“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live.... I'd type a little faster.”
Isaac Asimov

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Old Story Now In Print. New Story Now On Typewriter.
Tue 2010-03-02 20:15:33 (in context)
  • 1,070 wds. long
  • 54,629 wds. long

Big news: "The Day the Sidewalks Melted" is now live for you to read in Ideomancer volume 9, issue 1. Read it here. And since it won't take you all that much time to read, go read the rest of the free, online magazine while you're at it. The other stories are breathtaking, the poetry likewise, and the reviews illuminating.

And consider donating, since that's how the staff of Ideomancer keep the magazine going and the contributors paid year after year.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a new story, which is news and really oughtn't to be. That is, I ought to be doing it often enough--writing new stories--that it's not newsworthy. But I finally realized, considering the woefully slow progress I've been making on finishing the NaNoWriMo 2009 draft of Melissa's Ghost (I'm afraid John's getting the proof copy for an anniversary present; it wasn't done in time for his birthday), that putting off everything else until I'm done with that job is a recipe for unhappiness.

Recipe for happiness:

  • One story idea that won't let you go.
  • A portable Smith-Corona that's gathering dust.
  • Five minutes reviewing the typewriter's instruction manual.
  • About two and a half hours.
Which got me through the first half of the story. Now I'm having a hard time sitting down to the second half because I'm constantly thinking of ways to fix the first half. Which I'm not allowed to do until I've typed the second half.

It's not actually a new story, but it's such a revision over the first time it showed up that it might as well be. What's it about? Well, in one sense, it's about succubi and how they reproduce. In another, it's about lives of ennui, lives of substance, and profound transformation. It's probably only going to be about 1500 words by the end of the day.

The end of the day will not be later than this weekend. I have promised it to the twice-monthly critique group. No, not the original typewritten draft. It'll get retyped into WordPerfect and revised first. Then emailed.

See, I'm not entirely a luddite here. (I mean, look! Blog post! On the internet!) It's just that sometimes, to recover from a stall, I have to switch from my daily laptop to something a little more "me plus words minus everything else". Sometimes I need to dust off the Ancient Decrepit DOS 6.2 Compaq, hide away from the wifi and from all my fancy editing tools. And sometimes I need to escape the bureaucracy of file names and directory trees and run away to where the paper shows up before the words rather than after, to where each letter has weight and the price of going too fast is a key-jam or the whiteout ribbon.

And sometimes I just need that immediate reward of a bell going "ding!" every time I invent a new ten-word sequence or so. "Go you! Now come up with another ten. Good job! Again!"

Seriously. You should try it. It's refreshing.

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