Aaaaand we’re 400 words into LW&C #6.
Aaaaaaaaaand my new sleep med is now kicking in so I need to stop before I go completely whackadoodle.
…seems like a great time to write a blog post and publish it on the Internet!
The good news is my proposal for the next anthology has been accepted.
The bad news is, we’re selling our house and moving closer to my workplace and everything is chaos on the homefront with multiple disruptions and no flow time.
This isn’t abnormal. I’ve worked under this kind of pressure before, but it also isn’t optimal. I’ve started hand-writing the outline to rattle out ideas as that is one of the ways I work on short-form fiction when I don’t necessarily have a lot of spare time at home.
Also, this story may come with a recipe? Look, I don’t know, it’s too early to say, but it indicated it wanted me to include a recipe. If not in the story, than as a bonus piece on this website. You’re welcome.
No title yet. Probably won’t have one until we get closer to the final edit.
Go forth and enjoy “Acceptable Losses”, the next installment in Wil and Ivy’s story, as well as many other fine stories by many other fine writers!
I’ve done this enough now that when the invite shows up and my initial panic of I DON’T HAVE AN IDEA sets in, I know to just give it a moment.
Take a step back.
Let the feeling happen.
Okay, good. Have you had your moment? Are you done panicking? Feel better now? Let’s….
But most importantly: remember this is a story, not the end of the world. Have a cup of tea. Let it churn.
Now: throw some words on a page. Stop judging. Just throw them on the page. NO NOT THOSE WORDS. Ugh. Not those words either. AND DEFINITELY NOT — wait.
Aaaaaand there it is. The seed of an idea. Almost certainly not the final form — it’s just never that easy with my brain — but it’s got potential.
I could be talking about a story. I could be talking about building a client’s web application. I could be talking about having a baby or planning a garden or planning an itinerary overseas. Creating things isn’t easy, iteration is part of the process, nothing is set in stone.
Take a deep breath.
Have your moment.
Trust the process.
Should be out in December. Prepare to meet the old man’s old man.
Also, here’s to never again outlining, writing, editing, and revising a story while nursing an infant, holding down a fulltime job, and paying attention to the other members of the fam. This is hopefully the first and last time I have to ask myself if I really have time for this.
I didn’t write about “A Small Quarrel” at all last year. Sorry about that. Pregnancy and writing and childrearing and job wrangling severely sap my blogging time. That story’s been out a few months, and I just wrote the follow-up, “Bootknife”. It’s in the hands of the editor now. I try hard to not spin wheels with these stories — I only have 6500 words or less to work with, after all — and I finally introduced Wil’s dad, which if you didn’t know (because you’re not me) I’ve been wanting to do for about five years now. He’s been running around in the back of my head for at least that long, though many of his details didn’t become clear until I started writing him out. Occasionally he’d get a mention in other stories, but then I’d hit up against that word count wall and have to edit him back out. But this time he got his own story, his own space, and I’m glad he did.
Now that we are four stories deep into this cycle, I’m seeing a pattern of objects in the story titles, which is a good thing because I hate naming stuff and having nomenclature is one wait to cheat your way out of having to be clever with names. Also, it makes me look smart, like, oh, she planned all of this. Except for the first one which she called “Whitest Lie” after a Bayside song but we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen. I SMELL A RETCON!
As pregnancy isn’t forever, it should be noted I had another baby, which very nearly derailed writing any of this. There were several moments in December as I balanced a squawking infant against my chest where I wondered how the f*&% I was going to get this thing done. But I did! It helps to have a spouse to tank the littles while you’re holed up in the bedroom with headphones on and having a love affair with your netbook.
For one of the first times in my life, I am not overly stressed about having sent the story to the editor. I think I actually…like? this story. I don’t usually like my stories. There always seems to be something I’ve forgotten, and certainly there were bits I wish I could have written into this one that will forever be stashed in the yarn bag known as “leftovers” on my Scrivener project. Maybe someday I can edit it into a longer form project. You know, in my copious freetime.
“The Highjorune Masque” is officially part of the next Valdemar anthology lineup, thank the Maker, pass the rum.
I wrote 1,000 words today to/from work, mainly by writing a section I wasn’t sure I was going to write, and also by dragging in an old new character who is fun and mysterious and (okay) sexy: Munin (one of Odin’s ravens, and a recycle from a manga proposal I was working on a long while back). I am continuously amused by what my main character does (she seems to have a limited sense of self-preservation), and I have a sense of the larger endgame, though the structure is still all over the board. Either I’m doing flashbacks or I’m not, and I don’t (yet) know how they work into the uberstructure.
But have faith in the process, and in the meantime the protagonist is puking up her guts and thinking her life is over, poor dear.
And Los Angeles is
burning still missing.
The next in the series of what I’m thinking of as “Lone Wil and Cub” has been written, it’s had the fine-toothed comma comb (comba?) run over it by my husband (notorious grammar hunter and devastator of passive voice) , and is now off to the editor. I realize at this point I should just assume it’s a sale, but I never assume it’s a sale. So I’ll update this when I actually get the “Accepted! For Realsies!” message.
How do I feel? Uh, pretty much how I always feel when I manage not to give my editors a nervous breakdown by not missing the date: relieved. One of the great things about the modern age is I can turn this stuff in at 11:59 PM the day it’s due and know it’s probably going to get to my editor in a timely manner. And if it doesn’t, they just send me email to let me know they need me to resend it. When I was younger, you had to have it postmarked and out the door a week in advance, and ha ha ha ha good luck and hope the USPS doesn’t lose your precious bundle. Times are much better now.
I wrote this story partially while sitting in the back of my vanpool, and have come to a solid realization: my laptop is too damn big to comfortably write in the back of a vanpool. Which is unfortunate, because I can’t exactly buy another laptop at this phase of my life. Or can I?
Anyway. I’m excited for this story because I honestly believe it doesn’t suck, plus certain characters get some badass moments, and I am all about the badassery. This is partially why I decided to shift focus from goofy Bard to slightly more serious Herald who has, as life has tenderized him, become less serious. The Herald has more potential for badassery, being what he is.
And now, having successfully completed what I set out to do at the start of the month, I am off to bed. G’night.