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Original Writing FTW!

And here I thought my creative writing class had stamped out all desire to ever attempt such a thing again.  Well, this is actually an idea that hit me in the fall of 2005, as I was spending time at my favorite campus hangout, the library.  After about a hundred setbacks, I finally brought it all the way to a state of completion.

In the original draft, the part 1 shown here was my part 2.  Part 3 didn't exist and I was struggling with a very angsty and terrible bit of quasi-romance for part 1 (which has since been chucked, thank God).  But then a friend of mine, who works at the library during the school year, posted a brief blog entry about one of the monks "haunting" the library, and my first thought was "that's it.  That needs to be in the story.  That needs to be part 2."  The problem was that I could not phrase Michael's physical description of the man any better, nor could I improve upon his last line.  

"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
Rating: K

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