Monday, November 28, 2011

There's The Bulle. Now Where's My Brain?

The Buxtehude Bulle (or, as I tend to think of it, My Buxtedude Bulle) has been wandering around my apartment since it got here, waiting for someone strong and tall to put it on top of a bookcase. This weekend I had a visit from someone strong and tall, and up it went.

I feel sorry for the Horrified B Movie Victims. It used to be they only had the Bride Of Frankenstein to fear. Now they have a giant (and very heavy) Bulle as well.

And since you're admiring my bookcase, isn't that picture of the solar eclipse fabulous? It's one of my favorite things in the world. I found it in a junk shop bin and paid a dollar for it. It's from the January 24, 1925 eclipse.

It's good that the Bulle is where it belongs. I wish I knew where I put my brain. I used to be able to use it whenever I needed, but lately it's developed a mind of its own.

I've been thinking about short stories, in case I write The Shade Of The Moon The Short Story Version, and in an effort to understand how they work, I read an anthology (Wandering Stars, edited by Jack Dann). I have a better grasp of them now (they seem, for the most part, to be extended anecdotes, with beginnings and middles and most of the time ends), although I still don't have a grasp of how to turn a bunch of short stories into a cohesive volume.

Also, last night I was remembering one of my story ideas (a Miranda story), and I remembered the beginning and the ending, but, alas, completely forgot the middle. My guess is middles are important in short stories (in books, you can kind of tap dance around them if necessary), and it would be helpful, should I write that Miranda story, to know what happens in between Once Upon A Time and They Lived Miserably Ever After.

Then, this morning, I was thinking about how many stories and how many characters and all that, when I remembered that my editor had suggested my actually writing a story and sending it to her to see if a volume of short stories was a good idea after all.

Now if she doesn't think it's a good idea after all, there's no reason to worry about middles and cohesiveness and how many characters and all that. As you can see, my brain isn't what it used to be, and there's no point sacrificing my limited number of brain cells on a project that might die aborning. Or shortly after aborning.

Therefore I'm going to write a single story and send it to my editor and see what happens next. I know a lot about the story already. It's an Alex story and I sort of remember its beginning and middle and end. Tomorrow I'm bringing my mother her clean laundry and Wednesday I'm going to New York City to see an exhibit about the Dead Sea Scrolls and a matinee of Follies. But there's minimal reason not to write a story on Thursday, and no reason whatsoever not to write one on Friday, so I think I might just do that and send it to my editor and find out whether she likes it or not and whether I need to worry about cohesiveness, etc. or whether I can spend the winter searching for my brain, which I probably put in the back of the closet, along with my extra blankets and pillows.

Anyway, that's the plan. Since I've committed to it in a place filled with Anonymouses who are waiting for me to do something, I have to go through with it.

Assuming the Bulle doesn't fall on my head first!


Anonymous said...

Those darn Anonymously. What do they know anyway. And when you find that brain, see if Anonymous's brain is there too. It seems to have gone AWOL.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Anonymous-

Don't mock the Anonymouses. I cherish each and every one of them (actually for all I know, there is only one of them!).

Glen said...

If there were more than one of us, would that make us anonymi?

Jess said...

I just finished the 3rd Survivors book - well, actually I finished all 3 in the past 4 days...I could NOT put them down! I lost my husband to cancer 2 years ago (he was 25) and I remember the thoughts of having to use something like the sleeping pills Alex had for Julie. When Miranda used them, I actually had to put the book down I was crying so much - you really captured that feeling so well...and it's something so hard to understand if you've never actually been in that place. These books are fantastic and I can't wait to share them with my students!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Glen-

My feeling is there are many more than one Anonymous, and that makes you all fabulous!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Jess and thank you for sharing your reactions to my books.

What means the most to me when I write is making the emotions true. It makes me feel real pride when someone tells me I've gotten that right.

So thank you again for letting me know. It means a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the story submission. You Know I'm not the same Anonymous as all the others.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous Santa Fe, and yes I know you're a very special one of a kind Anonymous!