They didn’t hate my…

They didn't hate my stories -- yay! Actually, I think they mostly liked them, which is pretty cool. They also don't think they're done, and I'm afraid I have to agree. "Bodies in Motion" really needs the astronomy grounding, and a little more development of the guy's character (whose name I can't even remember right now -- not a good sign!). "Lakshmi's Diary" needs...hmm...it's a little hard to say. There's lots of little clean-up things, smoothing out the voice and such. I guess I think it probably needs a few more diary incidents. It's okay for it to be the high points of her life, but right now, all the high points mentioned are directly connected to the main thrust of story plot. That's a bit contrived, and I can fix that without too much trouble, I think. Early on, she could find a fabulous dress, for example, and think it worth recording... :-) Well, maybe not. But something. I also want to make very clear from the get-go that she's not dumb -- she just thinks she is for a while, because she's not so interested in academic stuff, unlike the rest of the family. But she grows out of that; by the end, she has no real doubts about her own capabilities (which may be a problem in a different way, but that one's okay). It's funny how differently people read her character -- some people saw her as simply pragmatic, trapped in a difficult situation and trying to make the best of it. Some people saw her as pure evil. :-) That's okay with me too...

What's comforting is that I don't think I need to make radical changes to either; it's more a matter of making them better versions of the stories they are. That's much less discouraging to take away from workshop than the former... Sometimes the thought of making radical changes just exhausts me -- and so the story gets shelved somewhere for a long time.

(Of course, sometimes a story gets shelved by the publisher -- that vampire story I put up yesterday was published in 2000, but I think actually written in '96 or so...Cecilia at Circlet is just slow. But we love her anyway...)

It looks like we have a go on that Melcher project, but I'm still not sure I'm allowed to discuss. Let's just say that today and tomorrow I'll be working on the proposal for it -- a few paragraphs. They'll pay me some money for that, if they like it, and then have me do a more developed form for the proposal. Then the proposal gets shipped to publishers; if one takes it, then they pay me a nice chunk of money (enough to actually finish clearing my credit card debt, I think, which would be oh so lovely) to actually write the thing. It'll be a very short book, one of those books that is charming rather than deep. Hopefully charming, anyway.

Last night I was talking to Jed, and I told him about my poor workshop colleague who handed in a story titled "Desiderata" and who hadn't known that there was an incredibly well-known prayer/poem with that same title...he just thought it was a good word that expressed well what he was going for in the story (desiderata: that which is necessary or deeply desired). Jed told me about another cool word -- cicisbeo, I think it was? Yes. Jed defined it as a lover, or a gallant. (My Merriam Webster's agrees, though the online Webster's gives rather a more fun definition: A professed admirer of a married woman; a dangler about women. In any case...) I suggested that while I liked the concept, I wasn't fond of this particular word, and he should go find me a lots of other cool words that meant lover. He demurred, saying that then he'd have to put together one of those tiny books they sell at the front of bookstores, filled with illustrations and titled "A Lover's Book of Words" or some such. And he wasn't sure he'd be able to live with himself afterwards. I then severely chastised him, because I would be happy to write one of those books; I like browsing through them and have even bought a few. He was suitably apologetic -- or at any rate, changed the subject quickly. But the point is, the Melcher book isn't that kind of book. It'll be bigger and longer and more complicated. But maybe not so much.

I'm avoiding actually working, aren't I? Dangit -- at some point, I always manage to figure out that I'm procrastinating, and then it's not nearly as much fun. Guess I'd best toddle off to work, munchkins. Until later...

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