Today is my birthday. A few weeks back my wife had asked me
what I wanted for my birthday. She has a masters in
creative writing, but has not written at all really since
the baby was born. Prior to that, when she moved back to
CA from NY to live with and eventually marry me, she had
not been writing as regularly as she used to. When we met
we had collaborated a bit and it was a really special thing
for us. So, anyway, I told her I wanted a story for my
birthday (she generally writes short fiction, though has
also had a few starts at novels that made it pretty far).
She had been waking up early while the baby was still
asleep and she did not have much to do for work and writing
a bit. Plus sometimes in the evening. She would not tell me
anything about the story. I really love her work so I was
very excited for today to come. I knew she was working on
it up until this morning. She made clear to tell me I was
receiving a first draft and that she wasnt happy with it.
Coming from a music and writing background myself I was all
too familiar with this feeling. But she knows I love really
raw work and I am a big believer in first takes/first
drafts being the best and most honest/pure, even if more
polish _could_ be brought in.
This was maybe the best birthday present I've ever gotten.
I loved the story so much. It included lots of pieces of
our lives and also included a lot of her style (which could
fit into a "weird fiction" sort of vein with body horror
elements)... but in a sort of hopeful way, which was really
cool. Usually they end dark and tragic. This one ends kind
of uncertain and up to the reader, but I definitely viewed
it as a positive and hopeful end.
I then spent a lot of the day turning it into a decently
formatted epub (all of the auto epub tooling sucks). I just
got it working reasonably well (getting the mobi conversion
to recognize the css text-indent property was finicky and I
wanted the first line in each paragraph indented).
I am about to read it for the third time but just wanted to
post about how nice a gift it was. Once she revises it I
will see if she will let me post it here for any that are
interested. I've been trying to find time to convert other
stories of hers to make a collection of her stories. I have
also been trying to get her to try another round of
submitting to magazines/journals. She has gotten positive
feedback but her work is not genre enough for genre
publications (it isnt really horror, but has elements) and
is too genre for non-genre stuff. So it is a weird fit and
places seem to want a clean fit. We'll see. I know she has
a few other stoy ideas brewing right now so I am trying to
be encouraging and make sure she has time to work on them.
Her birthday is in August and she has requested a song...
so I will have to get to work soon. :)