Q1 and Done

It’s the end of the month as we know it, and I feel fine, save for the soreness in my legs.  Too much time on my feet, too much time laying on a bed that hurting my calves for some reason.  Or maybe it’s me:  maybe my weight is pressing down on my lower extremities and causing problems.

Last year this time I was lamenting over writers, people who usually make things up for a living, being unable to make up the names of towns and people.  I read this post over last night, and was struck by the fact that most of the people who I’d written about don’t seen to write these days.  When I joined a few writing groups on Facebook back in 2011, it seemed as if there were  hundreds of people posting about what they were going to write, what they were writing–and then, how they couldn’t finish what they started.

Today, those same groups seem to be inhabited by a few dozen hard core members, and a few dozen more people who flit in and out when they decided to pick up their book and get back into The Great and Not So Loving Game.

Writing wears you out.  I managed to edit two chapters of Replacements last night, maybe twenty-seven hundred words total, and when I was finished I wanted to write something new, but couldn’t.  I was starting to nod at the computer, and trying to crank out anything that would have made sense wouldn’t have made sense at all.

In his March 30 blog post, Neil Gaiman offered a few simple words for writers:  “Write.  Finish Things.  Keep Writing.”  Sure, you’re thinking, “That’s easy for you to say, Mr. Last Cybermen!”, but at one time he was just like everyone else, working hard to get into the biz.  He’s now in the biz, and he still works hard, only now he does it full time, whereas most of us need another job to play the bills.

My biggest problem was always finishing things.  I’d jump into a story with both feet, burn through ten, twenty thousand words, and then–nada.  I’d get disappointed, depressed, defeated:  the story before me had to be crap, so why bother?  It’s not like anyone’s going to read it . . .

I’d say that’s a mindset that it not just unique to me; I’m almost certain there are others out there who end up feeling the same way.  I even get that feeling still, only it starts kicking in about forty-five thousand words into a novel, and it screws with me until I’m about ten to fifteen thousand words from the finish line.

And then I find the strength to make my way to “The End”.

I’ve told people I know that one of the reasons I keep a blog, one of the reasons I write every day whether or not I have anything interesting to say, is that it keeps me thinking, it keeps the mind going, it keeps me writing.  Without it I might not ever bother pulling out a manuscript and doing anything with it, and just become another of those left by the Writing Wayside.  That’s not completely true, but I do feel as if my blog keeps me anchored and focused on my goal of becoming a full-time writer.

Back on December 1 I detailed what I’d written up to that point over the course of a year and change.  At that point, with everything from the end of 2011, and all over 2012, I’d calculated I’d written approximately 568,000 words.  What I should say is that I wrote and finished that much, because I don’t consider the story worthwhile if I haven’t finished it.  During 2012 I started a story for someone, got about five thousand words into it, and then put it away, because what I was writing wasn’t me; the story didn’t feel right.  And to have went on would have meant doing something that I wasn’t going to enjoy, or take from the work any pride.

Since I wrote that last post I’ve written another novel, and blogged every day.  Suggestive Amusements ended up running just over seventy-one thousand words, while the blog has averaged about five hundred fifty words a day for 121 day, or right at sixty-six thousand, five hundred fifty words.  Add all that up, and at the end of Q1 (the First Quarter of the year, as we call it in the business world), I’ve another 137,550 finished words added to my total.

Plug in the numbers from before 1 December, 2012, and we have a new total:  705,550 words.  Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!

Yes, there is marketing and editing and getting a great book cover, but the above is the real heart of the issue:  writing and finishing.  You wanna walk that walk, you gotta do diligence.

You gotta write; you gotta finish; you gotta write some more.

Which reminds me–

I got some writing to do.

 

Building Towards Excitation

Yesterday was busy; today is likely to be a bit of a madhouse.  Yesterday was taxes and medication, along with a little work that I didn’t want to do, but more or less was pushed into doing; today is going to be getting my car tested and shopping with other people.  The only thing that makes today a little bearable is that Doctor Who starts tonight, giving me something else to watch for the next seven weeks.

Oh, there’ll be writing as well.  What else?

I’ve the clock on me this morning, because I’d like to finished this post in another twenty-eight minutes so I can put my vehicle through some emissions testing.  So much fun, because you feel as if you have less and less of you own time due to these other obligations.  You have so many things throughout the day you wonder if you’ll get to the things you want, to be able to engage in the things that are important to you.

I do my best.

I’ve finished the edit on Chapter Three of Replacements, and things are going smoothly.  Last night was a real good edit, because I was seeing things that shouldn’t have been there, and a couple of clumsy passages that made me cringe a little on the inside.  How the hell did I write that and think it was good?  Well, it was a first draft of things that were written for another site, and at best I gave those chapters a good looking over before posting them online.

Its wasn’t a disaster, however.  I’t wasn’t as if I was embarrassed by what I’d written:  it’s that these days I know how to look at something and know it doesn’t look right.  When other writers say, “Get good at your editing skills,” they know of what they speak, because there is so much more going on in these phases than I’d ever imaged before getting serious about my writing.  There were many times in the past when I believed my first drafts were so good that I didn’t need no stinkin’ editing–how wrong is that?    If anything, I can look at something I wrote five, six, ten years ago, and know it’s a bit defective, and that it needs a good rub down.  (You know, a polish?  What were you thinking?  Naughty people.)

Tonight I’ll polish up Chapter Four, then tomorrow I’ll get into writing a new chapter?  What’s that, you say?  New chapter?  Yep.  Figured the story needed it, and I have an interesting idea that I want to put in that shows the developing relationship between my two main characters.  Shouldn’t be more than a couple of thousand words, then I can let it sit, I can do something else for a while, then go back and give it a major edit.

Mean and clean:  that’s how I like my chapters.

At this rate I’ll finish the edit next weekend.  Do I edit something else?  You know, there are a couple of stories that need a good edit, and I should get into them if I’m serious about getting stuff published this year.

Only if it’s ready to go is it ready to go.

Seven thirty to seven fifty-two:

Looks like I can check off blogging for the day.

Beyond the Farthest Handwavium

Thursday night is Relaxation Night due to a combination of things happening early in the evening, then Project Runway coming on and remaining on my television until nine-thirty PM.  There are only two or three more episodes of that show remaining, so I’ll soon be back to working on Thursday nights–and by working, I mean writing.

The way things work our, I’m looking at a lot of editing and formatting throughout April, with an occasional article here and there posted just to keep my hand in.  I’ve looked at my Idea File (I do have one), and I’ve not seen too much that is blowing a draft up my skirt, at least not yet.  Yes, they are my ideas, but what seemed like a good idea one moment doesn’t always translate into, “I gotta write this now!”  As I’ve found, you gotta let an idea stew a bit before you jump into it, otherwise it’s going to die stillborn.

But what do I want to write next?  I’ve been into the horror and the fantasy the last two novels, so I need something different.  But what?  Science Fiction?  Erotica?  Maybe Science Fiction Erotica, where In Space, No One Can Hear You Orgasm Unless You’re Really Loud.

I have been thinking of trying to write some science fiction that’s more in line with what’s considered “hard”, which means there’s no energy weapons that vaporize people, no gravity fields that make your space ship layout look more like the Queen Marry 2 than any tall skyscraper you can bring to mind, no super-duper space drive that will get you from Point A to Point B in a matter of hours.

There’s a term for that in the community:  Handwavium.  We’re talking a complete disregard for any of the laws of physics, where we can travel faster than the speed of light, or we can use an electromagnetic field to deflect light, or we don’t worry about heat when we’re using weapons that can take out stars.  Most of the science fiction from the Golden Age was like this, mostly because there were a lot of things we simply didn’t know at the time, but these days most writers have a better understanding of the universe, and they know what can and can’t be done . . .

Yeah, but we still like stories about getting from one star to another, and doing it in a way that doesn’t make us wait forever for our characters to make the trip.  Star Trek wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if it took an entire season of fifteen shows (actually twenty-two back in the day, but that was back in the day) to travel from Earth to Vulcan, which in terms of the scale of the galaxy is like me walking to the end of the driveway to get the mail.  The Dominion War becomes a lot less worrisome if it takes the Jem’Hadar six months to travel from the Bajor Wormhole to DS9–and Starfleet won’t show up for eight months after that.

There is something intriguing about staging a story in a world where most of what happens in a world is more or less real.  Sure, you can stretch science and engineering a bit to make the world a little move interesting:  you see that happen now and then where the space habitats are little too nice, the ships a little too fast, the terraforming a little too quick.  And yet, the reality is just enough that it feels like a world that isn’t too out there, that’s it’s just real enough to be a place that could happen.

Now all I have to do is come up with that world–

And write it out.

Fast Lane to the Hinterland

There nothing like driving into Chicago at six-thirty in the morning with a cloudless sky above you, a lot of tall building before you, traffic filled with crazy people around you, and an old Japanese anime soundtrack blasting from your stereo.  It puts you in a certain frame of mine–unfortunately, for me, it was sort of the, “Why the hell am I doing this shit?” frame, and please don’t tell me it’s to pay the bills.

Still, there was a certain feeling while I was on the road.  I do love driving, if for no other reason that I can be alone with my thoughts, even if I’m accompanied by loud music.  When I used to make the weekly trek from and to The Undisclosed Location, I had two and a half hours to drive at 80 MPH, yell at drivers that wouldn’t get out of my way, and think out plot lines, scenes, and character development.

I thought a little about what I’m working on right now, which is editing and formatting Replacements so I can publish the work.  I’m getting this out of the way so when my covers arrive–that’s right, I was told I’m getting three covers for the low price of $200, and I can keep them or do some swapping, maybe using one of Smashwords and another on Amazon–I can then see about getting a cover for Replacements while I do a final edit and format on Her Demonic Majesty so I can get it online where it can take its place next to werewolf porn and a series about an eighteen year-old virgin who gets laid in about thirty stories–which means she must have regenerative abilities.

This morning I spoke with a friend about a story I’d submitted to a publishing house last May, and have heard nothing in return after they requested, and received, the full manuscript.  I’d mentioned that I’d sent two follow ups to the publishing house requesting an update on my novel, with none forthcoming from their end.  My friend’s comment was short and to the point:  “Fuck ’em, publish it yourself.”  This has pretty much been my attitude as well, since I’m getting antsy to find out what’s going on with that particular story.  If you want it, fine:  if you don’t want it, fine as well.  Just let me know, ‘kay?

This seems to be a common occurrence these days, where people send things out and sometimes never hear a thing back.  Or maybe it’s jut me:  maybe I’m stuck on this one with a lost in the aether and constantly waiting for it to return from the hinterlands.  Though I’m coming up on a year with it being out, so it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what I’m going to do with the story–

I’ll fix it up and I’ll publish it.

There’s no guaranty I’ll make any sales if I do this, but then there was no guaranty I’d make any sales by selling it, either.  Just as once I pay a couple of hundred scoots for a book cover there’s no guaranty I’ll get any sales from Her Demonic Majesty.  I do know this, however:

It will be out–and, with the right cover, it will be noticed.

The question then becomes:  by whom?

Hot Chocolate and Mountain Stars

One project ends, another begins; it’s how you do it, really.  Suggestive Amusements is in the can–or on the hard drive, as this case may be–and my information for a book cover for Her Demonic Majesty is off to a friend for her appraisal.  What is left to do?

Edit, what else?

Replacements is under the literary knife again.  I’m giving it another polish in, preparing it for it’s own publication date.  That will mean getting a cover for it as well, and prepping the manuscript for ebooks, but that’s easy.  Well, the formatting is:  not sure on the cover yet.  But it’s all coming together.  If anything, as I edit, I can format.  I did Chapter One last night; I’ll likely edit Chapter Two tonight, then start doing a format on Chapter One–which is a small chapters–to get back into the swing of getting an ebook ready.

Even with all this, there are always things going on in my mind.  Are those story ideas you’re talking about, Cassie?  Why, yes:  yes, they are.

There is a set of stories that I’ve developed of a particular set of characters.  As of this moment I have three stories written about them that amount to three long novels, one short novel, and a novella.  I’m so tied into these characters, in fact, that I have a time line of their lives figured out, and that the stories that revolve around those lives.

Last week I was thinking about one of those stories, one that takes place further along in their lives, and it’s an event that, as they say in the business, changes them forever.  It really does, because it’s needed for later in their lives, and for the stories that follow.  As I want to do, I thought out things from a meta standpoint, with the intention of figuring out things later.  As for the meta, it goes into a file, or my head, both of which are pretty good for that sort of thing.

Here is the kicker, though:  the night before, I had a dream that revolved around what I’d been thinking about, as well as some of the research I’d done, because I’m all about the research . . .

I know it was about a place I’d researched for this story, because I just did.  It was in the mountains; it was night and the air was crisp, with fall approaching.  I was sitting alongside someone, both of us wearing thick sweaters against the mountain chill.  There was wine, just a small glass each, because you want to enjoy the alcohol-infused warmth that comes from sitting a sweet white wine.

Then, after the lateness of the hour became apparent, inside we go to sit before a fire, stretching out upon an overstuffed sofa–

Which is where my dream ended.  But the writer in me–ah, I see thing going beyond that.  Because the overstuffed sofa reminds me of two people in a very different place, with their own sofa, their over comforters, their own fire . . . and plenty of pumpkin juice, hot chocolate, and cheese banitsas.  All the things meant to keep a couple warm . . .

All the things they’d need to remind them of their love.

Tales Beyond the Table

With the latest novel out of the way, it was time to get into another book and getting some information together for someone to design a cover for said story.  There wasn’t a lot to do–well, maybe I’m being modest, because there was a lot of hunting for information, and a bit of cutting and pasting, to get the final document in order.  As it was, I passed off about two thousand words of useful information–I hope.

So that’s off to the printer, so to speak.  Probably going to get into another edit tonight:  I want to shape up Replacements, and there’s a chapter I need to write to have the story make a little more sense–I’m putting in some dumb character building, I know, why do I need that shit?  Because I do, that’s why.  The story will get edited, then I’ll put in another requests for a cover . . .

April will see a lot of work towards publishing.  But I’ve got other things going as well.

In the last week I’ve had two role playing games reviews published.  These aren’t new reviews, and they aren’t new games; I originally published them on another site a few years back, and sort of let them sit.  Since they weren’t doing much in the way of traffic, I offered them to someone to post on their site after I gave them a bit of a polish, ’cause lets face it, I see mistakes much better these days.  If you are interested in reading the reviews, the are for the games Diaspora and Eclipse Phase.  Enjoy.

I don’t game much these days.  Actually, I don’t game at all; it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done any serious gaming, and while I’m always ready to jump into something, I’ve encountered the problem of either not finding a game I like, or not finding a group I like.  Both can be a problem, because if you are in a game that’s not your style, or you’re gaming with assholes, the urge to play goes right down the toilet in short order.

Yet I still pick up games now and then.  Why?  Simple answer:  they can be fodder for ideas.

There was a time when the games I ran were my stories.  Trust me:  run a role playing game every other weekend for two years, and you’ll develop a sense for story, for metaplots, and for characters.  You play in their world, but you make it your own:  you build most everything off the structure, then make your cast of characters, direct the action so your players have something interesting to do.

I did this for a couple of decades, and it helped me understand what sort of work it takes to be a storytelling.  I prided myself on my games, and I pride myself on the tales I write these days.

As for these games I still buy . . .

One can find inspiration from anywhere.  One of my first completed long stories took place in a game universe, one that I knew intimately   It could be argued that I was writing fan fiction even though the character throughout the story were entirely mine, but I won’t argue the point.  It was a good exercise for me, and my only regret is that this particular story is lost to me, vanished on a hard drive failure.  Doesn’t me I couldn’t rewrite the story from scratch today, because you always remember your first novella . . .

I hear you out there, however:  so you’re still buying game to steal ideas, is that it?  Inspiration can come from anywhere, as my muse Erin would tell you.  If you find something in a paragraph of a supplement that gets the mental gears cranking, then good for you, because working your imagination is a great thing–maybe one of the greatest things a person can achieve.

Besides, Quentin Tarantino has found inspiration this way for a couple of decades, and some call him a genius.

I already am one, so the calling should come easy . . .

Next Up on the Film Side

Supporting my film making bud (is she my bud?) down New Orleans way, here’s an update on Jo’s next movie:

Sonuvabitch: A Short Stack Series Film

We held casting for Sonuvabitch in late January and early February of this year and then I sat on the decision-making for a bit. We’re only a third of the way through pre-production and already this film has held a steep learning curve for me as a writer, as a director, and as a producer. The most important takeaway from the process is that as I give more specific character descriptions to the actors, the better the audition will be — monologue included. The pieces can really start to fall into place in the initial audition, with effort.

I’ve also learned that we have an incredible amount of undiscovered talent. I felt like we were holding auditions somewhere just off Broadway. I attribute that mainly to my choice of casting agent. Actor Michael Martin’s interpretative skills galvanized our pool of auditioners, many of whom were seasoned actors with fine arts…

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In Perago Est Hic

Writing is not for the faint of heart.  Sure, you can keep a diary and spill your guts to yourself every day, and hope that no one ever reads it and discovers that you spent a lot of time talking about sex and even giving your genitals a name.  This happened in one of the most famous diaries to be published, although in the original version all that stuff was cut out–about thirty percent in total.

It’s a long. torturous journey that doesn’t always end well.  It’s entirely possible that you’ll spend months, maybe years, working on a story that you need to tell, only to see it rejected by publisher after publisher.  It’s enough to drive you mad, and there have been instances where people have simply given up for a while, or for good, or, in the case of the guy who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces, he killed himself, and it took his mother another eight years to see the book published.

One can find a lot of pain in writing.  It pulls at you, it frustrates you, it takes so much of your time.  It’s exhausting, because most writers are working a regular job, and a lot of times when you have your work in progress before you, it’s about nine o’clock at night, and you’ve been up since four AM, and you only have about ninety minutes to get said what you want to say.  It’s sometimes more of a job than it seems, because maybe times you don’t want to write; you want to call it a night and play games all night, and let your brain become mulch for the vegetables.

Then again, when you reach the end of your story, one that you’ve worked on for weeks or months–or even years–you feel such satisfaction.  You’ve finished a task and you realize what you’ve created, and it’s suddenly like all the emotions you’ve poured onto each page comes back and hugs you hard . . . and you know you’ve done something good.

Yesterday I finished Suggestive Amusements.  Last chapter, a few thousand words to write, I wrote during the afternoon and into the evening, and somewhere past nine PM I wrote “The End”, and it was all good.  As I neared the end, the emotions began manifesting as something real, and I was both sad and ecstatic.  The ending, particularly the last few hundred words, brought forth the tears, but at the same time I was happy the story was finished.

The novel was a chore at time.  It was a tremendous undertaking.  It caused a bit of soul searching, and even came close to beating me about enough that I needed to step away a few nights and just enjoy life.  There were moments when I wondered if I would ever finish the story–or is what I was writing was worth finishing.

Now is the time to publish.  Now’s the time to get one of my novels formatted for Smashwords and Amazon, and get a good cover made.  Then edit another story, and get it published.  Then . . .

Write the next tale.

It’s what I do.

Roll Away the Dragon’s Gold

After a long day, after a blog post and a nearly three thousand word article with pictures, I started on the last chapter of Suggestive Amusements.  Yes, we’re on that final stretch of a few thousand words that will wrap up the story and then pack up the manuscript–or, in my case, save it off to both my external hard drives–and move onto the next project, which is getting Her Demonic Majesty ready for epublishing.

I have my plan laid out, I really do.

So laid out, in fact, that I just updated my idea file with something that came to me this morning, another early morning, where I had a song in my head that refused to retreat to a neutral corner, and the idea that came to me for a story that I’ve played with for some time, but could never really get the hook in to keep me interested.  That happens some times; you get a feeling for something, but it never really comes to fruition, it only sort of lingers there and feels like it doesn’t want to play.

Today I will attempt to finish the current work in progress.  It’s time.  It’s the 24th of March, and I’ve been on this for almost ninety days–okay, if I finish today, it’s eighty-five, close enough.  For seventy thousand words, and change, it’s a long time to be writing, and I need to do other things.  Makes me wonder what I’m going to do after getting Demonic Majesty and Replacements up to the great ebook market–

I know one thing I won’t do . . .

Today, maybe an hour ago, I saw a comment in one of my writer’s groups.  The commented indicated that they were thinking of taking a setting and characters from another writer’s published story and writing a novel based upon those with the intention of commercial gain, and they wanted to know how people felt about that.  Gotta hand it to him, at least he came right out and said he was stealing–

I can think of two instances where I’ve tried my hand at fan fiction.  Once, a long time back when I was in a writer’s group, I developed a story that revolved around a role playing game setting.  While I used the game world, the characters were my own.  I did the same thing a few years ago with some Star Trek fanfic I did that was, once again, based around a game I was in at the time.  (A very bad game, but that’s a story for another time.)

I enjoyed working on both stories–up to a point, that is.  The point came when I realized that I had great characters, but I was using them in a world that wasn’t mine, and it didn’t feel right.  While I still feel connected to the characters, I feel as if I can’t reenter those stories simply because of where they take place.

It feels like I got lazy and decided to take the easy way out.

I’ve always said that if my stories ever got to the point where other thought my characters were worth stealing for their own stories, I’d probably want to shut down any and all fan fics as quickly as possible.  Most writers work hard to bring believable worlds and place believable characters into those worlds, and it feels like you’re getting bent over when you find that someone has taken one or the other, or both, and turned them into their own personal amusement.

I could also sorta look at it from the point of view offered by a writer friend this morning when I mentioned Fifty Shades of Grey: “I’ma more terrified someone loved her characters to make fan fiction outta them.”  ‘Cause when you get right to it, there’s some creepy fanfic shit out there, and you gotta wonder what motivation lay behind putting a couple of ripped-off character in bed with a wolverine and a steel-spiked strap-on.  Not that I would ever think like that . . .

So there’s only one thing to do–

Get famous so I can go after people who steal my characters.

A worthy goal, don’t you think?

 

Uptown Saturday Write

We come to this place in the sun, there local that I call “Breakfast”, and I express my thoughts for some to read.  Today I tell you that I’m on the last chapter of my work in progress, Suggestive Amusements, and if I’m exceptionally lucky, I’ll finish the story tomorrow.  If not, I’ll finish it Monday night, but in the next three days, rain or shine, hot or cold, the first draft is complete.

I look at the text card in Scrivener that’s going to be Chapter Eighteen, and I know what’s going in there; I’ve seen it for a few months, and I’ve been waiting to get to this point for many weeks now.  I know, with Scrivener I can just write when I feel like it, I don’t have to do everything in sequence.  Scrivener makes the writing experience like making a movie:  as you film all your particular scenes when you are on the right set or location, you can write your scenes as the need arises.  Need to write the last chapter now?  Do it.  Need to add a scene that makes sense?  Do it.  Scrivener liberates you to do that–

If you so want.  I don’t.  I’m too old school, in that I have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and I do them in that order.  Which is not a bad thing  to do for a first draft, because there were things I did in the last few chapters that have minutely changed events in the last chapter.

If I didn’t want until the end to write the end, I’d have to rewrite.  I hate rewrites.  Best to write it correctly the first time.

Chapter Eighteen is on tap for this weekend.  Three thousand words, put it a little over the seventy thousand word line, and finalize it with the big finish.  But . . . that’s not all.

I’ve decided to write an article today.  I’ve passed off a couple of my old game reviews for a friend who runs another site, and he’s posted one, and will likely post the other in a few days.  A long time back I promised him an article, so today is a good day to write said article, and it’ll be a far better usage of my time than playing Facebook games when I’m not word slinging.

I don’t know if this article-writing thing is going to be something I want to get into all the time.   My friend was asking about the possibility of doing a few articles on spacecraft propulsion systems, both real an imaginary, and I was like, “Well, yeah, I could do one of those . . .”, but the brain often says what the fingers can’t deliver.

However, I’m going to be in a lull for a bit.  I’ll be waiting on a book cover, and I’ll find myself mostly editing throughout April.  With that in mind, writing a few articles to keep the brain sharp might not be a bad idea.

If nothing else I might just entertain someone with what I have to say.  Or piss them off.

Isn’t that sometimes the same thing?

In the Glen of Semi-active Awareness

Oh, such is the aftermath of sleeping with the Luna Moth.  I make it through the night without waking at some ridiculous time of the morning, but the next day forces you to deal with the hangover for many, many hours.  It’s never fun; in fact, it can be a dangerous thing when you’re out on the highway surrounded by idiots–as I’ll be this afternoon.

At the moment I’m trying to analyze business intelligence software–always a fun thing–and write this.  I’m sort of failing at both ends, because my body is revolting against me, saying, “No, you can’t make your fingers move that way, because it feels funny to us.”  Also, these companies don’t want to give me a quote on their software:  the want me to try it first.  I don’t want to try it, I just want to know how much of my money you’re going to take.  There is no “try”, there is only, “How much, Bunky?”

Since I didn’t write anything last night–I was on Skype with my therapist, and by the time that was through I was inching into ten PM territory–I did polish up an old game review and sent it off to the guy who’d asked me about them the other night.  Yes, I found some errors; yes, I did rewrite part of it because it felt very clumsy in some areas.  Mostly I rewrote things because I know how now to tell the same tell better, and I want to see things looking nice and shiny before I send them out into the Interwebs again.

One of the things I’ve seen over the years is how good some of the stuff I wrote three, four, five years back is today.  It’s not perfect, but it’s readable in a good way.  I still get ideas across; I still manage to make the right points; I still manage to let what passes for “my humor” present itself upon the page.

What I’m saying it the writing was good, and it was something of which I am proud.

In fact, I was just looking over another review I did in 2011, and while there are a few issues here and there, I have no problems with it.  Sure, a clean up is in order, and I might have to correct something were I to republish it because a few things have changed since the original publication, but it’s not as if I need to perform massive triage to get it presentable.  It is . . . good.

If the two reviews I sent in are deemed worthy, them I’m probably going to send a few of these other things that I penned.  I’m also looking and publishing some–wait for it–new articles, because I’d once made the promise to do so, and I should follow through, should I not?  I was even looking at some research material because that’s what I do, even if I don’t want to write.  But since I likely will, the reading came in handy.

The plan is to finish Suggestive Amusements this weekend or early next week–but that doesn’t mean I won’t write something else in the meantime.

After, every little bit helps.

Nights of Sorrow and Confession

One of the themes I tend to follow in my stories that is no one is perfect.  It doesn’t matter if you’re human, non-human, or something a little special:  every now and then you’re gonna screw up.  If you’re human and you mess up, you might be out of some time and a few hundred bucks.  If you something non-human, your screw up might cost someone their life.

Such as it is with my muse, Erin.  She did something bad, and now her charge is paying for that screw up.  At least she feels bad about what happened.

The novel is moving into some dark territory before it climbs out into the light.  It’s night time, Erin is upset, and she’s got a senior goddess breathing down her neck.  Are there senior goddesses?  Of course there are:  someone’s gotta run those people.  You even find out that Erin has a boss, and it’s probably not who you think it is, because these guys don’t hang out with their own mythological neighbors.  No, these people have the run of whatever world they run, and they don’t give a shit about the ethic lines that worshiped them.

Unlike the last few chapters, where I struggled to get my feeling out on the page, time time I’m kinda zoomin’ the chapter.  I’ve written nearly twenty-five hundred words in the last two days, and were it not for an important Skype meeting tonight, I might have actually finished the chapter.  I’ll still get in some words tonight, but it looks as if the finishing of the chapter comes tomorrow–and the finishing of the story may happen on Sunday.  Maybe Monday, Tuesday at the outside.  But I see the end coming, it’s just around the bend.

Maybe this chapter is going so well because I’m feeling the sorrow these days, just like Erin.  Things are happening around me, a little to me, a little to people I know, and it’s weighing on my mind.  That’s probably why I was up at four AM again today, with my brain playing its little games of, “Hey, listen!” and keeping me up when I should be catching the snooze instead.  It has done this to me for the better part of a week now, and the early morning chicanery is getting old.  I need sleep, and I need it soon, because the drive home is killing me.

It also doesn’t help with the creative process.  The ideas seem slow these days, as if all the befuddlement I’m feeling from getting up so early every day is whacking my imaginative juices.  I will say this about hanging at The Undisclosed Location:  I always seemed to have something bouncing about in my brain.  These days, I seem to have . . . emptiness.  Or, at the least, a bit of fogginess, because things never seem as clear as they once were.

It’s time to get past these blocks.  Perhaps after I do my next edit the brain will open up.  Or maybe that’ll happen after I get some sleep.  Though I ended up not getting a lot of sleep last year–

And writing wise, that didn’t turn out all that bad.