My stories have a very weird way of coming together. They often begin as bits, as pieces of a scene, a bit of dialogue. The pieces are scattered about in word files, in notebooks, on the backs of receipts, then somehow when I’m ready, when it’s ready, I piece it all together and begin the process of merging the scenes and dialogue to make the story it was intended to be. I thought about this as I work on “Instructions for Sexing Susie,” the story I’m working on for a contest. It started as lines of scenes, then small exchanges between she and her husband, then the setting, and it just worked. From the beginning I knew the story would have this classic feel because Suzie is a classy gal with old-fashioned values. It’s almost as if it could have taken place in the 40’s or 50’s but I’m pretty sure it’s a contemporary story, just with and old-fashioned flair. I had intended to work on the story a great deal over the weekend, had even hoped to finish it, but circumstance prevented it. I supposed I could have changed the light bulb in the den myself, but I didn’t feel like standing in a chair and risk being knocked in the head by the light fixture and waking the babies. I worked a little on it Sunday morning before dear hubby poked his head and asked what I was doing. Disturbance really does something to my flow, but how do you say such things with sounding, I don’t know, like a crazy person? Maybe I’ll make myself a little sign: Do Not Enter; I’m Creating. Tee hee.
The deadline is creeping up on me fast; it’s Thursday. Last week when I was listing deadlines trying to organize myself somewhat to do stories for all these things I want to submit to, it seemed so far away. I was all leisurely with my writing, jotting down thoughts here and there. Working on two and three projects at a time. What the hell was I thinking? I can’t get anything done that way. Then again, I’m rather intimidated at the thought of selecting one project at a time, and working only on that project until it’s complete and then moving on. It’s probably because I have this habit of losing my passion for a project and I move on, then come back to it when/if I’m ready. I guess it’s some sort of weird superstition, but it’s what’s been working for me. However, I have to really crunch if I’m going to finish two stories by Thursday.
I got an email from an editor over the weekend. No acceptance or request for work, but the promise of books and money in the mail this week which I like. This book is hardback so I’ll be giddy over it for days. I can’t wait to see it, to hold the finished project in my hand and sneak off into a room and reread my story in its final form. It’s what I do. Sometimes I wretch at little mistakes I never caught. Sometimes I wretch at the entire story wondering why it even got accepted, but the last book I really enjoyed. I still love that story even with the glaring error.
I’ve been thinking about the novel as well. I’m going to jot down some more notes. It’s becomign more of a love/relationship thing than I had intended, but I’m not going to mess with the process. I’ll just let it be. I’ve run into a problem with the timeline already, though, and have to rethink a major plot occurrence.