Stephanie Burgis
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Revelations & Inspiration
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I have finally figured out the point of Facebook: online, multi-player Scrabble games! Yesterday I added the "Scrabulous" application to my profile, and I'm already happily involved in scrabble games with two of my friends. I LOVE Scrabble, but since Patrick isn't crazy about it, we've never bothered to buy a board (not really a game I can play by myself, after all...). But two games is not enough! So, please: anyone else who reads this journal, has a facebook account, and likes scrabble, go ahead and challenge me to a game! I am not a scrabble genius (because I don't play it nearly often enough!) but I do enjoy it a lot. And I am suddenly much more excited about Facebook than I was before. :)

I had good news in my email yesterday: Issue No. 9 of Full Unit Hookup, which will include my short-short story "How to Recognize a Dragon", is about to go to print! Hooray! I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

In other news, Patrick very nicely went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with me yesterday, in what will probably be my last theater-viewing of it, and I loved it all over again. As we walked out of the cinema, I thought, That's exactly what I want to write - something that'll make people feel like I feel right now - that is, blown away, sensa-wundered, emotionally overwhelmed, and absolutely filled with joy. And yes, I know there are lots of people who didn't react to the movie (or the books) that way at all, but sense of wonder & emotional intensity are subjective things, and the thing I have to keep reminding myself of is this: I can only successfully write to my own, personal sense of wonder and excitement. If I try to match someone else's (someone "cooler" or "more sophisticated"), what I write will fall flat and appeal to no one at all.

Right now I'm in that awkward stage - between novels, between stories, searching for ideas - and my dangerous instinctive reaction is to think "What would be smart to write next?" - which is fatal. "Smart" equals cynical, which is never good, and worse yet, it's counter-productive. I need to genuinely love and be excited by my ideas and my characters if I'm going to have any hope of other people feeling the same way - even if that means running the risk of everyone finding out how weird & geeky & obscure my loves & interests really are.

And I got a wonderful David Gifaldi quote yesterday from Patrick (from a lecture at Vermont) which was just perfect for what I was thinking about and needed to hear. Talking about resistance - that force that keeps us from writing when we sit down at our computers, that makes us talk ourselves out of every new idea and tell ourselves there's no point in following up on any of them - Gifaldi says, "Discipline, courage, faith, and self-compassion: these are the antidotes to resistance". And he followed it up in his lecture by quoting Nelson Mandela: "Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?"

So here's to a week of following up real interests and loves, no matter where they lead. Hurrah!

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