Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shades of Mediocrity

I attended Conspiracy of Three last night, which is a monthly meeting of writers from the area, who gather to read their works and drink. There are some really talented writers who attend, and others who are not so talented. Last night's crowd was actually pretty solid: even some of the writers whose work I don't normally care for brought work that was well written. The theme was "sex and/or animals," so I was quite surprised (since that combination is kind of a receipe for disaster).

I surprised myself by actually reading. I hadn't intended to, and didn't bring anything to read, but through the magic of wireless internet I was able to grab the rough copy of the story I've been working on the last few nights. There really is nothing like reading aloud to make you recognize all of the flaws and faults in your own writing; it will never sound quite as ridiculous as it does the first time you speak the words. Even though I don't know how much I like what I'm writing, I intend to finish it: I have written three (count 'em) short stories in the last six years, so simply the act of finishing will be gratifying enough on its own.

Not much else is new to report. My mum has been talking again about the possibility of going to Afghanistan. She figures that if she goes for three months, she'll make enough money to pay off the school debts of all three of us girls. I'm not sure how I feel about this. As she's gotten older, her desire to do good for others has increased, and I know that working in Afghanistan would make her feel like she was making a difference to someone.1 That said, I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of my mum doing this to pay off my debt. My parents were already quite generous with helping to finance my education, and I've been making small but important headway on paying it off on my own. If she were doing it for herself, I'd support that.2

1 She has done medical work in South America previously, but her recent experiences there have left her feeling like she's not really making a difference to anyone.
2 Sure, I'd worry about her constantly, but it would be her decision to go.

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