So! The contest results are in. I printed out a list of the contestants (with extra entries for tweeting and Facebooking and so on), cut them into individual strips of paper, rolled up and flattened them, threw them in a random scatter on the rug, then used my daughter’s plastic robot claw from the science museum gift shop to pick one up at random. Took me seventeen tries – those robot claws are totally overrated. I feel a vast, remote, infinite lack of concern for which of you puny mortals wins this trifling exercise in randomly-chosen materially-conferred gratification, of course, but I confess to feeling a spicule of contentment at awarding a pre-ordered copy of SETH BAUMGARTNER’S LOVE MANIFESTO by Eric Luper to a devoted minion of #mikesempire, an admirably double-dealing ally of Lisha Cauthen and the #rebelsagainstmikesempire, and (in all seriousness) someone who seems awful durned nice. As y’all know, I do place some value on niceness as a personal characteristic. For crying out loud, DON’T TELL ANYONE. I have a ruthless, Vlad-the-Impaler kinda rep to maintain, y’know.
So, without further ado – there’s been plenty of ado already – congratulations to Marci Dunn! Huzzah! All right Marci, send me your address and your choice of indy vendor to pre-order from – it looks like I can do it through IndieBound, but if that fails Powell’s is always an option.
In other news, today I was doing my usual preening yuppie scumbag thing by hanging out at Whole Foods, carefully putting my paper napkin in the compost bin, drinking a cup of Super Organic Papa New Guinea Sunrise Harvest Mildly Toasted Roast coffee or some such thing, and pondering why I was finally able to come to grips with the idea that I have to completely discard the opening chapter to my new #FrankenSmack WIP and write a new one. And I think the simple answer was “the passage of time.”
To be less simple and more loudmouthy about it, I DID NOT WANT TO REWRITE THAT CHAPTER. I loved that stupid chapter. It got positive feedback here on the ole bloggy wog, I felt excited about it, it gave me an excuse to buy a random stack of Frankenstein-related books…and yet I realized that I need to try changing it. I’ve read here and there about this idea of “I got these editorial notes from my agent or editor and blew a gasket but after a day or two I realized it was totally right and all the animals within 10 miles of me suddenly burst into song!” Now, I wasn’t working with editorial notes from an agent or editor, mostly because…well…I don’t have either of those things…but I’d been mulling over a new start for two weeks or so. At first I wept and gnashed my teeth and verbally harangued random passers-by, then I sulked and brooded, then I stared blankly at the walls, then I got used to the idea. Whereupon I said “hmmm…okay. It’s probably worth a try.”
My conclusion? An important part of my writing process, especially revising, is just getting used to the idea of changing things. I know, hardly the stuff of cultural revolution, but damn, this writing crap is hard and don’t you dare contradict me! It brings me a certain measure of bitter satisfaction to realize that banging my head on the table, gazing dumbly out at the heavens and angrily stirring another plastic envelope of honey into my cup of ginger-peach herbal tea are all LEGITIMATE WRITING ACTIVITIES. That moment when you saw me snap and hit myself in the face with that toaster they keep on the counter at my local Whole Foods? Yeah, that’s right, I was writing.