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February 12, 2019: A Conversation with the Subconscious

This afternoon I finished what I finally titled “What’s in a Story?” and sent if off to the Alaska Daily News powers that be. I generally don’t enter contests because they cost money and are often rigged. But this annual contest, which has been ongoing since the early 1980s, is free.

It also provided me with an excuse to write about the recent earthquake. In this instance I focused on the stories that were being told. It was all everyone was talking about around here. And the ADN gave those wanting to enter this contest a four-day extension. I was pleased that they did this because I would not have made last Friday’s deadline. I barely made today’s deadline. Alas, I would have done an even better job if I’d had a few more days to work on my entry.

Alys with her Subconscious
Alys with her Subconscious

No matter, I’ll return to “Son of Earthquake” (working title) in a few days, revise it, and enter it in the Alaska Writer’s Guild Contest. Now this one does cost money but there will be far fewer entrants. Catch is as catch can. It may be an instance in which the overall subject matter is too familiar to locals in which case I’ll send it elsewhere.

I’m now experiencing the feeling one gets after working very intently on a project for a long period of time. I’ve actually been working on three projects very intently for a long period of time. And so my subconscious, which has been putting in time and a half, quite suddenly found itself unemployed and is feeling rather bereft. I’m now going to give it a chance to speak its mind:

Alys: Hello Subconscious.
Subconscious: Hello yourself.
A: Oww, you’re sounding snarky.
S: That’s a good assessment of my current mood.
A: What’s up?
S: Well, that essay you were working on . . .
A: You mean the one about the 2018 earthquake?
S: Yes, that one. You sent it off to the ADN this afternoon.
A: I did.
S: And how do you feel about it now?
A: Like it was incomplete.
S: How so?
A: The beginning – I should have said more about what I was proposing to write about.
S: Good, good.
A: And the ending, I should have said more about what I had just written about.
S: Good, good.
A: So you agree?
S: Yes, very much so.
A: Do you think that I should have held off on sending this out to the ADN contest?
S: No. But I see a not-so-good pattern here.
A: What’s that?
S: You usually send your essays out once, twice at the most, and then, when you get a reject letter (which is usually the case), you move on to other projects.
A: True.
S: Your writerly downfall is that you like being in the writing zone a bit too much.
A: And so, what do you propose that I do about this?
S: Spend more time marketing your work.
A: Uh huh.
S: Don’t uh huh me.
A: Hey, I agree with you.
S: Look, give me lip and I’ll shut down. You’ll then only be able to write your name, if that.
A: My new name is Sunshine.
S: I came up with that.
A: Okay, take credit for whatever you want. The part of you that is a part of me is okay with this.
S: I’m glad we agree on something.
A: Okay, while I’m waiting to hear back about the ADN contest, I’m gong to revise my version of Raudi’s Story and find a publisher for it.
S: Now you’re talking.
A: You think so?
S: Yes. You worked hard on this book for some time and then abandoned it.
A: No, I just set it aside until I had time to revise it.
S: That’s what you do; you set things aside and then start working on other things. You’re productive but have little to show for it. This is why your sister considers you to be a literary head banger.
A: Oh ye of little faith.
S: I’ve always had faith in you for the part of you that is a part of me is okay with what you do.
A: Thanks for being so obliging. The feeling is mutual.
S: Don’t give up, don’t give up. Don’t give up.
A: Will not, will not, will not.
S: Good, good, good.

Next: 44. 2/13/19: Whoa is Me

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