Well, well, well.
Look who’s back after disappearing without a word for approximately 19 months and 59 days!
I believe my parting words went something like this… “Hopefully I can schedule a post for Sunday instead of slapping it together at the last minute like the lazy potato I have recently become.”
I think we can all safely assume that I didn’t schedule a post.
Furthermore, I didn’t even slap one together at the last minute like a lazy potato.
Most likely I gave in to the evil temptation to watch figure skating and have Feelings and then the days slipped by and turned into weeks and then my life became a frenzy of madness.
I wanted to come back just to warn you of the impending Hiatus – I quickly realized that I needed to ban myself from posting until I cleaned up all the clutter around here – but didn’t manage even that.
To start things off just right, I got sick with a monstrous flu that lasted a solid two weeks, complete with one week of infection that had me in agony – one side of my face throbbed for hours and the only way to escape the pain was to sleep through it and walking became treacherous since my vision decided to match the throbbing, pulse for pulse, and render me a helpless drunk.
Then things became complicated.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a Plan. I’ve had the rest of my life figured out years in advance. I wrote lists. I made charts. And suddenly that future was staring me in the face and I wasn’t ready for it.
Overwhelmed, I tried to make up for lost time and get everything together. And I’ve mostly succeeded, but… I still feel completely out of control right now, and that is a terrifying feeling. I don’t wike it, as they say.
(I’ve been saying that a lot lately…)
Things have slowed down considerably… except Math.
Math is still looming before me like the demon of absolute despair and weeping that I have always known it was.
And, as you probably noticed in that fascinating title, I experienced my first major rejection. I know we talk about rejection and perseverance quite a bit as writers. Because it’s a hard job we face, making our little story stand out from all the others. There are like three million of us, and so it’s kind of built into the job description now. You Will Experience Rejection. Probably more than once. Over and over until you give up or go indie. And we’ve all heard a the anecdotes and encouraging stories and the maxims and the quotes. About never giving up. About trying again. About the writers we know and love today who were once rejected for some reason or another. About how we get stronger when we don’t give up.
You’ve heard it all.
But somehow it still stings.
The pain is still real.
And you can’t help but wonder. You can’t stop the questions from filling your head and running rampant in unguarded moments, dragging you down when you wake up in the morning with a heavy heart but you haven’t remembered yet why. Because you were rejected.
There’s this ugly truth that stares you in the face. You can’t make it go away. No excuse or comfort erases it completely.
If you were truly talented, they wouldn’t have said no.
There it is.
The ugly sprite that I find whispering lies into my mind these days more often than I like to admit.
I cling to the knowledge that talent is a range, it’s not black and white. It’s not talented and not-talented. It’s a journey that is always going to be about growing and getting better.
This is true of me.
Just because I wasn’t quite good enough doesn’t mean that I’m not good at all.
And I can get better.
I will get better.
Before you all start weeping and wailing and researching possible support groups for me, you should know that I’m not quitting.
I think I knew that even as I read the email.
I’m pressing on, just like all the stories say to do.
We’ll be okay, you and I.
Good. Glad we got all that inspirational weepy stuff out of the way.
Now, my friends, let’s talk about what’s being going on with you lately. I’ve fallen behind with emails – I think I have about 700 in my inbox at this moment – and blog posts but you guys have written some amazing stuff – yes, I have been reading blogs even though I haven’t worked up the courage to start commenting again – and I just have to scream about some of the things that have gone down in the past couple months.
Audrey Caylin wrote a beautiful post about figuring out “who you are” and since the prevalence of this topic is something that has been kind of bothering me lately, I wanted to share it. Go, read, and let her words sink in nice and deep. It’s not about you, bro.
My brilliant friend Ruby wrote a post about what we’re allowed to write as writers – that would be everything, my dears – and it just set me on fire. All this “cultural appropriation” and if-you’re-not-a-black-woman-you-can’t-write-that garbage is just that – garbage. Go forth and read the post and write everything to the best of your ability.
Kenzie finished editing her book, everlost, and is ready to tackle the next step of her wild and fascinating journey! Go shout encouragement at her face and celebrate with cookies, per her admonition.
And lastly but definitely leastly, Camp NaNoWriMo!
Before we get into the details about whether I’m participating, what I’m writing, and if my hair has been pulled delicately out of my scalp yet, let’s get something quite clear.
I can’t help but notice that some of you are suffering from a very sad delusion.
You are saying Nan Oh Rye Moe.
And that, my good sir, is a travesty.
Ahem. Nan Oh Ree Moe is the correct pronunciation.
And don’t you even come at me with your, “Rye is short for writer! You have to say it that way!” because I’m not buying it. Do you pronounce the beginning of the word “month” like the name “Moe”?
I didn’t think so, Mike.
Say it right.
Now. Let us talk about all of the fun things. Am I doing Camp? What have I been writing lately? Have I been nibbled on just a little bit by all the rabid plotful bunnies that I have stuffed in my closet?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Or something like that.
I am doing Camp with a crazy cabin full of about 54 other writers – okay, there’s only like 10 but they talk enough for 54 – and having a blast even though I can’t be as fully absorbed as I have been in the past.
I’m currently outlining a couple of novels – all the ones I’m not planning on pantsing – and replotting a certain beloved story of mine. You know it as The Songless but I’ve temporarily switched the title to Deathstory and I’m actually bursting with pride over the brilliant changes that have been made to it.
It makes me sad, but I don’t think I will be able to actually write a story until September…
You have no idea how much I am looking forward to September these days, guys. That is when it’s all going to begin.
Okay… time for me to disappear again. (What? I only came back to tell you that I’m going to be gone indefinitely!)
Your turn! Tell me what you’ve been up to in these past months!