I think I'm still hungover from my 1000 post.

For her answer in reference to to the balloon tank--go read the comments and find it, it's hilarious--Wyrd gets the reading. This intimidates me cuz she's got far more experience at this than me. But I'll try to muddle through without embarrassing myself too much.
But, onto the next 1000.

First, since it was a bit buried, I'll re-announce my story "Living on the Blood of Others" in Thuglit. I've gotten a few private accolades on this one that warms my heart, even if it is an ugly, cold little story.

Quite the musical weekend around here, if you like cover bands. Most of the time I do--I like hearing the music with fresh voices. Incidentally, my favorite cover artist is Marilyn Manson. His Personal Jesus beats the original by a mile.

I saw a band on Friday night. Under a Blood Red Sky plays U2 music. We know the drummer, so we went to let our kid meet him. But before we went out Saturday night to watch a friend play her music, we figured out that my kids' babysitter just learned Sweet Home Alabama on guitar. So the two of them tramped downstairs and proceeded to try to play together. It was fun for us to watch, but more fun for them, learning to watch and cue each other. (Late in the video they nod at each other--a silent communication.) Despite an audience of a few parents and a couple of kids, they both sank into a zone I recognized immediately. There was a lot of laughing and questions, but a distinct lack of embarrassment and and an intriguing level of focus. It was an early collaboration for both of them, and an important step on their musical journeys.

It was good to see them start to realize the truth about art. Artists experiment, knowing most efforts will go awry. Artists stop and restart frequently. They recognize weaknesses and erase mistakes, recognizing them for the touchstones they are.

Collaboration teaches these lessons really well. It's important in art. I've done quite a lot of it, with clients, with writers, with editors. My Top Secret Project is probably the most classic type collaboration I've done, in which we wrote a novella together. The two of us clearly defined our roles by contract ahead of time, and then adjusted to accommodate our strengths and weaknesses as we progressed through the project. At the heart of collaboration is communication, from idea tossing to intense critique.

I'm fortunate. I have good friends who understand me and my writing and help me achieve my goals. I have friends with whom I exchange seed ideas. I have friends who I'd show a really rough draft of something--especially if I'm stuck. And I have friends who only see highly polished work. I even have "Come in Character", a sort of character playground. Of all of it, besides editing, I love the examining tough ideas part best; where I'm stuck on a character or plot point, and I discuss it with friends.

What's your favorite type of collaboration?

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