Archive for May, 2003

5/11/03: Coasting

Word count: 17219 Just got back from a weekend at the Oregon Writers Colony’s Colonyhouse at the Oregon Coast. Spent the whole time writing, apart from meals and one walk on the beach. Finished Chapter 2 and wrote the entirety of Chapter B (I think… it feels a little short, but it does cover everything in the outline) for a total of over 4000 new words! I had been hoping for 5000 words but I think that was unrealistic. New material includes the death of Vigor, a breakthrough by Jason, a shooting scene using info from my shoot-out a couple weeks ago, and a really steamy seduction scene. Interesting note: on Saturday, between lunch and dinner (3 hours) I wrote 1000 words. Between dinner and bed (also 3 hours) I wrote over 2000 words. Also, the 2000 words were more fun to write and feel like much better writing than the 1000 words. The difference? The 2000 words included a key scene that I have been reviewing in my head for months; the 1000 words I wrote in the afternoon were all material I hadn’t thought through in detail and I was making it up as I went along. This puts me in mind of a favorite Shoe cartoon, in which little Skyler says to his uncle Cosmo “You’re a writer. Shouldn’t you be pounding the keyboard instead of staring out the window?” Cosmo responds: “Typists pound keyboards. Writers stare out windows.” I think I need to spend a little more time staring out the window. (Of course, when I tried this at the coast I fell asleep. But the principle is sound.)

5/6/03: Frustrated by good rejections

Word count: 13179 Only 900 words in the last week. Clarity’s father still not dead. But I’m going to the coast Friday for a weekend of nothing but writing. Right now I’m just massively frustrated. I have a couple of stories I feel very strongly are some of my best work, and both of them have now bounced from every major market. The rejections have been incredibly positive — Gardner Dozois called one of them “nicely crafted and nicely felt”; Ellen Datlow said it was “moving and disturbing”; Gordon Van Gelder called it “audacious” — but they all turned it down anyway. Grr; argh. I’d rather have a half-hearted acceptance than even the most complimentary rejection. On the other hand, people’s responses to “The Tale of the Golden Eagle” have been outstanding.