It's more like a really long and inaccurate outline.
But I can't stand looking at the damned thing for another minute, so I have printed it out (including the page with the [Insert Climactic Space Battle Here]) and put a paper clip on it and stuck it on the corner of my desk reserved for stories I'm not talking to.
What's wrong with it? Well, for starters, it's boring. And clumsy. And has several completely unexplained coincidences that need to become something other than unexplained coincidences. And the language is awful. When did I forget how to write? When did my prose get so bad? The only thing I like in all sixty pages of the damned thing is a single Ray Bradbury joke.
Now, Other People, who have seen parts of it, assure me that it is no such thing (that in fact it's already quite creepy and neat, and will probably only get moreso), and as these are People I Trust, I have to trust them.
I am, I know, my own worst critic.
It doesn't make working on a story when you hate every word of it any easier.
On the other hand, I have in fact written entire novels while loathing every damned word of the damned things. Pretty good novels, or so I am told. So I know it can be done.
I am a professional, kids. Don't try this at home.
See, this is probably a sign that I need to take some time off. Unfortunately, the absolute bare minimum I need to get done between now and the end of the year is to get "Wehrwolf" written, to get "The Death of Terrestrial Radio" written, to get a decent draft of "King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree," get a draft of "Knock on Coffins" written as part of my contribution to the Secrit Projekt (Yes, I liked the title so much I am stealing it for potentially-paying work. If you can't steal from the best, steal from yourself, I say.), and get "Bone & Jewel Creatures" written.
And the Puritan Work Ethic Monkey (also known as the Guilt Gorilla) is giving me absolute fits.
So that's a total of seventy thousand words or so, which isn't bad. Except there are several other short stories I'd like to get cleared off my desk--"Smile," "Your Collar," and "On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa With Gun and Camera." I think I am just declaring "Periastron" and "Dark on Wednesdays" dead. I'm just going to steal the cool conceit from "Dark on Wednesdays" and use it in "King Pole," because I need something like that for when I do the not-so-bad draft, and I might as well burn story.
This had better not be another plateau, that's all I'm saying. Because the last one I swear nearly turned me into a pharmacist.
In the meantime, my Gmail account is pretty close to capacity, so I'm busy downloading 2.5 gigs of email, dating from August of 2004, so that I can clean the damned thing out and start over with a nice shiny gmail account. I am up to January of 2005.
It's a good thing that I don't have any plans.
Eudora rocks, I just gotta say, and always has, and now that Gmail has POP capability, I suspect I will be returning to its loving embrace.