I am sick, friends. My throat is sore, my voice occasionally meanders off, my ears feel like they might pop–the works. Just a cold, of course, which…why is that something people say? “Just” a cold? Sure, it probably won’t kill you, but you can throw medicine at it until the cows come home and it’ll do jacksquat and you just have to sit in your misery.
I can’t really take any medicine right now anyway. Just the occasional cough drop (read: fancy candy) and nose spray.
Hooray, nose sprays.
So, where’s the relief?
Have you been anywhere remotely related to books or writing lately? A book store, a library, websites across the web, mailing lists. You’ve probably noticed a trend lately. Write a novel fast. Plan a novel in 30 days. Be ready.
Nanowrimo is coming.
Sometimes it is weird to see what a huge thing Nano has become. When I first did it, back in 2003, there were only a few thousand people participating. You could easily keep up with the entire forums, if you wanted to. Your friends had never heard of it, and thought writing 50,000 words in a month was crazy when you brought it up.
Like Siri, I have fond thoughts about this time of year. Not just because hints of autumn are starting to show up, and there’s the promise of hot chocolate and golden leaves and peppermint-flavored drinks. Not just because it’s back to school time and I can hoard notebooks for cheap.
But because it is library book sale time.
When the World Was Young
by Kit Campbell
In the early days, when the sky was clear and we were still part of nature, there were no mountains and no valleys. The world was flat and unmarked, unscathed by the passage of time. The first people spent their days next to quiet rivers and hunted across verdant plains, and life was peaceful and meaningful.
I know what you are expecting, child. You are expecting a classic creation myth, full of gods and the forces of nature, pulling at the land and mankind until what we know now comes into existence. This is not that sort of story. Oh, I wish it were, but alas, our past cannot be explained away so easily.
In those days, we had few cares. We hunted and scavenged when hungry. We slept when tired. We admired the scenery around us and, at night, watched the streaking of the stars across the sky. In the winter we gathered together for warmth, and in the summer we lay out in the flowers.
Who can say when things began to change? Who can say when exactly it was that they came?
Some of you out there are probably aware of a podcast known as Welcome to Night Vale, which takes the guise of the community radio of a small desert town somewhere in the US where, as I heard it said somewhere, all conspiracies are true. It ranges from being completely absurd (Hiram McDaniels, literal five-headed dragon, often somehow manages to pull off the disguise of being Fred Chen, normal human being) to creepy (there is a faceless old woman who lives in your home whom you only ever see out of the corner of your eye, if at all) to intriguing and sweet and occasionally feel-punching.
As a podcast it works great. They have traveling live shows, which follow the same basic structure of the radio show, and is not as distracting as you would think to be able to see the voice actors even though they in no way resemble the characters they portray.
But now they’ve got a novel coming out in October and I find myself…conflicted.
Ah, the Hero’s Journey. A staple of not only fantasy literature, but an overarcing plot archetype that can be found in stories across time and culture and genre.
I think sometimes we, as people, get a little over ambitious about things. Big things. Especially big things we know are coming. “I’m going to get married and it’s going to be great!” “I’m going to have a baby and it will be adorable and perfect!” “I’m going to buy my dream house and I will never hate anything again!”
But nothing ever works in quite the right way.
Good morning, friends! I hope you’re all having a lovely Tuesday and that the sun is shining and birds are chirping, but not too loudly and at a reasonable time, unlike the birds that chirp outside my bedroom at freaking 5 am.
You know what sucks about being a creative sort of person? You have SO MANY things you want to do, and the majority of those things are never going to get done.
Yesterday I was going through my story idea document, and I noticed several story ideas where I had plotted out a short story or novel in its entirety, and then apparently I’d never gone any further.
So, our local Museum of Nature and Science recently opened a new traveling exhibit entitled Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids.
I’m going to let that soak in for a minute. Our museum of nature and science has an exhibit on mythic creatures.
It’s been a hard month, friends. Also, it feels like it’s mostly over and yet we’re not even half done and I may die.
As you guys may or may not know, for my day job I do freelance and contract editing and formatting work. In general, I specialize in helping indie and self-publishing authors make their books look and sound professional.
(I also do a variety of other work, ranging from making scientific papers easier for non-science people to read, correcting marketing materials, proofreading blog posts before they get posted, etc.)