I Conquered Queen of Almost Done

King or Queen of Almost Done is really not the title you want to wear, is it?

I realized that with all my 90% done projects, I had enough tallied up to make myself Queen for a day. Haha, yeah, no, let’s not reign over that particular kingdom, shall we?

Three days ago, I opened up my folders on my computer and found the 90% done projects and dropped them onto the desktop. That was my get-done pile. While it would have been nice to take a nod from Dave Ramsey and treat my unfinished projects like unpaid loans by doing the smallest ones first to “gain momentum”, I realized it was for the best to instead tackle the projects I knew how to finish first.

Finishing up the edits on my virgin sacrifice story was actually my first victory. The ending felt wrong on it, but I wasn’t sure how. I made my changes and now it’s sitting for a while.

Then my parents asked me to look through a bull sale catalog and  pick out a few for them to look at buying at auction. So I did, and I wrote them a letter detailing what I looked for and what they should do when they physically see the bulls. And that got me remembering very vividly all the cattle auctions I had been to.

Has anyone ever seen a story detailing an auctioneer’s song? I haven’t. There must be something out there, but more the point of the matter is that cattle auctions have a special lingo, voice, and rhythm to them. Since a cattle memoir has always been in the back of my mind and auctions are a major part of the industry, I decided to write a monologue from the auctioneer’s podium. It is 900 words filled with terminology that would make my mentors grin. The point  of an auction scene wouldn’t be to be user-friendly. There’s this thrill, this sensation of not really knowing what’s going on, of being afraid of getting lost in the song, of bidding too high, of losing an important animal, or of buying the wrong one. There is a sense of camaraderie and rivalry and feuds and friendship and family ties, and so, so much politicking. The point I’m making is it isn’t an informative scene. It would be overwhelming.

What I wasn’t expecting from that piece was the olde theatre style showmanship that came through in the auctioneer’s voice, and it is entirely accurate as far as I can remember. Snippets of real songs taken from here and there, sewn into one monologue which I sadly cannot actually read because I am terrible at fake-auctioneering. I’m not sure how many people can hit the pace right, actually. It goes incredibly fast, and the speakers are so loud. Anyway, the monologue is only a monologue and not a scene, so I can’t classify it as ‘done’, but writing the auctioneer’s song would have been impossible to do while also writing the scene. But, I put Auctioneer’s Song into my finished pile, too.

Then I did Rosehip the Wizard’s Rat and Black Locust Letters today. Both of them I had all but the ending done. Rosehip, it turns out, I had a hard time finishing because it isn’t really a short story. It’s a chapter. The outline I had for finishing the story actually represents a larger arc. I’m not sure how large, but it is a fun tale to work on every now and then. Black Locust Letters was a re-write based on some awesome rejection advice I received on it, and I think the ending I worked out on it now is much snappier.

So, yes, I still have Bloodstone I am sloshing through, but I think that my current victories hereby remove my reign as Queen of Almost Done.

Huzza. Here is to inspiration and perspiration to you all!

-Nicolette

 

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