Shhhhhh. This post is on the down low. Chris thinks he's being sent to replenish the supply of "Free coffee with the purchase of a breakfast sandwich" coupons that he's using to pay the guest bloggers this month. But really I just wanted the chance to tell you everything that's been going on lately here at Writing About Writing.
There's really good news. Leela Bruce kicked open Chris's door the other day (and just so you understand, with Leela that is entirely literal) and told him that his recent addition of Amy Echeverri and Claire Youmans in addition to the too-far-between-but-at-least-they're-there link dumps by The Pointer Sisters mean that she now deems the staff not to be such a sausagefest, and will begin to Kung-Fu fight bad writing advice again.
Not all the news is good though. Unfortunately, Guy Goodman St. White remains stuck at the bottom of a whisky bottle, still reeling from the fact that this "cushy gig" (tearing apart genre fiction for being non-literary) ended up having a body count. When I went to ask him about maybe writing a post...you know just to have something to do for 2015, he shouted about Atwood being a genre hack through badly slurred speech. "Handmaiden's Tail is is just sci-fi bullshit!"he shouted, lifting a bottle to throw at me, but thinking better of it when he saw that it still had a few swallows left swishing about the bottom. I'm pretty sure he meant The Handmaid's Tale but he was drunk. (Don't ask me how I heard him use the wrong homophone--it's an Octorian thing; you wouldn't understand.) "The snobby Atwoody disclaimer that it's 'speculative fiction' or 'futurism,' not science fiction' doesn't make it literary! That just makes her aware that she wrote something not gritty enough with its unflinching observation of reality. It's still set in the future. It still isn't realistic! Genre crap!"
Then, of course, there's the problem of our being hacked by someone who keeps giving out just....awful writing advice. Chris has conflict resolution "issues" and if the Evil Mystery Blogger isn't actively hacking our signal, finding out which member of the W.A.W. team has gone rogue gets put on the back burner. But at least a couple of months back he did go into the dark labyrinthine basement of W.A.W. to confront Evil Chris. Everyone sort of thinks Evil Chris is....well...evil, but really other than dyeing his goatee and enjoying NaNoWriMo, he's basically just Chris and would never give out such terrible advice. But the staff needed to be convinced, and so the trip to the dungeon of black despair was an important gesture. Especially since we're coming up on the time when Evil Chris probably will hack the signal for a couple of NaNo articles.
But that still leaves it open who is doing it. Guy doesn't seem capable right now, and the other bloggers are patently offended by the advice. Leela almost came out of her self-imposed hiatus to kick the ass of some of that advice more than once. She had to hold herself back. (Literally--that was some serious flexibility, let me tell ya.) I seriously doubt it's them. Chris has interviewed each of us, and we all basically promised him pain if he even deigned to give voice to the question.
I promised him an eight arm slap. Believe me that shit stings.
But I don't imagine Chris is going to get off his ass and do anything definitive until/unless EMB strikes again. And as long as he isn't riding The Sci Guy to improve security, the experiments into dimensional technology continue unabated in the lab. (Seriously, even an Octorian would have just reactived the ol' OK Cupid profile by now.)
But the best news is perhaps with Chris himself. He seems full of energy and vigor once again. His home life at The Hall of Rectitude seems to be reaching a turning point with The Contrarian, and he is optimistic about the opportunity to make good on all his recent ambitions for articles. He's got some new writing schedule that's working out pretty well, and has begun to come into the office each day looking like someone who wants to be here.
It's like the sun coming out from behind a cloud. There were days where thinking about his fans was the only reason he wrote anything at all. (He doesn't call you that, of course. He calls you his "readers," or maybe "people who like my work.") I can't say I don't understand. I've held on with eight tentacles to keep this place from falling apart while things were rough, and mostly it's because of the human, Dor, and the fact that he is my fan. I will never forget him, and I will never stop being the best I can for him. So I understand when Chris drags himself to work because people are counting on him.
But all the same, I'm glad the inspiration and the motivation are finally coming around as well. Maybe we can finally get this ridiculous blog back on track and maybe even transform our ongoing years-long jazz hands into something spectacular.