A fimo model of a jikreh.

All right, I will stop abusing you with the silly childhood art I found while cleaning out my old room. Instead, here’s a model of one of the aliens in The Motley Star.

I have been having great luck lately with banging out the first draft of my short stories in one sitting. They just come out cleaner, more coherent. It’s not a rule–I have had some nice ones written over several sessions–but just sitting down, if I have the time, and putting down a few thousand words seems to be the new thing that’s working for me.

I think that’s why I have become so obsessed with trying to finish the first draft of The Motley Star in one go–and so frustrated every time I get stuck. I’m stuck again, and it makes me feel like I’m totally useless, even though–as mentioned–I just wrote a short story today!

But short stories are short. And even though I write them down in one sitting, I have usually been thinking about them for weeks. The one I wrote today was that way. I’d been turning the idea over and over, trying to find the right entry point, the right voice. It was just luck that time and inspiration and ability all came together this morning and I was finally able to put it down.

I figure I perfected this process in college. I was a terrible procrastinator. The person in the Fishbowl hammering out a paper one hour before it was due–that was me. But I was always thinking about that paper, from the time it was assigned to the time I finally wrote it down.

I need to remember that a novel is long. It will take much more consideration. The times I got stalled on my other novels–they were usually times when I really needed to figure something out. And to figure something out, I had to walk away for a while.

So, maybe there’s a compromise to be found here. Working on it. The least I can do, I suppose, is stop getting mad at myself, because that helps nothing.

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