The Good Moose Is....

30 March 2001

Remember what I said yesterday about how I'll probably finally come up with a novel-length fantasy for adults, and it'll have a bunch of moose imagery? And then I'll try to hide the fact that I ever said I wouldn't?

Heh. Well. Funny thing about that.

Contrary to what Timprov's last entry said, it is not a moose book. There's only one scene with a moose in it. And I think it might be an elk. So it barely counts at all.

I think it's pretty clear that you're a Great Northern Geek when you're trying to weasel out of your fantasy moose book by making clear that it's really an elk.

Anyway. It's not about moose at all. There's just a scene with one. It's about Kalevalic magic and Biblical plagues (especially the one with the frogs) and the tango and Finland after WWII, in the shadow of Soviet Russia, and interdependence and trust. And maybe a good bit of airplanes and technology companies. Aren't those good things for a novel to be about? Pay no attention to the moose in the corner. (Elk, dammit, elk!)

I'm more than a little surprised at this. I said to my brain, "Brain, are you sure? Finland? That was my least favorite of all the countries we went to on that trip." And my brain said, "Finland." And I said, "But, brain, I don't know that much about Finland. This is going to take a lot of research while I'm writing these other novels. Maybe we could set it in Sweden. I like Sweden, and they have elk, too, if you've gotten yourself set on the elk thing." And my brain said, "Finland, Finland, Finland." (And the musical bits immediately followed with, "The country where I quite like to be...." This may be a very disturbing book. But don't worry. It's several books down the line. I think. I still want to do the alien diplomacy book first.) At the time, I tried to say, "Well, maybe you're just tired. We'll talk about this in the morning." And my brain said, "Finland."

It's morning. I guess I'm going to write a book about Finland. When I say I don't know much about Finland, I have to clarify that by saying that I've read several volumes of Finnish folk tales and myths and have visited, so it's not like I don't know much about, say, Peru. I can do this. It'll just take research. And I have time for that. I have other books to write.

It's kind of disturbing for me, though, that I keep getting novel ideas. Novel ideas I like. Novel ideas I can look at and say, "Dang. That could be one fine novel. I could do that, and it'd be good." I can't have a week o' novel and draft seven of them and clear out the top level of ideas, like I did with short stories. It just doesn't work that way with novels. If I do that with novels, I will wake up and find that I'm 30 and have written a dozen novels.

Which, come to think of it, is kind of the goal, really. So. It's pretty cool. I'll finish the Chinese project, get down some notes on the Finnish thing, and see if I have time to do anything else before I go on my date with Mark. I'm not sure if "The Moose Book" is a better or worse working name than "the next novel." I sigh....

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