I can hear the voice inside my head–saying you should be with me instead.

Me: Will you guys shut up, please? I’m trying to wake up here.

Peter: But you just had a huge revelation about me, and you’re honestly thinking of working on that short story about grubby worm spider things in a Victorian garden?

Spindly Grubbings: *intelligible chittering*

Me: Yes, Peter. I am thinking about that. Doesn’t mean I have committed to anything yet. I have one afternoon to do this, okay? I’m trying to prioritize.

Cora: (sighs) Great. So you’re leaving me on an island filled convicts and no resolve?

Me: Stop sulking, Cora. You’ll be fine. You have friends to watch you while I’m–

Captain Pars: Friends? She has friends? You leave me out in space with nothing but squid people an a nerd for company, and she’s got friends?

Me: Listen. You’re a short story, okay? I have to leave you that way. I can’t turn everything into a novel. You’re just still grumpy that I kept your story so short.

Clint Apwood: You haven’t even finished mine, and our world is about to end. (coughs) Am I ever going to get Emily in bed, by the way? I mean before the world ends, because you know–

Me: No, no. I mean–yes. I think. Maybe. I haven’t decided that yet.

Clint: (starts to say something)

Me: And no, Clint. You can’t have a novel either. You are a short story and you will stay that way! I have enough novels to deal with at the moment.

Anna Pendragon: Tell me about it. You’ve been ignoring me for weeks. And you’ve “finished” my story.

Me: Listen, Anna. I can hear and read your ironic quotes, and you can shove it. If you didn’t annoy me so frigging much I wouldn’t be avoiding you.

Peter: (sighs) Don’t I count more? I’m your first full-length story. That should have some clout.

Cora: Ha! You’re just a boring epic fantasy about a farmer’s kid!

Peter: Oh, come on, Cora. Like steampunk is any better?

Me: Happy place. Happy place… gotta find my happy place.


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