by

When The Going Gets Tough

– my mind tries to distract me.

I have just finished writing what may have been the toughest scene to write in my life thus far.

It wasn’t tough because I had no idea what to write. I knew EXACTLY what to write. It was the content, how close it is to my own life, that made it hard.

My mind kept trying to twist away from it. Hey Kirstie, check out what’s happening on Facebook. Oh, you should totally look at baby monitors for the new baby instead. No, write a blog post about this. You should go read that book you started yesterday. No wait, you should email that magazine you think might not have correctly removed you from their subscription list and is sending you copies you haven’t paid for yet.

Sometimes I could barely get a whole sentence out without my brain trying to disengage.

Tubby is a schnauzer
Foxworth is a schnauzer

This is all Talitha’s fault ;p No actually, going back far enough it’s my own. I made a writing prompt on the Vision Writer’s website and it inspired me to write ‘Foxworth’, the story of a family of five who adopt a dog with mismatched eyes and a creepy reason why he keeps being returned to the animal shelter.

I submitted Foxworth to my group for feedback, knowing it was a rather selfishly written story with an ending written to satisfy my own real life worries. I wanted to see if the story could appeal to anyone but me and maybe a few parents in similar situations to me.

Foxworth was well received, mostly with minor corrections, but the deeply talented Talitha pointed out something very important my story was missing. I had shied away from the distressing side of my life which the story was trying to appease. I wasn’t admitting to how bad things can be sometimes. I needed to show that to make the ending satisfying for more readers, to make those who haven’t lived this understand why the ending is cathartic. (You can read a bit more about Talitha’s feedback on the Vision Writer’s site)

I don’t know yet if what I’ve written will connect with people deeply enough. People who have experienced it will understand, but I think they would have understood even with the early version which didn’t flat out put it in your face.

I do know however, that Foxworth is becoming the story I’m most deeply invested in out of all my works.

There’s a particular market I really want to submit it to, but if they reject the story I’m not sure I have the strength to keep sending it to other traditional markets like I do with all my other short stories. Not due to the pain of rejection (I’m pretty numb to that after the last few years and being aware that sometimes there’s only 4-5 story slots and well over a hundred submissions makes it less painful) but because I want it out there now. I have a deep urge to get Foxworth into the hands of others. So perhaps you’ll be reading Foxworth soon…

 

 

schnauzer image sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

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