Going Forward . . . by Going Back

When I was growing up, there were a few nights each summer when I would host a sleepover–not all that different from the sleepover that occurs in chapter six of The Eye-Dancers.  Of course in my case, my friends and I were not haunted by a swirling-eyed “ghost girl” who whisked us off to a faraway and alien dimension.  But the adventures we shared, the things we talked about, the “what-ifs” we brought up were the inspiration behind the novel.



As were my friends themselves.  Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski, along with several supporting characters in The Eye-Dancers, were inspired by the friends I knew growing up, indeed the same friends who would sleep over on those warm July and August nights, when thoughts of school and homework, of college majors and impending adulthood, seemed galaxies away.



When I wrote The Eye-Dancers, it often felt as if I were returning back to those days.  And that, I suppose, is one of the many joys and wonders of creative writing.  You can be sitting at a desk in an office, in a studio apartment, anywhere, decades removed from the childhood you’re writing about, and yet, with a flourish of keystrokes and finger taps you can be transported back through the years, as if by some whimsical magician waving a white-tipped and wonder-filled wand.



It’s a cliche, I suppose, but in my case it’s the truth.  I write because I love to write, need to write.  And now I am in the midst of writing the sequel to The Eye-Dancers.  At first I was reluctant.  Did I really want to write a sequel?  But the idea, which arrived unasked for–not at all a preplanned project–demanded attention.  So I began writing, not convinced it would go anywhere, but scratching the itch, as it were, allowing the process to take me where it will.



I wrote the prologue, and chapter one, which grew into chapter two and three and four . . . and by that time, the scope of the novel began to take shape in my mind.  I don’t outline my novels, but I do formulate a general plan–or, perhaps more accurate–the plan forms on its own, a result of the characters’ decisions.  And now, nine chapters and 40,000 words into this still-untitled WIP, I have an overwhelming urge to continue, to keep the story going . . . to find out where Mitchell and Joe and Ryan and Marc and the “ghost girl” will take me.  I am along for the ride, and I can’t wait to round the next bend.



At this point, I would like to devote more time to the sequel than I have so far.  In fact, Joe Marma himself told me just the other day, “C’mon, bud, get with the program.  You gotta start working on this novel more, or else . . .”  And as readers of The Eye-Dancers know, you don’t want to frustrate Joe! As a result, I will be posting on The Eye-Dancers site every two weeks for the foreseeable future, down from the once-weekly schedule I have maintained for over a year now.  This is definitely not a blogging break or blogging sabbatical–just a slight scaling back.  I enjoy the WordPress community far too much to take any extended leaves.




On those summer sleepovers from yesteryear, sometimes I would read aloud stories I had written.  Back then, they were pencil-written plays, starring myself and my friends–no fictional names used!  Looking back, they were very poorly done–highly imaginative but sloppy and far too often over the top.  But one thing they were for sure was fun.  I used to laugh out loud when I read them, and my friends would join in.  Even today, if I need a pick-me-up, or a creative boost, I will pull out one of the old stories and remember . . .

It is with that spirit of adventure, fun, and love that I will turn to the sequel of The Eye-Dancers this summer.  And, with hope, that same spirit will manifest itself on every page.



So even though I’ll be posting less, I hope you’ll all continue to read and follow this blog.  You are the reason blogging is so much fun for me.



Thank you so much for reading!


47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elaine Jeremiah
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 19:18:39

    So glad you’re writing a sequel. I did enjoy the first one; it was unusual and different. I completely understand you scaling back your presence on your blog – sometimes I do that a little if it’s distracting too much from my writing. I wish you every success with your sequel. 🙂


  2. Sonya Solomonovich
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 19:49:31

    I can’t wait to read the sequel! I know what you mean about rereading older writing. I sometimes think it’s better in some ways than my current stuff so I reread it to get a sense of my individual style. Good luck with your writing, I’m sure the sequel will be awesome.


  3. Andrea Stephenson
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 20:55:01

    Good luck with the sequel – I also scaled back from once a week to fortnightly while I completed some writing projects and it made me so much more productive while still enjoying blogging.


  4. Lyn
    Jul 04, 2014 @ 23:00:48

    I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel, Mike, so you’d better spend your summer wisely 😀


  5. DeDivahDeals
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 01:30:23

    Oh this is going to be great – congratulations on this decision.


  6. jjspina
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 02:46:05

    I love your blog, Mike. Looking forward to reading the sequel! Keep plugging away! I know it will be as good if not better than the first.


  7. Bruce Thiesen
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 14:40:39

    Enjoy writing the sequel, Mike. We’ll be here keeping an eye out for Eye-Dancers blog posts and enjoy them when they come.


  8. Lesley at Lola Rugula
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:42:28

    I’m always fascinated by your posts about your writing process – it’s always interesting to me. Best wishes with the sequel – I’m looking forward to reading it!


  9. Blossom Brouillard
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 15:44:22

    Good luck! Hope it comes easily.


  10. Minister Gertrude Ferguson - Founder & CEO- Enough Tribulations
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 19:17:27



  11. mcwoman
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 19:29:58

    Mike — It looks as though we both have the same approach to writing our novels. In every book I’ve introduced a new character, but the ones in previous books make a guest appearance. I’m waiting for my editor to send me the rest of her comments and after I implement them, I will have finished number eight. Number nine is in the same shape as your WIP–about 60 pages into a new tale.


  12. teagan geneviene
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 21:47:35

    Well done again, Mike. That really resonates with me.


  13. stockdalewolfe
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 13:46:17

    As per usual, such a well- written, engaging post. I love the way you describe the process. Good luck with the writing of the sequel! Best, Ellen


  14. Sue Dreamwalker
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 21:17:54

    I always love reading your well written words Mike… 🙂 thank you also for the likes.. xox Sue


  15. laurie27wsmith
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 11:40:14

    Wish you all the best with your sequel Michael. I’ll drop by when you post.


  16. Sherri
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 13:41:55

    Don’t worry Mike, we will be reading your blog just the same when you do post. Wishing you all the very best with the eagerly awaited sequel and see you soon 🙂


  17. insearchofitall
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 17:29:42

    I’ll forgive you for posting less if you forgive me for reading slower. I’m in the middle of a major move and have over 200 e-mail/blogs waiting to be read. Getting caught up…slowly. Looking forward to see where your bunch ambles off to. I see many bloggers writing everyday. Just can’t go there. I don’t have time to read that much either. At least not now.


  18. Ste J
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 18:07:58

    We’ll still be here…I will bring popcorn.


  19. fashionassist
    Jul 10, 2014 @ 02:23:25

    Sometimes in life one has to pull back in order to move forward…
    and moving forward on your sequel is well worth the pulling back Mike 😉
    So go, give it all you got and we look forward to reading your posts, whenever you are able to send them our way~ 🙂


  20. evelyneholingue
    Jul 12, 2014 @ 02:37:36

    Currently reading The Eye Dancers as I am driving (in the passager seat) across the USA and enjoying every minute of it. Great job, Mike.


  21. Nicholas Conley
    Jul 16, 2014 @ 17:46:06

    I look forward to reading it!


  22. isabelburt
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 17:21:09

    Yep – with you on needing to finish that sequel – my characters have all gone to sleep giving up as life blocks my every writing move 😉 I’m sure the WordPress community will hang around – don’t disappear forever I shall miss your blue orb 🙂


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