Madama Hamerquist has inquired how long it took me to write Metal More Attractive, a short story that was published in F&SF a few years back.
Answer: About 48 hours.
Metal More Attractive was written while I was attending Clarion West a few years back. Our esteemed teacher, Paul Park, had tasked our class with a writing exercise: describe a location through action. That is, rather than using passive description (I walked into the room and looked around...the floor was flat and the walls vertical...) all the setting description should be part of the action of the scene. In response, I wrote the first few paragraphs of Metal More Attractive, which describe Hardhands walking into Guererro's Helado y Refresco.
Later, I finished the story in one caffeine fulled day. At this point, I had already written Flora Segunda, so Califa was clear in my mind, but the characters of Hardhands and Tiny Doom were new to me. I've never written a story so easily and I probably never will again. Despite its length, the tale just poured right out, and I didn't have to do much revising either. Since MMA was the also the first short story I'd ever written, I can truly attribute it to beginner's luck!