I admit, the day started out pretty rough. Just so nobody thinks my head is getting too big, I got a rejection on a short story last night that bummed me out so bad that I had a pretty nasty talk with Gregar, my sadomasochist muse.
I said something like, “If I had any other muse, then maybe my stories wouldn’t be so dark and full of pain all the time. Maybe I wouldn’t be throwing severed hands around or chopping fingers and thumbs off, or, in this last case, corrupting an innocent into killing a holy person!”
Gregar laughed so hard he bent over and slapped his thighs. “If you had any other muse, then you wouldn’t have me.”
“Well,” I retorted. “What else but blood and violence can I expect from an assassin?”
The Shadowed Blood went ominously quiet. Goose bumps raced up and down my arms, but I didn’t back down. I was too upset.
He stared at me until flames began flickering in his eyes (which if you’ve read the Shanhasson books, you know that’s a really bad sign). Finally, he said, “You created me, Lady. You hid me in Shadows. You placed my ivory rahke in my hand and whispered to me of blood. Every time you write, you throw me to the bottom of your Well and trust me not to let you drown. You need me exactly the way I am.”
I knew he was right but damned if I would admit it. “Why can’t we write something happy for once where no one dies or suffers? You know, sunshine, bunnies, light…”
But I knew the truth. One of my favorite lines from The Road to Shanhasson is:
THERE IS NO DAWN WITHOUT NIGHT, NO LIGHT WITHOUT SHADOW, NO LOVE WITHOUT HATE, BUT LOVE SHINES BRIGHTER IN THE MIDST OF DESPAIR.
“Sunshine and bunnies?” Rolling his ivory rahke back and forth across his palm, he stared at me blankly. “What fun would that be?”
So after that little chat, I whined a bit more, made a few silly oaths (something like never reading another submission call, EVER), and then just shut up and got to work on the Maya story. Of course, the first scene I needed to work on involved demons and torture. Gregar didn’t say a word, but he couldn’t help smirking every chance he got.
Finally, at the end of this last day of vacation, the Maya story is sitting at: 82,419 words. I have 9-10 sections left to revise (including the new ones I finished yesterday), so the story length is right on track for 90-100K. Revision Xibalba is far from over, though. I’m going to have to make another pass and watch for continuity problems. It has taken me too long to get through this project to remember some of the finer details.
So back to the Evil Day Job tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll manage Dark & Early yet or not.