"I Wrote A Book" Dance

12 July 2001

Whew! I'm done done done with Reprogramming! Well, with the rough draft. But I'm all excited about it again, now that the rough draft is done. I'm going to let it sit for awhile, while I write some short stories and get the Not The Moose Book well and truly begun, and maybe work on the beginning of The Tides Between the Worlds, too. (Chorus of voices, feel free to add yours: You just finished a book! Relax! I know, I know.)

As I told my e-mail list of Everybody (if I've overlooked putting you on it, let me know), it is not any less exciting to finish my third book than it was to finish my first. Not in the slightest. It's still Just That Cool.

So yesterday I didn't write about what I want my books to be like. I also didn't write about cheese, but I didn't intend to write about cheese. Nor did I write about how Susan is like chocolate chip cookies, although that's a good one, too. However, of these three topics, somehow I think that what I want my books to be like is going to get me more interesting places. (Those of you who disagree with me, well, go ahead and write to ask me why Susan is like chocolate chip cookies. I'm happy to tell you.)

David pointed out to me yesterday that what he had, in fact, asked was not what I want my books to be like, but what my ambitions are as a writer. I know that these are different questions. They're even different questions for me, since I do enjoy writing short stories, and I intend to continue to do so. But for the most part, I'm a novel writer, and that's how it's going to stay. (Feel free to mock me for this when I'm 30 if I'm wrong. But my guess is that I'll have at least five more books by then, so.)

Okay, so, ambitions as a writer. I want to be prolific. Not for its own sake. Not so that people will point at me at cons and say, "Goodness, she's prolific!" Not even for the money, although, hey, I'll take it if someone will give it. Because I have a lot of stories to tell. Why do you think I started so early? Why do you think I write so much? Because I have a lot of stories in here, and it's good to get them out. Trust me here. It's a bad thing if they stay in here too long. They're like babies like that: they all have their proper gestation period, but when it's over, they really need to be gone.

I want to be a writer that readers can rely upon for a good story no matter what. I said that yesterday, and it's true today. I said it about Joe Haldeman. You know what? We bought a really early Star Trek book by Joe Haldeman. Star Trek. Why? Because it was a dollar, mostly, but also because we could count on Joe to be at least interesting, no matter what he was doing. I want people to count on me like that.

I want to rip people's guts out and put them back in a slightly different arrangement. I want to write really emotionally gripping stuff that also makes people reassess things in their own heads and lives.

Quite honestly, quite stereotypically at the age of almost-23, I want to change the world. Except I don't believe in the world. No such critter. I believe in people individually. So that's who I want to change. I don't want everybody to think like me, but I would like it if they reconsidered some ideas because of me.

I write for all kinds of people, but partly I write for my Lost Boys. To reach them. To get to them somehow, even if they never show it to anybody else. To take them by the shoulders and shake them. I write for other people's Lost Boys, too, I guess.

When I read Spider Robinson, I think, "This is a man who knows a lot about loving people." And I feel like I learn something about loving people from his books. I want to do that. Aside from being true to the story itself, I think this is one of the most important things.

There's more, but, hey, I finished a book today, I should stop typing for at least a little bit.

Damn. I just got the mail, and the people with whom I am doing this teen writing class put a letter in it. Their new director -- and this is a rough translation, so cover your ears -- is still getting his shit together. But will be calling me about doing the class in the winter instead of the fall. Sorry for the etc. etc. Grr.

And who gave this permission to be July? I mean, I appreciate not having to turn on the AC, but socks and long sleeves and jeans are a bit much. I should not have to wear socks except for hiking between May and September. It is my birthright in exchange for putting up with Minnesota winters.

Oh yeahhhhh...I don't do that any more.

It's still too chilly for July.

But hey, I wrote another book, I can cope for now. Excuse me while I go do my "I wrote a book" dance.

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