Locked In and Breakthrough

I just finished another story. This one is short, 1100 words. God. It feels so good to write. I had this conversation with Ken Scholes the other day, and realized that despite my connection with Codex and Shimmer, I miss having someone to shoot the breeze with about a story. We talked about “Ginger” and the story unlocked for me. Then I hit Codex and Hatrack and figured out where I was going with that. After I finished it, I was so jazzed that I just cranked out another story.

Have I mentioned that it feels good?

So. Things I have learned about myself and writing. Some of these are recent, some are not.

  1. If I don’t read, I don’t write.
  2. At some point in my creative process, I need people. I’m a performer, and it doesn’t go away just because I’m writing.
  3. I need stimulation; talking to people, movies, cooking, hiking…anything to refuel, or I don’t write.
  4. I can’t write when I’m angry. My brain gets eaten with “I should have saids…”

There’s probably more, but those were the ones that struck me. Oh, and when I edit, I have to read it outloud or I miss really stupid stuff like “She picked up a a coal scuttle.” Geez. Anyway, here’s the new story’s opening.

Locked In

     Samuel sat on the balcony, enjoying the fading light of day. When the respirator pushed air into his lungs, he savored the salt brine from the sea. He tried to pretend that he had some control over breath, that he chose to inhale, but it was a fantasy as idle as wishing that he could adjust his own chair.
     For a moment, his nurse’s hand interrupted his field of vision. She paused with her hand on his open eyelid, and then pushed down so he could blink. Before Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis had locked him in his own body, Samuel had told her that he wanted a warning before blinking.
     It would be nice to thank her, but he had lost the last of his voluntary abilities months ago.
     “Dad!” Jacob’s voice behind him startled Samuel but he lacked the release of flinching.

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5 Responses

  1. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Why, Mr. Sizemore! I do believe that is Saturday.

    Not that it is marked on my calendar or anything.

  2. Aliette de Bodard

    I know how you feel. Writing again after a drought is just so satisfying 🙂

    I definitely can’t write if I’m not reading. I need some sort of stimulation. However, I don’t like talking about a story beforehand, or I lose my excitement over it.

  3. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Okay! I’ve got a couple of things I want to tweak, but I’ll send it over. It is horror, by the way.