He glares at me through two oily black eyes, taking my confidence and all joy from the things I've created. Everything I've ever written, or ever will write becomes utter crap under his gaze.
This raven doesn't need three eyes, like a popular fantasy series and television show. He does just fine with two hateful shining orbs. His name is Doubt, and I am his bitch for the next few weeks.
The walls of the writing office close in around me, and nothing matters beyond my collection of short stories, and Doubt.
He kawed raucously over the fact that I miscounted the number of vampires in a coven. There were six, then seven, then six again. He pecked at my hand until I changed it to seven in every instance. Seven is a classic fairy-tale number, and will resonate better in the story.
That seemed to be his only complaint with the story. I set it in Baltimore, and Doubt is a huge Ravens fan. Is he manipulating me to support some kind of cause?
He paces back and forth across my desk muttering one of the few words he mimics, “crap, crap, crap.” Maybe he speaks with purpose, he is no ordinary raven. This one is from Mt. Olympus and is nearly treble the size of an ordinary raven. He was a gift from my Muse, but he seems more like a punishment.
Lorelei, the Muse, told me I must learn to overcome Doubt if I ever want to succeed as a writer. I've taken this to heart for seven different books now, but it never gets any easier. Real authors get something to market. I don't want to put out crap, crap, crap, so I edit to the best of my ability. Always under the watchful eye of my gift, my foe.
He doesn't like my attempt at an epistolary style tale. This is the one he thinks is crap, crap, crap. I breezed through it quickly, and will have to return later. My bloody hands couldn't take it any longer.
I drank coffee, so I know Lisa the robot brought it to me. I just can't remember her being there. Such is the power of Doubt during our editing sessions.
He didn't have much to offer in the story I called Magpies. There is a raven in the story, and I wonder if he has some ulterior motives. I'm tempted to replace the raven in the story with another kind of carrion bird just to spite him. I'm afraid he'll peck my eyes out. The raven remains out of fear.
He didn't offer much in the story about the girl with a fever. This concerns me too. No story is perfect. Maybe I should change it somehow, but how? Is he quiet because it's good, or so bad it's beneath his contempt?
I stopped just before the only fantasy in the collection. There is a battle in this story, and I'm afraid he'll make me add ravens to the scene.
There is more editing to come, and I need to break it up into smaller pieces. My mind is full of doubt right now, and I don't want it to get overwhelming. I need to watch some cartoons or something to change the mood.
I left the writing cabin around 1:00. My working vacation is over. It was productive for what it is worth. I added new words to my novel, finished up my short stories, and assembled them into one long manuscript. I need to edit them, and create a table of contents. Maybe I should look into a book formatter this time. That way my italics will come out correctly. Does anybody have one they would recommend? I'd hire them for the table of contents and an Amazon ready file that I could add a cover to.
I think I'll spend the afternoon playing with Otto, or seeing if the coyote will catch the roadrunner. Maybe Pinky and the Brain can actually take over the world.
I hope everyone had a great weekend, and I'm serious about a reasonable formatter.