Thanks for your wise comments, Debra! You described it to a "T". I'm going to shelve Harry for now, and get back to in at some future time after I've found a way to make my peace with the heavy issues involved in that novel. It's a worthwhile story but too much for me to handle right now. I have other priorities!
So, I'm "officially" back to work on THE REFLECTING STONE now after the post-writing break, ready to gear up and dig in on that editing. I am looking forward to doing enough editing that I will have a copy ready for readers to give me feedback in the coming weeks and months. I don't know how long it will take to complete the editing. I will take as much time as I need, trying of course to finish as quickly as possible while putting quality first.
I'm going to continue work on the SCI-FI NOVEL as well, using that to provide me with a break from the editing work whenever I need it. Juggling the two things might help push me along, stimulate my creativity, but the editing work will be Job #1 until it is completed.
I'm happy about this decision. It's certainly the right one, without any question. My goal is to write and get stuff done, not make myself suffer needlessly in the name of art. I need to focus primarily on getting things done, until I've completed a few novels and shopped them around (and hopefully gotten published somewhere in the process!). After I have more experience at completing things, I can turn my attention to more challenging novels in terms of story lines that really move me on a deeper level. For now, I'm already putting a lot of work in and my focus must be on navigating the writing process and achieving skill in the enormous juggling act that it is. There is so much to take into account in planning, writing and editing and I want to work on stories that don't offer unnecessary additional pressures, issues or challenges due to subject matter. I think THE REFLECTING STONE is already an epic novel with major issues, but they are not ones that upset me emotionally to think about or write about. I like the story, and enjoyed seeing it develop during the writing phase. Now I look forward to seeing it transform itself before my very eyes into a finished manuscript of the best quality I can possibly make it be!
I just updated my TIPS & TRICKS blog with the plan I will use to guide my editing work. Phase One of that work is essentially already completed, except for some tweaking on the Mythology notes, which I'm working on now. I'll get my attention focused back on THE REFLECTING STONE and start Phase Two this weekend!
I'm also working in bits and pieces every day or two on the SCI-FI NOVEL. This week I completed culture notes for the alien race and also started creating their language. Language and culture go together, of course, hand in hand. The way they speak reflects their culture, who they are, their world view, their social patterns. This story is going to be a lot of fun to write, I can tell. I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities as the Earthlings encounter the aliens and interact with them. I'll continue the planning phase for that novel while I'm in Phase Two of the editing of THE REFLECTING STONE. I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted and my creativity can start flowing more easily again.