November 17th, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Orycon

Entirely possible I'll be out of touch for the next few days, at least if the hotel follows the usual policy and asks for not just your firstborn child but demands you have triplets in exchange for half an hour of Internet time. (Of course if there is an opportunity I'll probably take it - we had an outage of our ISP, probably due to the northwest storms, of a couple of hours and both hubby and I were starting to get a little antsy after a while...)

UPDATE - am at the con - these are CIVILIZED people - they have an Internet cafe and here I am...

I'll report on the con, the last for this year as far as I'm concerned, when I return. In the meantime, a few passing thoughts.

* On quitting - which is a topic under discussion currently with the likes of jaylake and arcaedia weighing in - well - let me tell you a story. Yesterday I tried to do a full post on that, you know one of those weighty blog posts discussing Serious Stuff, and I couldn't. I just couldn't. I couldn't come up with a damned thing that I was able to look at five seconds after putting it down on the page and consider coherent enough to actually put up in this forum with my name actually attached to it.

I'm guessing we all have days like that.

So I quit. I simply quit... for the day.

And then I read a few things that made me blink and say, oooh, that's good. And I wrote a few sentences that didn't suck in a different environment. And I looked at my novel, the one that came back with the edits, and I picked at that (but I didn't want to get too involved because I won't take it with me to the con, too much concentration involved and I just won't DO anything there, and therefore I didn't want to tangle myself into it too much before I returned ready to tackle the whole thing on in a more focused manner). And you know, here I am, back again. Writing. Here. Now.

Some of us can't quit. We aren't able to. We can take occasional vacations - sometimes we get driven into exile (I may have mentioned the Dry Year After The Heartbreak at the end of which I damn near thought I would die from not writing - but here I am again. Writing. Here. Now.)

There are those who don't write for publication, necessarily - who aren't seeking others as readers, who write for themselves, who write, perhaps, only for the eyes of a lover or a friend or their grandchildren (and that after they're dead). That's just great, but you aren't the people I am speaking to right now.

The ones I am talking to are the ones with the hunger, with the vocation, those who are large enough to contain worlds and multitudes and who cannot stop those worlds and multitudes from spilling out of them. Those who want others to see those worlds, meet those multitudes.

Sure, there are those who should get published who don't. There are those who shouldn't get published, but do (and then we get the earnest equivalent of "Atlanta Nights" - google that, if you don't know what I"m talking about). Yes, there's a dollop of luck involved in the whole thing, a large dollop at that - but you can't even win the jackpot on a one-armed bandit without putting enough quarters in to pay your dues. We're all gamblers, in our way, the writing tribe - we gamble on our story being liked by serried ranks of people. We gamble on it being liked by an agent. By an editor. By readers. By reviewers. By awards committees. By supportive friends. By envious enemies. *It's a gamble*.

We dealt ourselves in.

For some of us, dealing ourselves back out is a notion that's incomprehensible.

If I never get published again, I'll still be writing - ten years from now, twenty, for as long as I'm given. Someone somewhere wrote that the last words they hoped they write would be their obituary. Amen to that. mething Ursula Le GUin said in an interview - "What would you be if you weren't a writer?", the interviewer asked, and she said, "Dead".