Well, I’ve been writing. A lot. Sometimes I change it up by using computers that are older than some of my students.
SLINGSHOT has been off to its editors, and has come back with relatively few changes needed, which is always a good feeling. I should have that completely off of my hands within a few days. SLINGSHOT is a chapter in a collection of essays on time travel in television science fiction and it has been great fun to work on.
EIGHTH WRENCH is nearing completion.
BLACK SCREWDRIVER is humming along and should be to the people who need it in plenty of time to keep everyone from being worried about deadlines. It seems to have benefited from its relatively long gestation period in the form of research and extensive outlining/planning. The writing itself is going pretty smoothly. I do have to talk to my editor about some structural changes I think would make it stronger.
CROSSROAD, the vaguely conspiracy shaped thing is in full-on research and material gathering mode.
There are some other little things hanging out, but they’re tiny. The one remaining not-tiny job is the final report for my sabbatical project.
As part of the research and background for both BLACK SCREWDRIVER and CROSSROAD, I’ve been refreshing myself on the satanic panic of the 1980s and early 1990s which I slightly remember from the time. The Geraldo prime-time special was its own kind of fun and I’m currently reading Lucifer Dethroned by Bill Schnoebelen. Like Mike Warnke, Schnoebelen claimed to have been deeply involved in a massive Satanic occult conspiracy but then found Christianity. I know that Warnke (who I remember hearing on Christian radio as a kid) was outed pretty thoroughly as a fraud but I’ve not looked deeply into Schnoebelan’s story yet.
Schnoebelen’s book, being published by the Chick Tracts folks, is steeped in anti-Catholocism as well as DevilFear.
The Satanic Ritual Abuse stuff from a few decades back dovetails very nicely with a number of other conspiracy theories and, while I wasn’t planning on addressing it, the topic has started to surface in unexpected places. I’m now stuck, it seems.
On a side note, I was able to attend a writers’ workshop at my school for a day a few weeks ago. I’d have been there for the whole week if strep throat hadn’t waylaid me. It was strange talking to people who write fiction and poetry. It seems very difficult. Although, since history sometimes fails to make sense, it’s tempting to plaster over the discontinuities and poorly-documented events with made up stuff. Of course, then I’d just be the History Channel, wouldn’t I?