Writing 101–Timing (I can’t has it) and rereading (i can has it).

I am pretty horrible about blog posts, just as I am horrible about writing and deadlines, so as I let Project Runway stream, I’ll just write some things that have occurred to me recently.

1. In trying to get a story done for Riptide publishing’s “Buyers of Love” anthology, I failed miserably to meet the deadline for two reasons: firstly, I gave myself a week to do 15K, which is fricking insane in some ways. I also forgot that I had to write a synopsis and a query letter, and by the time I realized that I would have had to be working on that while I was still working on the finished product, and I sort of stalled. I still have about a third of it done, so I might just complete it for fun. The second issue is that I was only moderately inspired. I don’t mind forcing myself to write something I’m not super interested in if I know I can meet the deadline, but I think that was what petered me out. The idea is that three mannequins come to life once a month and solicit sex from prostitutes. It’s pretty good, but I keep feeling like to make it really good it needs to be about 25K and I CERTAINLY didn’t have the time for that.

I guess the lesson I learned here was, uh, plan better. I’m setting myself up for two deadlines for the end of March, and I figure whichever I latch on to productively will be the one I push.

2. So, a friend of mine got the hand-bound versions of the (re) Visions: Alice book, and when he brought it over, he suggested that I sign it, maybe write something personal. Because most of the story that I wrote was inspired by The Annotated Alice, I jokingly suggested that I annotate my story for him, and he was excited about that. The margins on the hand-bound version he received are very wide, so I selected that, got several beers, started Buffy Season 5, and sat down on the couch to note.

It was actually amazing the stuff I forgot that I had written. Yeah, I was eager to point out all the little things, like all the poems are pop songs from Carroll’s era, and yeah, a brougham is a two-wheeled carriage, and in Victorian time, corpses were routinely dug up to make way for new corpses. And yeah, I was eager to point out that Mary Ann’s poisoning of Mister John was based on the death of Charles Bravo, whose story I had recently read in James Ruddick’s Death at the Priory: Love, Sex and Murder in Victorian England. But what I forgot, was some of the completely free moments that I had with writing in and of itself, that when I looked back it it this time I had that moment where you say, “Wow, I forgot I wrote that.”

3. I would like to write more Whippoorwill Jones. Right now she and Clo are discussing how you can floss your teeth and find a bit of popcorn in your gum, even though you haven’t eaten popcorn in a week. These are the things that plague me. Clo is also trying to convince Whip that Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson are the same person. Later they’re going to strangle someone in a motel. Because they are horrible people.


About Amanda Ching

I write. Fo' you.
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