In the Creativity War, Sometimes You Need to Retreat

Even before the pandemic hit, I was having trouble getting traction on the new book. Lots of notes, more than a few false starts. Feeling like a blind badger trying to find its way through unfamiliar territory. Since we entered Covid-world, it’s only gotten worse. I’m sure you all have your own reasons why it’s hard to get things done these days. Add to that a degree of discouragement over how hard it’s been to get Reefs / Crucible of Time noticed within the SF readership, and the result has been a creative malaise that I’ve found very difficult to shake.

Allysen to the rescue. The moment certain outside stressors let up enough to allow it to happen, she seized the proverbial bull by the you-know-whats and made the call to get me a retreat-spot on Cape Cod. Sending me kicking and screaming, that sort of thing.

And now I’m here in Sandwich, near the sea, land of great bicycling and even greater seafood. I’m loving it. Her instructions were explicit: “If you can write, that’s great. But you are not going there to get writing done. You are going there to shed all this and find yourself again. You are going to rediscover what it means to you to write a book, and why you want to do it.”

So, here I am. Too soon to be sure, but from preliminary signs, I think it might be working. (And I did write a bit last night.)

Here are some pix from the motel and the Cape Cod Canal bike trail.

CapeCodCanalside bike trail sundown
Sunset over the Cape Cod Canal bike trail.


Coast Guard, heading out toward Cape Cod Bay. I’d like to have one of those boats, tough and seaworthy. I wouldn’t paint it gray, though.


Duck-mascots at the motel.

12 Responses

  1. Rich Bowker
    | Reply

    Can Allysen send me to Sandwich too?

    • Jeffrey A. Carver
      | Reply

      I’ll ask her. But I don’t see why your own lovely wife can’t!

      • Inge Zumstein
        | Reply

        I can’t understand why the trouble with Reefs and Crucible getting recognised. This series of yours is the best sci-fi I have ever read, and I’ve read a lot, it’s brilliant. I absolutely love it, and wish it would never end. I hope the lack of reaction out there changes for and wish you favour. Take care.

        • Jeffrey A. Carver
          | Reply

          Thank you so much, Inge! It’s really great to hear you say that. Do you mind if I quote you?

  2. Frances B Giuffre
    | Reply

    Jeff, you have a very wise, and thoughtful wife! I’m glad you are in a place with fewer distractions. My brother and I are eager to read your new book. Too many sci fi writers, many of whom I still enjoy reading, do not break new ground. You always weave a tale that takes us to unexpected places and deep feelings. Sophisticated readera, ahem, appreciates your efforts. As for my writing, I hope to find my elusive groove thing now that Billycat’s well. Planet X is out there! Fran

  3. Crystal
    | Reply

    What a wonderful wife you have!!

  4. Bill Laurin
    | Reply

    Enter the forever quest to find ones self. think of watching your hands typing and in the zone and wondering who is controlling those fingers. Who is that, is it me. No not at all. One of the tenants of meditation is being ones self and watching what happens. Be you my friend and all that is in there will come out.

  5. N
    | Reply

    Usually check in every few years for updates. The most recent PBS Spacetime episode about the possibility of life evolving inside stars reminded me to stop by, woohoo 2 new books! 😛

    • Jeffrey A. Carver
      | Reply

      What’s this? A PBS show about life inside stars? I missed it–will have to track it down!

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