The mice and I are celebrating a milestone: the story I mentioned in my very first post – the one that inspired the mouse theme, the one that I worked on for years, the symbol of my stuckness – is no longer languishing in my head, but zooming through the mail to the Prairie Fire 2011 writing contest!
What did it take? Hours of rereading, the guts to ask an award-winning local novelist for her critique, and only 5 more pages of story (for a grand total of 6607 words).
When I finished, I finally thought to ask myself why I wrote this particular story. I’m not sure: a few summers ago, I wrote the first beginning and ending that came to mind… and this was the middle that just grew into the empty space in between! The protagonist is a woman wondering how to move beyond her past, find her identity, and offer something of herself to the world – so pretty much anyone without fur on their legs can relate. Did I say anything new? I don’t know. But I did find my own fictional voice, just like my character. That’s worth celebrating!
A 2-page piece of fiction I whipped off this summer was already rejected once. I don’t know if this 25-pager will ever be printed either. And today, I don’t have any new characters waiting to be heard. But I expect I will write fiction again.
Because now I know that it’s possible.