That’s an excited cry of “brain!” — not a zombie mumble of “braaaaaains.”

The distinction is important. Those of you reading this who have written novels know whereof I speak; others may know it from similarly intensive mental endeavours. When you finish, it feels like a steamroller has come through and pasted every single potential thought into a pancake. It’s possible, sometimes, to get something done soon after, but mostly you turn into the next stage of Mr Earbrass.

Which is why it’s exciting that last night I finished a short story! And not just any short story: this is “Once a Goddess,” which probably holds the record for longest time spent sitting around refusing to turn from an idea into a proper story. There are four abortive drafts on my hard drive, not counting the one that got finished, and the earliest of them dates back to the summer of 2001 — which I know because the idea came from an article I read while indexing for Anthropological Literature.

Last night, I regrew enough brain to finish it. Yay me!

It’s nice for other reasons, too. I haven’t finished a short story since — Jesus. Just went to look at my notes, and that would be “Kingspeaker,” in March of last year. How’s that for pathetic? Sure, I’ve written three novels in the interim, and that’s not bad, but the other nice thing here is that “Once a Goddess” is secondary-world fantasy, which has been lacking in my life of late. I love writing the Onyx Court books and all, but it’s been a while since I scratched the worldbuilding itch.

Brain! It’s working again!

Maybe I’ll try finishing something else, too.

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