You have probably noticed that I haven’t posted any updates on my own writing work lately. No? Well, who needs you anyway. For those of you who have been paying attention, I haven’t been giving any updates because there’s essentially been nothing to update. I haven’t really been writing since the beginning of the year. It’s not that I’m blocked, but rather there just hasn’t been room in my head for stories with everything else that’s been going on.
People are always asking me why I chose to live in Thailand. Although there are lots of reasons, they really all came down to a feeling that this was “home.” I first visiting the country more or less on a whim in 1987, and the feeling was almost instant. The best explanation I’ve ever found for this feeling can be found in a book by W. Somerset Maugham: Moon and Sixpence, a novel very loosely based on the life of Paul Gauguin.
I recently realized that I’ve used a certain setting in three of my books, and yet I’ve never written a post about it. The place is the Terrace of Elephants in Angkor Thom, the huge royal city complex near Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It appears, however briefly and in different time periods, in Journey to Angkor, The Naga’s Treasure and my latest work in progress, “Letting Go”. [caption id="attachment_1316” align="aligncenter” width="600”]The Terrace of the Elephants[/caption]
Song of the Loon by Richard Amory So, I was on my morning bike ride (cardio, don’t you know) and this random thought entered my head, which happens a lot. It’s how I get a lot of my ideas. Only this random thought was a memory of a book I’d read a few years ago, one that was rather influential for me in my writing, but which I haven’t talked about.
I’m finally back at work on Journey’s End, the third (and final) book in the Journeys series. I think the first draft will be completed in the next few days, unless I get really stalled again, but it will still probably be a few months before I’m ready to release it. Journey’s End reunites Piero, along with is lover Plai, from Journey to Angkor with Henry and his partner Kung from Journey to Rai-Lay.
I’ve found myself thinking a lot lately about the concept of family. Not the so-called ‘traditional’ family, with a mother, father and 2.3 children, a concept I don’t think has existed in reality since the 1970s. No, I’m talking about the families some gay men manage to find or create for themselves. Not the ‘Modern Family’ family of husband, husband and adopted third-world orphan, but a true extended family with not only a couple, but brothers, aunts and uncles too.
I’m still at work on Journey’s End. It’s amazing how disruptive things like floods can be, even though the direct impact on myself was quite minimal. I wasn’t ever in any real danger, but it was nonetheless quite distracting. I have completed most of the key episodes of the story already and am now mostly filling in the more mundane but important ‘stuff’ that gets the characters from one place to the other.
I was talking about my latest work-in-progress, “Claiming David” (as I’m now calling it), over at Goodreads, and a comment from another poster led me to think maybe I should give some background on Thai names - and more importantly, nicknames - for those unfamiliar with the culture and history of the country formerly known as Siam. Like people almost everywhere in the world, Thais have given names and family names.
I just got back from a trip to Central Java, Indonesia. The main purpose of the trip was to update and expand my travel guide, but I was also hoping to find some inspiration for the third - and final - book in the Journey series, which reunites Piero (from Journey to Angkor) and Henry (from Journey to Rai-Lay). There are a couple of interesting old temples in this region that I’m hoping to work into the story.
So, I’m writing again. It’s becoming something of an addiction, as I had planned to take a bit of a break before diving into the third (and final) book of the Journey series. But a new idea took root in my head, and it seems that now I’m in the ‘habit’ of writing, story ideas continue developing and bouncing around my head, becoming increasingly distracting, until I write them down.