Wednesday, February 11, 2009

letting it go

I'm forcing myself to blog at 3 a.m. so I don't get so... edgy.

Lisa Yee said something that made me think.

I've been trying to tell people this all along, whenever I get asked the inevitable what did you mean by this part in Ghost Medicine?

Because I always shrug and say it doesn't matter what I meant, what matters is what you think it means.

The other night, Lisa said something like the only time you own what you write is before you put it out there to the readers. After that, it belongs to them, and there's nothing a writer can do about it.

That probably explains the devastating postpartum depression I get whenever I finish writing a book. 'Cause after that, it's all out of my hands, and it's going to grow -- or not -- in its own way.

Ghost Medicine was tough to let go of, but, after all this time I'm over it now. And... yikes!, in the path of falling objects started out as a short story I'd written as an undergrad wayyyy back when I thought I wanted to be a starving short-story writer. And my professor at the time kept bugging me to submit it to literary magazines, but I never got around to it... never wanted to. I just stowed it away, typewritten on curled paper, in a drawer of a desk that is currently still stored out in my garage.

I bet that story's still sitting there.

It's not much like the novel, though... it does have the car trip with the psycho, but lots more has been added to the novel (obviously enough, which explains why it's not a short story any more).

Later this month, I'm going to visit a creative writing class for kids at Newbury Park High School, in, of all places, Newbury Park, California. I'm really looking forward to it, and I hope the kids are going to have fun with what I do.

I promise no haiku.

Also, I've been invited to ride along with the other bloggers at Stupid Blog Name. If you haven't seen it, it is a very cool YA blog that combines the talents of some impressive and creative individuals, including Katherine (K.A.) Applegate, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Carol Snow, Michael Stearns, Mark McVeigh, Peter Glassman, the Book Muncher, the Story Siren, Shrinking Violets Productions, Alistair Spalding and Jake Mates.

A pretty intimidating cast. I think I'll stand in a corner -- by the Vesuvius of Cheese, for a while.