The Night Before Whomass

Wouldn’t you know it?  Here we are, a few more hours before Christmas kicks off, and when I’m not out shopping for food and taking the daughter to her martial arts class, I’ve been trying to write.

And doing well.

I actually knocked off a little over 600 words on the Work in Progress this morning.  For some reason my fingers don’t want to type the way they used to, but then I’ve been putting out a lot of writing of late, and it’s not easy for them to do what they’re suppose to do.  The WiP is over 9,000 words now, and if I had to guess, I’d say 15,000 total isn’t out of the question.

And editing progresses on the NaNo Novel.  I’ve finished about one-third of Chapter 17, which considering the interruptions I’ve had today isn’t bad.  I’ll likely get more done tonight, but I don’t think I’ll finish it.  Then again, I said the same thing about Chapter 16 last night, and by 11 PM I finished that, so who knows?

I’ll also write tomorrow as well.  It’s just me and the wife and kid, so why not?  The next chapter in the NaNo is a huge one–over 5,000 words–so it’s going to need work.  And if I want to try and finish this up by the 1st of the next year, I gotta get cracking.

But before that happens . . . it’s the Doctor Who Christmas Special tonight, and I can’t miss that!  Haven’t missed one yet, so the daughter and I will watch it and wonder why Matt is doing something strange, or why the Grand Moffat is throwing strange nightmare fuel creatures at us again.  Or why the TARDIS isn’t working right.  (Damn thing has broken down a lot since Matt took it over.)

In my geeky way, it’ll be Merry Whomass for me tonight.

Tomorrow . . . that’s another day.  I’ll worry about that when I wake up.

Three Part Harmony

I have my work cut out for me; Parts One and Part Two of the NaNo Novel are edited, done.  That leaves Part Three and 9 chapters, and I do my math there are 9 days left in the year . . . so if I do what I should do, that means the edit for the novel will finish up at the end of this year–or the very first day of the next year.

Yeah, baby.  That’s some work.

Chapter 15, my biggest chapter, got a serious makeover.  The first draft version was 8,502 words; the revised draft version ended up 8,237 words.  265 words might not sound like a huge cut, but it was not just words being removed; there was a lot of things that were rewritten, that were moved around so they made more sense.  It was one of the reasons I spent 2 days getting this chapter in shape, because I knew it was going to take time to whip that sucker–a short story in its own way–into shape.

So the entire novel currently sits with a word count of 84,436 words with 31,207 words remaining and in need of a good massage.  I look at those numbers and my head spins just a little.  Part One now sits at 22,072 words and Part Two is 31,157.  (Thank you, Scrivener, for allowing me to see those numbers with just a few clicks of the mouse.)

I do my math and . . . there’s still 37 percent of the book left to do, and 9 days to whip it into shape.

It’ll get done.  Yes, I have a couple of chapters just a hair over 2,000 words–and another that about 5,500.  Yesh.  We’ll see what happens.

At the same time the Work in Progress continues.  495 words down last night.  As I told Trusty Editortm the other day, the words for that story are crawling out of me rather than flying, but they are still coming out.  This is a story I really felt I had to write, and it’s the first one I’ve been so deliberate when creating.  I also think that with the massive edit–which also came off the heels of writing it in white-hot speed–my mind is looking for of distractions that don’t involve writing.  Someone told me that I should have taken about a month between finishing  the novel and beginning the edit, and I’m starting to thing that’s a good idea.  Or not.  I don’t know.  I still feel getting into the edit with a week and a half between drafts wasn’t a bad idea, and I now think that it’s only affecting my Work in Progress only because something in my brain is saying that after editing 3,500 words in a day, my brain doesn’t want to mess up on the new stuff, so take it easy.

We’ll see today.  Oh, yes.  We will.

I’m gonna mix things up a bit today.  I think lunch time is a good time for WiP Time.  Lets give that a shot.

Half and Half

Half measures; half baked.  Half way to nowhere?  Where is this headed?

Good question.

Yesterday was another day of getting out of the house and sitting down and writing out and about with the hoi polloi.  Time to fire up the computer, plug in the earbuds, fire up the music, and type like crazy.  The chapter in question for my NaNo Novel is a huge one: it started out at 8,500 words, and after getting just about half way through the sucker it’s still about 8,500 words, but it’s looking a lot cleaner.

And as I joked about on Facebook, I found my gargoyles.  Did you lose your gargoyles?  I hope not.  Mine will mess you up.  So watch out.

And then into the Work in Progress.  I got into writing what was Part 4, and when I got to the end of one sentence I realized–hey, this is the end of this part.  I shouldn’t go any farther, because to do so wouldn’t fit with what’s been written here already.

So Part 4 because Part 4 and then Part 5, and so instead of 8 scenes for the WiP, it became 9 . . . and this is why I love Scrivener, because I can just duplicate a chapter/scene card, throw a little information on that card, and there you go, I’m ready to roll.

So in the Work in Progress I’m at the–wait, here it comes–half way point.  Not in words, mind you, but I’m there in scenes.  The one I’m currently in will probably be a bit long; could be 2,000 words, I don’t know for sure.  I know the one after that will be shorter, and the one after that will be longer . . . which is my way of saying I have no idea how long this will be.  The Scrivener Project Targets Word Count says I am at 7,150 words–after adding 495 words last night in a wine-fueled sprint–and this means that there is no way in hell this story will fit into the “short story” category; novelette seems the best bet.

After having a few days of feeling like I was going no where fast, and that I was getting bogged down the in morass of my own mind, things have been flowing for me rather nicely.  I will admit I could have written more last night, but hey: when you have a big glass of wine helping you get the message out of your head and into the word processor, when it tells you it’s time to sleep you go sleep.  I’ll be back on the WiP today, just as I’ll get into the edit for the NaNo Novel.

The big question is will I go out today for lunch?  The daughter is home from school and isn’t old enough to leave home while daddy is out and about playing Struggling Artist in the Coffee House.  However . . . she has her own computer, so maybe she’d like getting out with her machine and showing off to her friends that she’s hangin’ in public and chattin’ on the computer, holla.  Ah, it doesn’t matter if she likes that or not.  If I decide to go, she goes.  That’s the end of the story.

For the first time in a while I have a good feeling on my stories.  It might have something to do with the fact that I’m over a sort of hump here: half way through a big chapter, half way through a new story.  The NaNo Novel is showing a new word count of 84,600 words, which means over the course of almost 53,400 edited words (everything within the first two parts of the novel, save the last half of Chapter 15), I’ve removed a little over 2,000 words.  I’ll go out on a limb here and say I’ll likely cut out another 1,000 words or so by the time I finish Part 3, and that will mean there’s a very good chance the NaNo Novel will come in at about 83,500 words.

And when I get this published–noticed I didn’t say “if”?–it’s going to end up a nice little read.

The first of many, I’m very certain . . ..

The Great Game

A day out with the computer equals a nice time.  Getting out of the house and doing something besides the same damn thing over and over was good for the brain.

At no time did I think of myself as some Bohemian rake out on the town with an afternoon of drinking and picking up women with tales of how the story I was working on was going to be the greatest thing ever!  My large mug of hot chocolate would in no way bring about vision of the Green Fairy, and the two grandmothers sitting a couple of tables over weren’t exactly my idea of willing, nubile flesh.

It was still a good time, though.  I think I needed to see something else, to hear another voice, to reach out and see another person, which is a very different view of what I have now, which is with Cthulhu sitting under my computer monitor like a pissy green muse wondering when I’m finish this freakin’ novel.  Getting out was nice, even if all I did was hunch over my computer and type away in Scrivener, finishing up the newest section of my Work in Progress, hoping someone would ask me what, “I had nothin’ ta do, so I thoot I’d come ovar and keep Lynette company,” actually meant.

(The Work in Progress just passed 6,650 words, by the way, so I don’t think that “short story” title is gonna work for it.  Ya think?)

I did a little quick edit on my Work in Progress by adding another section to the story.  It made sense, because if I split up each part into different scenes, then, yes, my 729 word section was totally a stand alone scene.  The next is going to be hard to write, because it’ll feel very personal.  You’ll see when I publish it one of these days.

Another chapter was knocked off in the NaNo Novel as well.  Only one left in Part Two, but the one remaining is 8,500 words, and that’s a short story by itself, so getting through that monster is probably going to take a couple of days.  By my Scrivener count I’ve also edited 45,000 words, so it’s another 40,000 word or so to go before I can say it’s all done.  I’ve also checked the chapters I have remaining, and if I’m very good, and I keep working the way I have been, I’l finish the edit on the novel by either 31 December or 1 January.  A great way to start the next year.

I saw that my erotic story that was accepted for publication will appear in print in May, 2012.  Yay!  I say print, but I should say “print”, because I’m sure we’ll be looking at epublication here.  As many books as I have around the house (and I have a lot), I am not so much of a Luddite that I don’t recognize that epub will be the wave of . . . now.  People love their eReaders, and I own one of my own.  (Needs a new battery, but that’s besides the point.)  I don’t have a problem with it being here, mostly because once it’s there it’ll be there forever.  And, as much as I hate to say it, that’s something that’s never going to happen with a brink and mortar store.

Of late, for some reason, I’ve been going back to the well and thinking a lot of about my role playing character, Kerry, and his girlfriend, Annie.  It’s just been something I’ve revisited over the last few days, and it’s leaving me with a nice, warm feeling.  I think about their adventures and I want to write about it . . . if for no other reason that to be able to keep them even closer in my heart.

And lastly, I had a dream where I was having a romantic relationship with one of Amanda Tapping’s characters.  Yeah, baby.  I always think it’s strange when I’m dreaming not about the person but a character they place, but hey . . . story of my live, you know?

Besides, she looked very hot in leather . . ..

The Great Escape

I am in need of something different.

This is that point in your writing life where everything seemed to be never ending.  You’ve published a couple of things, you’re working on new things, but it seems as if time is standing still.  It feels like the same thing is happening, over and over: you get up, flip on the computer, work on your stuff, look for ways to publish, connect with your social media, finish, go to bed.

Wash; rinse; repeat.

It’s really a sort of tire-spinning time for me.  I want to get out and do something, meet people . . . anything, really.

Something that will break up the sameness of doing the same thing every day.

I think what I need is to get out and sit in a cafe and enjoy myself.  Just a little something different.  Because sitting here isn’t doing me any good.

Maybe I’ll come back a changed person!!

Bring In the Fracking Clowns

Monday, and all is spinny like a mofo.

It was a tough weekend.  I had to work through a lot of things–illness and depression among them–to get some writing done, but I got them.  Perseverance, I call it.  Or maybe I just got nothing better to do.  Either way, I did it.  Bully for me.

I wake up today, feeling okay, but I still have this cloud over my head.  I know what I’ve got waiting for me in my Work in Progress, and it’s going to be meaty.  I know what I have to edit in my NaNo Novel.  You set your mind to what is ahead and get ready to do it.

Then I get distracted.  Not in bad ways, mind you . . . but there are distractions.

One is from someone in my family.  Not my immediate family, but someone in it nonetheless.  Someone who is becoming a annoying conservatoid who enjoys posting crap on my Facebook wall while they can’t be bothered to post anything on their own.  In the past I’ve warned them to stop, and even deleted their posts, but this time I called them out.  I pretty much told them they were full of shit and they should get the fuck off my wall.  Not in the mood for their political BS this morning, let me tell you, particularly when their line of reasoning tends to just pull an opinion out of their butt.  As I like to say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence–and since you don’t have the later, I’m calling bullshit on the prior”.


This morning I’ve also had to console a writer friend.  They are having one of those moments of doubt that I feel a lot of writers have, the one where their voice starts telling them, “You suck, dude.  You’re wasting your time with this crap.  Why don’t you stick to something that’s a little more soul sucking and leave the creativity to the hacks making billions off garbage?”  They’re at that moment where they’re wondering why they both writing, because even though they’ve published a novel, they’re not feeling that ego stroke that comes from getting nice 4-star reviews and the like.

I relayed to them something I read long ago.  It was a quote from Stephen King, something he wrote in “Danse Macabre”.  Without having to look it up, it goes something like, “If you write because you want to, because you have to, you’re a writer.  If you write just for the money, you’re a monkey.”

I also feel if you write because you just want to hear how great your stuff is, you’re also a monkey.  Yes, we all want to feel that ego stroke, but if that’s the only reason you’re writing, then writing is your form of masturbation, and the review you get from those people who’s job it is to give reviews, that’s your climax.

I’ve literally spent decades decrying my own writing abilities.  Every time I’d get close to finishing something, my mind would tell me, “You suck, dude.  Forget about it.  Leave the creativity to the hack who make money off crap, ‘kay?”  I’d do this because it’s easy.  Yeah, it’s real easy to tell yourself you suck and that your stories don’t matter, try doing something that’s a little more soul sucking.

I’m tried of that crap.  I need more.  I need to do this, because this is what I want to do.

I write for myself.  But I won’t like.  I have someone out there who has read me and likes my work.  They want to see more.  And if I stop writing they’ll not only be disappointed, they’ll be sad.  I don’t want that.  Even more than my own sadness, I don’t want to contribute to theirs.

Forget the fracking clowns.  Forget the reviewers.  Forget the pandering of substandard work as something spectacular that’s going to change the world.  It means jack.

All that matters is that I write.  And I write well.  And I tell damn good stories.

All else is secondary.

Got that?  Good.

Now go write.

Homemade Rocket to the Stars

Despite feeling way the hell under the weather yesterday I managed a lot.  The good news is I’m sort of half way through my NaNo Novel with my edit.  37,600 words in, 12 chapters out of 24 down, and it’s looking very good.  I’ll likely start in on Chapter 13 later in the day; once that’s finished I’ll be over the 40,000 word limit and closing in on the real half way mark of the novel.

Sure, I said I’d start up on my new stuff in the mornings before getting into editing, but I finished out the night with a few hundred words left to edit on the novel, so I wanted to get that out of the way before moving into the new stuff.  I have a very good idea about finishing off the next section of my work in progress, and I’m of the belief that I’ll have that done with only a few hundred more words.  I will like start on the next section of that later, too, and I know this next section will probably end up being the longest.  I know I said I’d make this WiP a “short story”, but short, to me, is a relative condition.  I’ve still got the magic Word Count Target set at 7000 words, but I’m already up to 4650 after just 2 sections and change, and there are 5 remaining scenes after the one I’m in . . . yeah, getting this in at 7000 words is probably out of the question.

I slept well during the night; the pain that had greeted me early Saturday morning did not reappear.  Which was good, because I needed sleep; I needed to rest my weary head.  And when I did, the dreams came . . ..

Yeah, my head has been all over the place of late, and last night it sort of reflected that.  The strangest thing that came into my head was something pertaining to a woman I knew who built a homemade rocket with the intention of making her way to the moon and back.  I know, strange.  And even stranger, she asked me to help, because when it comes to moon rockets, I’m the go-to guy.

So off to space she flew.  She made it around the moon–it was a simple slingshot around–and headed back to land safely.  During the time I got private messages from her: one of them, as she went behind the moon, was a simple, “I love you”, and I remember feeling so nice about that one, because how many guys get that sort of message from the moon?

And when she made it back to Earth she married some other guy and asked me to help them set up their patio because, obviously, I understand the casual life.

It seems that even in my dreams I get owned in ways that are designed to knock my ego straight back into the dirt.

But all wasn’t lost.  Even though I had a dream that would, normally, leave one wallowing in their tears while curling up in a corner in the fetal position, something else happened to bring this out of the gutter–

I was visited by Kerry and Annie.

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading these diatribes that pass for rational thought, you’ll know about Kerry and Annie.  In short, Kerry is a character I’ve played in a Harry Potter-style online role play, and Annie is his girlfriend.  During the previous summer of 2011 both characters got a lot of chances to strut their stuff, but of late, what with real life sometimes being a pain in the butt, they haven’t done much in the way of interacting within their world.

Even so, they still come to mind in the most unusual ways.  Yesterday we had just the smallest touch of snow here in northwest Indiana, which was enough to make the roads incredible slick but little else.  It actually looks beautiful in its own dangerous way, giving one a sense of serenity that is very calming.

My dream had to do with snow.  And with Kerry and Annie.  Kerry is half-American, half-Welsh, and while born in California, he currently lives in Cardiff, Wales.  Because of his upbringing, snow isn’t something he sees very often.  (Yes, I know they get snow in Cardiff, but not a lot.  Must have something to do with The Rift.)

Annie, on the other hand, lives in the mountains of Bulgaria, so snow is second nature to her.  She probably thinks Kerry’s view of snow is rather strange, because for several months out of the year she’s bundled up in heavy coats, mittens, and boots, while Kerry was probably moping about in a jacket regardless of the Welsh weather.

In the dream it was just starting to snow in Maine, and for Kerry the snowfall seemed like something magical.  Sure, being the middle of Maine it was a little more intense than the snow fall I saw yesterday morning, but still . . . two kids, out in their winter clothing, walking around a walled school laying in the shadow of a mountain, staring up into the snow-filled sky . . . when I woke up I really felt a certain peace for them both, and relish the days I had playing with them–as well as looking forward to the days when I can romp with them once more.

Ah, they have so many tales to tell.  If only I could tell them all.