Post #NaNoWriMo, Pre Finishing

Closer. Ever closer. That’s where I am in the last book of the Carrdia series. There’s a good chance I’ll reach the end by the time I post again. So, mid month, which was my hope.

You know, so I can draft something else.

Okay, I’m kinda sorta joking. This is me slaphappy after an insane amount of output since late September. On the other hand, I’m a little serious, in a not quite serious sort of way. I’d like to write another Pannulus holiday story, either a short story or two or a novella to finish out the year, but at an extremely relaxed pace.

A Glorious Past Reimagined

Cover: CA Hawthorne

Then? Revising the series.

That I’m drafting the last two novels in a series back-to-back in six weeks would seem insane to most. They are, after all, each about 125K drafted.

If someone met me they’d be even more surprised. I’m quirky and unassuming, and certainly meek in groups, though chatty one-on-one. Yes, an INFJ personality type. In other words, what most makes sense about me is how much I don’t make sense. I literally thought my contradictions were a serious mental health condition until my personality was typed—three times.

Classic INFJ.

It’s why every employer who ever hired me did so, not out of enthusiasm, but reluctance, and then didn’t want me to leave (partly because they liked taking advantage of me). It was why I was the invisible kid in school—until teachers sampled my creative side.

It’s also why, when it comes to my writing, I have a determined side that’s difficult to comprehend. It seems a given that people can walk all over me—until they can’t. That’s especially true when it comes to writing.

I’ve stopped listening to successful writer interviews on podcasts because so many became triggers. Well, let me begin by saying that I wouldn’t be where I am if not for the support of my parents. Just once I’d like to hear how they succeeded despite being raised as a doormat, or to be invisible.

Yes, I know those writers exist and I’m fighting as hard as I can to make myself one of them. That is, where success is a measure of providing stories for a welcoming audience rather than, necessarily, sales.

On my computer desktop it says, Take pride in whatever makes you different—it’s what divides you from the rest. It’s there because I wanted to reach that place and finally I’m at the threshold shaking so hard it’s difficult to lift a foot.

New Year's Train to Talonspear

One of my favorite holiday novellas. Cover: CA Hawthorne

But I’m willing now to step over.

Willing enough to do what I’m doing. People look on and they see BIG numbers. I so don’t care about the freaking numbers.

Don’t tell me about your numbers, tell me about your story, about how it would speak to me. I get that numbers are a good accountability measure (I use them for that), but a better accountability measure is whether I want to return to the story, whether I want to read it, whether I want to revise it.

Does the story still make me laugh? Does it still bring on tears? Will there still be the same reaction to a character’s despair, grief, or kindness? Does my heroine find something more within than she’d have ever believed existed? Has a friendship formed out of mutual caring?

It’s amazing how few editors contact me because of what I write, but instead simply because I have. There’ve been but a few who show genuine interest. The vast majority, though, only care that I have words and claim they’re good editors.

Yeah, well, I’ve read superbly edited books I wish I’d never read. I’ve also read some poorly edited books that moved me. Would I really want an editor who didn’t care if the book had heart? Would I really want an editor who was silently opposed or even hostile towards what I write?

A decade ago I had doctors who harbored thinly veiled prejudices and I ended up in the ICU with part of my lungs dead. Now I have caring doctors and I’m thriving.

So, yes, here I am at the tail end of massive numbers and in the back of my mind I’m thinking about, not the prestige, but the opportunity to improve them.

Is this post a call for every editor out there to contact me and feign interest in what I write? Absolutely not. If they do? I’m an INFJ. Believe me, I’ll know what they really think.


About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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