My Recent Epiphany

I know that I’d love to write for a living. I know that I’d love to make residuals on my writing, but I’ll accept being paid enough upfront to be able to invest the money and get an extra income that way. I’m flexible.

I’m afraid of trying to write fiction again. I have had two main fiction-writing eras. The first was when I was a child and adolescent and the other was my marriage. Now, I just don’t know if I have it in me anymore.

I mean I have ideas. I have a steampunk novel about an inventor couple who are currently halfway across the country from each other and have developed a steampunk version of the internet. Sort of. The father, who has the first prototype, sends his adolescent kids across the country with the plans to their mom, and they’re being followed part of the way.

I have . . . something that defies genre. It started out as a sort of alternate history thing but gradually became a fantasy-without-magic world where women run the world.

And I love these ideas. The only thing is that when I try to write them, I hit the wall. Every. Damn. Time.

And my plans to translate kids’ books would require me to learn again how to write fiction. Because, ideally, a translation is kind of word-for-word, but also involves choosing the best and most natural way to say it in the target language. And I feel that it might be hard for me to do.

But the other night it hit me — since I’m writing non-fiction pretty much exclusively, why not translate non-fiction kids’ books from my target region (Mexico? Central America? Germany? Italy? China? Switzerland*?) — books on historical figures and events, geographical points of interest, cultural holidays, etc. I think that I could do a real service by opening these things up to the English-speaking world.

It’s not impossible that I could be back to writing fiction by then, as well. I do have ideas, I just have no follow-through at this point. But we’re talking about something like 11 years in the future. Most anything could happen by then.

*70% of the population of Switzerland speaks either German or Italian. And guess who else does?

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