Three Days Too Long, Seven Days Too Short

In three days I’ll be with my love again.  I’ll be there seven days.  After that I don’t know when I’ll get to see her again.

We’ll find a way.

In the meantime I’m finding myself suddenly thrust elbow deep into corporate politics.  And finding myself in charge of things that I keep forgetting I’m in charge of, while those who think they’re in charge of it are keeping tabs on me when it’s no longer their job.  Very interesting situation.

The submission hiatus is about to end at Dark Energy SF, which means I’ll be reading the slushpile again soon.  I’m not looking forward to it.  I’m reading the corporate slushpile all day long, and now I’m going to do it in my spare time as well?

I can’t bring myself to shut it down, though.  I’m proud of it.  It’s a good publication, and there are some awesome stories up there.  One recently got pulled by the author because he sold the rights somewhere else, and they’re making a movie of it.  Another is from a writer who is now the editor of a big time SF magazine.

DarkEnergySF.com must go on.

Eleven

Every first grader knows that 1+1=2.  Those who’ve read George Orwell might also say they’re familiar with the concept of 2+2=5.  Today I’m going to tell you that in some circumstances, 1+1=11.

The number 11 is a perfect symbol for a strong, loving relationship made of two very compatible people.

Of course, when one person joins with another it makes two people.   But in a really good relationship synergy gets involved, so that the total is greater than the sum of the two individuals.  Two people can bond and reinforce each other to become much more than just two.  Much stronger than two.  More confident than two.  More capable than two.

So you add 1 and 1 together, it makes 2, or it makes 11.  It’s a different way of putting the ones together, but symbolically it works.

The number 11 depicts two ones standing together to make one number, yet that number is far greater than the sum of one and one.  And while being a single number, they retain their individuality, standing side by side, inseparable, reinforcing each other.

Just like two people in a strong loving relationship.

Two pillars standing side by side will support far more than twice of what either pillar would individually.  Two minds, put together, can brainstorm far better.  Two passions together can ignite hotter, stronger flames.

All this is why my love and I have chosen “11” as our number.  When responding to an “I love you,” sometimes we don’t say “I love you too.” 

We reply, “I love you eleven.”

Six Years Ago on Xanga, Part II

I found the archive files from my very first Xanga account, which I started in August 2001 under the username JJDavis.

Here’s a post from 6 years ago, talking about a novel which I never finished, from a time right before right after I had my first novel accepted for publication:

Wednesday, August 29,
2001


In retrospect, it’s pure comedy to observe the things I will
do in order to avoid progress on my
novels.  I think it’s due to a
combination of my compulsiveness and ADD.

Example:  Last night I
bought a program at Half-Priced Books, AutoSketch 6, to create maps for my two
colony worlds.  Then I spent a good
portion of last night duplicating my efforts, because I couldn’t import the map
I drew using Microsoft Word Draw.  I ask
myself why I’m doing this.  I can only
answer:  “I have no choice.”  There will be no forward progress unless it’s
done.  The fact that it makes no sense
doesn’t matter.  It’s a very strong
compulsion and I can’t avoid it – I must work through it.

My world building must be done in these steps:

  1. Create maps of the
    planets.
  2. Write
    historical timelines of the planets.
  3. Name
    areas on the map using the history I just created.
  4. Write
    a detailed account of significant historical points.
  5. Update the map.
  6. Write
    the Cliff’s Notes of the local religions, etc.
  7. Update the map.
  8. Throw
    away most of the characters I’ve already created, because they no longer work.
  9. Create a new set of
    characters that are in line with the history.
  10. Create a high-level plot
    using history and the maps.
  11. Wind-up the characters
    and set them loose into the story.
  12. Record what happens.
  13. Update the map and the
    plot to fit what the characters have decided to do.

My recent problems have thrown me all the way back into the
map making stage.

Some Parents SUCK

I am blown away.

There is this 15 year old girl my love and I know, and in fact she’s here on Xanga (but I’m keeping her anonymous in this post).  I know her because my love took her and her family in for a bit, until the father and his girlfriend (and their two babies) got to be just too much — wrecking the house, the hysterical girlfriend accusing my love of lusting after her loser husband, etc.  There were several final straws and at one point my love had to kick them out, but she let the teen girl stay.

Let’s just call this girl Anna.

So the father finally comes to collect Anna, who begs my love to let her stay, and so my love gets CPS in on the act.  Long story short, everything blows up, Anna gets taken away anyway, and she’s gone to live with her mother.

Six months later we hear from Anna.  Her mother left her alone saying she’d be back in a week, and was gone for over two months.  Came back briefly and left again, leaving no money, nothing.  Anna had to sell possessions to survive and finally received an eviction notice.  Mother is still gone, whereabouts unknown.

In desperation Anna calls her loser father, who — by the way — has known all about Anna being alone and penniless for two months.  Loser father grudgingly sends his new girlfriend across state lines to collect her, and now new girlfriend is taking care of her.

Meanwhile loser father has two babies with old girlfriend, who he’s abandoned.

And here I am realizing exactly why some people grow up thinking life sucks.

Beyond that, my patience had dropped to zero for other kids who — especially compared to this — have no real problems, but think their life sucks. 

They need a serious reality check.

Whee-Lo

I have a Whee-Lo in my new story, and it plays an important role.

Does anyone out there remember what a Whee-Lo is?  How much detail should I use to describe it?

UPDATE

This is how I wrote it.  Is it enough?

During one of her visits with the psychologists,
Anna latched on to a antique toy called a Whee-Lo.  She was so fascinated with it that they gave
it to her.  It was a wheel on a magnetic
axle which crawled up and down a set of U-shaped metal rods, constantly
doubling back on itself.  She spent hours
playing with it, watching the wheel spinning.

“This is like my life,” she told Sam.

Ill Timed Rejection

You know what I’ve noticed?

Getting a rejection for a story that I consider one of the best ones I’ve ever written sure puts a damper on my enthusiasm for working on a new short story. 

I go through this every time.  “Why do I bother?  I’m wasting my efforts.  I may be mildly clever but not enough to stand above the other three-billion writers vying for the same publishing space.”

Then I have to go vacuum, or wash dishes, or dance around with my iPod, and then come back to write … simply because I love the act of creating.

In the end that’s all a writer can really count on.

A Novel Derailment

My novel has been
completely derailed.

Forced off the tracks.

Pushed aside.

By what?  A short
story idea that has grabbed me and won’t leave me alone.  It keeps saying, “Write me!  Write ME! 
WRITE ME NOW!”

“But,” I tell it, “I’m a third the way
through writing a novel.  I need to concentrate
on that.”

“Your freaking novel will still be there when you’re
done with me,” it argues back. 
“Strike while the iron is hot! 
I’m short!  I’m
uncomplicated.  And … I’m very, very fun.”

My resolve is eroding. 
Fun is good.  Fun sounds like fun.

So, my novel has been derailed by a fun little short
story.  Let’s hope it really is short.

All The Latest Stuff

  1. Valium is fun.
  2. Valium made the MRI fun.
  3. Valium made me think that, if I prayed to God while inside the MRI machine, the giant magnet surrounding my brain would act like a megaphone for my prayers, blasting them out into the Universe around me.
  4. God thinks I’m funny while on Valium and told me to take it more often.
  5. My doctor said that I have not had “transient micro-strokes” as she had feared.  She did find evidence of migraine activity, whatever that means.  So the good news is that what I’ve been experiencing have been nothing more than migraines … which, duh, I told her up front.
  6. She did find something called a “brain cyst.”  I will learn more about that during my appointment this afternoon, but she did tell me that it’s nothing to worry about.
  7. Personally, I think the “brain cyst” is probably the alien tracking device the Grey Hive implanted in my head as a child.
  8. I knew those childhood memories of UFO’s weren’t a dream.
  9. LOL