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Bringing Down the Guillotine


Can you believe I spelled guillotine right on the first try? Me either.
I had a horrible headache Saturday evening. I’d like to say it was the sun’s fault. The winter sun is evil, always in your eyes this time of year. It was one of those headahces that grab you at the back of the neck and they run up into your forehead and you’re sure your eyes are going to explode, then you halfway wish they would hurry up. They don’t make over-the-counter medicine strong enough for those types.
I had a vague idea what the problem was. I ran some stuff through my head, the kinds of horrifying thoughts most writers go through. It’s not good enough, it’s an over-used plot, the characters are shallow. And I came a conclusion. I’m finished. Done. It’s not worth that much stress. I was so gung-ho about NaNo and so proud of myself for getting out all those words. Wow, big accomplishment. Yay. Whatever. It was really about procrastinating and I took it all the way to the top. I did that so I wouldn’t have to mess with C&C. And now I’m so burnt out, I don’t even want to look at C&C. I’m thinking about printing JT and burning it {insert evil laughter here}.
Give me something to edit. I’ll cheerfully edit your work, but I’m not touching mine. In fact, that’s my plan. I’ll just edit other people’s work and ignore anything I’ve done. New Year’s Resolution? Don’t need one. I really, really feel strongly about the way C&C is written. I like it that way and I don’t need someone who thinks he or she is smarter than I am telling me it isn’t right. It might sound juvenile, but here goes: is, too.
So I’m mediocre (if I’m even that good), what else is new? So my face isn’t plastered on a book jacket. Big deal. So there’s no fancy contract I probably wouldn’t understand anyway. Who cares? Second place in Award for Short Fiction? Wow, those other writers must’ve really sucked.
It’s nothing anyone said, not really. It was just the dawning realization that the storyline for JT has been done. 10,000,000,000 times. Maybe a hundred billion. And the knowledge that the American public can’t grasp the concept of Australian penile colony situations. It’s not that difficult: 1840′s = 3,000 women in the country. 98% of them are convicts. If you wanted a woman working for you, if you had no other option to hire a woman on short notice, she was going to be a convict. And yet, no one can wrap their minds around it. It gets old trying to explain that to people. So much for originality.
On the other hand, if someone out in the world needs a plot, let me offer to you the opportunity to buy mine. You can have every word ever written on JT, for the low, low price of $1200. I’d offer it cheaper, but I really need the cash. Send me the money, you can do whatever you want with it. No strings attached.
Back the headache. As soon as I thought all of that, the headache was gone. The stress melted away. Amazing. I didn’t even take anything for it, hand to God. And this doesn’t make me a quitter, because it’s not like if I felt the urge to do it, I couldn’t. But the stupid cougar doesn’t eat the horse and Jonah isn’t kind and fluffy. Live with it, because I am.

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