Tuesday, February 6, 2001

My story "The Duck" is up on Writer Online.

People seem to fall strictly into two camps on this story. There's the "wow, cool!" camp and the "what the hell were you thinking?" camp. I think it's an even split so far.

The Writer Online people seem to be in the first camp. They wrote a glowing intro to the story on the main page. It's so complimentary it's kind of unnerving.

I was so psyched when I read what they wrote -- this was on Friday -- that I decided short shorts were my new favorite genre. A few hours of work, and you get such adulation? Granted, strictly measured in terms of hours of work per word published or dollar earned, novels are probably the easiest and short shorts the hardest form (Orson Scott Card makes this point in his How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy), but in terms of psychological ease and instant gratification, they can't be beat! And now that there's the internet, there are lots of markets for super-short fiction. I decided to write 20 pieces of flash fiction in the near future -- no deadline, as I have enough going on this month -- and bought myself a new green notebook for the purpose. I wrote three on Friday. Two are pretty good, one of which probably only works as the start to something longer.

I love buying new notebooks. I can wander for hours in stationery stores. When you're sitting in front of it with high expectations, a blank page can be a nightmare; but when you're in the store flipping through the blank pages of a notebook you may buy, they are pure possibility, pure future. Anything can happen in those pages, and looking at them feels like flying. The proper notebook should not be too august (or you will be paralyzed trying to get things right) nor too cheap (or you will write without respecting what you put down). It should be individual, but not so quirky or garish as to distract from its contents. 

Aviva had a breakthrough today, or at least I noticed it today. She can now find her hands at will. This is very useful for putting them in her mouth and sucking on them. What an enormous spike in her control of her surroundings this must be! Whenever she wants something to gnaw on -- wait, don't help me -- here we go -- ta da! Look ma, hands!