Monday, January 7, 2008

The cat says, Write!

Or at least, sit at the laptop and make a lap for her. This morning I decided to get back into the routine, even though I'd only gotten up at 6:45 am (the sleeping in is getting ridiculous--Sunday I slept until 12:30 pm). I fired up the laptop and heated up a cup of tea, and as I came back with my tea I saw she was sitting in the window-seat, waiting for me to get the quilt ready for her.
Aww. I haven't been there for two months, and she remembered. Aww.
Didn't really get any writing done, but I opened up Tom's story and reacquainted myself with Tom and Nan and my version of Stuart-period English. Time to reread Greene on Cony-Catching, I think. And a good time to read Patricia Wrede's Snow White and Rose Red. She has the guts to use 2d person familiar in speech, but it probably helps to be Patricia Wrede and just be that good.
Snow White and Rose Red is a favourite fairy tale of mine. Little Brother and Little Sister being another, of course.... So I'm looking forward to indulging myself there.
I saw a copy of Fitcher's Brides at Munro's, also in the Fairy Tale series, but I didn't quite make up my mind to buy it. The premise, of Fitcher as a millennial evangelist during the revival fervour, is definitely inventive, but in skimming, I wasn't sure how well I'd get along with the style. I'll look again next time; it may have been my mood.

Little happy writey thing: One of the problems I had with draft two is that I had this piece of Midame's story, that clarified a great deal (I thought) about her motivations, but it was from her pov and happened 5 years before the beginning of the story. I'd chucked it into the trial scene pro-tem, but it didn't really fit, and I hadn't tried to make it fit. The problem is that Midame was the only one (alive) in the scene. It might have worked as a prologue, but yeah, there's that whole thing about prologues. So, as I was drowsing the other morning, thinking about getting out of bed, and about krylyr's comments, it occured to me--what if Midame wasn't the only one there? What if she had brought little Myl in? And why might she do that? Nothing good. More trauma, yay! And more clues, through confused child-memory, of what happened to the Fortunate Third.
I still have to restrain myself. Willow Knot should lie fallow for the rest of this month, really.

I've mentioned my deep gratitude to my beta-readers, but I was thinking recently that there was a quite separate joy I've had. The slightly (oh, more than slightly) incredulous joy of having people ask to read my work, just because they want to. Because they think they'll enjoy it, even when there's no immediate promise of crit-for-crit, or where they may be avid readers but not writers themselves.
I don't know. Is there anything more amazing than someone asking about your characters, what they did after that story ended, or liking or disliking them as if they were real people? Questions are much more fun than praise, because praise just finishes the conversation; all one can say is 'thank you'. The times when M-- and I talked story and characters were probably the best times of that friendship, at least for me.
The Scribblers thread has been a haven since, a place to moan about characters who do what they want and not what the plot needs, or whose motivations remain stunningly opaque; a place to bounce excitedly when one finds a work-around for a blocked bit of plot. Room 50 of course is my second online home, though less gossipy and more businesslike.

World's Fastest Rejection: I fixed up the file for Fold and emailed it to Tesseracts Twelve late Sunday night (yesterday, that would be), and got an autoresponse at 9:30 pm. Today I had an email just before 1 pm, saying:

Dear Barbara,
I liked quite a bit of this, but it didn't
grab me enough to use. I do hope to see
something else before the deadline.

best wishes,

Which is encouraging, I guess, if I only had a finished piece of specfic 10 to 20k in length lying about ready to send. Oh, yeah, and that's better than Fold.
Fluke is 12k, but it's broken in ways I don't yet know how to fix.
Crazing is 18k, but it's another 3-Day Contest entry, and the results won't be out until mid-month at best. I guess I could start fixing it up (haven't looked at the file since I printed it out and sent it off) with the idea of having it ready to submit as soon as I know it hasn't won the 3-Day (snort of laughter here).
Or, as Mark suggests, I could write something new in 3 days, the same way I produced Fold and Crazing. This is supportive of him, for certain values of supportive.

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