GREAT BIG FAT HAIRY DROOLING WE-INTERRUPT-OUR-REGULARLY-SCHEDULED-PROGRAMME-TO-BRING-YOU-THIS-IMPORTANT-ANNOUNCEMENT NEWS
Tra la la la la la la . . .
I’m going to be Guest of Honor at Boskone next year.
Boskone, I hear some of you saying? I think it’s one of the oldest and most regularly annual of the (American) SF&F conventions* but I’m afraid I don’t pay any more attention to the fan-run end of the book world than I do to the professional publisher end** so I could be wrong. But it was my first big SF&F con, back when BEAUTY was new, and I was living next door in Boston. I attended sporadically for some years before I got kind of burnt out about the public-author thing generally*** but I’ve retained a soft spot for Boskone.
I had an email from next year’s chairperson about a fortnight ago inviting me to be next year’s GOH and I thought BOSKONE? I WOULD LOVE TO BE GUEST OF HONOR AT BOSKONE . . . and have since been in agonies not so much of indecision but of trying to figure out what the frell I could do about the hellpack if I said yes.† Pav isn’t a problem; given the basic facts of bull terriers she’s, you know, normal. The hellhounds, now. . . .
But a friend dropped round for a cup of tea this afternoon and in the process of trying to force said hellhounds to eat their lunch I found myself moaning to her about the situation. She, having extracted the salient facts that (a) YES I WOULD LIKE TO BE GOH AT BOSKONE NEXT YEAR and (b) no I haven’t been anywhere in the last seven years because I have these bizarrely-constituted hellhounds†† . . . said, FOR PITY’S SAKE SAY YES. GO. GO. You’ve got a year: we’ll figure something out.†††
So I said yes. ::Beams::
I asked the chair to let me know when they announced it so I could time it to go up more or less simultaneously on this blog. That was about seven hours ago and she answered by return electron that they were going to be putting it up on NESFA’s web site by the end of the day and I could go ahead as soon as I liked. I don’t think it’s up yet—although as I say Google does not love me—I’ll add a link when it does.
BUT HERE’S YOUR OPPORTUNITY. SEE AND HEAR MCKINLEY LIVE IN PERSON. Although you want to remember that I’ll be sixty-two by next February, so don’t expect much: I’m old, wizened and EVEN CRANKIER THAN YOU REALIZE. But I’ll be there. Smiling in a dangerous manner.
BE THERE OR BE SQUARE.
* * *
* Here’s Wiki’s stub about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boskone The New England Science Fiction Association has a web site but it’s kind of full of this year’s Boskone at the moment, which is only just over and also, I am stupid, and Google doesn’t love me.
** That sound you hear is Merrilee banging her head against a wall
*** That sound you hear is Merrilee banging her head against a wall harder
† I’ve spent a fair portion of the last fortnight making phone calls toward this end.
†† Remember that in my life this isn’t as appalling as it sounds. I like staying home and hurtling and ringing bells and planting rose-bushes and so on. But it would be nice to go back to America SOME TIME and not be a foreigner the minute I open my mouth^, and while day to day I don’t think about it, and year to year the idea of author touring is about as appealing as going into battle in your nightgown^^ . . . the invitation from Boskone made me fall over the edge immediately.
^ Except that I will be because while my accent hasn’t drifted east much my usage sure has
^^ Now I wonder why that image occurs to me
††† Peter said exactly the same thing, only faster. And his kids will keep an eye on him in my absence.
Merrilee will want to try to make a book out of it at some point
We’ve all mentioned how thrilled we’d be to have this in book form at some point and that touches on another thing I’m really looking forward to. I’m under the impression that you’re ‘writing without a net’ right now; in other words, I’m thinking that we’re getting to see what a first pass through a story looks like. I assume that in the process of turning this into a book, you’ll go through your normal re-read and ‘oh *that’s* why that was important – I’d better add this detail in, in light of that’ process of re-writing and editing. I’m looking to and hoping to see who/what gets emphasized/de-emphasized/deleted/added as part of the process. This is potentially a fascinating sneak peek behind the curtain and I’m really enjoying it.
I don’t even know where to begin to respond to this one.
Do you realise that by calling KES as she appears on the blog a ‘first pass’ and assuming that I’m going to rewrite the whole thing from the beginning when Merrilee and I turn it into a book-like object, you are implying that it, you know, needs it? Unless you’re Anthony Trollope, first versions of a story are rough. You rewrite because you have to. Because the story doesn’t make sense after the villain turns out only to be misunderstood, because the main character doesn’t come into focus till page four hundred and twelve because you were trying to write about an enchanted lemur and it turns out she’s a fruit bat. Because you fell in love with the word crepuscular and used it forty-seven times in the first chapter and, as anyone who has done any serious writing knows, you can rarely merely swap one word out for another, usually you have to change the phrase or the sentence which then bodges up the paragraph or the scene and you have to rewrite that . . . because on page two you thought Bathsheba was going to stick David with a hat-pin, steal his second-best armour, and run off to battle to fight at her husband’s side. Oops.
You rewrite in the hope that you will eventually produce something that you could give strangers to read.
At what point you start soliciting other people’s opinions varies. I hear terrifying rumours that some writers hang rough drafts on line and invite comments. I’d become a ditchdigger or a linesperson before I did that—and I don’t think they hire sixty-one-year old women to dig ditches, and retraining to be a linesperson wouldn’t be a good choice since I left my head for heights somewhere back in my thirties. Before I married Peter—who does now see early drafts of my stories—NOBODY saw ANYTHING till I’d got as close to finished with a story as I could. Even I acknowledge that you need an outside eye eventually, to tell you the elisions that don’t work because nobody else knows the story as well as you do, and Gibbervig and Sorfrella got up to what together*, or because you so can’t see the forest for the trees any more that while (ahem) you may just be a prone-to-tangents storyteller, the chapter about the history of interspecies harness** really slows the action down. My current editor prefers to see things a little sooner rather than a little later—although I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I’m almost always laaaaaaate turning stuff in and she wants some reassurance that the story exists and she’s not trying to hold a place on the next list but twelve for a will-o-the-wisp—and I acknowledge her right, as the woman whose butt is on the publishing line on my behalf. But I don’t like it.
Once I’d got properly into KES I let myself acknowledge that it was a real story—as real as any of the ones that were first read by strangers in paper covers in their entirety—or that existed in their entirety before they were excerpted on line. I’m writing without a net, yes, because I’m hanging bits of the story for strangers to read before I’ve got to the end of writing it. But I’m writing it as well as I can as I go. I rewrite the individual eps before I post them. What I post is NOT first pass.
Yes. I’m giving away for free what is just as much work as what I write for money. But it’s a slightly different kind of work; different harness—speaking of comparative tack—different pressure points. I wouldn’t have had the chutzpah to invent a genre-fantasy-writing heroine who gets embroiled in offcuts from her own stories for a book I was expecting Merrilee to pitch to my—or any other—editor. I’m aware that messing around with the boundaries between reality-reality and book-reality is very popular just now*** but KES is not something I would have risked doing. Except as a kind-of-joke-but-then-again-not-a-joke on my blog. And yes, I’m hoping to recoup some of that writing time by turning KES into a book that people will pay money for a copy of, hard or e-.† But . . .
But I’m not going to rewrite her. Bottom line: I can’t. The story arc is very very very VERY VERY VERY VERY different, doing it in 800-900 words a shot and usually ending with something more or less cliffhangery. The story is the story: but KES has let me mould her into 800-900 word chunks, and you—or anyway I, this writer, Robin McKinley—doesn’t get a second chance. If I tried, I’d wreck her. I’m not going to try.
I’ll fix errors, when I shuffle her together into one file to send to Merrilee. And I will scream and hurl myself out windows and so on when I discover the howlers I know are there even if I don’t at present know what they are—and I just hope there aren’t any I can’t fix without tearing up the foundations. I’ve silently fixed I think three easily-tweaked ones already; I keep notes—inadequate notes and always of the wrong things—but I mostly don’t reread, except specific snippets (when I can find them) for specific purposes of stumbling accuracy. I’ll try to swap out the superfluous uses of crepuscular without rewriting any scenes. But that’s all. Tidy up—although there will be more of this, and it will be more of a struggle, than I’m going to like. But I am not going to rewrite. Not.
And as for a sneak peek behind the curtain—that’s not what you’re getting. That’s not anything you’ll ever get from me. There’s a reason I don’t blog much about my writing process. I’m a privacy fetishist. And it’s a lot easier to do the smoke and mirrors thing about my life than about my writing.
* * *
* And furthermore when did they have the opportunity to do it? Didn’t the Siege of Mormormorungal crack up straight into the Battle for the Nineteen Dozyhazes and the Sentient Orchid? —I’ve never been good at time, in reality or out of it.
** Horse tack was a relatively late invention; domestic horses were a doddle after dragons and flurdlelumps. Horses are smaller and more persuadable than dragons, and at least you can sit on a horse; there’s the whole suspended-cage business with flurdlelumps because of all those legs.
*** Thank you, Jasper Fforde. He may not have started the trend single-handed, but he’s where I first met it.
† KES does tap into my real writing energy. The blog doesn’t. The problem with the blog is time. I’m a slow writer, even of the blog. But I don’t come away from the blog thinking MUST HAVE BREAK FROM WRITING STUFF. The main reason I’ve cut KES back to once a week is because if I spend any more time on her she will cut into . . . well, PEG II, for example.
sputter sputter sputter… eeep.
Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
That’s the cliffiest cliffhanger yet. Eeep.
Now this interests me. This is in response to Kes #15, “Keep it together, tha useless mare”. I thought the cliffiest cliffhanger was #14, the ep before, “By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me”. Granted my view is a trifle different than readers’.
It is also interesting—to me anyway—that plucking Kes up and plonking her down In Another Part of the Forest when the reader is getting the story only in 800-900 word snatches with looooong gaps between, must produce a much bigger HUH? factor than it would if the reader could turn/fingersweep the page and keep going. Yes? Or am I over-interpreting? I was thinking that you could, not unreasonably, suspect me of cheating. I’m not—or I don’t think I am—by the somewhat elastic rules of storytelling—and the somewhat differently elastic rules of fantasy storytelling*—it’s allowed, not to tell your readers stuff. Till you feel like getting around to it. Till the story insists.
I look forward to Sunday mornings – make a pot of green tea, settle down with my tablet, check Kes’s latest predicament. But these blog posts need to be much longer if they’re to last 2 cups of tea.
I have a great idea! Only read KES every fortnight! Then you’ll have an ep per cup! That works!
So thank you for today’s episode. And thank you for a heroine who is only 10-plus-some years older than me. I read and enjoy YA fantasy but I do occasionally wish for more stories with protagonists who have a little more life experience.
You’re welcome. And also thank you. The apparent near take-over of YA in this end of fantasy storytelling does discourage me a trifle sometimes, despite the fact that I have substantially contributed to it.** Some day I am going to write a story with a kick-ass heroine who is over sixty. We can still kick ass, you know. It just hurts more afterward.***
. . . if I were in Kes’s place I’d just get furiously angry. Look, it’s not my fault no one told me to go into heroine training!!!
Furiously angry keeps you moving forward, though, and so is very probably a useful reaction.
Yep. Adrenaline-rage, which allows slender willowy people to sling large sacks of (wet) compost around. For example. It’s a very useful tool and I wouldn’t want to be without it but I possibly overuse it a trifle. If what you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Kes does adrenaline-rage too. For better and worse.
1) Everyone in Kes’s world(s), stop being mean to her already & give her a freaking break!!!
Everyone? We need a few villains and persons of dubious motives for story tension.
2) Her horse!!!! There’s a horse for her!!!! Yaaayyyy!!!! . . .
Of course there is a horse for her. There was always going to be a horse for her. Remember she’s an even-more-blatant-than-usual wish-fulfilment for me.
3) (And not to be forgotten): HOW ON EARTH DID KES ESCAPE THE BLACK GIGANTIC SWORD-WIELDING THING??????
Well . . . escape is maybe putting it a little strongly. She side-slipped worlds at a very good moment. As to why she side-slipped worlds at that moment. . . . ::whistles::
But…where’s Sid? Is this Sid morphed into a horse?
Nope. Very different personality.
(No, Kes needs Sid as Sid, the faithful hound. This has to be the faithful steed, yhight…Star? Socks? Brownie? Bay..um…Bayeux? Bayberry? Eli?)
Snork. I like Bayeux.
Horse. Horse is good. Good horse is good. Evil horse…I don’t even want to think about it.
No, no! Good horse! Very good horse! Brave noble patient horse!† Cheez. These frelling supple professional-fiction-producing minds.
Yay, the horse. I’m wondering if this is Merry? Otherwise, how will Merry fit into this? or has the story council let that slip out yet?
Hmm. This might be the moment to warn you all that I’m not a big fan of the parallel worlds thing. Connected overlapping similar-in-weird-ways containing-confusing-parallels worlds, yes. Parallel worlds, no. Nothing—except frelling algebra—is x = y in this world; why should reason and logic suddenly reign just because we’ve breached a few walls between one messed-up and inconsistent world and a few more of the same? Although it wouldn’t surprise me if Monster and Merry became very good friends.
Also, I will be very relieved when Sid shows back up in the picture.
Sid’s okay. Although she may be having her own adventures. And she has a very important part to play in the coming . . . ::whistles some more:: . . . well, whatever.
Didn’t the kitchen table start making horse-like motions a few episodes ago?
Yup. But remember what I said about parallel. Here’s another suggestion for how not to make yourselves crazy trying to figure out how the pieces fit together: you can dye your hair orange this week and purple next week. It’s sunny today†† but it will rain tomorrow.††† A table that stamps its feet today may be a table next week. And an octopus the week after that.
I too am curious what happened to the big black monster. And everything else.
You’d better also remember that I don’t tie things up neatly or give full, exquisite explanations. Curiosity is good. It keeps you awake. You’ll know more about most things before END OF PART ONE scrolls up on your computer screens.
I’m thinking some hybrid between
[photo of Shire horse—or anyway it should be a Shire and it could be a Shire]
[photo of Andalusian horse—and I know it is an Andalusian because it’s on the Wiki page for Andalusian horse, although I keep wondering if the lad is a midget or the horse is standing on a box, because Andalusians are not huge]
what’s your image of the biggest horse?
I’ve had an enormous [sic] crush on Andalusians forever. Talat, although somewhat inspired‡ by an Arab stallion I used to know, is really more an Andalusian. The only heavy horses I’ve had a chance to know up close and personal are Shires and Clydesdales—and Suffolk Punches to a very limited extent—and Shires win hands down. I adore Shires. I know it’s not as easy to get a good cross as to take one Andalusian stallion and put him to one Shire mare‡‡, but it’s like Sid being (probably) Saluki/Deerhound. Monster is probably Andalusian/Shire. And they’re each a really excellent cross with only the BEST features of both bloodlines. Hey. I write fantasy.
Even if for a newyorker that has never seen a cow any horse in that stressful situation and while not standing properly would look big or bigger.
Ahem. Kes doesn’t know from cows, true, but she went to horse camp for several years in her teens. She’s not totally clueless.‡‡‡ We’re going to say it was a good horse camp too, which I realise is pushing the reality connection pretty hard—but Kes does know the basics of how to ride. Probably not to battle in her nightgown however.
|Two of my all-time favorite fantasy novels featured a cavalry that rode without either bridle or stirrups.|
Haven’t even finished reading the episode…had to come say I LOVE that grin at a couple of my favorite fantasy novels too! (Go Aerin & Hari!!)
I’ve known from the beginning that Kes must have read McKinley. I was going to have to refer to this some time.
|I looked back at Monster.|
I know I asked for a name, but now I’m hoping there is a chance he gets renamed along the way; although Monster will be an affectionate name before long, I suppose.
Well hmmph. Personally I think Monster is a very good name for a huge horse, but in fact I think it’s like Sid is also the Phantom. Give poor Kes some slack here: she’s a bit pressed. She’ll name Monster when things quiet down a little.§ No one was trying to kill her when she gave Sid a name.
* * *
* Insert standard rant here about how you do get to make up your own rules, writing fantasy, but then you have to follow them. No Mr-Spock-reveals-new-skill-after-the-commercial-break.^ Also no all-powerful mages throwing lightning-bolts of awesome power at one another while making mean faces.
^ Spock ex machina, one might almost say.
** When I first told Hannah what I was doing, a year and a half ago, after she stopped laughing, she said, Make her younger. Merrilee will want to try to make a book out of it at some point^. It’ll sell better if she’s younger.
I remind myself that at least there are quite a few strong heroines in fantasy around now. Some of the books they’re in even receive a certain amount of advertising. EMoon and I can remember when this was not the case. Especially the advertising part.
^ Great publishing minds think alike
*** Ow! My foot!
† This is still a McKinley story, after all.
†† Wrong. No.
‡ ‘Inspired’ isn’t quite right; it’s like as Talat blooms into his own self, it turns out some of Binni’s tack fits.
‡‡ And the stallion would have to stand on a box. But I’d be afraid to do it the other way around: she might break.
‡‡‡ Another pet peeve is characters in books who never learn to ride, they just get on a horse and hey presto. It’s not like that.
§ Unless it turns out he’s already got a—er—Abernathy’s Elegant Mythology by Abernathy’s Hyperborean Mystique out of Plutonium Farms Bethany-by-Night name already. In which case we’ll have to shorten it. To Abe. Or Myth. Or Pluto. Or Fred.
Having signally failed (again) last night. I need either to learn not to fall asleep in the bath or how to keep the water hot and just sleep in the bath. I sleep there so much better than I sleep in bed. Maybe it’s because Scorpio is a water sign. So it’s not my fault. It’s that I’m doomed.
B_twin left today and . . . it started raining about two hours later. Speaking of water and never mind the astrology. BUT THE HELLHOUNDS ATE DINNER. Rain? Fine. Whatever. Let it rain. I can deal with (almost) ANYTHING . . . as long as the hellhounds keep eating.*
And furthermore it’s Friday. And that means tomorrow is . . .
O.K., now it’s really time to go pick up The Blue Sword again… not that it’s ever not time to read it, but Kes’ visions are reminding me of Harry’s and I’m being called…
You know I keep banging on about how the Story exists and all a poor dope of a writer can do is choose her words as well as she’s able. But a story does try and come to a writer who has (maybe) a hope of relating to or engaging with it. If a lost and confused story about the early expansion of the railroad across the North American continent in the 19th century shows up panting on my doorstep, I will attempt to repress my shudder of horror (stories have feelings), pat it on its head, and send it back to the Story Council for reassignment.
Stories about girls who do things come to me. So do stories about girls who have visions before/during/after they do things. I assume one of the reasons stories with visions in them see me as a kindred spirit is because I’ve always been rotten with visions myself. Most of them are story related.**
***MILD SPOILER WARNING***
BLUE SWORD began with a vision of Harry pulling that mountain down. CHALICE began with the Master saving his Chalice’s life on that cold hillside. PEGASUS began with the night of Sylvi’s twelfth birthday. Sometimes the vividest visions however are not where a story begins, but where I realised it was a story. Peter was mulling over the difficulty of raising an orphan baby dragon*** because you need to keep it hot, but my recollection (which may well be faulty) is that he was thinking of something like a bucket or wheelbarrow of embers. It was when I saw some random teenage boy put a baby dragon down his shirt that I knew the story was live for me. And baby critters with big brains tend to need serious contact with their mums; I don’t know that a brainy dragonlet would do very well stranded in a barrow of embers, even if the barrow was topped up regularly. And then of course it turns out that the dragons in this particular story are marsupials, and their babies are born pretty well foetal. . . .
And so on. There have been a few periods in my life—not recently, fortunately, it’s another of those ‘getting old is a good thing (mostly)’ things—when I’ve thought that my tendency to visions meant I was nuts. Eventually I decided that if I coped (more or less) in the real world too, who cares? Poor Kes is going to have a harder time hanging onto her sanity—or her belief in her sanity—since her stories/visions are showing, and, I will tell you for free, will continue to show, an alarming tendency to break into our so-called real world and mess her around.
My favorite sentence/image of this week’s episode is: I saw the banner flying from its topmost tower very plainly: two sword blades crossed to divide it into quarters, and in the quarters were a horse, a hawk, a sighthound and a rose. I wanted the whole Kes story from the very beginning, but that line bumped it further over an invisible enticing ledge for me.
Oh good. Whatever works.*** ::Shuffles feet:: Mind you I haven’t much idea about this part of the story myself. I can feel that it’s live or I wouldn’t have put even this much in–I don’t even know how to describe it, but that banner is as real as the chair I’m sitting in, or Cecelia Bartoli on the CD player. I can also feel where I need to go to find someone—someone I mean who lives there—to talk to about it. There’s a fair amount of seething going on behind that bit of scenery. But I kind of imagine them drawing straws, and whoever gets the short straw has to talk to me first. —No, no, no, the loser is saying, clutching his/her hair. You know what she’s like!†
Your nicer readers may respect you. Your characters . . . nah.
* * *
* B_twin said, I’ve seen skinnier dogs. Good thing you weren’t here a month ago, I said. I don’t think we were ever quite in danger of the neighbours ringing up the RSPCA^ but I felt we were getting close. When the only food that’s going into them is what I’m prying their mouths open and stuffing down . . . they get really skinny. I will go on force-feeding when they’re still not voluntarily eating enough to keep a hummingbird alive^^ but every sixteenth-mouthful scrap that I didn’t have to poke into them helps . . . including my stress level.
^ I’ve said this before, haven’t I: Yes. And let the RSPCA try to make them eat.
^^ Although hummingbirds are another of these tiny frantic things, like shrews, that have to eat pretty well constantly to avoid starving to death. I thought this was fascinating: http://www.hummingbirds.net/hainsworth.html
Anorexic hummingbirds don’t survive to breed. Note that I have turned away all inquiries about breeding from the hellhounds not only because I don’t want them to find out what sex is.
‘A hummingbird can weigh anywhere between 2 and 20 grams. A penny weighs 2.5 grams.’ And even several times 2.5 grams of food a day is not going to keep an 18,000-gram hellhound alive for long.
(Also from http://www.worldofhummingbirds.com/facts.php) ‘A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.’# Yes, but 4.2% of 2 to 20 grams still doesn’t leave a lot of room for Sanskrit and quantum physics. Has anyone tried to find out if hummingbirds can learn weird human-type stuff like coming when called or pressing an itsy-bitsy lever that dispenses food?
# Note that you’re seeing in action WHY WRITING THE BLASTED BLOG TAKES SO LONG. Pretty much every time I look something up—like the eating habits of hummingbirds—I get into an ‘oooh shiny’ rut and half an hour later. . . .
** But it’s not surprising that when Jesus decided to hoick me over the ‘believer’ line he showed up in a vision.
*** Words to live by. Where a lot of professions meet on common ground, I guess: writers, mechanics, ditch diggers, bakers, critter trainers, shoe salespersons. Probably not accountants and surgeons. And I wish these were the words by which computer programmers lived.
† I’m sitting here on this chair, listening to Cecelia Bartoli, and realising that the first person I speak to isn’t going to have a clue about the banner and is going to think I’m, ahem, nuts for wanting to know.
††We were discussing ideas for short stories for FIRE ELEMENTALS, right? Long, long, long ago. Four FIRE novels^ ago. Before Peter realised what he had married.
^ Peter wrote TEARS OF A SALAMANDER, remember. It’s not only me.
It’s throwing it down out there, like a bully throwing rocks, but there’s already so much standing water it’s not surprising that more rain bounces. We’re having the occasional spasm of thunder and lightning for interest. I’m a little worried about tonight’s commute to Mauncester, even though I know every sub-micron of that road, including where the invisible black water collects and does a before-the-Gates-of-Moria thing if you’re in the wrong, you should forgive the term, stream.* But I’m also half expecting a last-minute email from our team leader saying that SPing has been cancelled by police order because the current frothing down the main pedestrian precinct is strong enough to pull anyone even slightly the worse for wear over** and anyone at all wearing stacked-sole stilettos. Or, speaking of current, that the entire city has shorted out, including the pumps at the pubs and the shot dispensers at the club(s).
But I do want to make a start at responding to what you all said about last night’s post.
My agent also tells me that the internet has moved on and writers aren’t blogging any more
Have you suggested she should go tell John Scalzi? (And many, many others, FWIW).
Yep. Graphic example of what happens when you’re careless about using someone else on your public blog. I’d already had a whap up longside the head for misquoting her from Merrilee herself. I don’t remember what she originally said, only that I came away with the impression that I was now an Old Fogey for continuing to blog—and half a dozen helpful people have sent me links to ‘why I don’t blog/don’t blog any more’ posts in the last month or thereabouts, so I was probably feeling kind of . . . oppressed. But all that said I still knew I was making a silly generalisation and on a public blog you can only do this to yourself.
What Merrilee did say last night, and this time I am quoting, from her email: I did not say writers aren’t blogging anymore — I said YOU DON’T NEED TO DO IT EVERY DAY AND THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA.
Okay? —By the way I think John Scalzi is sui generis. I just write a blog.
The self centred is largely because I don’t have to worry about hurting my own feelings if I go over the top,
. . . I find I have to do the same thing in my sermons. Especially because sermons are so often about our frailty and failings as humans and what we should or can or should want to do about it (and, even though I’m Jewish — and thus, hardly ever discuss God in public, even at temple, because Judaism is primarily about people — occasionally even where God might play a part in all this), I often need examples of people who are misunderstanding some basic precept of existence. And I’m not going to use someone I know. Likewise, I’m not going to use some internet/urban legend story about someone I don’t know. So my only choice is…me. I come out as a total, self-centered dweeb in my sermons. I can only hope that the rest of the sermon convinces my congregation that I’ve overcome this week’s version of dweebishness enough to be brilliant about it. (Or at least funny. In sermons, if you can’t be brilliant, be funny. If you can’t be funny, be brief. The perfect sermon is all three.)
YES. EXACTLY. THIS. THANK YOU. Not that I write sermons***, but if I want to get a point across? If I want to say something . . . unflattering? If I want to dandle a buffoon before you in the hopes of making you laugh? Yes. I can only use me.
. . . I’m glad that I was wrong in taking you too seriously because I do think your anecdotes are funny,
. . . and I do relate them to my friends, all the while laughing that a writer I have loved my whole life is a “cranky”, “old” lady as you often make yourself out to be in the blog.
Well, it’s like being self-absorbed, volatile and having a talent for seeing the dire in things. I am cranky, and sixty-one ain’t young. It’s what you do with the bits and pieces you decide to use in public. But if you’re laughing I am succeeding.
It wouldn’t surprise me… if the blog hasn’t further confused the issue of Who I Am As A Real Human Being
Yep, guess I was confused . . . due to my not catching on to the hyperbolic nature of your stories and rants . . . but I am glad, too . . . a little glad? Still sorry I upset you . . .
‘Appal’ is the word you’re looking for here. THEY THINK I’M TELLING THE TRUTH? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
. . . because now I can be in on the jokes along with everyone else.
I do like your blog! Can we be friends again, Hellgoddess? . . .
Snork. Yes, of course. And apologies for ironing out your footnotes; I couldn’t figure out how not to confuse everyone hopelessly, including myself.
And thank you, all of you forum commenters. I’m telling the real, true, unyanked-around truth that I could not keep my energy up for blogging if some of you didn’t talk back sometimes. THANK YOU.
* * *
* That may be a Britishism, stream for car lane.
** Which means they won’t get far away from home, since ‘pre-loading’ is the order of the standard night out. Note: ugh.
*** Or that I know how to be brief