A while back I blogged about just wanting to write stories. (I was going to link to it, but now I don't remember where I mentioned it. So, we'll just leave it at "I talked about this before.")
That's still true. Deep down, all I want to do is write stories. I'm not interested in pushing any sort of agenda or commenting on political structures or belief systems. I just want to write stories.
That being said, lately I've been more and more invested in writing stories that are true to human nature. Not so much because I have some great insight into the way humans deal with each other, but because I think there is a universality to human experience. No matter what our gender or sexual orientation, no matter what we believe (or don't), no matter how we choose to align ourselves politically (or not), there are certain things that speak to everyone on a very basic level.
That's where I've been trying to write lately, in that gut-level humanity that makes experiences outside our own still seem familiar. It's challenging, but rewarding too.
I mentioned last time that my would-be-short-story was morphing into a novella. So far I'm just over 11k words and still working hard. My characters have a complex relationship that is playing out over a wild quest to try and save the MC's brother from the knives of the Assassin's Guild. (It's a kind of renaissance fantasy with a light touch of humor and lots of spiders and magic.) I'll need to go back through with the Mighty Bat of Revision in one hand and the Editing Machete in the other, but overall I really like the story and the way the characters are growing.
Once I'm done, I have plans to work on the super-secret side project some more, and finish writing up the sequel to BRASS STARS. Because a writer's work is never done. At least, not until she runs out of ideas. (And that's not happening any time soon.)