It’s Monday. It’s not exactly one of those Mondays, though. There was a little bit of traffic coming in to work, but it wasn’t enough to distract me from Roy Dotrice’s voice as he’s reading Dance with Dragons. I’m a little bit sick, but it’s not so much that I can’t do my day’s work, or go teach Computer Club, or go to band tonight.
Today is actually feeling like a really great day, mostly because it’s coming off of yesterday, in which I wrote a 4000 word Sci-Fi short story.
It feels so good to finish something! All too often, I start projects, get somewhere in the middle, then stop. The reasons I stop are varied, but it always feels like failure when I don’t finish something I set out to do. Yesterday, I finished something. I’m probably going to be floating a few inches off the ground for the rest of the week, buoyed up by this feeling of victory.
The story itself is about bag handlers in a world where travelers stow their bodies along with the rest of their baggage. Rather than suffer through long lines in security, cramped, uncomfortable seating, and layovers, people plug into a virtual reality while their bodies are preserved and shipped efficiently to wherever it is they’re headed.
The idea came to me while traveling, obviously. I was on my way to WorldCon when I thought about it. While attending Sheila William‘s Kaffeeklatsch, it occurred to me that I might actually write this story and submit it to Asimov‘s. Later, after looking at the Convolution website, it seemed like a good idea to me to finish it quickly and submit it so that I can attend the Writer’s Workshop.
I remembered the cut-off date for the Writer’s Workshop as being this coming weekend, so I thought I had a much shorter time to get the story done. Melissa went with me to Starbuck’s yesterday, where she sat and drank some coffee and read some stories while I worked. To my surprise, and to Melissa’s, I finished before we left.
It turns out that when I have an idea, I write at about 1000 words per hour. That seems like a respectable pace.
So I have something finished, and I’ve been sharing it with friends and family. Melissa didn’t care for it that much. She was left with questions at the end, so I’m not sure I did a good enough job delivering the story. It may be that I need more exposition, which is an atypical problem with these sorts of stories.
I’ve decided to let the story sit for a day or two, and revisit it once the excitement has worn down. I know that there’s some places I’m going to want to edit. I might discover that this isn’t the best I can do. I might actually really hate my little story, which would be too bad.
For now, though… I’m just so happy to have something finished that I might be willing to share!
I did so like it. I just had questions. Not all questions are bad, and wanting more story or more details is not bad either. Also sometimes whetting ones taste buds and leaving them wanting is a good thing.
I will however state that it is not my favorite story or writing piece that I have read of yours. And can’t wait for a bigger tastier piece.
With great Love and support,
Your adoring Wife
I have been hesitant to post to your blog mainly because I feel, right or wrong, that you feel like I applaud all your work because I am your sister. I want you to know that isn’t so. There are things you have written that I say little about and there are things you have written that I truly enjoy. Such is the case with the Arthur Kane stories.
You have stated that they may someday end up being for young adults which is not a bad idea. Considering at the time that you were 15-ish? I thought they were well thought out, had a fun plot and were fun to read. Considering what Ian Fleming did with James Bond, your Arthur Kane was not that far fetched.
I have always enjoyed your “voice” when you write and I find this is true of your blog as well. I want to say keep it up bro! You have always been happier in life when you are writing. You are your own worst critic, but it sounds like you have come to recognize that and are trying to make less room for your inner critic for which I also applaud you.
Thanks Cheryl! And don’t be afraid to criticize my stuff. I need to learn how to handle criticism, and if you don’t like some of my stories, I’m not going to hold it against you.
I should probably send you my latest short story, so you have something to love or hate!
That would be awesome. I will enjoy reading anything you want to send my way. I appreciate science fiction so much more these days than I used to. In fact there are even occasions when I really like it instead of just appreciating it. Go figure.
I promise to be honest.