The semester break fiction project really started by accident. I’d had a story sort of rattling around in my head for a few years, and I found myself daydreaming bits and pieces of it during down times and car trips. But I wasn’t willing to share it. Sharing fiction is like public speaking, or singing karaoke before the rum kicks in, or arriving at school to discover you’d forgotten your pants at home. It makes me vulnerable in a way that blogging about my acne, my facial hair, my flabby thighs or my dietary excesses never, ever could. Given the option to either stand naked on a public picnic table singing an Air Supply medley into a hairbrush, or to let someone read my stuff….
Yeah, I would totally choose the former.
But I’ve got some encouraging online friends, you know? And I had some downtime while the kids were resting and I thought, why not? I mean, the worst that could happen is a bunch of trolls posting mean comments followed by a precipitous drop in site stats. Either way, the earth would keep spinning, my kids would still love me, and my chores list would remain uncompleted. What did I have to lose?
So, I did two things: I committed myself to 500 words or so a day AND I refused to check my site stats. As much as I would love to know how many of y’all have been reading along with me, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to continue if I knew that I was really just reading to myself. And then I wrote. And some of you did read it! And some of you even said really, really nice things about it! And the story turned into something completely different than I had anticipated. It isn’t over, yet.
Tomorrow I dust off my to-do list and start working out again. The plan is to get up the first time the alarm goes off (instead of the third) and get in a quick 5k run before breakfast. I’m hoping that will work out to more energy through this first week back at school, and maybe make me feel just a tad less screamy in the evenings. My kids start playing soccer and baseball (at the same time, at opposite ends of the neighbourhood) this week, and my adult students are back from holidays. Grad classes resume on Tuesday. Rum may be required.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading. Thanks for making me feel like this is a safe place to
sing naked on the table share my fiction. If you have constructive criticism, please do comment or message me. I’m about to slip back down the rabbit hole, but I would love to pop back out a better writer.