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.