Live Editing, Part 4: Walk Away For Awhile

The past week was supposed to be my best shot at getting Miles edited before Christmas hit. I had a blizzard and lots of chaos instead. I’ve been working on the story still, and I almost have the first scene, but I also have some serious burnout. The story is two shades away from feeling flat to me. So I’m going to re-fill the well: with writing something short and different.

Dreamspinner has an open call for submission which I’ve known about for awhile now but have been too busy to do anything with. I also was leery of the "angel" part. It’s hard to do, especially because my belief that angels are incredibly non-sexual beings makes it hard to sexualize them at all, let alone make them gay. Mostly nothing was pinging, so I left it alone.

Yesterday, my best day of the week was full not of writing but of obsessing. My author copies of Hero were due, and they weren’t coming. At the end of the day I ended up driving out to the distribution center and picking them up myself. This is the calm version of the story. Facebook has the slightly manic version, but the true rabid reveal of how upset I was over the lack of my books is viewed in my twitter feed. (Click "more" at the bottom to get to it.) When I finally got to bed, I was flush with an emotional up and down and generally a bit too wound up for my own good. The chronic pain that has dogged me all week didn’t help. So I lay there in bed, waiting for the heating pad to loosen up my hip muscles so I could sleep, and all of a sudden I saw a dragon walk past the interior of my mind.

It got my attention. Not because something odd walked across the stage in my head (this happens every day) but because it wasn’t dragons like my WASP background trained me to see. No, this was an Asian dragon, red on a white background, and it was lumbering away from me. And then it came back. And then it came again. And honestly, that’s the last thing I remember before there was a snarl of thought and creative explosion. I got up, scribbled some notes on my markerboard and Googled a few things, and then this morning when I should have been cleaning and doing laundry, I did this.

This is Bao. His full name is Bao-Bo Jansen. He absolutely hates his name, which he got by being adopted by well-meaning Presbyterians who wanted to give him some of his native culture. He was "Bao" at school, which you can just start guessing the names he got called. Now he works at some company I haven’t named yet, and he just gets along, generally unhappy but working hard because that’s what he does. He has a tiny crush—okay, a pretty hefty crush—on the guy who works the Starbucks counter in the mornings. But he’s not going to do anything about it, because Bao doesn’t date. He just does his job and takes care of business with internet porn and tries to stay out of the way of Jael, his snide and insulting senior manager.

But Bao has been dreaming a lot lately. Specifically he’s been dreaming of dragons, the Asian kind, and they seem to be trying to get him to do something. Bao, who hasn’t been to Korea since he was four months old, doesn’t know anything about Asian culture, and he doesn’t want to. But when the dragon starts appearing at work and then sucks him—and everyone at the Starbucks stand—into an alternate dimension, he figures he’d better start learning how to at least speak dragon fast.

This is all I know of the story so far. But I have a collage and a soundtrack and lots and lots of storylines bouncing in my head. It has to be less than 10k, which after writing for brad_hanon is going to feel like really stretching my legs. And it also means I’ll still be 2-3K over.

But it shouldn’t take too long, I can still edit the other, and however you slice it, I’ve gone from dull and cranky to full of life. Yay.

6 Comments on “Live Editing, Part 4: Walk Away For Awhile

    • Well, the fact that every single thing in there is a flagrant copyright violation is probably a deal-breaker. Though I will say that so far they’ve done amazing jobs recreating my covers.
      This one wouldn’t get one, though, as part of an anthology.

  1. I actually know a Japanese man who is married to a Korean Presbyterian minister, not to mention a girl born in Seoul and adopted by a couple in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and a pagan in Florida who has been prodded into Hermes worship lately.

    • GOD that’s a kill. I just used an online search engine and their meaning (Bao-Bo would be “precious wave” according to that) because that’s what the well-meaning Presbyterians would have done. But the fact that he could be a package and a dumpling to boot is even better. I may try to work that in.

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