and a fear of fire and water. who am I?


So, several things! Because I am mostly written out for the afternoon and I’ve got an hour or so before I have to be anywhere specific.

First of all, a few days ago I read this post by Hal Duncan about rules for new writers and thought to myself, “Yeah, what he said!”

So then. Just a word to the wise, when you’re subbing a story to either Podcastle or GigaNotoSaurus, and you’ve got a character who’s a member of the clergy? Please consider finding such a person and having an actual conversation with them. It’s gotten to where I reflexively wince when I realize a submission has a nun or a priest in it. Or, Mithras help us all, a monk. Nuns and priests are, like, real human beings. The next ms I read with a prim and pious nun in it will send me screaming into the streets. Look, my great-aunt was a nun. I went to Catholic schools. I know from nuns. Nuns and priests (of any religion, honestly) have religious beliefs that I don’t share, and in some cases actively campaign against, but they’re real human beings. Not cardboard cutouts.

So. I’ve had a hard week writing. I’ve had hours and hours free every day, and the whole time I kind of sat at my desk in my beautiful basement office (thanks Mr. Leckie! You rock in so many ways!) and pulled at my hair and wondered if maybe my sales so far had been a fluke and maybe I should pack it in, cause I sure wasn’t getting anything down on paper this week that was even remotely for public consumption. I never should have imagined I could be a writer, I produced only stupid ideas, wrote only stupid stories.

In short, I’ve been having an “I Suck” week. To make it worse, my real-life crit group meets on Sunday and I’d been telling myself that if I wrote like a big, tea-powered writing machine, I’d have something to send in for crit. But the machine was jammed. After several days of very high doses the tea did seem to help things move along a bit, but crit approached steadily, as it will, and I was not as far along as I wanted.

This morning I was walking in circles (or ellipses actually) around the football field and I thought, “You know what? It’s not going to be done in time. I really ought to just give up on that idea and face facts. There’s no real deadline for this piece.”

Reader, it felt lovely. The proverbial weight lifted from my proverbial shoulders and I went home and had breakfast and sat down and I actually feel like I got some work done on this story. Not enough to be done for Sunday, but who the hell cares?