As expected, this past week was rather weird for me schedule-wise. Adjusting to the whole part-time from home day job shift was sort of like pulling on an old pair of pants; you’re thrilled they fit again, but it’s been so long since you’ve worn them that you’re trying to remember which tops look right with them. As a result, the time I spent trying on metaphorical tops meant I didn’t do much fiction writing during the week. At least until yesterday, when I finally got my ass out of the metaphorical dressing room.
After doing a small amount of research and photo scrounging on Thursday, I finally started the prequel-ish My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel short story. Well, I had already written a first sentence or two and jotted down some notes a while back, but yesterday was when I finally sat my butt down and started writing in earnest. The Silk Road Ensemble was kind of a "duh" soundtrack choice for working on a story set at a caravanserai, especially when one of the albums I have from them has a track called "Night at the Caravanserai." And I threw Loreena McKennitt’s "Caravanserai" onto my writing playlist for good measure.
After working on the short story for a bit, I switched gears slightly and did an hour writing exercise with some online folks for the first time in forever. Recently, I’ve imposed all these huge expectations on myself as a writer, which often has the unfortunate side effect of making me petrified when I’m staring down a blank page. This was a good way to tell those expectations where to shove it. I turned off Serious Writer Brain and just goofed off for an hour by writing something silly that will probably never go anywhere beyond the exercise. It was also my first time playing with Write or Die, which was a great help in turning off Serious Writer Brain.
And finally, on to the reading front:
When I was at Sirens back in October, I bought a copy of Zombies vs. Unicorns and read two stories on the plane ride home. At ‘s urging (her being right next to me on the plane and all), I actually started with a story later in the book, Carrie Ryan’s "Bougainvillea," which I thought was quite good. Then I went back to the beginning and read Garth Nix’s "The Highest Justice," which gets points for including a zombie and a unicorn.*
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until today that I finally had a chance to pick the book up again and continue. The next story was "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Alaya Dawn Johnson, and did I ever enjoy the hell out of it. The voice in particular hooked me from the start. Second person narrative usually calls attention to itself, but I was probably about halfway through the story before I finally noticed that the sections were switching between second person and first person. I was having far too much fun to worry about that stuff.
*I should probably make my affiliations clear: in the zombies. vs. unicorns debate, I’m Switzerland. My favorite book ever is The Last Unicorn, but I also have this sitting on my desk: