I’m in Las Cruces this week, visiting a friend whom I’ve known since my time in Yorkshire. This week holds various pleasures, from seeing one much loved and being introduced to a new part of America, exploring a slice of the Southwest desert and finding pecan orchards along the Rio Grande, and conjuring plot points for what I’m hoping will be my next book. Plenty of downtime on this brief holiday, and I’m making the most of it in all aspects.
Today I was chauffeured around the Organ Mountains, their craggy beauty a stunning sight to behold. After lunch, I pulled out notes for The Earthen Chronicles, scribbled some ideas, then felt like writing a post; I haven’t created a new world since I wrote For God and Country, and my goodness there’s a lot of imagination necessary. But with a first draft already written, I have the framework in place. Now it’s a matter of fine-tuning, and considering I have no notion of when I’ll get back to this story, there’s no rush. I can mull over these concepts, then close the notebook, knowing right where to find them again.
Currently my quandary lies in just how long does a Dorlinian live; originally that species had a lifespan of about one thousand years. However, that’s a LONG time to consider when plotting important twists, so what if they lived for half a millennium, then later their lifespans stretched to double that? Okay, cool, I’ll go with that. Then…. And from there it’s all about rearranging a few details, and voila! A fictional species undergoes some minor tweaking, well, relatively minor. What’s five centuries between friends?
Between friends many sins are overlooked; right now my hosts are pottering around their domain while I type away. Our friendships have evolved since our days in the UK where it’s simply lovely to spend time doing one’s tasks, aware in a little while we shall come back together. Tonight’s outing is a trip into the desert to snap the night sky, if the wind calms, permitting such activities. No idea how my phone will measure up against some fantastic cameras and their well-trained operators, but I will be considering those long-living Dorlinians who traveled from a far away galaxy, arriving on Earth with some rather nefarious notions up their sleeves. Who knows how a peek at the Milky Way will inspire further musings? What makes me happy is how a story written over four years ago continues to percolate within my gray matter, making me look outside myself for answers.
Worldbuilding isn’t merely for my novel; it’s self-discovery too, even if it occurs in fits and starts. For now it’s spotty, but not forgotten. And when the time is right, those Dorlinians, Carpathians, and Taapsychs will move front and center, slugging it out figuratively and literally. The results of those interactions are years away, let me not kid myself. But while I won’t live as long as Dorlinians, I trust their tales, my own too, will spin out correctly. I don’t need to know every plot point, just enough to get through this day.