Today Has Been…Special

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I have been one heck of a trooper today. I set a lofty goal of 2,000 words a day, with an amendment that stated that if I was writing an essay or doing something school related I would be able to sidestep the writing, since my entire life and success depends on being able to hold a job that can pay off the student loans and otherwise give me a livelihood that will sustain me and keep me from going nuts and working at Burger King. Partially the point of going to school is to educate myself in things I don’t already know, which is working, and partially to secure a decent job that will, hopefully, make me happy. Now, of course I’d love to be one of those nice folks who write for a living, but I think a part of me knows that such things will never happen, and I can live with that. All writers should, by the way, because most writers never get to that point. Even some of the huge names in the field right now are barely scrounging from all the work they put into writing. John Scalzi is not rich by a long shot and is quite generous in sharing his financials (which, while much better than I have ever made in my short life, is certainly not the greatest income considering he works his butt off writing fiction and other stuff).
Okay, that aside, I’ve been a trooper because I started the day feeling generally like crap, for no apparent reason, and with my mind attempting to contemplate what exactly I was going to do with the story currently entitled “To Paint Lords Green”, a fantasy short set in the same general world as “Irlgem”. I sat around talking to the girlfriend and came to the conclusion that whatever I was doing with that story wasn’t going to work the way I had intended and the idea I was working with was going to turn into something too large for my tastes (I wanted a story under 5,000 words, and that just wasn’t going to happen).
So I spent hours feeling sort of horrible and then I had a spark of random inspiration and started writing this new SF story currently called “Interstellar Realty”. I don’t think that will be the final title, but it’s a humor piece and I’m loving it. It took a while to get through because there is something about humor for me that requires a little more in the thought process. Jokes are somewhat difficult to write I think, especially if you don’t want to come off sounding like one of the very few SF writers who tell jokes in their stories. So, it is now after eight in the evening and I have officially written 2,752 words, 49 of which were in “To Pain Lords Green” (yes, I counted those).
Is “Interstellar Realty” finished? Nope. Is it close? I think so. It’s technically at a good closing point, but I want to write a little more to provide a better ending to it. One thing I learned about a story I wrote a while ago was that the ending left people a little unsatisfied, which was difficult to change and still is (I think I’ve figured it out though, so I may be writing that very soon). Basically I want the story to end on a high-note, which won’t be much more than 500 words I think. I could probably cram it into 300 without losing much. It all depends what bizarre stuff pops in my head. Just so you know, “Interstellar Realty” is basically a comedy piece about futuristic realty companies in a galaxy where humans have moved to other planets and the like (there are aliens thrown into the mix). It’s also a commentary on customer support services, which we all have probably had to deal with. I won’t say much more than that though, because it might ruin the story.
Now, the story “Life of Jordan” that I’m working on is written. It comes in at around 17,600 words, which is 600 over the limits for Writers of the Future, so I have to trim it down. It’s not edited at the moment, but in a very raw state. Part of that is because I want to go through it, with help from the rather brilliant and writing conscious girlfriend (yes, she gives honest advice and sometimes it ticks me off, but she’s more often right than wrong about things related to writing), and find all the bits that really shouldn’t be there and drop them out now before doing the real edit (typos, sentence structure, etc.). The premise of that story is one where the world has fallen due to global warming and small, walled and guarded cities have sprung up and genetic manipulation has been used to alter children so they are homosexual to prevent overcrowding, leaving heterosexual people, in such communities, to be considered dangerous (and illegal). I’ve enjoyed writing it because it does deal with some interesting conflicts in today’s society and it does spring up the idea of what we might one day do to solve our population problems.
So, that’s where it all stands, basically. I’m doing a lot of writing and hopefully by the end of the next week I will have two more stories polished and ready to go out (“Life of Jordan” to Writers of the Future and “Interstellar Realty” to…somewhere).

Exciting. Now I’m exhausted, so I’m going to go read and clear my head. Somewhere in there I’ll eat food.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

One thought on “Today Has Been…Special

  1. Awww, I’m brilliant. šŸ˜€

    I love how you grouch at me all night, and then blog about me being right. Silly. :p

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