Writing in a vacuum sucks like, well, like a Dyson. If you want to know how much it sucks, I could offer my first-ever completed manuscript as evidence, but fortunately it’s only available on faded dot matrix paper and cannot be pulled up on any computer made in the last two decades.
As the complex civilizations of dust bunnies currently evolving in my house can attest, I am now vacuum free. Now when I write, I have Hos. That would be my critique group. We are to say the least, a motley crew, representing historical, paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, sweet and erotica.
After forming a few years ago, we decided we needed added incentive, so we started putting money on our goals. If you don’t meet your goal, you pay up. The cash is held in escrow by a legendary figure who inspires awe in—well, in those of us who are also science fiction geeks. Since we have to pay the man and meet our quotas, we decided to call ourselves the Hos. We do have a much more official sounding name, should any of us ever be making that acknowledgement speech as we accept the Rita or the Golden Heart, but really we’re just hard-working hos.
Our emblem is a hoe, spray painted gold. (It was that or a dildo. I wonder whose suggestion that was?) The hoe is passed from ho to ho, based on achievement or need. This month, it came to me. Not for merit, alas. As I discussed the way my muse had given me an unsolvable problem three-fourths of the way into my current WIP, one of my critique partners said with profound sympathy, “Oh, honey, you are so screwed.” She awarded me the Golden Hoe, since I will need all the help I can get if I’m going to resolve this conflict, meet my goal, and not have to pay the man.
It now glitters next to my desk. I wonder if I can use the hoe on my muse?