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CANDID UPDATE: Current WIP, Mom Life, Writer Woes, Anxiety

January 21, 2020 in Daily, Motherhood, Patreon, Writing - 4 min read
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Rebecca

Rebecca is a neo-noir author from Kamloops, British Columbia. Her first collection of gritty short fiction, Vile Men was published by Dark House Press in 2015. She also writes about her writer lifestyle on her blog at rebeccajoneshowe.com.

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  • Emily January 22, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Firstly – yes! I wrote this story way back, just a quick short story for a thunderdome battle and then after sharing it in a class taught by Nik Korpon (who gave me very positive feedback on it) I decided that there was more to the story and it was potentially a novella and shared the second chapter – again a great response . Nik was really interested in reading the full thing and asked me to send him a copy when it was done. I carried on working on it. Later I took a class with Craig Clevenger and shared that opening chapter with him for an assignment and he said it was “a shotgun of a story”. And I carried on writing it. Then I took Suzy Vitello’s class on seductive beginnings in which Chuck Palahniuk joined as a guest lecturer and again an overwhelming response of positivity towards that story. Later I shared another chapter in Chucks scavenger hunt class, and again the feedback was great. My writer friends whose advice I could alway trust were telling me they thought it was my best work yet, and were asking could they please beta read this when it was done. And then… Nothing. Brick wall. To put things into perspective that story was born June 2013. Just writing that makes me feel ill. I don’t want to put how I feel into words. And I don’t know what is going to happen with this story. Sure, there have been a lot of very good reasons why I haven’t been able to write, and I don’t blame myself for not being able to write (… Like, anything!!) but. I don’t know, maybe you understand?
    New year hasn’t got off to a great start – kids have been ill, I’ve been in day surgery having not nice procedures, one of my Guinea pigs has a lump which we are not sure what it is yet. I haven’t managed to write anything (I thought I’d start small with some quick flash – channel a little Lindsay Hunter!) although I have at least ruminate vague ideas, and I haven’t managed to start decluttering the attic. My son has his gcse exams this year and I am beyond stressed about that because he is home schooled so it is all completely down to me. Reading wise though I read two book so far and am feeling pretty pleased with that (considering how little time I have free)
    Also I can’t drive either. And I know I will never drive because just the thought of it makes me feel ill with anxiety. Which sucks big time.

    • Rebecca January 22, 2020 at 8:59 am

      Oh, we are def in the same boat. I really hit a writing wall in 2014-2015 while I was pregnant with my daughter and the entire first year after she was born. I edited my short story collection but that was about it. Really took some time to manage that part of myself again. I feel like it’s something few women writers talk about if they have kids. Half the time I feel very split in half, and while I’ve figured things out relatively well after my son was born, it can still be tough, but I think I’m finally getting there.

      As for the story, man, that’s a long time trying to figure it out. I like to think that if the idea’s still in you that it’ll emerge eventually. Last night I finally just deleted every part of the old drafts and I’m going to start fresh. Not sure if that’s the approach you’d want to take. Perhaps a good attic cleanout might help!

      Super sorry to hear bout your guinea pig. I had one when I was a kid and he was one of my favourite pets. So sweet.

      Not driving sucks but I sometimes like the extra transit time I have to take. Nothing to do but sit back and relax. I have those moments where a friend picks me and my kids up so we can go out somewhere (my city is reeeeeeeallly sprawled and the area I live in is really hilly, so walking isn’t always an option with kids) and I feel so stupid and guilty for not driving. Like you, though, I dunno how much my anxiety could handle it. Like eventually I’d get used to it I think but then there’s the extra insurance costs on the vehicle associated with a new driver and it’s just like, Fuck this.

      • Emily January 23, 2020 at 1:39 am

        Yes, it is a long time – I hadn’t realised how long ago it was until I wrote it in your comments. It kind of fell onto the back burner, but was always there waiting, unresolved. I haven’t been back and read it for years tho, maybe I should do that and see if something sparks.
        My Guinea pig (Garrus) is having surgery tomorrow to remove his lump. I am very scared. 😭 I love Guinea pigs! I have six 😊

    I'm Rebecca Jones-Howe, a neo-noir writer and author of the short story collection, VILE MEN. My work has been featured in [PANK], Pulp Modern and Punchnel's, among other magazines. This site houses my writing profile and my blog, which features posts on writing, fashion, lifestyle + more. Want more?

    - RJH

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