"Let it go," Voice advised more times than I could count. "This isn't something you're printing for the fic binder. If you want to show this to anyone, you can't use somebody else's writing for part of it." But I couldn't let it go. It was too damned perfect an idea. I fretted over this for months, going so far as to ask him to collaborate before I got cold feet, since he's a much better writer than I am and I felt presumptuous asking. He gave me permission to use it anyway, but before long my fingers were itching to take the raw material and fine-tune it, craft it more perfectly into word art, blending his style with my own. But I figured that went a bit farther than simply using his excerpt, and as it had been embarrassing enough asking him once, I gave it up. A year went by.
Then I pulled it last night, and God, everything was better than I remembered. I worked on it all night until I hammered out all the remaining problems, wrote all the remaining transitions, and got ready to post. Only one problem: section 2 was still based on someone else's words, and I thought it was probably prudent if I showed it to him before I went posting it about the internets, lengthy note of appreciation at the beginning or not. Resigning myself to the fact that he might not grant permission a second time, I sent him a copy.
There followed 48 hours of fretting (alleviated somewhat by my success with the Standoff fic), during which I nearly had to sit on my hands to keep myself from getting cold feet again and backing out without giving him a chance to respond. Fortunately, just as I was about to go to bed tonight after having had a rather thoroughly MISERABLE evening full of crying - those damned Harry Potter deaths again set me off, and then I dug myself into a rut about school and my future and other things guaranteed to depress me - I got this comment.
Let me say, Stephanie, that I sure hope you're coming back to school in the fall. Someone with your talent needs to be making in-roads through every avenue possible, and somehow, it seems CSB/SJU needs your talent... Your piece was lovely: the literary tryptich made my miserable description alive and somehow more honest fictionally than in actuality. Thank you for your beautiful words.
I should probably add that this guy is brilliant, and that I'm rather in awe of him, so comments from him are the equivalent of talking to a professional author, or at least a BNF. My mood is now through the roof. And so, with that in mind, I give you a bit of pure word art, not connected to any fandom at all. The chances of my doing this again are slim to nil.
Title: Library Nights: A Literary Triptych
Summary: Every level tells a story - the girl lost in thought upstairs, the circulation worker at the front desk, and a mystery in the basement.
Word Count: 1260