It’s been a while. I know that I actively owe correspondence to several people. If you are waiting, accept my apologies. I’ve had a hard time collecting my thoughts to write lately, whether in the blog or directly to people or in fiction. I suspect that a sleep deficit is to blame and I’m working on remediating that.
Yesterday I responded to a request for edits for Jewishfiction.net and received a nice note back saying that the story will be published in their upcoming issue. I am deeply excited about this. It’s a great publication. In Mary Robinette’s Kowal’s terms, it is “shiny.” Which means that it is an honor just to be considered for it. I wrote the story about ten months ago, so it was interesting to consider the difference that time makes.
When I wrote the story Covid-19 was relatively new. Some of my friends were not ready to isolate or give up their activities. Most didn’t know anyone who had caught it. We all thought it would be under control in a few months. By the time the one year mark rolls around for this story, we will see about a half-million deaths in the US. It’s sobering and it is a reality we are all living with every day.
We’ve changed without even realizing that we had, and this made the story subtly wrong. Things that had been funny are mean looked at a year later. Things that were light turned dark. The editor’s questions forced me to deal with that.
I asked myself, “Is this story even worth publishing at this point?” Fortunately a friend talked me down off that ledge, helped me figure out the changes to it, and gave me the push I needed to finish and respond to the editor. Much thanks to her! And much thanks to Steve who pointed out the truth of how we have all changed. There is an advantage to living with a historian. They see patterns and structure to attitudes and time that slip by many of us.
It is impossible to write something that will remain true through time, at least not if you also want it to be heartfelt and true at a deep emotional level. So all we can do is write our truth and be willing to edit it to retain its essence.
I hope you are navigating 2021 in a sturdy craft and hope that when you get to the other side of the year, you will find that your truths have guided you accurately.
Be well, friends!