Archive Tag:saying ‘so fucking what’ to your inner critic

Drabble 52 – Nemophilist

Nemophilist
Moss by Andrew Hill

It’s been a year of drabbles. Well, a little over a year–I missed one or two along the way for a variety of reasons, but even I cut myself some slack on occasion.

I suppose, then, this is a time for reflection. What have I learned in the last year? Putting my writing out there isn’t quite as terrifying as it was a year ago. Since this time last year, I’ve accumulated 11 rejection letters from various SFF magazines. After the last one, I just shrugged and moved on. Sometimes a story isn’t a good fit, and sometimes your story is several years old and no longer reflective of the current state of your writing. It’s fine; you’re growing.

This weekend I read over all that poetry I wrote last year for NaPoWriMo, and even dug one out, tidied it up a bit, slapped a title on it, and sent it out for submission. Poetry might still feel like trying to use a Ouija board in the dark to me, but I seem to be at least a bit better than I think I am. I’m probably never going to write that dreamy, ethereal poetry that makes me scratch my head and wonder what it all means, but some of the language I worked in there was interesting, and I was more honest with my emotions than usual. That’s something.

It’s been a long year, and an arduous one at times. I’ve learned a lot. I have a lot left to learn.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 46 – Scripturient

Scripturient
Diary Writing by Fredrik Rubensson

The first story I wrote down was in fourth grade. It was based on a dream I had, some kind of mishmash of a normal day at school and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. It wasn’t good and I never finished it.

The next was an adventure story about my cat, which involved a plane ride to Egypt and a trip through the pyramids. I finished that one and still have it. It’s not very good either, but my young cousin once reportedly said it was the best story she’d ever read, so I’m counting that one as a win.

After that, there are too many stories to count. My childhood home burned down a few years ago and most of my writing survived, for better or worse. It’s hard not to see that as a sign, and  I can’t seem to stop writing, no matter how discouraged I get or how many rejection letters I receive. I don’t want to stop; writing is something that’s kept me going in my lowest moments. I have to see how the story ends even if I’m the one writing it.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 41 – Chronostasis

Chronostasis
Time Flies by Lauri Heikkinen

It’s not at all a surprise to me that I’m posting a drabble at 11:25 PM and that drabble is about how there never seems to be enough time for anything. I spent three hours doing ten dollars’ worth of work today. I spend a lot of time planning work I will do for free. I don’t regret it.

I’m at a place in my work where I feel like I’m wearing too-tight pants. I have things I want to do. I want to grow and learn and grow some more, but there’s something holding me back. Maybe it’s lack of experience, maybe it’s lack of time, maybe it’s fear. It’s probably fear.

I doubt I’ll ever be fearless, but there is something I can do. I can ignore fear and keep submitting job applications and short stories and articles anywhere I can think to shove them. I have passion, I have a work ethic, and, in time, I hope I’ll have enough skill to get by as well. If I can’t have skill, at the very least I’ll have a few jobs under my belt willing to say that I am worth the time and effort, if only because you know you’ll get your work on time and with minimal fuss.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 37 – Quarender

Quarender
Franz Jüttner

I’ve never been much for princess stories. I never wanted to be saved. I wanted to be the hero, the one with the destiny and the sword and the merry band of adventurers, not the one awakened by a non-consensual kiss.

Fairy tales–the ones I watched on video–were dull and lifeless things with heroines who did little but lose their personalities once they fell in love. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the original tales were much darker. Violent, in some cases, and downright disturbing in others. These were stories to fear.

Given my relationship with horror, is it any surprise that it was then, and only then, that fairy tales and princess stories became something enticing? Stories of fair maidens intertwined with the grotesque–now that was something that interested me, and never more than when Angela Carter did it.

Now the child lived in her grandmother’s house; she prospered.

– Angela Carter, The Werewolf

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Important Work and Imposter Syndrome

Important Work

I don’t know if it’s just me, but being asked what I do is a source of unrepentant dread.

I write. I write here and I write on a couple of different websites, including Women Write About Comics, which you should be reading. I also do a podcast on geek culture. When I tell people these things, they always want to know what they’re about.

And I appreciate that enthusiasm and interest, but I can never seem to find a good answer. As much as nerdy stuff is popular right now, saying I take it seriously enough to critique it still feels like I’m asking to be shoved in a locker. It’s one thing to enjoy, say, Game of Thrones, and it’s another to discuss the implications of lily-white Daenerys’ subjects all being poor brown folks, right? Like, who cares? It’s a television show. Can’t we just turn off our brains and stop being offended by things for two minutes?

(No. Well, yes, but I believe the question is not can we, but should we. I’ll get there.)

And the writing–more than once, I’ve had the reception to my answer of “fantasy” for what I write about be…less than enthusiastic. It has put me in more than one uncomfortable position where I wriggle around in my seat and try to dodge the question to avoid the stares of well-meaning but skeptical family members.

Which inevitably leads me down a sad and well-populated road full of questions–most important, does what I do matter?

Drabble 6 – Bluestocking

Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

There’s been a blog post sitting in my drafts for over a week now. It’s not particularly inflammatory, I just hesitate to post it because it’s on the personal side and I also worry that it sounds a bit like I’m trying too hard to be smart.

always feel like I’m trying too hard to be smart. I played dumb in class to avoid accusations of being a teacher’s pet. I worry that my writing sounds too much like purple prose even though I’ll praise Angela Carter to the heavens. Don’t use too big a word or you’re trying too hard, don’t describe things or you’re trying too hard, don’t even try because you’re trying too hard.

Forget that. I’ll try too hard if I want to. I’ll tattoo Angela Carter on my bicep and imagine that every time I think I’m too anything she’s whispering, “So fucking what?” into my ear.

Here’s something writer William Hazlitt, considered the greatest art critic of his age, had to say about women who were too intelligent:

“The bluestocking is the most odious character in society…she sinks wherever she is placed, like the yolk of an egg, to the bottom, and carries the filth with her.”

Nice. Here’s to carrying the filth with us everywhere we go. Anyway, here’s a drabble.