Greetings tens, nay dozens of readers,
Where have I been for ten days you ask? Fiji perhaps? A week in Paris? A two-week bender spent in a west Texas block-house freebasing banana leaves?
Those are all great suggestions, but they would be wrong.
No, the Sarlac that is the day job swallowed me and I am being slowly digested in its fetid maw. In all seriousness work has just been intense the last two weeks. Things are going in the right direction, but everything is very serious and active now as we move into the end of year activities with my client. It has kept me very, very busy. I am ready for a break in the action and some down time, but there are miles to go yet.
I however, must take a brief break from work to toot my horn a bit, but with a little context.
Writing is hard. Writing well is even harder. Writing well and creating something that others want to read even more so. You keep layering on this recursive process of punishment until writing soon begins to look like a herculean task of masochism. You only keep doing it because the alternative is to go crazy. If you are lucky you will find ways to enjoy the process.
Now, before you think I am complaining, I am not. I CHOOSE to write. I sort of love the challenge and the chase of being published is a thrill.
What I don’t enjoy is that writing is an ephemeral process with subjective results.
When I bake bread I can tell that my skills are improving because the product I produce is easily judged.
If I go hunting the results of my efforts are quite clear in the physical results. My skill in stalking, my ability to remained focus, my capacity to use my senses to find my prey and finally my ability to use a tool to kill.
Actions = results
By comparison, writing is flying by wire in the dark with no maps, the control panel has gone dark, the co-pilot is snorting ether, you’ve a bag over your head with the eye holes facing backwards and someone is playing Dokken REALLY loud.
What you really need is telemetry. What you do is keep flying, hoping that you are not scaring the shit out of the goats on the mountain you are about to fly into.
What choice do you have?
Okay that may seem obvious, but it is also hard to drink through a paper bag and Dokken is more suited to Thunder bird or Boone’s Country Quencher than good whiskey.
What you have is other writers, who leave their own plane and take off the blinders when they look at other people’s work. By doing this penance we sometimes can turn the paper bag around and switch the CD to something that doesn’t rhyme with putrid. And this is awesome, and I am thankful for all of my critique partners and their efforts.
Another thing we have is the obvious response we get to our work. Rejections make the Sad Panda sad, it is true, but now you know what that person thinks. Acceptance happens. It makes amazing things happen and the psyche gets to have the Sad Panda for dinner.
Then there is the middle ground, and that is what I get today.
I am pleased to announce that for the second time this year I am an Honorable Mention for the Writers of the Future contest for my short story, “Containment”.
I started Q1 with an HM and I end Q4 with one.
Blessed telemetry. It tells me I am in the ballpark. Briefly the controls light up and through the flash of lightning I can see the plane is on course and to keep going in this direction.
So thanks to folks at WOTF for supporting the contest. Be on the look out for my Q1 entry next month, unless I sell something and lose my eligibility.
Wishing you tepid goat-nog,