Monday, November 15, 2004

drop the elbow

Something weird happened to me this weekend.

Long story short: both my kung fu and my writing ability took a leap up the ladder in the last few weeks, and I'm exhilarated and frustrated with both because I've not yet processed the progress to the point where I feel I understand it, ergo, I'm afraid I won't be able to duplicate it.

I wrote three short stories this summer/fall, and all three of them have met with rave reviews. People used to say about my short fiction, "This is intriguing, where's the rest of it?" Now they're saying, "This works." I have finally figured out how to close the circle, come to the point, give the plot relevance.

Sit really hammered us in kung fu this week. He had me, Tony, and Matt concentrating on dropping and rounding the shoulders--nice work if you can do it--with a lot of application, constant battering of forearms against each other. My shoulders have been gradually and conscienciously relaxing over the summer. I find I can do some of the softer applications now, and did in fact put my husband down on one knee when he asked me to demonstrate. I'm learning to pull those guys around, despite their height and weight advantages--but I'm always terrified that they're being too easy on me. Sit says, "if you don't believe it will work, it won't," and admonishing me for using too much strength, being too rigid. I do. I am. I am finally learning to yield, to be round, to focus my energy instead of forcing it.

I don't doubt for a minute that my sudden renewed interest in the Quinn stories, particularly the focus on Quinn's martial arts training and the lessons learned therein, was my subconcious attempting to process this new understanding. Now that my consciousness is aware of it, it occurs to me that I have been diffusing my energy all over the place. Costuming. Modeling. Cooking. Okay, I was working two jobs there for a while, but that's over now.

Costuming is fun but ultimately more money and time than I want to give to it. I never feel as satisfied with the sewing as I do with my stories. Fandom is definitely a distraction. I didn't intend to go at all last year, except I had committed to doing the Dru/Darla thing, and after Quizgate I'm pretty sure any further contact with those people would be a waste of my time. They're like that pride of lions in the volcanic crater, inbreeding themselves to death.


I spoke to Mary Ann on Sunday about joining Sit's Wednesday class, at their home. She thought it was a good idea. I think the twice-weekly focus and exercise would be good for me. I am also gearing myself up to compete next spring--the idea is both stimulating and terrifying, very similiar in sensation to the thought of sending out story submissions. The act of submitting, of holding my work out for rejection, scares me so much the only way I can deal with it is to simply sidestep it--not think about it at all. Write the address, lick the stamp, throw the envelope in the box. Go around the obstacle. Focus past the resistance. Keep the elbow down, and for God's sake, relax.

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