I chugged along on a story. 60 pages in five days, moving along beautifully. The story, the characters poured out of my fingers.
And then I got a rejection. It's a great rejection, considerate, thoughtful--complimentary even. But still, when I sit down today, the steam for the other story is gone.
I'm 13,000 words into this dreck, and there' s no sex, not even tension. Yo, you write smut, get to work on something that'll sell. This is barely a romance and it's nothing else, either. Who cares about these people? It starts out with such a whiner. Jeeeez louise, It's never going to sell. What's the point. Omigod, just go get another job.
Today I hate writing.
Tomorrow I think I'll go back to the standard operating middle and just work.
Back to the formerly rapidly-arriving story. It's one I started about two years ago. Starts out with a self pitying passive heroine--kind of like me today--but she does improve after this bit which I posted once upon a time:
“She is pathetic. At least fifty pounds overweight.”
More like sixty, but she didn’t interrupt because Jeff was going full tilt. “The really sad thing is she has no ambition. All these years and the only thing she wants is a clean kitchen. Remember that ancient sitcom . . .what’s it called -- Mary Hartman Mary Hartman? Dirty kitchen floor does the woman in. It’s not like we don’t have a maid to take care of that shit. Like that’s what I want to hear about at the end of the day.”
She nodded. It made for boring conversation all right.
“It’s not like I dislike her. But after nine years--” more like ten, actually, but again she didn’t interrupt-- “I want more. Life is too short for boring shit.” He gave a thick, deep “ha,” his familiar sound of disgust. “I don’t want her money. God knows she might as well have that since I’m doing okay in work.”
That was decent of him, really, because God also knew he was right about the rest of it.
She stifled a sigh as he continued. “She’s good to Martin. Marg’s a good step-mom though she really lets him walk all over her. Otherwise? I’d say her main quality is boring. Maybe stupid, even, I don’t know. I mean she doesn’t have a clue about us.” He laughed--a real one this time. “I wish I could think of nice things to say, but the woman is empty, a big balloon.”
A soft woman’s voice cooed, “Oh, honey, that’s all so aw—“
Jeff was apparently finished his diatribe, so she interrupted at last. “You forgot one biggie. She’s an eavesdropper.”
“Oh, Shit,” Jeff shouted.
Scrabbling noises. The other woman gave a familiar squeak and hung up. The phone clicked went to the dial tone.
The woman on the phone was Nancy Warden, Margaret realized. The neighbor three doors down. At last summer’s block party, she’d told Margaret all about her club and had offered to take her on a tour and show her the workout room. Margaret hadn’t mentioned that she’d belonged to that club since she was fifteen. She’d avoided the place lately.
Heavy footsteps thumped up the stairs. Margaret hung up, got off the bed and went over to lock the bedroom door. She’d have to think about this.
For years she’d been waiting for the moment she’d magically start dropping pounds, which would naturally transform her life. The before and after photo in the ads. The lightning strike that began the process: “I saw the picture of myself at the company Christmas party and knew I had to change.” In the after photo a man smiles at her ecstatically.
Oops, she must have missed her moment. The time to change her life had come and gone and she’d somehow lost everything. Damn.