try and get into photography, a skill I have yet to master but would be willing to learn? Or do I abandon any idea of a solid, stable career to “fall back on” and focus on becoming a professional writer of fiction while staying in the entry-level workforce to support myself? The possibilities seem limitless—yet none of them seem terribly satisfying. Writing, and in particular fiction, is my first love. Nothing else quite captures my attention or imagination. The problem is…it’s hard to make a living at.

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I have decided that larger sized Moleskine notebooks are my ideal medium for writing by hand. It is rare for me to be typing a story without the aid of a notebook to take with me when I am out and about. Regular lined paper and other notebook brands just don’t seem to cut it. Talk about buying into the corporate system.

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Several projects are vying for my commitment this year. I’ve become very keen on the idea of putting together a book about my family’s experiences living in the Dominican Republic. My grandparents were missionaries there, and there was where they raised their children. It’s also where I was born. I have plans to interview everyone and gather together all the little stories and memories and photographs into a history of our family, with a copy for everyone. But on top of this is the realization that I need to come up with some short stories (or a full-length novel) to begin shopping around to magazines. There are also a number of cool ideas for other projects, including a Victorian fantasy about a very special and magical gentlemen’s club, a retelling of the classic fairy tale “Beauty And The Beast”, and no less than two science fiction epics. Not to mention…

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Plotting and scheming has begun on the next adventure of Emily Monroe. Whether actual writing will begin this year or not remains to be seen (see above), but one way or another there’s some heavy pre-planning that has to go into this one; more mystery-solving and less globetrotting. I also need to figure out exactly how it will be presented. A blog is kind of cool, but there are limitations to what you can do with the layout in WordPress, and there’s also the matter of later publication to consider. I definitely want these stories to hit the big time, and putting them out on the Internet beforehand is a bit problematic for publishers; they prefer selling things that you can’t get for free. I’ve thought about keeping it a bit more private this time around and using email to send a kind of digital newsletter (or a print version) with each installment. And to top all that off, the early days of 2010 have seen the true dawn of an idea to expand the universe Emily Monroe inhabits. A clue was deliberately planted in The Whitehawk Legion, but with more of an eye towards her own future adventures instead of…well, we’ll see what comes of it.

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