At some point (last year? Two years ago?) my friend Victoria Feistner suggested writing snowballs together – exchanging emails where one of us would start a story, write a paragraph or so, and send to the other person to add another paragraph or so. It was a low-stakes way to keep us writing and keep us interested in writing. (My major flaw as a writer is that once I know what my story’s ending is going to be, I get bored and stop writing. After all, I already know how it ends. The surprise is gone.)

Victoria and I do not write the same way at all. She/they loves worldbuilding and just sitting that stool down and milking the worldbuilding cow for all it is worth. I, however, just want my characters to talk-talk-talk the whole way through. She/they loves science fiction and time-travel and digging into ancient civilizations; I… do not.


And yet we snowballed a story and she/they polished it up and sent it out and through the magic of ‘huh’ sold SIDE HUSTLE to Typehouse Literary Magazine and it contains every instance of the word ‘poot’ and all of its verbings.

When Victoria showed me the finished story, I could not remember who had written what. (I am assured that every pooting was mine, or at least I was the originator of the primal poot.) Which, considering how different our writing styles are, is pretty darn cool.

…I feel like I should be espousing a moral at this point but all I’ve got is ‘write however you want to write and let the editor sort it out but if you disagree with the editor that is totally fine and also see if you can sneak a poot in there, because it may go unchallenged and that will be very satisfying.’


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