Assistant Wanted

By original data: Sebastien D’ARCO, animate: Koba-chan [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Assistant Wanted: Must be able to insinuate yourself between my brain and the keyboard.

Just about everyone who has a task of any kind to accomplish could do with an assistant, whether that person picks up the other end of the couch to carry it down three flights of stairs, or whether that person simply refills your coffee (of sweet tea in my case) as you concentrate on your work.

Yes, I’d love to have someone do the housekeeping and cooking for me while I write. Let’s put that one on the bucket list, shall we?

What I need more right now is someone to help me get the story out of my brain in some kind of cohesive manner. It doesn’t have to be overly organized at first… we can fix that later. It just has to get out into a tangible form that I can manipulate and store.

The story in my brain is a complex landscape being worked over by a benevolent storm. Parts of it will be rained on and washed away. The wind will certainly whip some trees around and take down a few branches. The grit will be disturbed, insinuating itself into all kinds of uncomfortable places.

In the end, there will be a resolution. The storm will break, and there will be peace in the valley again.

But if this stormy landscape does nothing but sit in my brain, I can’t do anything with it. Sure, it’s my story. I can enjoy revisiting it. But human memory is faulty; I will forget it. I’ve learned that several times over, either when I’ve lost something that never reached paper, or when it’s reached paper then been shoved in a drawer. Have you ever read something you know you wrote, and yet you don’t remember what happens?

I’m a writer. I was born to it. I can’t help myself. The stories will come whether I like it or not. Most of the time they make it out of me in some form or another.

…or most of it gets out. That’s why I need that assistant. They need to help pull those final vestiges of resolution out of my brain while staunching the oncoming storm over the next shiny new landscape.

I don’t like unfinished stories. I don’t like unfinished work of any kind. This is something I’ve struggled with all my life. It’s a fault I know caused my father a lot of grief in his own life. It’s a fault of my own that I may never overcome; like alcoholism…

Hello. I’m AmyBeth, and I’m a chronic unfinisher.

But there is light. Last night I finished the rough draft of the story I want to submit to this year’s Precipice. The theme is LUCK. Originally, I’d thought of my SciFi Questions of the Day, and how that started out as a whim, and yet it turned out to be one of my most popular social media interactions. I have over six thousand followers on Google Plus, and it’s mostly due to those questions. I have a Klout score in the high sixties, which is due mostly to the fact that so many people comment on these posts. I was going to turn this into a story about a woman in the old west starting a business of her own like a bakery, but no one wants to buy her bread. However she has some ingredient, some exotic spice that she brought with her or perhaps simply a large supply of sugar, and people do want to buy that. She succeeds as a business woman not because she did what she set out to do, but because of some stroke of luck that took her in a totally different direction. Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

That story sucked. It had too many issues, and I gave up on it. Meanwhile, the submission deadline loomed closer.

Last night lightning struck. I wrote a completely different story, and sent it off to the beta readers. I love the story. I’m proud of it. I hope the editors like it too…but since they do sometimes read my blog that’s all the detail I’ll leave here! 😉 It means a lot to me that the stories are judged on their own merit, with author names removed.

Now it’s back to my stormy landscape. This one’s a Steampunk.

And this one’s gonna get finished.

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
This entry was posted in Commentary & Musing, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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