Like endless rain into a paper cup

I am on vacation and it is productive.

Over the past three days, about nine thousand words have come out of me. The first thousand are a flash story, "Little Secrets," which is already on its way to a publisher. The rest make up what is shaping up to be my first actual novelette: "Amorphous Ice." It's sci-fi horror on Europa (the title is the prompt).

"Amorphous Ice" is still just a draft. There are a few places I already know I want to go back and re-write and some pieces of the end don't match what I established in the beginning. One thing it already does have, though, is a decent amount of momentum; the horror atmosphere lends itself to "oh no, and then what?!" much more naturally than what I've been doing so far.

A note on momentum: in my Kindle right now is a collected volume of the short stories of Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke started publishing in 1937, in a very different world both socially and literarily. Of course, he went on to be one of the three greatest SF writers of his generation, someone profoundly influential to this day. In his first short story, though, literally nothing actually happens. It's just a series of jokey--seriously goofy--tellings about the supposed discovery of teleportation, but there is no particular conflict or narrative flow. In fact, there isn't even really an ending.

This sort of thing gives me heart. Getting published in the professional outlets today is harder than it was eighty years ago and all of us are learning as we go without the benefit of widespread feedback publication brings.

Clarke went from writing nonsensical ramblings and bad jokes, to being a giant. I don't aspire to be a giant, I just aim to be something like decent.

I know I can do this. With luck, over this holiday I will be writing a lot.

Bring on 2018.

Edmund Schluessel

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