New Publication!

Look look, I sold my writing somewhere else! I have sold a personal essay about my experiences with rape and abuse to Hoax Zine, which you can find here.

I’m going to make a note for everyone who might be inclined to go read it that the zine in general deals with a lot of very intense content surrounding things like rape and domestic violence and alcoholism and just… all the content warnings. All of them. But it’s still worth reading; I got my contributor copy in the mail the other day and it’s really great. Therefore you should go order copies so you can take a look.

I really should make another page, up by the About page, with links to the things I’ve published in now that I’ve published in more than one thing, shouldn’t I.

The Infinities of Writing

I read something recently that talked about how writing is the only creative art where a huge part of the culture is how difficult it is to sit down and actually do it. Most creative arts people actually want to do and enjoy doing, but writing culture includes a lot of “and now I am wrestling with myself trying to get down to actually working on this thing that I supposedly enjoy doing.” Certainly I’m no exception to that, but it’s been getting easier to deal with lately, in part because I changed how I think about it.

The thing that’s hard for me in writing is that it’s perfect and infinite in my head. The story could be any of a hundred things, and they’re all wonderful and perfect, and it could go in any direction I choose to take it. There are thousands of versions, usually I’ve thought of all of them, and usually I’m thinking in high-concept: “I want to do a story about saving the world and equality and relationships, and it’s going to have a diverse cast and well-rounded characters and I’m going to avoid all of these common tropes and be truly original!”

Writing it down collapses the waveform. I go from having infinitely many possibilities to having one precise analysis of one of these visions at one moment in time, and usually it’s a pale imitation of whatever my high concept was. There’s actually a wonderful example of this line of thought in The Hours (the movie; I’ve yet to read the book) when Richard is telling Clarissa what he wanted to write about: “No matter what you start with it ends up being so much less.” You can’t write down the vision in a way that lives up to the vision; it’s impossible.

The way I’ve been getting around this is thinking of it as putting into a form that can be shared. Having the vision of these characters and these stories (or in the case of poetry, this overpowering emotion) is wonderful, but it’s not actually useful if it isn’t in a form that can be shared with others, and until we perfect telepathy, I can’t just communicate the vision. Even if what I write down is a pale imitation, even if it’s one moment of one slice that could never communicate the whole, I still have more than I did before, because now I have it in a form that I can show to other people and try to communicate it to them. And as I keep trying, I get better at communicating the vision. I communicate a little more of it each time.

I may never get to the point where I’m satisfied with my work. I don’t think writers do, at least not the ones possessed by visions. But I’m communicating a little more of what I see each time, and even if what I’m putting out there is a pale imitation of what I want to put out there, isn’t that better than never putting anything out there at all? Isn’t it better that I’m trying to share my vision?

(This post, by the way, is a self-demonstrating example. It is so much less than what I wanted to communicate to you about writing– but hey, I’ve got a blog post up discussing something substantial, so maybe you will all read and comment and tell other people about it, and I will get people who want to read my writing.)

It’s Here, It’s Here!

My contributor’s copy of Like a Circlet Editor has appeared! It’s here! It’s here!

I’m very excited by this, if you couldn’t tell. I now have a book with my name in and story in it that’s actually going to get sold to people. And it has “With contributions by…” on the back and my name is at the top of that list!

And to think, I almost didn’t submit this one because I thought it was too weird. This demonstrates the importance of just biting the bullet and sending stuff in, even when you think you have no chance of being published. Actually, I’ve just broken an important truism of publishing here: this is the first thing I ever submitted anywhere. The first thing you submit never actually gets published.

Like a Circlet Editor Cover Reveal

So if you’re wondering what happened to Blogtember… well, life got really busy all of a sudden and I didn’t quite have time to deal with it! I actually do intend to make up the ones I missed later, and try to get back to them for this month. But meanwhile– you’ve heard me make reference to the story I sold to the anthology. Well, today is the day of the cover reveal (technically; it’s after midnight), so you lucky people get an image of the cover and an excerpt from my story. First, the cover:

like_a_circlet_editor_cover_1400

Isn’t it lovely?

And an excerpt from my story:

“So the initiation is what, you spend time trying to convince all your new editors that everything is real and see how credulous they are?”

The editorial director shook her head. “Oh, I don’t allow that kind of game here. Initiation is sending you off to have an experience with one of the ones we have a relationship, that likes playing with the new humans and who we can trust to keep you safe. Vampires and werewolves are the easiest to find, but there are a fair number of fae around who like this game too. Ice demons, to the best of my knowledge, aren’t real, so I can’t readily send you off to one. If this is some deep heartfelt fantasy of yours, I apologize—it’s always best for the work when I can send someone to live their deepest fantasies.”
I looked around the table. Everyone seemed to be entirely serious about this idea. Not a single person appeared to be hiding a smile or restraining laughter. Either they were all very good actors, or there was something else going on here.

“So you’re telling me that vampires, werewolves, and fae are all real and ice demons aren’t?”

“Pretty much.”

“Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?”

How ridiculous does that sound, oh audience? Do you think everything is real, or is it just an office prank by the Circlet staff on their shiny new editor? Tune in when it goes on sale, for answers to these questions and more!

Now, there are also some links I’m supposed to give you.

This should take you to the Circlet post announcing the cover reveal. At time of posting, it led to a not-found thing, but I imainge that will be rectified as things go on.

You can pre-order the book on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/574549

Also, there’s a raffle! https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b8b23a841/ Go look at the raffle! You could win copies of 25 ebooks! I would totally participate under those condtions.

That about wraps it up. I’ll post as I can, children, but in the end I have to go out and face the storm.

Blogtember Challenge Day 4: Passion

I did say some of these were going to be late. Sometimes very late. But that’s okay. (September 6 is going to be either an entire day late or not happen at all, since I will be otherwise occupied.) I’m actually blogging and putting posts out there and even remembering to tag them occasionally, which is the point of the exercise.

Today’s question: what are you passionate about?

Writing.

Or maybe that should be “stories”, since I’ll go into detail about the construction of other people’s stories just as much as I will about mine. But I love having worlds alive in my head for me to examine, set against each other, and try to figure out. I love putting words down on the page. My characters are talking to me in my head all the time, telling me what they want to do next; the novel has taken on an air of “don’t ask me, I just write the thing” as the characters take on lives of their own.

There is a most profound joy in doing that, in taking characters that you created and turning them into something else, something more, something immeasurably greater, so real they can almost step off the page.