So I think that perhaps Free Lance Writer Land should really be shortened to Fiction Writer Land since I am not actively pursuing any freelance work. I have spent zero hours looking for a gig and when I think about working for someone else, my enthusiasm drops to zero. After being subject to another person's priorities and whims for so long, I am in full rebellion and want to do what I want to do. Now do I sound like a spoiled princess or what? Trust me, I get up every day and thank my lucky stars I married a man who is a go-getter, successful, and most importantly, patient. He knows I won't become J. K. Rowling overnight. Next month will be fine!
The last few weeks have brought starts and stops in the quest for more and better fiction. Not a lot of new words. I continue to work on a short story that explores prejudgement and prejudice - where is the line? It created quite a stir in my writer's group - really touched a nerve, which is good. Makes people think, but I wasn't prepared for the reaction and I was a bit defensive and rather irritated. Could it be because I always think I'm right and can't understand why someone doesn't agree with me when I am so obviously, well, right? Really poor form in a writer's group. Sigh, I thought I'd be smarter by now.
I am also revising a story about a vibrator (yes, you read that correctly) that, surprisingly, does not involve sex at all. Hmmm, what could that be all about? I learned from this session of revision to re-read the entire story before re-writing it. I had forgotten that I had changed the ending. Sometimes I feel like a squirrel that forgot where the acorns are. You can just see me in my little corner of my basement scratching my head and thinking, 'What was I doing when I wrote that?'
By the way, I've had many comments on the picture of my little corner of writing paradise. Yes, I am sitting by a refrigerator. It is the beer fridge, which is one of my life long dreams, but not really a great tool for a writer's arsenal. So far I have managed not to indulge during the day. Alcohol definitely does not help me write better, it just makes me sleepy.
The novel has come to a complete stop. I am not sure it is a novel. It was starting to feel very artificial to me, like I had to make up all of this stuff to make the story longer and be a novel. The more experience I get writing the more I realize that I am not a plotter. I like to write until the story is done. I now understand more fully what Stephen King meant when he said story telling is an archaeological dig. As you brush the sand away with the words, the form begins to show itself. For me, that is the fun way to write. I never know what is going to come out or where the story is going and I am as surprised as anyone else at the end of the day. So I am going back to the first scene of the novel, re-writing it a bit and then I will write from there. If it becomes a novel, so be it. If not, oh well. As my favorite person in the whole world says, "It is what it is."
One of the best things that has happened, also covered in a previous post, is that my story Guide Dog was picked up by Alphie Dog LTD. When people download it I will actually get paid. Not a lot, but it is something. I am channeling my inner Sally Fields: "They like it! They really like it!" This may come as a surprise but I never really quite believe that a story that is picked up is good. I am always thinking, "Yeah, but... (insert negative thought here)." What makes me feel good about Alphie Dog is that I submitted two stories and they requested revisions on one before they would accept it. I declined to make the revisions, mostly because I had been through it multiple times and I was done, so they just took Guide Dog. Alphie Dog is most definitely screening the content, not just throwing anything up there. My inner cheerleader is waving her pom-pons.
I cannot believe how great it is to be sitting in my basement with the beer fridge and the cat boxes listening to the furnace as I create new stories and characters. I thought I'd miss work. I don't. I thought I'd be lonely. I'm not. I thought I would struggle to find things to write about. Right now the brain is pretty full with a psychic cowboy, a three hundred pound black woman, an OCD woman trapped in her house, and a 10 inch neon green vibrator named "Old Faithful." Oh yeah, and a romance about a garbage picker. Rats, I always forget that one until garbage day. I am truly a blessed person. I am living my dream. I encourage you to go live yours.