7 May 2002
Curse that John Popper. I can't get "Girl Inside My Head" out of my head. I'm going to try some of the less drastic tricks (playing another album of his, playing another album of someone else's) before I resort to Bob Dylan, madrigals, or Disney's "Robin Hood" song. But still.
Well, anyway, good morning, dear hearts. I have a dilemma this morning. Hmm. A multilemma, perhaps, because it has more than two possible solutions. Here's the situation: we're a tiny bit short on stories for my writing group on Sunday. (Said stories are supposed to be in by Wednesday. I think we're short enough on stories that I could make it Thursday if I begged and looked pitiful.) I do not have an almost-finished short story that I can stick a hundred words on and send to the group. But I also have no day job.
So. Despite the fact that I don't have to write any short stories if I don't want to, I kind of want to have something for this group. I like this group. Problem is, I'm not particularly inspired on any one short story. So I have several choices.
I can give them something I've already finished awhile ago. Meh. Nothing is jumping out at me, and I don't want it to be some kind of charitable donation -- I want it to be something from which I feel able to benefit. I do have a story on my "major rewrite" list ("The Children's Village"), but the problem there is twofold. The first is, I'm not sure how long the rewrite will end up. It will be monotonically increasing the length of the story, I think, and it's currently at 5100 words. So I would most likely be thunking a novelette down on the group, and incidentally I'd have to do enough to end up with a novelette. And it's a fairly big emotional investment -- it's set in a village full of orphaned African children infected with HIV, so it's a cheerful, happy, perky story.
On the other hand, this story's rewrite has been on my "to do" list for months now, and having an excuse to get it done would be good. I have the feeling that the third draft may have to be significantly worse than the first or second in order to make the fourth significantly better. This is kind of the opposite of the above problem -- I don't really want to give the group something that I consider totally finished, but I don't want to give them something really rough and nasty, either. I suppose they can deal with it.
My other choices...well. I could do something for a theme issue or anthology that's coming up, but the nearest one is a YA thing that'll be very short (which is an advantage for getting it written in the next two days, I suppose) and only marginally SFnal. There's no set-in-stone rule that everything for this group has to be deeply SFnal, and it's too SFnal for most mainstream markets to consider it. But its shortness and YA nature give me pause. The other anthologies and theme issues that are coming up aren't coming up for awhile...the Coyotes and Other Tricksters issue of Spellbound would be a good one, but that's going to be a children's story, even shakier than a YA in terms of group applicability.
Hmm. There's a British thing for "story involving a member of a royal family," which is a bit open and weird, and there's a Christian SF anthology coming up also. I would have no idea what to do for either of those just now. (And I wouldn't write for the Christian SF one at all if it didn't sound like they were more interested in The Sparrow than in Left Behind.) And there are a few anthologies and contests with no particular theme, which is no help at all.
Then I have the Story List...oof. Hmm. I could do the short one about the memory implant and copyrights, the one Mark gave me the idea for. It'd be kind of snotty, but not in a way that's likely to get at anyone in the group. Hopefully in a fun way. I could do "Lupercalia." Not sure how long that'll be, either. I really should do the story that's tagged "near-xenocide replacement" soon, because it's going to be somewhere around long novelette length, and if it's the right length, there's a novelette anthology I'd like to try. But I don't have the time to write a novelette before the writers' group people would want the story. "Sigyn's Bowl" and "Window Shopper" might both be short enough and pre-structured enough. The former is a Ragnarok story and the latter is a recursive magic shop story. Argh.
Or I could freewrite and see what comes out, and hope it becomes a story in time.
Or I could say heck with it and work on the NTMB. And, in fact, I'm going to work on the NTMB for at least a little while, as I think this through.
Well, if you have opinions, requests, helpful advice, go on ahead and let me know. In the meantime, I'm just going to write a few e-mails and...do what I can figure out, I guess.
I reorganized my "to do" list yesterday (so that things with deadlines appear in order of the deadlines, most swiftly approaching at the bottom -- and this gives me a convenient place for birthday present ideas), and I think I need to organize my bookmarks on my browser. But I did get a lot done yesterday, including finishing "Under the Masks." (I know, I just finished talking about not having new short stories. But that one was for an anthology whose deadline is today, so it's already gone, buh bye, and I don't want to deal with it again this week, further editing or not. Perhaps ifwhen it comes back, I'll make the group deal with it. Not this week.) I finished Morphology of the Folktale and read all of Lloyd Alexander's The El Dorado Adventure, which was just as much fun as when I first read it as a kid. And I read some of A House for Mr. Biswas and started Norman Spinrad's Agent of Chaos (which Scott Heath gave me at Christmas, though not as a Christmas present).
Hmm. I was thinking something or another about the DMCA, as it was practically all we talked about last night at dinner, but I can't recall what it was. This is why I write things down. Evidently this is how I don't write them down fast enough.
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Or the next one.
Or even send me email.