Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

2010 – The Year of Creation

I turned 40 at the end of 2010 and thought I’d like to mark this in a big way, creatively.  What I came up with is the Year of Creation calling for a minimum of 40 Acts (or projects, if you like).  Most of these involve writing, but as you work down the list, the Acts start to pull me out of my comfort zones.  While certain events prevented me from completing everything on schedule, that doesn’t really bother me all that much.  Still in progress, and still lots of things to do, some of which have changed (Progress Report here), but here’s the original plan:

1     Novel.  Currently codenamed Project Stoneweaver, it’s a Fantasy Mystery taking place in a Secondary World, Late Renaissance equivalent setting.

1     Co-authored Novel.  Far Future, Military SF, First Contact story.  Or maybe it’s a Mediaeval Korean Zombie Fantasy.  We’re still debating.

1     NaNoWriMo project.  I’ve thought about it every year for the last three, but this year I’m budgeting November for it up front.  50,000 words in 30 days.  I’m sure it can be done.

18   Short Stories.  Holding this next to everything else on the list makes the number seem like a lot, but it’s really less than one story every three weeks and only a third the number of shorts I wrote last year.

3     Co-authored Short Stories, one with each of my children.  Two of the three are on board with this idea.  My oldest isn’t sure yet, but he’ll come around.

1     Heroic Crown of Sonnets.  A quick refresh: a sonnet is a classical poetry form with 14 lines.  It’s written in iambic pentameter with one of bunch of specific rhyme schemes.  A Crown of sonnets is a group of sonnets (usually 7) tied together with one theme, but it takes 15 sonnets to make a Heroic Crown, with the first lines of sonnets 2 through 15 being the individual lines from sonnet 1.  Not the easiest thing I’ve ever tried to write.

2     Edit two anthologies.  These are a pair of novella anthologies for the Library of Science Fiction & Fantasy Press: Distant Worlds & Distant Realms. You can find out a lot more about these at the anthology blog, but these are a major project so will get mentioned here from time to time.

1     Audio Drama.  Eight episodes of action and excitement taking place in the original series Star Trek universe.  Planned with a full cast, sound effects, nd hopefully traditional music.  It goes by the title “Fractured Unity” and the Gorn play a major part.

1     Podcast novella. “Turn the World Around”, inspired by the Harry Belafonte song of the same name, will probably break out into 10-12 30-minute episodes when finished.  Leaning toward a full voice cast but I won’t start this one until the work on “Fractured Unity” is complete.

1     Short Film.  “Zombie Kids”, starring my own children, will run at least 10 minutes I hope, but we’ll see what the final cut looks like.

1     1-Act play.  No thoughts on this yet, but it’s almost certain to be genre work.  What can I say?  I’m a geek.

1     piece of Instrumental Music at least 3 minutes long.  I have played at writing music once or twice in the past but never took it very far.  This will be a complete piece.

1     Pop Song.  I have no idea what possessed me to put this on the list, particularly since I’m not sure what I mean by ‘Pop’.

1     Recreated 80s Music Video.  I’ve come across a few of these on You Tube, usually involving lip-syncing to the original music, which is good because no one wants to hear me sing.  It looks like fun, but could be something to get seriously carried away on.

1     Mash-up.  This idea has appealed to me for a while.  A couple of ideas here, but I’m not sure I want to go with my first impulse.

1     Photo Essay.  In the age of digital photography, this could be interesting and fun, not to mention much easier than it would have been a couple of decades ago.  Subject, length, and just what I mean by “Photo Essay” are all unknown at this point, but I’ve got a half decent digital camera and a good supply of rechargeable batteries.  I’ll figure something out.

1     Comic Strip containing at least 15 instalments and probably involve stick people.  My visual artistic ability is very limited, which makes this project, and the next couple, surprising to anyone who knows me.

1     Abstract Painting/Drawing.  I have a feeling I’m going to need a lot of help from my actually artistic wife on this project, but there will be no cheating.  The final result will be completely by my own hand.

1     Self Portrait.  Hopefully, this will wind up being a little more complicated than me as a stick person, but it could also be very frightening.

1     Sculpture.  Remember that ashtray in grade two?  I’ll try to do better.


40      Acts of Creation

By time you get down the list to “Fractured Unity”, you’re moving out of my comfort zones.  The further down, the less comfortable I am, and the last three items frankly make me a little nervous.

It seems crazy.  Maybe it is.  But the breakdown isn’t that bad.  Really.  Looking at the novels and the short stories, I need to write 750 words per day from the first of January to the thirty-first of October.  Then I kick into high gear for the daily 1667 words NaNo requires.  If it works out, I can take December off to rest and think about 2011.  If it doesn’t, then I have a month to catch up.

But wait, I’ve got all that other stuff to do!  Well yes, but my average daily “new word” count for 2009 was well over 800 and I spent half the year doing more editing than fresh writing.  I think this plan is achievable.

I will have to steal a little more time from my life, but I’ll steal it from the time I spend aimlessly surfing the interwebs, or the little bits here and there I still spend watching TV, or anywhere else that it doesn’t affect anyone but me.  The time is there if I want it.

Here’s my promise:  the novels and the stories I will try to get published, if not necessarily all in 2010.  The anthologies are already spoken for.  Everything else, including any interesting Bonus Acts, will get posted.  EVERYTHING.  And I’ll blog a Progress Update every Wednesday (my birthday falls on Wednesday this year).  If people are interested, I’ll put up project pages for some of the bigger things.

Stay tuned.  It’s going to be a hell of a ride.


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