So, I have been away. Well, away from here, that is. You didn't notice? Huh.
Anyways, I have been blatantly neglecting the blog, but in my defense I have been doing words.
Back in October, I was asked
by the delightful Belinda Jones to write a story for the second Sunlounger
anthology, which is due out this summer.
More to the point, this was a request, not an invite to take part in the
competition again. Obviously there was a
fair amount of Happy Dancing around here, which I managed to string out for
quite some time, before I realized that having a deadline meant I also had to
stump up the goods.
I had a ropey first draft before Christmas,
which mulled until this new year, when it took a brutal beating and slashing,
before being cast under the meticulous eye of my Lovely Critique Partner who
was vicious but fair. The words "annoyingly wishy-washy" about one
segment made me wince but also made me pull
my socks up. That is what good crit partners are for: to dole out The Truth.
So finally, after a lot of tinkering,
re-tinkering and faffing, and killing a darling at the very end, I delivered it
to Belinda. I have to say it gave me a sense of relief, as my brain had been
filled with it forever, along with that nag of a deadline looming. But
there was also a sense of nerves, as what if she didn't like it? Last year I
would never have known any different if she simply hadn't picked mine. But I
guess that is the case with anyone who writes and sends their work out to
anyone else. You always risk them not liking it, be it a short story or novel,
or whether it's going to an agent, publisher, or the reader. Luckily, I know
now that Belinda is happy with it. Hurrah. Cue Happy Relieved Dance which is
altogether more slouchy.
Essentially, writing this Sunlounger story has been a timely reminder of how I write and
what my process is. It’s also shown how my attitude to my words has changed
over time, where once I would have defended them stubbornly to a point of
weeping before making a change, I can now take the comments, try the
alternative ideas, and kill those darlings without even a pout. (OK, maybe a small one, a mini-pout...)
So that's where I've been - Killing and Happy Dancing.
What have you been up to?