Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about the blob in Curt's kitchen.
This post is mostly about what unchecked expansion means to writers: you, me, most everyone who reads this blog.
If you want to be read, at whatever level, you must learn to brand yourself. It's one of the first lessons I learned when I started. It's the reason I purchased my domain (http://www.aaronpolson.com/) before I had anything worthwhile to slap up there. Being read may (or may not) translate into cash someday. Someday. Meaning, this is about making money. Which, much to my wife's chagrin, is not my favorite topic.
People who know a lot about money like to talk about growth. (hence, "Unchecked Expansion")
I used to work at a bookstore. We talked at length about "expansion". New stores in the chain, new sales in the existing stores, blah, blah blah. Beat Last Year! (i.e., did we make more sales than the same day last year?) Yeah, we checked these things all the time.
I also took calculus in high school. I learned that things do not expand without limits.
A bookstore chain cannot continue to build new stores and sell more each year. It. Is. Impossible. Stores close. Sales drop.
The opposite of expansion happens. Big publishing's revenues are contracting. They've stripped themselves to the bone, merged, hostile take-overed, and now, now people still aren't buying books like they used to. The $9.99 e-book will kill us all. Go ahead, run shrieking into the ether.
As mid-list authors, Brian Keene and JA Konrath have their own models of expansion. I read their blogs. I like to see how these things work. Both are hardworking writers who must continually expand their reach because other parts of their revenue stream constantly contract. A vicious situation, to be sure.
Unchecked expansion doesn't exist. Except in fiction. (Yes, the blue sponge is still growing)
I stepped into two new arenas last week: I listed my Friday flash with #fridayflash and sold two reprints ("Catalog Sales" to Ghostlight and "The World in Rubber, Soft and Malleable" to Triangulation: End of the Rainbow--I love what they did with Dark Glass). I guess you could call it "expansion" or "branding". I just want more people to read my stories. The money (sorry, Aimee) is negligible right now.
So choose your own adventure. Decide how hard you want to work (my hat's off to those making a living at this writing thing). Nothing expands forever.
Writing is nothing if not choosing your own adventure. This is what I chose for Curt:
Curt waits for the gun. The blue mass changes. A shape presses against the skin...a face, fingers.
Gail screams. "Sophia...Sophia's gone!"
Guess she shouldn't have tip-toed downstairs to check on her cow-sponge, eh?