Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm Hungry.

Today, I joined the Critters Writer's Workshop.

Okay, I signed up a couple days ago; but today, I sent in my first critique, which means I'm eligable to submit my own work now. It's the first purely positive step I've taken for my writing in a while. Besides, you know, writing.

I'm trying to get out of Archaeology. It's a cool job to have, when I have it- which isn't very often. I'm looking at a nice little gray-box job in a nice little lab full of people with piercings and big open laughs, so while I may have to dress and play nice for clients, its reassuring that it's such a cheerful place.

This transition has me nervous. If I get the job, I will have a decent wage and benefits. Benefits out the wazoo, to be precise; healthcare and dental and paid vacation days galore. And that kind of scares me.

I'm afraid that I won't work as hard on my writing if I have it that easy at work. I'm afraid that having all of that will make the cost of leaving that much more expensive. Because my goal in life is not to have a nice job with benefits and a decent writing career.

It's a stupid fear; I was well provided for in high school and college and I sure as hell got a lot of writing done then. Being hungry, that hurts your writing. Having constant headaches because your wisdom teeth are impacted, that hurts your writing. Living in hotel rooms and the tiny hothouse world of Archaeology with nobody to talk to because they're all stoned out of their minds, that hurts your writing.

This starving artist stuff is crap.

I always thought that hunger was a last resort kind of problem. But the only person who's upset when you skip a meal is you, and compared to the accusing small print on bills, it doesn't seem like a big deal. I have money, it's just not mine. I could eat more. I should, really; I fucking do physical labor for a living. But I never realized just how stressful it is to judge every meal in light of how many calories you're getting per dollar, how much fiber, and have I actually eaten fresh meat today, no, so I better have a pb&j, but I'm so goddamn tired of ramen pasta and peanut butter sandwiches and god I would kill for a steak or hell, one fresh fucking salad.

I don't make enough money to really feed myself.

That's a hell of a thing to swallow.

Suddenly, I'm not so nervous about this job. Huh. Imagine that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dead Lines

The worst part of this gig is the waiting.

Let me be clear; I am talking about the wannabe writer gig. The worst part about archaeology is the sketchy income and the poison ivy. But in writing, my personal demon is time.

I have no deadlines, except the ones I give myself. Some might consider this a luxury, and that's just dandy for them. I hate it. It means that instead of some nice, reasonable editor person setting my expectations, I get the voices in my head.

"You'll spend your whole life like this, you know. Tapping and tapping and tapping away, with nothing to show for it. Nobody cares about the never-weres."

"You could die tomorrow. Do you really want to die without this story finished?"

"How long has it been since you've done something that impressed anyone? Honestly. We really should find another gig."

"You could die tomorrow."

"You could die tomorrow."

"You could die tomorrow."

I am afraid that I will die without having added a single breath to the universe.

I'll take your deadlines over mine any day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Top Five Fairies You've Never Heard Of

The Ganconer - A fairy that makes love to maidens, and then abandons them; the maidens then die of longing within a week. Ganconers haunt lonely valleys, and tend to smoke a small grey pipe called a dundeen.

Other names: Gean-cannah, The Love-Talker

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs; "The Love-Talker" by Ethna Carbery

Gyl Burnt-tayl - A slutty kind of Will-o'-the-Wisp. Leads travellers astray, in more ways than one!

Other names: Jenny Burnt-tayl

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs

Fetch - A death omen. A Fetch is identical to the person fated to die; sometimes it appears to that person, sometimes to their friends.

Other names: Co-walker

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs;

Buttery Spirit - A fairy that can only eat ill-gotten or cheaply made food designed to fool the public- think Mrs. Lovitt's Meat Pies. Will eat a tavern out of business unless the tavern-keeper mends their ways.

Other names: None, though it is a close relative to the Abbey Lubber

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs

Tarans - The souls of babies who die unchristened. They cry a lot, rather like alive babies.

Other names: Spunkies

References: An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs; A Tour in Scotland By Thomas Pennant

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