Writing Like A Madwoman

Kage Baker was prone to frantic fits of writing. Sometimes an idea would seize her with such force and authority that she became a quivering magnetized needle at her desk – utterly focussed on getting the words out of her head and on to paper, ready to explode at any slightest touch that moved her off her heading.

Sort of like the bus in Speed.  If the bus was given to copious profanity.

These were the days of my knitting too loudly.  Or turning pages. Or breathing. All, all too loudly. Harry was equally at fault. To be honest, they were also the days I would be overcome with the desire to read aloud from something like When Life Almost Died.  Or Harry would sing the theme from Spongebob Squarepants for an hour, in all the voices of the demon Legion. Small wonder Kage cursed in Italian, German and Anglo-Saxon, and threw things around the room.

Because when those times came. she had to write – it was an imperative at the obsessive level. It had nothing to do with deadlines; Kage was as happy as any other writer to leave an uncooperative bespoke story to the last minute. No, it was a case of write or have your head explode. And while a good head explosion might mean the molten stone of inspiration would be cleared to flow down over the helpless villages and sugar cane fields – it might also mean your head would break and never work again. That’s an outcome too horrible to risk.

I don’t curse as much in this state, and I never throw anything but cats – and then only if they are blocking the computer screen. No, I squeak and moan and howl sotto voce, clutching my writing hat (which works great, BTW) and wiggling my fingers over the keyboard like a cartoon pianist revving up for the Minute Waltz:


Nonetheless, I feel compelled as well to keep to the bond implied, Dear Readers, in this blog. So here’s some things to amuse you slightly, gathered from my researches between hacking out paragraphs.

Here’s how we might get to Mars:


Here’s how we’ll breathe while we do it:


Here’s why we might want to leave ASAP:


And here is someone else who’s figured it out:

fMRI Study of Inconceivable Cosmic Horror.


Have a happy Saturday, Dear Readers!











About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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1 Response to Writing Like A Madwoman

  1. Tom says:

    ‘Mind-blowing’ is good. ‘Head-exploding’ is, in most cases, excessive. Though not in this one.


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