11 May 2005
Well, I lied to you on Sunday: Pattern was apparently not going anywhere it took awhile to go. Now I'm eyeing Memory, the last book in that trilogy, with extreme skepticism: will it redeem Pattern or continue it? I don't know when I'll have the heart to find out. I read Patrick O'Brian's H.M.S. Surprise by way of either pouting or consolation, I'm not sure which, and Ellis Peters's The Summer of the Danes is along the same lines personally, though of course it's very different as a book.
I am back to not working on a book, having finished the current set of revisions to The Grey Road, and it's no more comfortable than it was before. Short stories are cooperating slightly better as a group, though without much concentrated cooperation from any one story. I have gone through and opened the files with my most interesting uncompleted stories in them. Now I'm poking them a little at a time as it occurs to me.
I also moved a bunch of stories into the "Fragments" sub-folder in the "Never Will Sell" folder. It still comes out to too many short stories begun, too many good ideas in the "starters" file not even started yet, and this way I don't have to dig through file titles going, "wait, now is the one I want the one called sigynsbowl or ragnarok?" (Note to self: branch out.)
I have the song from the "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back" episode of "Futurama" in my head, especially the line, "When push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love, even if it's not a good idea." I don't believe that -- well, I don't believe it as an absolute rule anyway -- but it amuses me, especially with the rest of the song. Selling a story on Monday seems to have helped me feel a bit more like it is a good idea. (Although I seem to have gotten a split response from a fair number of people between, "I thought you never sold stories -- seems like you only get rejected" and "Oh, you sell stories all the time, no big deal." Friends and family members: make up your collective mind and get back to me.)
I'm hoping to have kind of a deck-clearing time here, where I finish several of these short stories in quick succession before I get into another novel. But I'm also resigning myself to the fact that short stories just don't do the same thing for me as novels. I never seem to have moments in the middle of writing novels when I realize I need short stories -- but I do have moments when I need to write specific short stories, so maybe all my proclamations that I'm not a short story writer are premature on those grounds.
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