Over the Labor Day weekend I was making really good progress on Children's Crusade, outlining the scenes in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 that were holding me back. I was really looking forward to getting back home and developing them more fully.
And then, early in the morning of Labor Day, images started coming in from another of my worlds, one that's been in the back of my mind in various forms since I was in grade school but never seemed to be the sort of thing that would have any commercial potential. After all, it was a world so weird, so disturbing that especially when I was a kid I was very concerned that telling anybody about it (or even writing it down) would be apt to upset them so severely that they'd think I needed some serious mental help.
Of course now I've seen some horror and some cyberpunk that goes a lot further, so it's possible that trying to write it down and get it published wouldn't be a ticket to a little padded room where the nice people in white coats are here to help me. But it's still much more of a longshot world, not exactly the sort of thing that's likely to go on the first time out, from an unknown writer.
But it simply wouldn't let me go, so there was nothing to do but jot down the ideas in hopes of getting them out of my head. And after a week of this, I finally decided it had gone on long enough and it was time to get back to work on Children's Crusade. Except when I sit down to write, the images that seemed just ready to pour out now are dribbling out only reluctantly, and what does come out seems insipid and lifeless.
So I'm now working on a short story in the other universe, which is named for its rulers, the Madrians. "Broken Bird" is something of a side story, and we don't really see the transformation technology that could really disturb readers, but I'm having some real trouble figuring out where it's going. I've got the first part done easily enough, but now that I've gotten Addie introduced to Lord Rathgan and his daughter Venna, to whom she is to be a boon companion, I have no idea where it goes.
Of course it would help if I had some time to just throw ideas around and see how they form up. But it seems like time is always short, and there are far too many things to do with what little I have.