na foine ting

Monday, May 03, 2004
Chez Gaiman, someone wants to know how you finish a short story.

I spent too much time writing too little this weekend, including the following Things Done in Writing Time Which Were Not Writing:

  • Eating Safeway sushi and reading Kate Bush interviews only tangentially related to the story in question, certainly not related directly enough to qualify as research

  • Drinking BV cheapass chardonnay in sufficient quantities that all I could effectively do was attempt to flirt with Skillingstead by email and bear bait conservative old white men on the Asimov's board by insisting that at least 1/3 of males (including those self-identifying straight (ie., the conservative old white men on the board)) really actually do want to get fucked up the ass

  • Reading all the sections around the sections in the DICTIONARY OF SCIENTIFIC LITERACY that didn't have to do with the General Theory of Relativity, the Special Theory of Relativity or Singularities, which means that I now know much more about things like the Genome Project, Sonography and Sickle Cell Anemia, but not much more about relativity as it pertains to my story

  • Played Sims

  • Ate Ben and Jerry's frozen yogurt in the following flavors: Phish Food, Cherry Garcia and Half Baked

  • Stared at the Patrick Marleau picture on my bulletin board and tried to figure out what exactly happened to his game on Saturday and if it had to do with relativity or singularities or if he just needed more B&J's Cherry Garcia

  • Thought up how the other story in my head is actually going to be a bestselling smut novel and immediately got a hundred plus ideas for it

  • Played more Sims

  • Ate more frozen yogurt (you see why I had Bec stop buying the 55%-of-your-RDA-of-fat-in-2-ounces ice cream)

    ...and so on.

    I got to the *ping* moment, the "getting the theme and point of the story" point on Friday, and promptly bawled my eyes out and didn't want to write any more. Not just because I realized I really needed to know something about relativity, but because the story is sad, and sweet, and I'm scared--more so than usual, which is usually a lot--that I won't do the idea, the thing in my head, justice.

    Fortunately there was things like hockey and South Park and neighborhood kids and running around in the sprinklers to take the edge off. And I did get a little bit of writing done, around all that.


    Pokemon has landed.

    After all my invective and "mass media sludge" that and all the "plague on the face of the universe" and "whatever happened to comic books as brain rot," I was confronted with the real deal today, Flygon and Energy cards sticky from gumballs in my kid's little hands.

    The first thing I said, before I thought about it was "hey, these look a lot like Magic cards!"

    "Duh," Becca said.


    So after almost two years of playing ice hockey I realized not only have I had no recurring injuries, but I've had relatively few injuries at all, and all of them have healed completely and rapidly. This is the list, astonishingly short:

    Tailbone bruise
    Elbow tendonitis
    Bruise from taking a puck to the foot
    Misc bruises from taking slap shots to the unpadded back of my calves (serves me right for having my back turned)
    Bruised breastbone/sternum
    Talbone bruise #2.

    The only persistent one was the elbow tendonitis, which went away completely when I switched to a lighter stick, and even then was only bad a month or so.

    Either it has to do with genuine abandon and the thing about God protecting drunks and small children and me and Korky, or I'm not taking enough risks.

    What do you think?


    Here's how you finish a short story:

  • Stop playing Sims even though your Sim is really, truly just on the verge of a promotion and you almost have enough to buy a pool table

  • Shut down AOL

  • Remind yourself that Patrick Marleau puts in many, many hours a week of ice time, gym time, tape review time and everyone has an off night or two... despite all the work, which still has to be done, like how about now

  • Resist the urge to start on the new novel, including writing notes or that tantalizing first chapter because it's writing but it's also still procrastination

  • Promise yourself you can have more Phish Food after you write three paragraphs

  • Resign yourself to not quite understanding relativity and grab hold of the truth, which is that the research isn't driving this story, you are

  • Take a deep breath, exhale and trust the still small voice which has been speaking the story this whole time.

  • Missing the mark is not the worst thing that could happen.

    Not writing the story is.


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