Somewhere out there lies the rest of the valley, but as far as you can see, we’re completely isolated here on the high fellside above Sparty Lea.
It’s no wonder I came up with the idea of an isolated world, for my science fiction trilogy. A world isolated but otherwise exactly familiar. This is a typical early morning vista here, until the sun burns the mist away and the valley below is revealed.
Given this circumstance, and my apparently desperate need to write, the project of the past three years makes perfect sense. As a pair of starlings underneath the bird feeder fight with fierce passion, this little world develops in my mind’s eye. We’re all aware of the passion that an artist is expected to bring to their project. But can art really exist without an audience?
I’ve been very happy pursuing this science fiction dream. At the same time, it’s becoming ever-more clear that my passion is not shared by many. Here in isolation, secreted in pervasive mist, it’s all very well to create a story that sings to the isolated soul. A story that by its final resolution has brought me great joy. But my sights are also on the hidden valley beyond, the place where the sun illuminates a greater waiting world.
Now that I’ve established a certain confidence in my developing craft, it’s probably time to venture into genres that appeal to a wider audience. Time to listen, in other words, to the kind admonitions of caring editors, friends and family. Well. I have three or four novels to read, during this fallow period, ensconced here in the dense mist, before I re-embark on my emerging historical fiction project.
I’d like to think that the dawning realisation of bright sunshine, like the slow burning off of the valley mist, will propel me with enthusiasm into new joys. But first the mist has to dissipate. I shall probably stay stuck in this foggy mood for some time, as gradually the delights of a project finished dissipate and I’m freed to move on.
It’s not easy to let go of a passion, requited or not, but life goes on. There are more joys to discover.