Monday, April 16, 2007

Today I am a real writer

I was tempted to make that 'Today I am a woman' but it's a bit late, really. Or 'real boy', but I never much liked Pinocchio (and was his name really a rude joke?)
The second issue of Coyote Wild is up on the web. And my long story, The King of Elfland's Stepdaughter, is there in the table of contents. Right where people can come along and read it.
This is the first story I've sold. It was the second short story I wrote with the intention of submitting for publication.
When I re-read it, I was surprised that I felt no urge to tweak or fiddle with it. It's not perfect, I'm sure, but it's complete. I've released it into the wild and it isn't really mine anymore. It belongs to the people who read it, in their eyes and their interpretations of what I thought I was saying. Fly away, little bird.
Not to say that I'm anything but twittering with excitement over having a paid-by-the-word story out there with my name on it. 'Cause I am twittery. And we'll see how philosophical I am if there's a negative review--what price my zen-like detachment then?
Please insert here any mental images of over-excited dancing icons that seem appropriate to you.

Writing: The Willow Knot hit 75k (about time!) as I completed the first draft of chapter 12. Chapter 13 is (for now) intentionally left blank. Chapters 14 to 20 are drafted, with gaps. The proposal, the opening of documents, and the trial are still to be written. The complete draft will run over 80k, I'm almost certain. Still, I'm really liking how the changeling hints worked out, and I don't think they'll overweight the story.
There are going to be bits of story that don't get explained or resolved, though. Like how Midame acquired witchy powers, and what happens to the bear who may be an enchanted man. I'm okay with that. Hopefully an editor will be as well. It will leave some openings for fan-writers, should I achieve that distinction.

Presently reading Concepts of Cleanliness: changing attitudes in France since the Middle Ages, by George Vigarello (Cambridge 1985). Much fascinating social detail, from the communal baths of the Middle Ages to the obsession with clean linen in the 1600s, including a paragraph on lousing (yay!) and the information that "Certain women with particularly nimble fingers even made a profession of it". The sociological/psychological argument, about the skin being seen first as a barrier and then as utterly permeable and vulnerable (with water, especially warm water, invading the body and bringing disease with hit) is presented straightforwardly. A relief, that, because sometimes I really cannot be doing with French academic writing. I'm a third of the way into it; I expect it will be my lunchbreak reading for another few days.


Evan Goer said...

Congratulations! You're going to have to change your tagline slightly. :)

batgirl said...

Ooh, gosh, so I am! But notice I've added a Where I'm published link to the sidebar.

avo said...


Also, will you be writing a short story about a louse-picker by trade? I'm curious as to what her life would have been like, and can't begin to think of the thematic mileage you could get out of that profession, or of that paradoxical observation about the skin.

batgirl said...

A lousing-woman has potential as a character, doesn't she? The rest of the sentence is "in summer people sat in the sun and gossiped on the 'flat roofs of low houses' whilst enjoying the services of professional delousers." so she'd hear all the gossip and pass it along. (there's probably a gossip-vermin analogy to be made)

I'm also intrigued by the continual connection of bathing with prostitution. I'd run across the term 'stews' for a brothel in Elizabethan England, but hadn't realised it was a direct reference to the baths.