Mrs Fringe Grows a Pair


If you’re a Fringeling, regular subscriber, or occasional reader, you know I have a completed novel looking for a home and champion, ASTONISHING.  In the meantime, I’ve decided to post Chapter One here on the blog.

This is the story where I’ve allowed myself to go the furthest with the concept of what-if.  It’s weird, the protagonist is an unreliable narrator, and if you’re looking for romance or happily-ever-after this ain’t your story.

It’s magical realism, my riff on what could happen if someone existed who was indeed a magnet for all the broken in our world–addicts, unmedicated and uncontrolled people with mental illness, those you don’t want to find across from you at the dinner table.  So we’ve got these broken who’ve been flocking to Christina, but she can’t help them.  Twenty-five years of this.  By now she’s more fucked up than they are.

If Christina feels familiar (or for those newer to Mrs Fringe who are interested) “Miserosion”–the story on the page labeled Fiction– takes place 25 years before Astonishing, introducing Christina.  Completely unnecessary to read to understand the novel, but it was a fun twist for me to write, and the original story idea that became the novel.

Cross The Line

And hit the wall.

and hit the wall.

Because I’m more than a bit out of focus.  I think about lines a lot.  Don’t cross this line, don’t cross that line, balance on that one over there.  Sometimes I feel like the lines shift, but do they really, or is it my perception–and oh! is that line on a fucking hill?

The line I’m thinking about this morning is, of course, writing and publishing.  There’s a small group I’ve been spending some online time with.  All talented and writing varied genres, all filled with optimism and hope.  Different stages of pursuing publication, a couple who are self pubbing with thought and intention. Needless to say angst and self-doubts are part and parcel of writing, querying, and submitting, everyone takes turns pumping up whoever needs it most on any given day.  Most of the members of this group are young, those who aren’t young are relatively new to the process.  I don’t mean new as in still learning basic storytelling, but new as in less than 5 years of seriously pursuing publication.

I’m not young.  Or new.  At the moment I’m not writing or submitting.  I still have several requested fulls out, but at this point any responses that come from them will be unexpected.

Am I the fly about to be captured, the trap that can only wait for food, or the blackened trap that needs to be removed before fungus sets in?

Am I the fly about to be captured, the trap that can only wait for food, or the blackened trap that needs to be removed before fungus sets in?

I don’t want any pep talks.  I’m not angsting, thinking my words and stories truly suck.  They don’t.

To me, worse than limping along to the battle cry of “I coulda been a contender” is the nonagenarian still waiting for their big break. Yes, I see/hear it.  New York.  Not that I’m ninety, or qualify for the senior discounted Metrocard, but still.  I have to figure out if I’ve crossed the line from being patient and persistent to delusional.

There’s a part of my brain that will always be taking notes for future characters,  will see that one moment, hear that one phrase that begins a story in my head.  I will probably always write.  I love blogging, I’ve enjoyed the experience of posting a couple of stories here on the blog, and suspect I will continue doing so every so often.  But full length novels?  Querying?  Submitting?  There’s a phrase I’ve heard a lot over the past ten years or so, maybe it was always there and didn’t come across my radar before, I don’t know–return on investment.  Writing full length manuscripts, querying, submitting to the paying lit mags, these are things that require a lot of time, energy, work, and focus.  I can’t help but wonder at this point if it’s a poor use of limited resources.










Last night I got another request for the full manuscript from an agent I queried.    She made one of the loveliest statements I’ve ever received about my writing (sent the opening with the query), and if my back wasn’t still broken I’d have done a happy dance.  She wanted a file type (you know, the dot whatever) that isn’t my computer’s default, but hey, no problem–Man Child showed me how to do that last month.  I kept reading.  She wanted my full bio, too.  Errrr.

I went from feeling like this

New Moon, New Day, New Season

New Moon, New Day, New Season

To this

the remnants of the rebel fleet escape the exp...

the remnants of the rebel fleet escape the exploding death star II (Photo credit: lamont_cranston)

Let me say oof, to go along with that errr.  I don’t have a bio.  Not just that I didn’t have one prepared, I really don’t have anything to say.  Average downward mobile gal, unremarkable life of trying to figure out how to pay the bills each month, extraordinary kiddos, dog poop picker upper with a vivid imagination.  None of which is relevant to me as a writer, or the story of ASTONISHING.  No alcoholism, no magic (good or bad), move along, please, these are not the splendid boobs you’re looking for.

According to the inimitable Janet Reid, patron saint of wanna be writers everywhere, this is not something to worry about.  But I’m a querying wanna be–by definition I’m worrying.

I wrote two sentences having to do with my life in cyberspace as Mrs Fringe.  Maybe I threw something in about dog poop.



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