If on a Winter's Night Two Travellers...
1440 words long
Adventures start when you're busy being stupid. And if it wasn't for Harry, I probably wouldn't have been so stupid.
we all have our hot cross buns to feed to bears
Hooray! The "Fictionette Freebie" for the month of February is out and free and clear and all yours. I chose "If On A Winter's Night Two Travellers..." because, looking back at the last four months of Freebies, I thought we needed something a little more uncomplicatedly light-hearted. Granted, being stuck in a broken-down car in a snow storm outside of the range of any cell phone signal isn't exactly a pleasant situation, but then neither is getting kidnapped by vampires, and no one ever accused Robin McKinley's Sunshine of heavy-duty grimdark.
In fact, now that I've got occasion to review it, I think the narrator of "Travellers..." does sound more than a little influenced by the narrator of Sunshine. I may have been rereading that novel during the second week of February, around the time I would have been polishing this one up for publication.
So now I am all caught up on February, as far as Friday Fictionettes go.
How am I doing on the story?
...I've been avoiding it today. Which is embarrassing. I've been very diligent in everything else. I did all my physical therapy for today, despite maybe having pulled a muscle in my left calf during the lunges (please dear Gods no whyyyyy). I finished them as very small lunges, but I finished them. I had a great time with my freewriting, during which a word-of-the-day prompt got me thinking of the will-o-the-wisp at the beginning of The Neverending Story who's gotten lost despite usually being the agent of other people's getting lost. What does a will-o-the-wisp follow when it is lost? And I put up a Puzzle Pirates Examiner post. And I worked on Fictionettes, as above. And I even cleaned out the file cabinet just a bit more, and caught up on email and other online communications.
But the short story? Heavens help us.
OK. So. Plan for tomorrow: Don't save the short story until last, because I might never get to it that way. Don't invest the task with the forbidding weight of "an hour and a half of butt in chair" or "get to work and don't stop until you've finished the scene," because I might never manage to start. Instead, try small sessions throughout the day, each one with the goal of "just open it up and do whatever you can in 25 minutes." Just keep coming back to it, the way I kept coming back to the closet doors project when that was still going on: a session here and a session there, between other tasks of the day.
I need to jump start a mental habit of coming back to the task regularly. I've been so irregular about it lately that every session has required the routine of two days spent sneaking up on it and dodging the avoidance monsters. I need to put it back in the brain space where it's just a thing that I do when it's time to do it. Ideally, I'd return to the task every day without fuss. Maybe by sitting down to multiple micro-sessions throughout a single day, I can pack many days' worth of mental habit formation into that single day. And the day after that.
It's better than dodging avoidance monsters for weeks, anyway.
Yes, I do sound like a pathological bundle of neuroses, don't I? We all have our crosses to bear. And possibly hot cross buns to bake, which sounds a lot less melodramatic than bearing crosses, and also tastier. I mean, on the one hand, you have a method of torture and execution; on the other, you have yummy sweet rolls. When they offer you cake or death, choose cake. That's the point I'm getting around to here. Writing should be more like cake than like death.
this fictionette would prefer better company, and intends to find some
It's Friday! Barely. By the skin of its teeth. Nevertheless: Behold, a Friday Fictionette! It is called "If on a Winter's Night Two Travellers..." because I fancy that I am clever. (Honestly, it's been too long since I've read the Calvino and I've got no idea whether the allusion is appropriate. Maybe I haven't read it at all. Maybe I'm confusing it with the one about the Tarot cards.) Anyways, the excerpt is this-a-way, and includes links to become a subscriber and read the whole darn thing.
Thing is, these Fictionettes, they are not so much stories as story-like objects, and that's particularly clear when they end a little cliffhangerly, like this one did.
I've been bouncing through today to a slow, bouncing-between-tasks kind of rhythm: a little writing here, a little sanding there, a little household chores and such over here, and now back to the writing. I'm still working on getting the rhythm right, though. It doesn't work so good when it's time to bounce back to a writing task and instead I spend three hours reading the blog threads I was only going to browse over dinner. Alas.
Anyway, tomorrow's Valentine's Day. I hope you have a happy one, whatever your plans might be and whoever you might enact said plans with. Whether with a sweetheart or two or three, with family and/or friends, or with your very own worthy self, enjoy the heck out of the weekend and I'll see you on Monday.