Deadlines and recalculations

A story I recently submitted got a lot further than I’d expected it to before coming back with a personal rejection. I’d submitted it very close to the deadline, and I told myself that when[1] it got rejected, I’d revise it one more time before sending it out again.

Now, though, I’m kind of unsure. It’s apparently a sounder story than I thought it was, and I’m wondering if more revisions are just procrastinating. (I’m not saying it’s perfect! I’m saying it might be as close to really good as I can get it, if you see the distinction.)

Therefore, on the horns of the dilemma of “do further revise an already good story” or “don’t revise a story which I felt needed more”, I am picking the obvious option. The only sensible option. The option which stands out as clearly as if spotlit from above with “Thus Spake Zarathustra” playing in the background.

To wit, “find an umbrella and go out for some form of fluffy beverage which incorporates both coffee and whipped cream.”

The rest can get sorted in a bit (possibly while keeping this in mind); right now it’s likely the warmest part of the day, and I always feel a bit odd if I don’t get outside at least once.

[1] This is how I plan for such things.

By main persistance, to unscheduled absence

There are two quotes that I keep thinking of when it comes to writing. One is from Maya Angelou, speaking directly. The other is from Stephen King, speaking as a character. Angelou’s I have handy, it’s

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks “the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,”… And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, “Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”

The Stephen King one I cannot find right now, but the gist of it is along the lines of “starting to write feels like French-kissing a corpse”. And while I can’t speak to the truth of that statement, I believe it. Because those first few moments when you’re coming in cold and the story is more a list than a sequence of events… Yes. I will completely believe it is like French-kissing a corpse, and goddammit it’s so hard to get anything moving.

Still, we persevere, yes?

Alright. I’m running on three hours sleep, and I actually just found this–I thought I’d posted it a week ago–so I am going back to bed. When I wake up everything will be a lot more coherent, because that is what Enough Sleep does for you.

The word for year is library.

Early this year, I read a post on Captain Awkward[1], and one of the things she mentioned–cited from the Blogess, actually–was the idea of 2013 as a library. A safe quiet space where you can get ready for something.

Maybe you spend the year recuperating from last year. Maybe you burn the Thanksgiving turkey and forget an important birthday. It’s okay. It happened in The Library. It was just practice for next year. Maybe it’s insanity, or maybe it’s just me, but somehow I think we all need a year in The Library. A year where it’s safe to make mistakes.

Probably the biggest thing for me was trying to actually commit to writing[2]. (Cat Rambo gives excellent classes, by the way, and I am not sure she self-promotes quite enough, and there’s a deal on her classes if you sign up before 2014. Just saying. I like the six-week course best.) I’ve gotten seven rejections so far and I think they’re getting easier to take, which is nice?

Other things this year: I tried to do Mary Robinette Kowal’s Month of Letters challenge, but that got interrupted by a pet health emergency. (Pet in question is fine, but leave us just say February got itself repurposed very hard.)

What else? Started staggering along to Zombies Run again after I’d stopped for longer than I’m happy with. Started reconnecting with someone I’d kind of lost touch with. Went to Farthing Party and CanCon (for the record, doing two cons in two weekends is not a great idea; that said, so glad I managed to get to a Farthing Party).

The house was cleared of about ten feet of bookshelf space and perhaps twenty-five bags-and-boxes of things that weren’t being used, or wouldn’t be used, or would be better used elsewhere, or just really needed to go. And I finished installing a cabinet. Admittedly in the bathroom we use least, but still, it’s installed.

I knit 0.76 of a mile of yarn into a sweater for my mother, and it worked. I mean, it fit and she liked it. I was terrified that I’d need to reknit half of it and the yarn store would be out of the dye lot, and…

Anyway, it worked.

And I cut my hair. Myself. (I haven’t dyed it again yet, but… maybe next year. The light of my life dug up an old picture, and I miss the purple.)

What did you do this year? What’ll you do the next?

[1] Lovely lady, very thoughtful, excellent advice, minimal Evil Bees.
[2] I had to work through a brief bout of “omigod I am admitting in public that I want to write things and care about whether I’m good at it!” to even type that. Oy, my issues.