I have three things to report.
- I’m in Pittsburgh right now for work, at a hotel. I’ve been to Pittsburgh on this case twice in the past month. It’s a nice town.
- I decided to try to drink coffee this morning. I hate coffee. I normally drink tea.
- I finished a short story last night, and I finally got a rejection yesterday that I’d been waiting for.
Let’s discuss in order.
Pittsburgh. I’m here on a case, as set forth above (that’s lawyer talk). I can’t discuss the case in detail, and no one reading this cares, but I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen this morning at the hearing. Like zero idea. All the parties made an agreement, and the judge basically said, “I don’t care; I want you all to come in anyway.” Is he going to yell at all of us? Is he going to yell at one of us? Does he just like looking at us? Does he just want clarification on something? I don’t fucking know.
Either way, it occurred to me that my anxiety is heightened when I travel alone to a strange place. No, I honestly never thought about it, but it’s true. I feel nervous in a strange city’s airport. I’m nervous on planes without a friend. I’m nervous in cab/Uber trips in strange cities alone (not because of the drivers, but just because). I was anxious until I got into my hotel room last night. Not anxious like, “SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT GET ME OUT OF HERE”…. anxious like Beck, which is closed off, terse, and trying desperately not to do weird things to quell my anxiety, like touch things over and over, fidget, push buttons, pull strings, open and close windows. To outsiders I probably just look like a mean asshole.
“Beck,” you say. “You know that’s how you look.”
Shut the fuck up.
Coffee. I have never liked coffee. I’ve always enjoyed the smell – I made it sometimes when I was a kid for my mom when I thought I was being helpful. I love the smell of coffee beans and brewing coffee. It tastes like dirt mixed with rocks. Which it kind of is. This morning, however, as I got ready to make some McGuyvered tea to drink from my in-room coffee maker, I was like, you know what? I’m going to have coffee.
It still tastes like dirt and rocks, but I don’t hate it as much as I thought I would. It also has more caffeine than tea, which I need, because I think I’m unfocused today. It’s the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Morning Blend. Is that dark or light? I have no idea. It all looks the same to me.
Apparently this coffee has at least 220 mg of caffeine. That’s three times the amount (not exact math) of what’s in black tea, which I normally drink. Beck’s gonna be HYPE today.
Writing. Last night as I ate my dinner and fucked around on the internet (pronounced sloppily like “innernet” by us Midwesterners), I realized I had the opportunity to work on my writing, so I finally finished a story I’d started. It’s bare and it needs editing, but I followed the advice of so many from my writing group and from Stephen King and from other people who advise about writing, and I just kept writing it until it was finished without doing much revising beforehand. It felt good to get it out. I gave it a once over and then walked away. Now I can read it again after I’ve had some time to forget it a little, and revise it. Then I’ll do that again in a few days. Then I’ll see if it’s ready to submit somewhere.
I also received my rejection from Masques yesterday, which I fully expected (not yesterday, but overall). It may seem strange to be pleased about that, but I am, because this is Beck’s Year of Rejection, and also because I now feel free to try to push the story I submitted elsewheres. Also, after I submitted it, I found a bunch of things I didn’t like about it, so I’ve had the chance to revise it.
Guys. This means I have two finished stories to revise, which means I’m at a stage where I can actually submit two things to two different places.
The story I submitted to Masques is called “Mark the Wood Where She Sleeps.” It’s been rejected twice now, but I’ve had many people tell me it’s a good story, so I’m going to keep shoving it in people’s faces. And now I can shove it in more faces than ever before.
The rough draft I finished last night is called “The Lighthouse Keeper”. It’s a bit of a nonsense piece, but I think it’ll be good for places that like eldritch type things. I have some ideas about where I want to send each.
Am I even supposed to be talking about this? I have no idea. I’m a longtime writer, but I’m an amateur author. They are two different things, writers and authors. Don’t judge me.
“Beck… we’re not judg–”
Shut the fuck up and let me project.