Saturday, January 8, 2011

For Those of You Curious After I Mentioned Returning to My Novel Manuscript (or, really, just starting fresh at this point)....and my creative freak outs that sort of parallel my dieting tendency to freak out...

Here's one of my stories.  It's speculative fiction. Here's how it opens:

“Time’s a prancing ninny, the practical joker of the universe,” says the marriage merchant, the Matcher, to none of us in particular. He hasn’t shut up once since we left Earth bound for Phlida. “Space, on the other hand, has no sense of humor whatsoever. It just broods out there like a lonely, tongue-tied bachelor. Well, see for yourself.” 
     We take the cue, all six of us who are stuck for the duration in the saferoom with the loquacious Matcher and his ceaseless attempts to spark conversation. We all look toward the single viewport overhead that serves up a slice of darkness pierced by pinpoints of light. The starview is meant to keep claustrophobia at bay during the journey. The conversation is meant to keep us sane. 
     Really, what choice do we have but to look up? What else can any of us do, bound as we are by our seats, bound together by the stabilizers that keep us in a single timestream, bound by the yearnings that have driven us from the home planet? Tell us to look, we look. Tell us to sleep, we sleep. Tell us to press that spot in our earlobes to quell the spacesickness, and we press. Tell us to sip nutrients, we sip. Tell us to forget who we are and we just may forget, if we knew to begin with. 
     But don’t make me talk, Matcher. 
     I’m a novice to space travel, but I have read and heard the stories of what can happen once the gravity of homeworld ceases to bind you.  Everything loosens. Things fly free. Secrets escape. And the only ones unaffected, so I’ve read, are the Loners, those genetically-gifted few who live in the belly of spaceships, navigating, maintaining, recording. They fly without risk, immune to the strange effects of these outer wilds—yes, utterly free of any susceptibility to space madness—and they are themselves bound to the normal timeflow by the complex mechanism implanted in their bodies. The operation, they say, is irrevocable. 
     I find it easy to believe such tales of space and spacemen.
Another story (also speculative) is in  this (now out of print)  anthology.

My Rhysling Award nominated poem is found in the 2007 anthology.  

You can read some of the cool poems in that issue here on Google books for free, but the preview is cut off before mine on page 39.  I still get high seeing something I created in a book sharing space with the amazing Ursula Le Guin, the prolifically talented Bruce Boston, the justly often-awarded Joe Haldeman, and some of my personal fave SF poets. I'm a puny, neurotic midget among giants. But hey, I'm still in there. :D

I haven't written creatively for, um, almost there years. Part was really bad depression. Part was my neurotic tendency to self-sabotage in utter fear of failure whenever a hint of success comes my way (and yes, including dieting, I do that there, too). I had 3 editors wanting to see my manuscript after reading the opening chapter(s), and I freaked. Totally freaked. Second time this happened. Back in 2003, on a differnt novel, I had 2 editors wanting to see it. I freaked and turned reclusive and stopped writing.

It's a repulsive habit of mine. And I will conquer it THIS YEAR. No more freaking when things are going well. No more!

So, I want to give it as shot again. Without freaking or running away. If I fail giving it my best, then I fail. But I will do this, too. The weight...the words. Both.  For the last 3 years, it's like my brain was dry.

Just posting about haiku made me want to get back to poetry.


Yesterday, I actually shot myself an email with an image and sketchy premise for a story or chapter (unsure at this point, just a seed). Seeds should grow, right?


Anne H said...

Funny (read as: not funny)
how we get afraid and turn reclusive.

Awesome writing, PD!
Seeds need light and air to grow!
You grow, girl!

Diandra said...

Wait, WHAT??? Editors asked for your manuscript(s) and you ran for it??? You must be seriously crazy... I'd give a right arm (not necessarily mine) for a chance like that!

Uhm, sorry, I can be a bit obsessed about writing... (^v^)

But I know that. Right now I'm stuck in the same situation(s)... in 4lbs my weight will be the lowes it will have been in at least 5 years, and somehow I am sabotaging myself all the time... it took like FOREVER to get rid of the last 2lbs, and now I am stuck loosing and gaining the same 2lbs over and over again, and progress is realllllly slow. I am under the impression the numbers on the scale frighten me, because that was the "low" weight at which I lost the battle last time... and as for writing, I had a few stories accepted last year (in anthologies and magazines) and then just stopped. What the [dark place with lost souls] is wrong with me???

Good luck with your manuscript and everything! That opening at the beginning sure reads good...

Ann (-51 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Seriously, our diet journeys are eerily similar. I'm like the blonde, blue-eyed, pilates-less version of you.

I gained a pound, and am very frustrated. I was hoping to break into the 230s this week.

Still, the numbers on the scale are not the only determination of progress ... measurements count too. :)

Hang in there, and work the plan!

Beth said...

Oh that self-sabotaging streak is in many of us, loosing weight and not having the BIG FAILS to torture ourselves with leave quite the void in our lives. Success is a tricky thing.

Wow, this is so exciting, this is what I love to see when someone tackles the food and the other things in life start to split wide open. You go for it, your writing is fabulous and I'd really love to read the poem.

There is nothing but possibility ahead of you. Go for it.

Beth said...

Oh my gosh, I came back to re-read this evening and realised that the whole story was linked (not sure how I missed that) I LOVE IT! What is speculative fiction, I have no idea.

That is a story worth reading again and I will before I go to bed. Is this central character drawn from your own personality? Or is that too personal a question!


Can you tell me, are you working on the apocalyptic urban fantasy novel now?

Princess Dieter said...

I am not writing the apocalyptic urban fantasy now, no, but that story won the Sci-fi/Fantasy category of the American Christian Fiction writer's GENESIS contest in 2006. I belong to that association, though I've not been writing, I kept up the membership for when the mojo comes back. I got lovely feedback from some published authors--including one whose book got me into READING Christian SF.

I do like urban fantasy, and the one I dropped back when the depression and fear-of-failure/fear-of-success thing hit was also an urban fantasy--but contemporary and not set in an alternate world. It's on earth, but one that has other layers. Think DRESDEN FILES or the NIGHTSIDE novels. Or Charles de Lint--though I have nowhere near the beauty and grace of his prose.

Speculative Fiction is one of those terms that includes a variety of genre fictions, but most specifically, Fantasy and Science Fiction. I prefer to write fantasy, though the linked story is sci-fi. So is the poem.

The other poem I had published is not online anymore, and it was a speculative religious one, the speculative aspect being that Lot's wife was very much still alive, sentient, and "waiting" within that pillar of salt body of hers.

The only other genres that interest me in terms of writing within them (other than the genres within SF) are romance/romantic suspense and mystery/thriller. But Fantasy is number one. :) I would sacrifice a nation-ful of goats to write something as good as, say, THE CURSE OF CHALION (by McMaster Bujold) or The Potter books or SPIN (by Wilson) or ENDER'S GAME or works by Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Tanith Lee..... I want to write THAT well. Write a story as great as Teddy Sturgeon or Harlan ellison....not that I can. But that this would be my wish. :D

Thanks for reading. :D

Princess Dieter said...

Oh, and while the character is not based on me, many of her sentiments and her introversion are. Plus, as a kid with burgeoning anthrophobia that started to turn me into a 12 year old urban hermit during summers when school was out, I wanted badly to go to space. I was going to study astronomy at the Bronx High School of Science (and yeah, I was accepted and dad decided t move to Miami really screwing with my head, I can tell you).

I think because I was writing that story shortly after my mom had died, I was feeling particularly depressed and withdrawn...but I like being with people, chatting, and being alone and silent for life would not suit me, though being alone and quiet for hours at a time, sometimes days at a time, is nice. :D