Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Type, Damn You, TYPE

By Hilary Davidson 

I've heard about writers with exotic, fascinating rituals, but I'm not one of them. Instead, I have a drill sergeant who lives in my head. Shortly after I get up in the morning, she starts screaming things like this:

"Get your ass into the chair, you lazy maggot. Type, damn you, TYPE!!!"

She's not fiction-specific, truth be told. She first appeared in my head when I quit my full-time magazine editing job 14 years ago. I was single at the time, and I'd done plenty of planning before I left the security of the job. (Also, since I was living in Canada, I had the great blessing of having my health-care coverage virtually unchanged by the career switch; I lost dental and prescription coverage, but nothing else was affected.) Even so, when I woke up the day after my farewell party, I was seized by panic. I wondered how I ever thought I could quit a job and not end up homeless.

That was when I first heard the drill sergeant's voice. She's never really gone away, either, even when it became clear that I was making so much more money from freelancing than I had in my salaried position. I suspect she's here to stay, and I'm okay with that. If you asked certain members of my family — and by that, I mean my brothers — they'd tell you I'm a drill sergeant. They didn't nickname me Beast for nothing, you know.

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Have you heard that Thuglit is back? The brass-knuckled zine where I got my start in fiction is now available for Kindle, after a two-year hiatus. The legendary Big Daddy Thug, Todd Robinson, is back as editor. The first issue has new fiction by Johnny Shaw, Jordan Harper, Jason Duke, Matthew Funk, Terrence McCauley, Court Merrigan, and Mike Wilkerson. I've got a story in the issue as well: mine is called "Magpie," and it's as twisted as anything I've ever written. How can you resist? (PS Don't have a Kindle? Neither do I. But you can read Thuglit on your computer or smartphone with these free apps.)


Unknown said...

I have a voice in my head, too. But mine tells me to go back to sleep and do it tomorrow. I think I need your voice to kick my voice's ass.

Chris said...

Love it. You should hire out. Or sell tapes. Who needs how-to when you've got Hilary Davidson's (soon to be) patented, foolproof (we assume) go-do!

Meredith Cole said...

I never would have pictured you as a drill sergeant, Hilary! But I can see the voice in your head is working for you and making you super productive. Congrats on the new story!

Hilary Davidson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sue, Chris, & Meredith! I'm glad my inner drill sergeant is getting the thumbs-up from you. My brothers have, oddly enough, never been too happy to see the drill sergeant appear. But now I see motivational speaking opportunities!

L.J. Sellers said...

I have a drill sergeant in my head too. She's never called me a maggot, but she's as mean as it gets. In fact, she won't let me get out of the chair until 9:30 every night. Which is right now, thank goodness. This is why we get things done. :)