Today's post has a double meaning! Not only does it refer to the bizarre suffocating blankness I've discovered after sending off a pile of queries, but also to what I have to do today.
I've neglected my house so badly! I spent so much time agonizing over queries and synopses and emails and envelopes...and spending two hours, three days a week at the barn...that I have barely kept up with basic housework maintenance. Yesterday, as I was languishing on the couch having a day off, I had a visual standoff with a herd of dust monsters under the Comfor Tabble Chair across from me. The confrontation ended with neither of us making a move. It was my day off. But dammit, today I'm gonna wrestle those dust monsters down and destroy them.
It doesn't help that I hate housework and suspect that I don't really know how to do it.
But we'll talk about that later.
Last week, I felt like I'd done a marathon. I got my stuff sent away and kind of didn't know what to do with myself. My brain had been so full of JennyKatieWillAdamTom that without them, I was aimless. I puttered around, made myself go out to Susan's place and ride, and walked through the house forgetting what I was meaning to do. Every day I'd think, okay, that project's done, on to the next one, and I'd write, but my mind wandered off and wouldn't come back when I called! I told myself I was allowed to kind of decompress after the intense pressure I put on myself to get the submissions perfected and get them out there. All week I thought I was ready, and I wasn't.
Whooooooosh. Slow, steady flight off the momentum ride....looks like it'll be a soft landing. Relief.
The new Fake People have moved in. Two sets of Fake People, in two different Stories, which could make things rather crowded up there in my brain...but heck, that's nothing new. I just hope they all get along and nobody gets jealous if someone else gets more speech time.
And since today's all about housekeeping, I invite you to imagine today's soundtrack, which will consist largely of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine and quite possibly some Bill Munroe, because after all Bluegrass is sort of the Unruly Speed Metal cousin of country music, right? Am I right? And let's get some housekeeping out of the way here at Hick Chic. Or should I say, Hick Sheeeeeek.
Thank you for your suggestion on my next Hick Chic Guide. I am still trying to decide!! But I do know one thing...coming up in November...HICK CHIC FASHION WEEK!!!!! It's gonna be awesome! I'm collecting pictures for it already!
Tomorrow will be your Hick Chic Guide, so you know I'll be thinking about the topic while destroying dust monsters.
And in the heck-why-not category, I'm going to share with you the first paragraphs of three stories. I've already posted them on this here internet, over on Nathan Bransford's Largely Indispensible First Paragraph Challenge so heck why not- here they are.
From TROUBLE WILL FIND US, for which I laboured over a query letter for months and is now out of my hands... Swear word warning, okay?
Jenny is totally wasted, sprawled on the hood of the Caprice, blinking at the big black sparkling sky spinning above her. She’s been drunk often enough so far to know that she’s a happy drunk. Normally, anyways, she’s a happy drunk. She started off the evening by referring to my ex-boyfriend Marty as a big fucking goof, which didn’t stop her from taking a beer from him. Once she got going she picked up a few more beers, and her mouth got bigger, and she’s pretty damn lucky that she’s a girl and so far, even in 1988 when we’re supposed to be all liberated and equal, guys still have enough respect to not hit a girl.
These next two are in progress. They'll be changed a lot before the whole thing is done and readable. That's the way I work. Here goes...
From a new project with the working title INNOCENT-
I’m having a hot, slow motion summer. Everybody’s either away or working, and all the jobs in Forthright were taken in May. I should have gotten my ass out there and started looking sooner. Instead, I’m stuck here with no friends and no money and nothing to do but read, which is why I’m on my way to the library. It’s 9:30 and already hot as hell. I pull a covered elastic from my wrist and get my hair back into a ponytail. It’s too hot to have my hair on my neck. A drop of sweat runs down my chest and into my bra. I wish I could just not wear a bra but then my girls will run wild and I don’t think that’d be good. Guys can’t stop staring at them as it is and I think I’ve caused enough scandal in this town already. After five years of being called, let’s see, a slut, a homewrecker, a liar, a prostitot, that was creative, and my favourite, “Evil in a pretty package,” the last thing this stupid dot on the map can handle is the sight of my girls running wild.
From a new project with the working title RIDE-
I attract every lost soul, oddball, weirdo, eccentric, nutbar and freak within sensory distance of me, and that magnetism alone is what makes me a freak. My freakiness turned me into a hermit. I only wanted to hang around out here in the hills with the horses, and let people come to me for their riding lessons and then go away. I kept my room mates in the basement apartment so they wouldn’t bug me. I went into town once a week, twice if I had to. I destroyed most of the pictures of my ex husband. I left the city. I didn’t have to pass the homeless guy on the corner any more and feel horrible that I couldn’t sit down and feed him and fix him up and save him. I didn’t have to be overwhelmed by all those damn people going somewhere, all the time. I rented myself a window full of fields and trees and a big old barn. I bought a kicking stereo and a computer. I’d go out on a road trip for the occasional rock concert. I owned a pickup truck, old but paid for, and owned two awesome horses. Things were settling down, man, and I was feeling okay about life again. I was just hunkered down, laying low. And then Brandon, the freak, him with his sweet grey eyes and his coloured music notes and his long legs, got out of a car in my muddy yard, and I knew him, because I’d already been to, like, five of his gigs. I totally knew that he was just a kid and I had a good thirteen years on him. But how did a freak like him end up way out here, standing in front of a fence, with a freak magnet like me...except that naturally, that’s the way it works, right?
So there you have it. I will never have writer's block because I have two stories going on. I'm so hesitant to write INNOCENT. If I thought TROUBLE was an uncomfortable experience in some places, I've got some learning to do. This is a book that demands I write it, not necessarily something I'd choose to write. It found me. I have to do it. RIDE on the other hand is a lot more fun. I'll save it for times when the other one threatens to bury me under its weight.
Speaking of crushing...and submission...
I must wrangle the dust monsters.