Deflating, against all sense and will.

I returned from work this morning, fell into bed after arranging things I would need in the afternoon so as to avoid any avoidance behaviors, and slept. So far, so good, my intentions and actions were of the purest, and 20k words seemed an attainable goal for the weekend. I woke, I rose, I woke the computer and checked my email just prior to unplugging from the internet and moving away from the jack — no temptation, that way.

Top of my inbox, a rejection letter.

Now, I know some things. I know that RL’s are part of the Writing Life, and have received them before without trauma. I know that the story I submitted was shallow and painfully obvious; it was written with an artificially short timeline and an artificially small word count permitted. I knew these things. I also know that there are other professional markets, there are semi-pro markets, hell, there are amateur markets that will get me a writing credit.

I kept telling me these things.

And I could feel the air escaping from my spine, could sense my skin growing slack, sagging and folding, and beginning to pool at my feet.

Grief, the editor, bless ‘er heart, even added a couple of lines to the rejection, telling specifically what she felt was wrong with it — and, it matched what I knew up front, that the story was predictable.

Ssssssss….

And the evening slipped away with the air from my punctured hopes, hopes that I wasn’t aware I was carrying around. Maybe that’s why this blind-sided me; I hadn’t looked in my pockets, noticed that I had some specific hope on me, and that I had invested it with need.

Balls. I’m going to bed, and will be a new person in the morning.

Bogged Down

Five days of interpersonal game playing with Zelda, culminating in almost no writing getting done. Better, now, but it leaves me with a need for about 20k words written this weekend. Ugly.

In other news, Orycon happens in a week. One week and an hour from now, I will load son and Zelda into the car and drive to the airport, where we three will greet Nanook, whose name is anathema to Zelda. There will follow a joyous reunion in restrained format, then a 40 minute drive across Portland with the two of them in the car together. Why do I keep thinking of the phrase, “cage match?”

And I keep reminding myself that I am stronger and more assertive than I have ever been, and am readily able to look Zelda in the eye and say, “That (whatever that might be) is your problem, not mine,” and then disengaging. Now it’s just a matter of biting the metaphoric projectile and doing what I am readily able to do.

I imagine it will mean the difference between a moderately pleasant weekend and the beginning of another year of passive-aggressive codependancy. That seems to be a fairly evident choice to make. I wish I knew why PA and Co-D are so attractive that they become difficult to break as a habit, but I think, at this stage in my life, it is more important to DO something than to UNDERSTAND everything that led to the need to do something.

So. Wish me strength, kids.

1003 words written tonight at work.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

Bogged Down

Five days of interpersonal game playing with Zelda, culminating in almost no writing getting done. Better, now, but it leaves me with a need for about 20k words written this weekend. Ugly.

In other news, Orycon happens in a week. One week and an hour from now, I will load son and Zelda into the car and drive to the airport, where we three will greet Nanook, whose name is anathema to Zelda. There will follow a joyous reunion in restrained format, then a 40 minute drive across Portland with the two of them in the car together. Why do I keep thinking of the phrase, “cage match?”

And I keep reminding myself that I am stronger and more assertive than I have ever been, and am readily able to look Zelda in the eye and say, “That (whatever that might be) is your problem, not mine,” and then disengaging. Now it’s just a matter of biting the metaphoric projectile and doing what I am readily able to do.

I imagine it will mean the difference between a moderately pleasant weekend and the beginning of another year of passive-aggressive codependancy. That seems to be a fairly evident choice to make. I wish I knew why PA and Co-D are so attractive that they become difficult to break as a habit, but I think, at this stage in my life, it is more important to DO something than to UNDERSTAND everything that led to the need to do something.

So. Wish me strength, kids.

1003 words written tonight at work.

Clearly insane

I signed up late, but am formally registered (twice, actually, due to computer magick of the darker sort) in NaNoWriMo.org … so far, due to the surgical support stuff I’ve been doing this week, I’ve only managed 2230 words, but, hey, that’s almost 1/20 of the job. Since I’ve 23 days left, that would mean that I am just on target or a bit ahead.

I am very optimistic. I was fleshing out some backstory on the protagonist and, as I detailed the Horrible Experience that has scarred him and made him less, I found myself tearing up. The poor schmuck wasn’t given any good alternatives, and choosing between horrible and worse than horrible is so grossly unfair, and so TYPICAL of life, and … I assume that feeling this much sympathy for the protag’s plight is a Good Sign.

Well. I need to go find out some things about wolves. If you go dancing in the Cascade Coastal Range, stay away from Falls City; there’s werewolves there, I am discovering.

Word Count — 2230

Exuteration

Ah, I am a neologizing genius.

Zelda had her uterus removed yesterday for fibroid tumors, which is good, not bad. This has been a decade in coming, and she is very pleased to have had it done. She came through famously, and, 36 hours after going under, is eating normal food with good appetite and walking around the hospital. She is likely to return home tomorrow.

I stayed at the family home Saturday and Sunday, feeling that I needed to be there, pretty much for all four of us. I remember what some of the issues were for me when my dad went under the knife, and I knew that Zelda would be scared and too, ah, well, I knew that she wouldn’t go look for a supportive shoulder to lean on, and that she would be worse for the lack. So I was there to protect the family from my daughter trying to become Dictator For Life, my son from feeling lost, confused, and afraid, and Zelda from feeling like she was facing death alone. And I protected me from feeling that I wasn’t there to support my children, and from feeling like I had not been supportive to someone I care about, albeit with many difficulties and, preferably, at arm’s distance.

So. Good. There has been no foolish backsliding into believing that there can ever be domestic tranquility between us, at least on my side, and that is very, very good. I have been very frightened that I would forget how awful things get and start the cycle of unrest and discontent again.

It feels very good to be living with the kids while Zelda is hospitalized. I miss living with the kids.

ah. Uhm. There appears to be a very deep well of emotion right there, and I think I’ll just carefully step around it for right now.

Coffee Break For Sisyphus

Done. Revised & mailed away.

I had a tremendous urge to rewrite the entire first half of the story, which would have led to the next third being done over, which I could see might lead to a twitch in the ending…there were some obvious lacks and wrongs and I fixed those, left things as they were, and STOPPED. My goal in entering the contest was to have a finished, marketable short story at the end, and I do. Rewriting from scratch is something to do while the current .ms. is out looking for a home. Or when some very nice editor tells me to rewrite some bit and resubmit.

So I stopped rewriting, came home (after running progeny maintenance) and looked around for two hours on the web, looking for a more appropriate market than the one I picked out a month ago…and finally realized this, too, was procrastination. I sent it to Strange Horizons, carefully formatted, sent to myself first to double check things, and — there! — I’m done, and nine hours ahead of deadline.

Sleep. Sleep will be a good thing.

The Short Story Contest

http://writersweekly.com/contest/fall02winners.html

I achieved the modest success of Honorable Mention for Pro Bono, which means that I made it out of the slush pile and into the final 23 stories the editors looked over, out of 500 entries. Top 4.6%, not too shabby for my second submission ever; I am content, if not ecstatic.

I am giving myself 24 hours to rewrite it (it’s only 900 words) and send it someplace else, the idea being that I don’t sit on fully written stories when they could be out earning their keep.

So I’ll be updating in 24 hours to say I’ve done the job, or that I am becoming very late for work as I continue to slog away at it.

My new hobby: Dysfunction Taxonomy

Nutshellish:

If I don’t go to the Annual Event, I will be refraining from going to avoid conflict, foil Zelda’s behaviors by behaving in ways she doesn’t expect, and will be shorting myself to act out in, yes, a Passively Aggressive fashion.

Oh. Another PA behavior. Well, aren’t I just inventive?

Here is what a man of strong will and perfect behavior would do: He would go to the event, would behave as he believes is correct, and if Zelda tweaks, would smile gently and suggest they speak of it on Tuesday, when the weekend is over. If she continued, he would ignore her as he would a close friend who was behaving badly, or a child in tantrum.

So that is what I will do. I will also wear a cup, just to be safe.

One never knows.