International Women’s Day and A Writer’s Woe

Today is International Women’s Day, which is one of those days that ought to be celebrated. I’m tempted to post more, but everything I come up with always sounds a little “yay for women” and/or overly patronizing, which isn’t really what I’m aiming for on a day that’s all about women’s causes and their achievements.

So, instead, I’m going to go find a worthy and appropriate cause to donate money to in celebration of the day. And later, possibly, I will attempt to write something doesn’t make me feel like a misogynist arse every time I touch the keyboard.

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I sent off the third story in the Flotsam series yesterday, after which I collapsed into bed and tried to sleep and eventually gave up and read all of The Hunger Games in one fell swoop because it was there and I was too lazy to climb out of bed and get something else to read and it was obvious that sleep wasn’t on the agenda. Then I just lay in bed and pondered things, like monthly deadlines and how slow I write and whether I ever really stand any chance of writing all the things I want to write before I run out of time to write them, especially when you consider the things I’ve already written which somehow didn’t quite work out the way I expected them too, and so I still want to write something to fill that raw spot that wants a specific thing written.

I mean, I want to write story that captures exactly what it is that I like about wrestling, which is kinda what the next installment of Flotsam is about, except I couldn’t really fit that idea into a short story. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s a novella, at the very least, and so I still have big story about the grandeur and spectacle of wrestling on the to-do list. I want to write a story that splices the premise of Buck Rogers with vampire lore, because the whole Buck Rogers’ series makes much more sense if he’s a vampire, and because I think a series of short books with lurid pulp titles like The Fangs of Jupiter and Bloody, Bloody Mars could keep me entertained for months. Hell, I’m not even done with unicorns or dragons yet, and lord knows I keep hitting those tropes. None of these are on the things I’m doing next list, they’re not even things I plan on getting to in the next ten years, but they’re sitting there on my to-do list because I don’t have the heart to take them off or I think I’ll want to do them one day, or I want to have them handy in case I do finally break down and start epublishing novels and things like whether or not someone else will publish the damn things become secondary considerations.

And I always sit around thinking, if I just wrote a bit faster I could get through them all, or perhaps, if I just quit the dayjob and had more time to work on things, but neither of these things address the fundamental problem. I got marginally more done while unemployed than I do now, and if I wrote faster it’s entirely possible I’d just add more ideas to the to-do list.

And there are still the things at the top of the list, the ideas still kludging together because they demanded novel-type shapes instead of the stories and novellas I’m more familiar with. Black Candy and the Great Swashbuclky Lovecraftian Ghoul Wahoo novel and Gothic: A Love Story (which will, eventually, probably come around to a new name that references Oubliettes, because I keep tacking more stories onto that world after the first one) and the occult western I’ve been making notes on and Claw and the book that I convinced Ben to co-write with me that I’ve been summarily ignoring since worldcon and…and…and…

The truth is, there isn’t enough time. Ever. I can’t really foresee a point where I look at the list and everything’s done. Some days I’m utterly bewildered as to how I’ll even manage to finish one novel, let alone the twenty-eight currently sitting on my list. We don’t even speak of the short stories. The last time I poked the draft of The Unicorns of Suggragette Three a dozen or so other stories started making noise about being finished.

It’s noisy, sometimes, inside my head. I always want to doing the next thing, or the thing that comes after that.

And tonight there is write club, where I will quite sensibly work on the fourth Flotsam story until I’m far enough ahead of the deadline to think about what’s next.

Black Candy, most likely, or Claw. ‘Cause the only way I’m getting through the list is one thing at a time.

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And now I go clean, for it is three hours to write-club and my house needs a good scrubbing.

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