I've just written 1900 words in story number 2 in the Memberries cycle: "The Appreciator". What is it with this sudden surge of activity? I love it! It's like waking up from a sleep of a hundred years and wiping the cobwebs off your face.
Here's the Memberries story, in short: ~tearstone
and myself started on a cooperative writing experiment many, many years ago (8 years?) that was supposed to be called The Glass City. It was very unorganized and written in short bursts, and never did go anywhere. In it, however, we came up with the concept for Memberries: berry-like drugs that you could ingest to absorb someone else's memory.
I went on to use Memberries heavily in _Rapunzel and the Undertaker_, my sort of but not really steampunkish novel about hired killers, precious princesses, trains to the moon, Mexican soap operas and 19th century gynecology. In it, a doctor on the moon convinced our male lead that he had created a new type of Memberry that could store the entire consciousness of a person. Our male lead went on to make a plan (communicated to his love interest in morse code, through a gynecologist's hand inside of her, because her father was so paranoid and jealous that this was the only way to get a message to her) for his love to store herself in a Mindberry, which would then be taken to the moon and eaten by a willing body donor, so that our couple could be together forever. Of course shit goes wrong and instead of the beautiful woman he had prepped as body donor a gay actor from the Mexican soap opera who'd had a crush on our male lead for the longest time has to take the Mindberry before it "goes bad", and of course there is no such thing as a Mindberry: it's just a humongous Memberry storing all of her memories. Unfortunately she did have to commit suicide (by liquid nitrogen in a bathtub in a scene that I still maintain to this day was my finest work) to upload herself into the Mindberry. And Rodrigo, the gay soap opera actor, really does believe the Mindberry works. And so Preston and Rodrigo lived happily ever after on a ranch on the moon.
You can see why I never quite finished that novel.
Fast forward many years, past The Longest Con (as a whole piece still my greatest achievement; please read it?) and suddenly I had a pressing idea for another Memberry story. This one, though, would be manageable! This one I wouldn't let get away from me! I wouldn't over think it or write dozens of index cards with character bios and plot out complicated decade-spanning plots.
The bigger reason I didn't finish "Memberries of Us" though was that I was so enamoured with the concept of Memberries that I was striving for a Platonic Ideal of a story that didn't exist. My execution of the idea never lived up to my imagined potential of it. I couldn't believe I was "wasting" Memberries on this subpar story of an Italian pimp and a crazy-obsessive man with a gouged-out eyepit he referred to as "his red badge of love". So I was stuck.
Then, suddenly, after a conversation about just this being stuck feeling with a good friend here, the solution came to me: fuck writing one story about one idea. Fuck every story having to be entirely fresh and new. Write about Memberries in as many ways as you like! Call it a short story cycle instead of laziness!
I finished the first story, which kind of introduces the idea: The Fruit of Memory.
I just wrote 1.9k words (bringing the total up to 3.2k) on the second story: The Appreciator.
The third story is already basically planned out and just needs a plot (trivial details!). It has a setting, strong characters, and a fucked up concept that I love at its core. It will be called "The House of Becoming".
After those three I should be ready for Memberries of Us. If not, I write another one.
It feels so good to suddenly write this much again.