...Is there such a thing as a fashionable straightjacket?
I'm going to call it writer's syndrome, though there may be a real name for it, I expect it's fairly common. I've had this kind of eenui for as long as I can remember—it's not terrible, just...there. The gist of the feeling is this: no matter how good life gets (and life is pretty awesome; I love life), I can imagine better. So far, I don't sound too special, I know. Everyone has those moments, whether they're ambitions, imaginings, dreams. But being a writer, specifically a writer of fiction, more specifically a writer of fantasy, I am always dreaming, and my dreams are always impossible. And since I write, I have to imagine the impossible thoroughly as if it were everyday life. While I'm writing, I'm living the impossible, and it's difficult to pull myself out at the end. They say that what is even worse than knowing something is impossible, is having even the slightest hope that it isn't. Now I'm not not a head case; I don't believe in fairies, etc. But I do believe that in order to write about something convincingly, a writer has to find something very close to belief in the moment that she is tying words together from pure inspiration and putting them down on screen or paper. The result is a sort of warring Yin and Yang (yes, I realize that's contradictory) of hope and belief in one's own stories, and the knowledge that none of it can ever exist.
...Is there such a thing as a fashionable straightjacket?
In honor of NaNoWriMo, I have started a new sci-fi novel called Violeteye (no relation to Breaking Violet). I highly doubt that I will have the rough draft finished by the end of the month, as I can't bring myself to stop working on my other writings, but I'm very excited about it. The main concept is of a city of thousand-story towers (called The City) where there is a strictly enforced class system based on eye color. The Browneyes live on the Low Levels of the towers, beneath the perpetual ash could, the Greeneyes live on the Middle Levels and the Violeteyes live on the High Levels. In order to reach the High Levels, one must pay a lot of money to have the necessary "iris enhancement surgery," but few ever do. November Locke is a sixteen-year-old Violeteye who must start making her own way, but on only her fourth excursion outside of her parents' mansion, she discovers some very unsavory secrets about The City and what really happens beneath the ash cloud. In order to find the truth, she will make a dangerous journey that will take her from the very bottom to the very top of the towers, all the while evading the Redeyes – The City's half-mechanical police force – and the millions of cameras spaced at every interval. But she won't have to do it alone. Her history tutor, Aris goes with her for her protection, and because he wants answers just as much as she does...
It's official. Sunshine is going to be a series. There's just too much more to the story to leave it untold. Sunshine, hopefully coming out soon, will be the first installment of the Shine Trilogy, comprised of Sunshine, Moonshine, Mirrorshine and prequel, Songs of a Raven. Below are links to the descriptions of each work.
Just an overview of my four current projects. I hope to publish all of these within the next few years. As always, progress on Sunshine is steady. The rough draft is finished but it is still in need of some serious editing. Breaking Violet is once again on hold, though not for long, I expect. I am also working on two other books, both volumes of short stories. The first, Songs of a Raven, is a prequel to the Sunshine series from Allister's perspective and details some of the key events in his past, before he ever meets Sunshine. I have already written a draft of the first story for this and am halfway through the second. The other book I'm working on is titled A Brief History of Totem Poles and is another collection of short stories similar to Midnight Diner. I will be bringing back revised versions of a few of the stories from my previous collection as well as some new ones in a volume as quirky as its title. The title's significance? You'll have to read it and see. Rough cover art and descriptions for all four of these books is available on my Goodreads.com author page.
Check them out!
Right now I'm working on two novels. One I've put sort of on hold for the other (titled Sunshine, at 150 pages so far!). I've never written a novel before so I've got my fingers crossed. I'm not sure if I'll actually publish the one I'm currently writing. It's sort of a personal project...involving vampires. But I'll think about it. The other is about a girl who has quite literally died and gone to heaven. The working title is Breaking Violet. And of course I'm still writing short stories. I'm building up a pile big enough for another collection. I'll keep you posted, whoever's listening.
So far I've published three books on Blub.com; one of poems and photographs, one of just photographs and the last a collection of short stories. You can see them on Goodreads.com or in more detail/purchase them here: http://www.blurb.com/user/store/mirap
There are also short previews of them on the site above. The first one, The Other Side, is a bit quirky. Some of the page numbers are missing, etc. I will fix it soon but right now I like to think of it as a collector's edition.
Miranda Phaal is a college student born in San Francisco and currently living in Boston. She first became interested in writing at age seven when she wrote a series of short poems. From there she started writing short stories, and then novels. She has a couple of story collections in the works now, as well a couple of novels.