(Plinky prompt: Have you ever thought of starting your own business?)

OK. Maybe I play okay with others. Most of the time. Especially if they’re gamer geeks or something. Unless they’re a particular kind of gamer geeks (and you know the ones I mean), in which case, definitely not.

I suppose you can substitute any damn thing there for “gamer geeks.” Moving on:

In a way, writing is my own business. It took a while–a long while–to realize that this was the big trick in my bag; now all I have to do is to get paid for it. Well, I have, in tiny bits: I do a little grantwriting for a non-profit that can’t afford to pay me any more until the grants start to come in–meaning it’s in the same boat as most non-profits right now.

But . . . I wrote this novel, see. It’s probably more practical to think of it as two of them, because it’s wicked long. We’re talking Moby Dick here. It’s pretty damned good, if you like science fiction about realtime biological vampires with forays into serial killing and the nightmare of sexual abuse–and (let’s all do the *anime fall* here: some gay characters). An influential friend sent the basic info on to a couple of agents, who have failed to get back to me for several months now.

And all I can do is push back the terror that chunks of five years of my life (off and on) were spent on artistic self-therapy–and keep at it. Currently, I’m responding to my damnably insightful reader (Noooooo. You’re wrooooong. I . . . . Okay. I have absolutely no idea what I meant there at all. Noooooooo. You’re riiiiiiiight. Etc.) on the LAST cleanup of the damn thing. I figure I have time since nobody’s asking me to hand it over. Sob.

But I’m glad I’m in the convo with the reader, because I’m tired of it by now–and am already sniffing at the ankles of the sequel. Or whatever you call a book which might be a sequel or might not, depending on whether the previous work was one book or two. You see the problem here. At least with the numbering.

It really is actually damned good. Evidence: A friend who’s pretty blunt read some of the early still-head-half-up-my-butt stuff–and he said, “It sounds like a real book.” In other words, not the usual pathetic drivel your friends make you read, but unusual and hard-fisted drivel which makes you laugh and cry and write me abusive email.

And here’s the actual pathetic drivel: Part of the “works badly with others” is because I’m disabled. Not badly enough to need a dog, but badly enough for the uncle to hand over a pittance of SSDI–which, for non-Americans (and some Americans) is the sort of government dole you get when you actually worked your ass off and paid taxes. Soooo—

–it’s tiny, and fixed, and insert factual whinging here–but in a way, I can actually afford to not make money at writing, although the actual money would certainly improve my standard of living and that of the kid and the ferrets and cat and whatnot.

But what I WANT is for people to read it. And like it. And want more. For at bottom, that’s the real business writers are about. Unless we are the sort of pretentious literary trash I wanted to dropkick in grad school (now that I’m a doctor I know the zen of them having dropkicked themselves)—unless you’re an idiot, or somebody just wanting Nanny’s vanity pat on the head, we want to be understood. More or less.

After all, being understood (more or less) is our business.

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