First, thanks to everyone for your wonderful and supportive comments about the stories/scenes I recently posted! I’m so glad I put them out there, even though I was hesitant because they’re so rough. I have a tendency to blog about writing in general, as opposed to my writing specifically, but reading Kiersten and Natalie’s blogs made me realize that I should probably open up a bit. Because it’s fun to share (like secrets at a slumber party!) and your responses are so encouraging.
To that end, I have a confession to make: I’ve started a new book. I’m excited about it, so if you think it sounds stupid, please don’t tell me.
In a nutshell:
A twenty-something couple seeking adventure in order to revive their stale relationship gets more than they bargained for when they are whisked away to a strange and possibly dangerous other world.
Think Alice in Wonderland meets Princess Bride meets Spirited Away meets real life. Or something like that. I’m only 2,200 words in right now, but I’ve hit my word goal every day this week, so I’m feeling pretty good. I’m also going to employ alpha readers on this project, and it’s the first time I’ve ever had alphas (well, besides my thesis adviser Hilary Masters) so I’ll talk more about that next week.
In other news, my friend Julia has started blogging flash fiction once a week at 52 Tales. Julia is awesome, and a very talented writer! (We met at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.) Most of her current tales are about Austen Clark, a California lawyer who ran away to Micronesia for some mysterious reason involving a sawed off shotgun. There’s humor and adventure and even (I’m anticipating) a little romance. It’s like LOST, but without plane wrecks or polar bears or time travel or crazy conspiracies! In other words, not very much like LOST at all, except that it’s set on a cool island and is fabulous. Check it out.
Another friend, Mandy, recently blogged about how everyone’s pressuring her to get a backup plan. See, she recently quit her job to do freelance writing full-time, and apparently a lot of people think she’s going to fall on her @$$. What I love about Mandy is that she’s bold, so her response to those people was a big fat SO WHAT?
I don’t want to make a back up plan. I don’t want it to become THE plan as soon as things get tough and I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I want to struggle (a little). I want there to be times where I realize I need to hunker down and crank out some work if I want to pay my student loan. I want to make myself nauseous from the procrastination I’m doing to myself, and I want there to be days when I’m up until 4am finishing up work because I sat around all day reading blogs.
If I have complete security and comfort, which so many of us see as a level of “achievement,” like we’ve all suddenly reached our goals and can sit and be there and stay there, what am I going to get out of it besides the cash? What’s going to teach me, tempt me, freak me out, or make me squirm in discomfort? I know in the end we all want that feeling, but thinking of the day where I sit back and say “yep, this is it. This is where I’m at and how it’s going to be for the rest of like, ever…” makes me realize how I’m not ready to be there.
See? Bold. And brilliant. And totally going to rock the freelance thing.
Me, on the other hand… I compromised. I quit my job to write, but I got a safety net (a part-time job). Granted, it lets me spend a lot more time writing without making me a charity case, but sometimes I wish I were as fearless as Mandy.
(And sometimes I think I still will be… If 2010 isn’t the year, I think I’m going to have some tough decisions to make.)