What I’ve been up to

I realised I hadn’t written a catch-up post for a while. As you can probably see from the entries below, the last few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Finishing the third book, sending it off to copyedit, launching ‘Samiha’s Song’, organising the ‘strong women’ blog series, various hiccups and bumps offline, in that thing called real life… then the inevitable crash, the moment when all the noise dies down, the party stops and everything falls apart.

I did not realise just how hard I’d been working for the past 20 months, until I stopped. I’m not complaining: working hard is gravy. Lack of working hard would be a problem. But there is wisdom in the adage, ‘live to fight another day’… and a balance to be maintained there, somewhere. So they say.

Of course, nutcases like me don’t actually take time off. That would be unheard of. But I did feel the need to try something different, something other than door-stopping epic fantasy. I didn’t wish to jump straight into another series all at once.

Like an answer to my prayer, the invite to participate in the ‘Tales for Canterbury’ anthology arrived in my inbox at just about that time, giving me a perfect excuse to start exploring a form I’ve woefully neglected: the short story.

Now, TFC is for a worthy cause, raising charity for those affected by the Christchurch earthquake. But the writing process was just like any other project. An outline, a deadline, the bottom line: at the end of the day, would the story be good enough?

Except that it was more fun than all that. It was falling in love with a new form, experimenting with a new voice. What a joy! Suddenly, ideas were arriving, first drafts were written, stories were completed and edits were being done – all in a week. One week! A story a week? Ye gods, I thought, I could get used to this. Instead of cranking out 150K manuscripts in blood, sweat and tears over the course of eight months, I could finish a project or two in a fortnight. I could write a dud story and waste no more than a week on it. I could write another, and another, until I got it right.

I have to tell you, I’m hooked. Whatever else I do, there will now always be a short story-writing, parallel universe Mary, scribbling away on the side. It’s my holiday. It’s chocolate and balloons. It’s… sheer fun.


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4 Responses to What I’ve been up to

  1. Cassie says:

    tehehehehe…I know this well 😉 I remember thinking/feeling those exact same things once I finally cracked the short story! It’s a joy-ride, a pure rush. Enjoy it!

    • MaryV says:

      I am, Cassie! Three short stories in the last few weeks, and counting – I’m on a roll! It’s such a kick to actually finish and submit the work (and hopefully see it published) within the space of a month… 😉

      I’m so looking forward to discovering peoples’ work in TFC. Some of my favourite writers are in there…

  2. MV,
    Sooo, you got bitten by the short story bug. So happy to have you join the club. What you describe is the very thing I love about short stories- fast turn-around time, quick sense of satisfaction, and the ability to play without losing a huge chunk of time. Yay! So glad you discovered it. And I’ve been discovering the joys of novel-writing so we’re sort of living each other’s lives in reverse at the moment.

    Congrats on the SJV final ballot spots:)

    • MaryV says:

      Thank you Ripley! I should make a proper announcement… I was going to wait for the list, but since everyone’s talking, I’ll join the party! 😉

      The short story thing is a MAJOR bug. I haven’t stopped since mid-March… totally loving it.

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