Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The digital time machine

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The funny thing about living in a digital age is that it makes it increasingly easy to go back in time. I may not remember offhand what I was doing a year ago this week, but thanks to searchable email, this blog, and the dreaded Facebook timeline, the answer is only a few clicks away. Part of me worries about this, because it feels increasingly like I’ve outsourced my memory—along with my institutional knowledge and most of my common sense—to Google. Still, there’s something nice about being able to look back with such precision. Revisiting some of the earlier entries on this blog, in particular, fills me with mingled nostalgia and relief. For instance, I can see that on May 5 of last year, I had just finished an outline for the second half of the novel that eventually became City of Exiles, with an ungodly amount of work still remaining. (At the time, the novel was untitled, and I wrote: “If you have any title suggestions, please let me know—I’m feeling pretty stuck right now.”)

So it’s with a great deal of satisfaction that I can say, a year later, that not only did I finish City of Exiles, but it looks like it’s really going to be published. The proof arrived in the mail the other day, when I came home to find uncorrected advance copies from NAL waiting on my doorstep. I’m the last person in the world to look at this novel objectively, of course, but to my eyes, it looks gorgeous, even better than the advance copies of The Icon Thief. It’s especially surreal to see it in print now, given this book’s rapid journey from conception to publication—eighteen months ago, I didn’t even know that I was writing a series. And it’s a good boost for my morale, given that my third novel has just entered the most dangerous phase for any writing project, the halfway point, with only six months to delivery and no end in sight. All the same, if history is any indication, I’ll look back on this post a year from now and be glad that it all turned out fine. I hope.

Written by nevalalee

May 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Books, Writing

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