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© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

Climbing out

Chasing the Chase grant continues, and thanks to all y’all, it looks like the Foundation is going to pull down a beautiful grant! More on that in a few days. Keep voting through Wednesday, please!

So a quick catchup on Dummies. It’s been an ugly two weeks since I turned in the 50 percent benchmark. It doesn’t help that I shoved several topical Hydras like morality and mortality into this quarter. The complexity isn’t the main problem, though — it’s making a complex thing simple, which this project demands. Cutting nine heads down to one. Which, if you know your Hydras, ain’t how it works.

It also didn’t help that my research (for a section on current controversies in the freethought movement) required me to spend a day diving deep into the insane vortex of poison currently swirling around women in the movement, especially a few key spokespeople. It continues to sicken and infuriate me, and though I’ve offered support in public and private ways, I still don’t feel it’s nearly enough.

For three days after the day I spent in that poison, I couldn’t write, at least not well. Hell, I could barely think. And still the clock ticked. I went back and read everything I’d written those three days, and it was garbage. I couldn’t tell why, just that it was.

It’s amazing how completely a writer can lose confidence by writing shit for a few days.

I finally figured out what was wrong — it was the voice. The content was okay, but all the heart had gone out of it, all the lightness, all the humor that this project requires, gone. I trashed about 15 pages, and (at the risk of falling even further behind) took a few days off to focus on the Chase competition.

I’m back now, writing really well and quickly. Goody for me. But what about the women who’ve been marinating in that poison for a year? Can you imagine what it’s done to them?

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This was written on Tuesday, 18. September 2012 at 14:00 and was filed under The Dummies Diary. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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