I had a moment

Sometimes it’s the most obvious things which make a sudden, weird impact on me.

People will be reading my work.

Like I said, obvious. That’s kind of the point to writing and publishing and releasing stories out into the world. So they will be read, and hopefully enjoyed. I had a chance to check in with my publisher for the Surviving the End post-apocalyptic horror anthology, Dark Prints Press. They’re full speed ahead for the release of the crime anthology, The One That Got Away, later this month, and they have some great novellas coming out in the near future which I am really looking forward to reading. We talked preorders a little, which was the point where my odd revelation happened.

People have ordered the book which my story is in. People will, in all likelihood, read that story. People I don’t know! Ooh.

Of course, how is any of that different than this blog? Anyone, any person at all with an internet connection, could come here and read the text I am typing right now. Months of my rambling is a available. Ah, but of course, this isn’t my fiction. I give blog posts a quick look-over before I add them. I don’t spend months or years crafting them.

It’s a nervous situation for no legitimate reason. I want you all to read my stories, I really do! I wonder if experienced novelists still feel things like this, or if they get used to the oddities of being an author. Just wait until I have fiction living entirely in its own book. At least with an anthology, I can sooth myself with, “Other, much bigger name writers are in this.” There’s no hiding if it’s all me.

~A

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The words which define me

For someone so awfully preoccupied with words, I have a hard time choosing the right ones to describe myself. I recently had to reconsider my “bio”, a short paragraph or two meant to act as a sort of introduction to new readers, or so they say. I’d already written one for when I made my guest blog post for Cynthia Robertson. It was a fine bio, certainly. It said what it needed to. But I’ve never been able to square with the notion of cramming “me” into a tiny string of letters, so it’s hard for me to remain comfortable with those sorts of things for long.

I know that’s really over-simplifying matters, far further than anyone ever should. A bio is only a tidbit. A taste. A minor selection of details that should, in theory, appeal to the sensibilities of the readers of that piece and give them just a little insight into the person behind the text. But what does it express? What does a bio convey to the public, the greater readers who don’t actually get to know you?

Am I the sum of my creations? No, the physical things I make are such a small part of me. Am I defined by the things which surround me? To an extent, that can be true. I got to thinking about this even harder after reading Angie McDonald’s post from her blog, All Adither. 15-word fiction offers a selection of super-tiny stories, giving an insight into something bigger with those bare fifteen words. They are much like micro-bios of a potential whole story. I even took a stab at writing my own.

She wore a guise of ink; staining her fingertips and injecting her body with art.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to come up with that. I had written and discarded several others which didn’t strike me as expressive or poignant, though I was probably just being too critical. This one fleeting line, though… I’m kind of in love. With the idea, with the women it’s about, a woman I am more than a little interested in crafting into a full character and finding her a home in a book. Regular readers and friends of mine will know I love meaningful tattoos, and artworks of all kinds, whether visual or written. She, clothed in ink, is a part of me and entirely separate.

If I spent a very long time, and gave myself a whole lot of poetic freedom, I might come up with a bio which accurately depicts me. At least in a way that I could feel more confident in. Perhaps. In the meantime, I did update the bio on the Who is Ashlee? page, and for the time being, I’m pleased with it.

~A