â€¦and then thereâ€™s thoseâ€¦different questions.
Q: Nikki asks, Also, in honor of the Bloggiversary, I think I’ll try to introduce the concept of the Big or Bigging to this site. A Big is basically getting the writer to post a snippet from his or her WIP. This is usually not a spoiler, just an innocuous little bit to keep the mouth watering until the whole story is out.
The term Big came about after an e-friend from the compuserve forums instructed me in the fine art of begging for new material. Afterward, she jokingly denied she was teaching me how to beg, but only speaking of making bigger scenes in our own WIPs.
What do you say? Are you open to the concept? I promise my Bigs are creative and usually funny.
A: You mean you want a chunk thatâ€™s been hacked out of TOUCHSTONE, rough and unpolished? Wouldnâ€™t you rather see the WIP Iâ€™ll be returning to as soon as I put TOUCHSTONE into the mailer, which is the short story whose beginning I posted oh, so long ago on the web site?
In fact, if you want to play The Edit Game, you could print it out and take your blue pencil to it (why blue? My editor uses a plain #2, the copy editor uses green or brown. Anyway–) and compare what you get with what I do with it.
The story is certainly rough, having been written during a two-hour period when people were (Virtually) looking over my shoulder. Thereâ€™s plenty there to edit, and you can even give it an ending, if you like.
Just donâ€™t send it to me.
Q: Enid wanted to know: I would like to participate in the book club. That sounds interesting. Can anyone join in? I am situated in the tropics.
A. Hmmm. Itâ€™s difficult to know how to answer this without the flavor of snark creeping in. Let me say simply that this is a Virtual Book Club, and unless the tropical humidity clogs up your computerâ€™s little motors or the bugs climb into its housing, your location shouldnâ€™t affect your participation.
Q: And finally, Bronwyn wants to know my shoe size.
A. Surely anyone reading the first part of THE BEEKEEPERâ€™S APPRENTICE can see that the author is writing first-hand about foot size. And sorry, but a size nine (US) doesnâ€™t count as truly large. Ten and a half? Getting there.