I am officially in the longest dry spell of my writing "career" since it began in earnest – let's say that was round about 1992 or 1994. I finished Red Delicious back on May 4th. Since then, I've written a single vignette, "Turning the Little Key." That's it. That's all. In three months, one vignette. Oh, sure, there's been editing, proofreading, a long trip to New Orleans that ate up two weeks, fretting over things I've already written, trying to make deals for new projects, quitting Dark Horse, and so on. But, mostly, there's been not writing. I began a story in June, before the trip. It was awful, and I shelved it. On June 28th, I began "Ballad of an Echo Whisperer" (based on something that happened during the trip to NOLA). It still isn't finished, and I can't find the ending. It's due day after tomorrow, and, likely, I'll be emailing the editor and begging of, with profuse apologies. Because even if I could find THE END, I probably wouldn't like what I found.
I have to write Cherry Bomb sometime over the next six weeks, while editing Red Delicious (aka, Pink Delicious), so that the Siobhan Quinn books can stay on schedule.
I'm still not completely free of Dark Horse, and that's partly my fault. I'm dithering over the last three pages of the last script (ever).
And the words just aren't coming. And the best people can manage is encouragement and pep talks and "pick yourself up by the seat of your pants" sermons and "we believe in you" shit. But this is the real world. Platitudes and faith don't cut it. I puke up the prose, or I go broke.
I am a trigger.
I came to New England to finally escape the bigotry of the South. That part worked. In five years, the amount of crap I have to put up with from people has dropped by maybe as much as, say, 95%. Scary difference, even if I go out into rural areas. Rhode Island is a decent place to be if you're transgender and lesbian and mentally ill. Meanwhile, most of the nation has lost it's fucking mind. What was bad has gone to worse, and what was already worse has gone the fuck to Hell. Here in America, sanity holds sway only in the northeast and along parts of the Pacific coast, with a few isolated dots throughout the rest of the nation. The Deep South seems determined on turning the clock back to the age of Jim Crow laws. And me, ha ha ha. I need to go "home." Rhode Island's climate is chewing me raw, even as its temperament does right by me. But I can't go back. Probably not ever. I don't have the money to move, and I can't drag Kathryn back down there, and what sort of life could I have in all that hate?
People in the South who have not lived in the Northeast simply cannot grasp the difference between places like Providence and Birmingham.
And winter is already bearing down on at me at the final act of the short, cold summer. Rhode Island has become my unpleasantly comfortable prison. Or ghetto. Or whatever. We are not free if we are not free to exist beyond the confines of the lines of tolerant states. I'm on a reservation.
I've had one visitor this year. Once. My life is lived in pixels, in this chair. If only I could drive....
I don't know. I just do not know.
We had two unexpected vet bills in July, which is why we're pushing eBay so hard. Oh, and the late checks. Because of those, too. Writers get paid when publishers feel like paying writers. So, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.
Every Stone a Story,