Revisiting Rats With Islands

I wrote an essay fifteen years ago called “Rats with Islands,” and I thought of it again this weekend because I am basically optimistic about the mess we’re in now. Not stupidly optimistic: I am socked in at home with social distancing of a good twenty feet (my house is set back from the one-lane road I live on) and enough food for a good two weeks, and I plan on doing everything I’m told like a good girl. I’m not stupid. But I am hopeful because hope is better than despair and gets me through the bad times a hell of a lot better than giving up ever has. Not that I’ve ever given up. It doesn’t seem productive, so I avoid it.

Anyway, here’s the essay I wrote in 2005 about the insanity of publishing and why you should never give up even if you never get published. Or the virus.

Rats With Islands: How To Survive Your Publishing Career

Note: Describing your islands in the comments would be good. We all need examples to swim for.

Surprise Lily 1

Welcome to the Argh Novel Project, a multi-week exploration of fiction and the process by which . . . okay, it’s just us playing around but that’s good, too. We’re starting with the Surprise Lily first scene because that’s what most of the comments said, although I did some very light editing (took out some unnecessary words and omitted all the “smells bad” stuff because you people kept insisting on historical accuracy). There’s a page under Work In Progress in the blog menu above that I’ll try to keep updated so that all the stuff from this is one place, but that’s about as much organization as I’m capable of. New stuff goes up on Monday, we talk in the comments all week, on Friday I try to synthesize and you can comment on that, I write on Saturday and Sunday, and on Monday we start all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. If this gets boring or it doesn’t work, we’ll do something else. No rules (some guidelines, no Should, no worries. Argh People, start your engines:

Continue reading