"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Monday, February 7, 2011

Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still.

In the past month, I have officially become a professional writer. I figure this is the best time to try and keep up a regular blog.  I had one over at LiveJournal for a while, and it's still up for anyone to look at. It's at http://mgallowglas.livejournal.com/ in case anyone was interested. You'll notice it's been a while since I did anything with it.

Anyway.  I've just turned in, hopefully, the final drafts of four stories required my first clients: Fantasy Flight Games.  I've been contracted to do these short pieces as flavor content for the Call of Chthulu card game.  It's been an interesting process.  Two of the stories were "Perfect, simply perfect."  The exact words of the project's Creative Director.  He gave me some things he wanted to see from the other two pieces.  An interesting note: the two perfect pieces are the once I was less sure of; the ones that needed rewriting I felt were stronger - though I can see why the Creative Director wanted specific revisions.  I did the work, and the stories went of to the editor.  I received them back a few days later with some "suggested" corrections of typos and such.  Each of those shamed me that I'd gotten more than one per page.  Very sloppy on my part.  Still, not too bad.  The big problem was again the two stories I'd done more work on.  Each required me to cut several hundred words.  Ouch.  So that's what I did today.  I cut.  Hemingway once said, "You must kill your darlings."  I did.  I have new appreciation for how Hemingway was able to craft such brilliant stories and images with such an economy of words.  The process taught me a lot of power of brevity.  I believe I succeed in maintaining the essence of the longest piece after cutting it from 868 words to a paltry 507.  And that was painful.  I had to cut my favorite two sentences out of all four stories.  Ouch again.

As I said, the stories are off, most likely out of my hands.  I really hope I got all the typos this time.  Line editing has never been my strong suit.  Once I get word that they are good enough to go to print, I wait the allotted time as per my contract, and receive the first check of real money someone is going to pay me for my fiction.

Now I have to decide what my next step is.  Writing has become so challenging for me, especially after completing school.  While my years at SFSU really helped me to hone my craft, it also opened so many tools and so many different ways to construct my fiction, to think about how to write it even before begging to set thoughts into words on my computer screen.  It gets intimidating.  Even now, as these words come out of my fingers, I'm starting to think about how overwhelming my old projects are, much less beginning new ones.

Thus I come to this blog.  It's short.  It's sweet.  It's not nearly as scary as a short story or utterly terrifying as a novel!  In a way, I feel a great sense of irony in my first paid fiction gig was anything having to do with Chthulu.  My novels are like the OLD ONES, waiting to drive my mind to madness as I consider the enormity of them.  This is easier.

Well, welcome to my blog, such as it is now.  We'll see where it takes us.  If nothing else, it should be an interesting journey.


  1. Storytelling and crafting fiction is your strong suit, and line editing is your weak point. Seems fair.

    Lucky for you, you have friends who ARE detail-oriented that might be able to help you out with that editing issue. ^.^


  2. YES! And I plan to use those friends shamelessly for any project that I have not signed an NDA.


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