Writing writing writing

1000 words on the Dark Fantasy story with the aid of a little caffeine. Zero draft completed; fork poised. Going to have Matthew first-reader it and then up to Critters it goes. I’m not terribly excited about this one. I wrote it just to get the words from log jamming in my head and I think it shows. I’d contemplate not subbing this one to markets, but I just can’t tell which stories of mine will appeal to an editor. My favorite pieces are still making the rounds, and stories that I thought were just fun ditties are selling to pro-markets on their first jaunt out. I just can’t figure the vagaries of the publishing industry.

Used my spare MPC to bump my “squicky” story up the Critters queue. It should be going up tomorrow.

Completed the re-write on my “weird” story. Out into the world it goes. It’s still weird, but I took out some of the references that puzzled people the most and toned down the early surreal elements. Chopped about three hundred words from the final count. The end’s still exceptionally surreal, but I like it. I do, however, think that I’ll put a little distance between me and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. for a while.

Been reading The Vintage Bradbury, a collection of some of Ray Bradbury’s best earlier works. It’s both uplifting and depressing. On the one hand, his writing is beautiful, poetic, and evocative without being a downer like a lot of Harlan Ellison’s work is (which is also beautiful, poetic, and evocative, just in an angry-bloody sort of way). But on the other hand, I’m feeling a whole heap of despair on the “I’m not worthy” front. Will I ever be able to write even a fraction as well as Bradbury? It’s dispiriting is what it is. I keep telling myself that the man worked at his writing, worked hard at it. Still does. But then I read “Dandelion Wine” or “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” and I just can’t believe that I’ll ever be even close to having his mastery of prose.

And I’m bummed that Bradbury can’t make Dragon*Con. I’m glad that I got to see him those several years ago at our first Dragon*Con, but I was really looking forward to having the opportunity to meet him this year.


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9 Responses to Writing writing writing

  1. william_mize says:

    Ray Bradbury just abso-fuckin’-loutely rocks.
    Wonderful, beautiful man. Great soul. Kind heart.
    Brilliant and heartfelt writer.

    I used to put myself in the “not worthy” boat too, but then I realized and really, really got the “I’ll never be Ray Bradbury, but I can be William Mize” thing.
    You can say it to yourself, but eventually you’ll have to really *get it* and then become the unique writer that you were meant to be.

    Hang in there sugar :>

  2. I feel your pain in the “I’m not worthy” boat every time I plug Spirited Away into my DVD player, or any Miyazaki film for that matter.

    Along with my fear, I feel that pang every time I sit down to draw something. It’s taken me a really long time (most of my life) to even start to realize that, no, I am not Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Mamoru Oshii, or Yoshitako Amano and that’s ok.

    I consider them to be “the greats” in the anime world, but none of them are like one another, nor can I be like them. I have to have my own style and my own voice.

    Do you ever wonder if “the greats” in any genre have people they idolize and feel they are less than worthy compared to?

    Anyway, I just thought I would let you know I sympathize and that eventually it will get better.

    Oh, on an unrelated note, I am feeling pretty miserable about raining on your D*C parade. :/

    • Eugie Foster says:

      True. I have heard that even the “greats” have those “I’m not worthy” moments, even Shakespeare. That’s a little encouraging . . .

      Oh, on an unrelated note, I am feeling pretty miserable about raining on your D*C parade.

      There’s no reason you should feel bad, Cassy! It’s not your fault and we certainly don’t blame you for the disappointing tidings. You were just the messenger, after all. And hey, it means we’ll have more free time than we thought this year. Trying to look at the bright side . . .

      • Yea… I know, but being the messenger sucks!

        I am feeling better knowing that you guys aren’t upset with me, but I still feel bad to have given you disappointing news.

        But yay, bright side, you get to do things and not be glued into the room like I have been the last 10 years! Ok, so that was the best I could come up with. 🙂

        I really do appreciate you and Matt, just in case I haven’t said that in the last couple of days.

        Anyway, I am babbling now, so back to the workage front.

  3. oracne says:

    I’m feeling a whole heap of despair on the “I’m not worthy” front. Will I ever be able to write even a fraction as well as Bradbury? It’s dispiriting is what it is.

    I’ve had that feeling about various writers I admire, and I have several strategies.

    1) There’s a certain point of art beyond which I will never be able to go, so I might as well stop pining. That one, for some reason, does not dispirit me, though it probably should. Maybe because I feel people are lucky to achieve a wonderful story even once in their lives, and more are just added blessings.

    2) There’s no way to compare me and Bradbury, or me and McKillip, or whomever. I don’t write like them; I write like me. My writing has its own virtues. I could waste a lot of time trying to be like someone else, but I’m not them and never will be. So I should spend that time being me.

    3) If I wrote as well as Sean Stewart or Suzy McKee Charnas or Jim Kelly, who would I read with awe and surprise?

    Which one works depends on my mood!

  4. kittymel says:

    I don’t know if it is anything you are interested in but ‘s company Holistic-Design is having a Fading Suns short story contest. Details are here Fading Suns Wordsmiths .

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