Twice a week these days, I go through Kübler-Ross’s five stages, and it’s all because of Trifecta. I sit beside the computer like a junkie waiting for the new prompt on Monday and Friday, and denial hits as soon as I read it. I can’t write that. What do they even want?
Anger quickly follows. What the hell do they want? How am I supposed to finish this? There isn’t enough time. Why do I have so few words? Why this three obsession?
Then I start bargaining. OK, if I push all my other stuff back a day or two, that will clear Monday and Tuesday for drafts. I can use pictures or something quick for my blog those days. IndieInk. Crap. OK, I can do IndieInk at the same time. Or, if it’s a weekend prompt, Right. I’m going to have to submit this at the last second this weekend. Christ, three days isn’t enough TIME. At most, these posts are 333 words long. So I’m being taxed with, at the outside limit, 111 words a day. You wouldn’t think I would need two days for a draft. But I do. I totally do.
The week the spiders crashed my writing? It was a sad sad week. I have not written a post about the spiders, nor am I likely to do so, and not just because it creeped me the hell out. I mean, spiders do happen, and only one of them was in my actual house. Mostly, I don’t want to think about it because I didn’t get my Trifecta done. I only had two days for the whole thing, not three, and poof, it didn’t happen. And every week, even the ones I do get in on time (which is all but that one), I spend at least a few hours in a perfect funk. Depression over something I love. Huh? Whazzup with that?
Finally, I come to acceptance. I walk away from the computer, talk to Scott, go workout with Linda, and I get an idea that might just hold water. I start writing in my head, composing along until I hit the end of the story. Then I type it out. For the short ones, my first draft is usually around twice as long as I’m allowed. For the long ones, I’m often at three or four times the actual limit. The editors once noted in the comments that I seem to discuss these people like they just showed up in my head, not like they are characters I wrote. There are two reasons for that. The first is that my drafts are usually so long that I have tons of details that get cut from the final version, so I have L-O-T-S of backstory still extant in my imagination.
The other reason is that I have a funky mind. It’s crowded in here. My characters don’t go away, like ever. They just kind of get added to the cast. Rarely do they receive more than one episode on the printed page. But they’re back there, like extra personalities or something, informing me about what they think and desire. People ask me the coolest questions in the comments. And I invariably find myself thinking in character when I answer those, balancing what these people in my head might say and do against what the commenter just suggested.
Anyway, I want to shout a huge THANK YOU to the writers who participate in the Trifecta writing challenge and the editors who created in the first place. We’ve had three community judged Trifextra competitions, and my work has been chosen for first place in two of those. Plus, the editors have given me a first place nod for one of my weekly submissions, along with two third place recognitions.
My first ever Trifecta post, Weep, won third place.
And then the very next week, my story Waterlogged won first prize.
In the first community judged Trifextra, my peers voted Street Scene the best.
Not very long after that, the editors gave me a third place nod for Lost. (And third place in the Trifecta Writing Challenge is something to write home about.)
Then, this weekend, the community voted Wizard’s Dilemma the most amusing 33 words on the Trifecta block.
That’s five awards.
Do you have any idea how good I feel?
The writers in this group are some of the best I’ve encountered on the web. Nearly every piece I read grips me by the throat. These are my kind of writers. I feel like I have found my tribe, and holy God I’ve been looking for you people for a long time. And I just wanted to say thank you. It’s nice to be home.
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.