Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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praise the gods!

Matociquala, a.k.a. Elizabeth Bear (go ahead and do an Amazon search on her, or a Google search, or check out her links at her LJ if you don't know who she is -- she is a fine writer, and the most recent Campbell winner) has dared writers to post their oldest, awfullest ::grin:: bit of juvenilia they can find in the dark recesses of their word processor.

Please read her story. It's well-written, really, but yes, oh my, it does have issues. YAY! I never thought I would cheer at another writer's inability to create really good art.

Being the great guy he is, Jay Lake has bit, not just once, but twice. (Jay Lake is an insanely prolific writer, and editor, who also won the Campbell. Feel free to Google him, too, if necessary.)

I think it's easy for a lot of writers who haven't been doing this very long (like me :)) to believe that great writers have always been great. That they were little geniuses in first grade, Earnie Hemingway ripping off icebergs about learning how to hunt, or a little Charlie Dickens creating fascinating characters, using his Sunday school classmates for inspiration. Of course, logically, I know this just isn't so, but since their juvenilia was probably burned, only their good stuff is ever seen by people like me. Therefore, they have always been great, right? Well...

So I look at what Bear and Lake (appropriate, isn't it) and other writers have posted and I am comforted. It's not just me. There is hope for me. Just give me several hundred more words and maybe someday I'll be a good writer, too. I don't want to be just competent forever :).

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