“the angel has spread his wings”  (MM)


I think I’m going to submit Commences to Authonomy.  It is the most challenging novel I’ve written and I’ve had the most difficulty trying to publish it (i.e. it’s been submitted more often than any other novel and even my friends won’t read it.)  It started off life as a novella.  I really just wanted to write about pre-universe magic.  Not quite sure how Commences was born out of that!  Then another short story followed about a mindwalker and somehow he was connected to the Fleet…and thus evolved my huge Fleet quintet.  Many years later, I began the Fleet series I felt I was finally read for and Commences became a novel – but not a very good one.  It reflected my personal spiritual journey (all of which has since crashed and burned) and was rather wishy-washy.  The rewrite came after I’d finished the fourth novel in the quintet, V. Gomenzi.  By that time, the story was huge, the complexities enormous, the landscape stretching across several universes and beyond.  It was fantastic.  I was lost in space for years and years.  I’d walk down the sidewalk and be utterly unaware of anything that was going on – my head was truly elsewhere.  I lived and breathed alter-space.  I was Sistia.  I was Gomenzi.  I was Vincent.  And then, at last, I sat down and did the monumental rewrite of Commences.  It was like tearing out my soul and smearing it on the public wall but in the end, it was the cruel, bitter concoction I had always wanted it to be, of smashed universes and lost dreams, lost magic, lost love.  My mother died while I was writing it and in the week after her death, I found myself with a character crucified on a tree in a desert, pages and pages of the agony of it.  Not only my soul, I tore my heart out for this novel, more than for any novel that had come before.  And still it remains unread, unpublished, unloved.  What sacrifice is it to waste it on Authonomy, a website of losers like me….but how hard is it to see yourself as a loser when you see your precious creation as something sublime.  Some corrections and a search for a book cover and then off I’ll go.  Nailed to a fucking tree.



About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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One Response to Commences

  1. Pingback: Elation and Revelation | Writing from Alter Space

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