The Slow Camp

The energy levels are low today.  It may have something to do with not getting a good night’s sleep; it might have something to do with taking my shot last night and then sort of semi-blissing out for a few hours after that.  Whatever it is, it’s really kicking my butt, and coffee doesn’t seem to help with this lethargy at all.  Not to mention I’ve got about a million things rolling about my brain this morning . . .

First off, let’s get a bit of interesting news out of the way.  I mentioned a while back that I wasn’t going to do Camp NaNo, that I had too many things to do to worry about going to camp and hanging out with other writers.  And then . . . I had a friend talk me into doing camp with her.  No, really.  I didn’t start writing until Day Six, but I set a goal of twenty thousand words, and by the time I struck camp I’d written twenty-two thousand, eight hundred and fifteen words.  At the rate I was going I would have cleared twenty-five thousand words with ease–which means you now know how many words I’m writing a month:  about twenty-five thousand.  And since I’m at around seventy-five thousand words for Act Two, and I began writing in earnest at the start of May, my numbers work out correctly.

"I lied about doing Camp NaNo.  Yay!  Now to get back to . . . writing."

“I lied about doing Camp NaNo. Yay! Now to get back to . . . writing.”

I finished Isis’ scene with her being informed of what was happening early in the morning, ending it with her telling one of her minions to go wake up the headmistress and have her come to the Security Center because she needed to speak with her.  The next scene started with the headmistress not being all that hip about getting called in–not because she wasn’t used to being on call at all hours, or having to wander into the Great Hall in her night clothes.  No, she was a little anxious about getting called into the Security Center, because in eleven years of administering the school, this had never happened.  She took it to mean something bad was about to happen–

She’s probably correct.

But my first scene came out to about twelve hundred words, and I’m hoping that, at least at the start of this chapter, that’s the norm.  I know some of the chapters are going to get wordy, but of late I’ve averaged about three thousand words a scene, and doing a bunch of one thousand to fifteen hundred word scenes would be nice.  It’s a psychological thing:  the more scenes you right, the faster you think you’re writing the novel.

Today will be a bit busy–I’m heading out to the movies in a while because I have a thing for raccoons with big guns–but I will get in my writing tonight.  I may even finished up the current scene and start the next, which takes us over to the Cernunnos Coven tower, where two kids are noticing something strange going on.  What sort of strange?

You’ll just have to wait and find out.

The Characterization Dilemma

Last night was an interesting one.  Not because I was writing–I was, I wrote a new scene, and finished the chapter, so another five hundred fifty words in the pot, as well as few other changes to make the story have more sense.  No, this had to do with one of my beta readers.

I saw them on line last night, and they told me about the reading so far.  And it was not . . . good.  Basically, they got through the first three chapters and they couldn’t read any further.  Not because it was bad, mind you, oh no.  But it was slow, there was too much time being taken with the characters doing, you know, talking.  It didn’t make her want to go on and read more, which she said would mean that no one was going to read it because–boring!

She’s used this argument on me with the last novel of mine that I asked her to read.  You have to get a hook right away and pull the reader in.  I’ve read that before as well.  I asked her to start with Part Three and read that, and she read the hook from the first chapter and said, “That’s what you need, so get rid of Parts One and Two and start with Three.”  Sure, no problem:  that’s only eighteen thousand words, I’ll cut it right out.

I knew what she was getting at, however, because I’ve heard other writers talk about the same thing.  I explained that the first two parts are set up for what happens in Part Three, that you see things being set into place before the trigger is pulled and there’s some massive shit going down.  I explained that if you don’t have this, then when you start seeing things happening, they won’t make much sense.  Her position was, as a reader, she didn’t care, she wanted to get into the story, and if she couldn’t get past the first ten thousand words, she wasn’t going to read the other forty-three thousand.

It’s a characterization thing.  I’ve read about it before, particularly in television writing.  Most of those writers will tell you that if something running long, the first thing that goes are character building moments, because you need the car chase, because that’s what the viewer wants.  This was the same thing I was hearing last night:  please removed this boring set up stuff and get the reader into the action.  I even told her that she was saying this, not that it really mattered.

When I first started this short novel for Camp NaNo, I even considered including it in my current story.  I jettisoned that idea because, yes, the story is fifty-three thousand word, and should I add that to what I’m now writing, I’ll have a novel close to one hundred thousand words.  It wouldn’t be the whole fifty-three, either, because I’d likely kill ten thousand or more words to get it fitted in.  Still . . . that takes what I’m working now and pretty much guaranties I’d need to rewrite what I’m working on at the moment.

Maybe what I need are . . .

More Readers!

 

Time and Too Much

Last week in the hotel, and it’s starting off bad.  Too much on my mind last night meant tossing and turning most of the evening, and this morning I feel the pressure to get so much done today.   Emails and phone calls will shoot out today, and the way I’m looking at things I may take half a day Friday just to get everything done that needs doing.

For I have items to pick up and get into place.  I’m shooting to get my furniture delivered on Thursday, and today I’ll know if I’ll have an internet blackout in the apartment come Friday.  Yes, it’s likely I’ll be working out of internet hot spots for a few days while the monopolistic provider decides to get someone over to do their thing.

Did I mention you’ll actually be able to see my place from Google Streeview?  You can, but you gotta look up.

Moving twice in a month, and this move across town is more stressful than getting out here.  The first time it was drive and rest.  This time I’ll probably be busy right up to the moment when I’m in the place Friday.  At least I found a nearby Target and J. C. Penny’s.  Ohhhh, more nail polish!

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about writing.  Yesterday I took a short ride–well, not that short, probably drove sixty miles when I was all over.  Headed south along the river and past Three Mile Island–yeah, still there, still cranking out the power–then shot over the river to York and then back up to The Burg.  I thought about things, about stories and characters, but I’ve thought about these things so much I can’t seem to get anywhere with it at the moment.  I have some editing to finish, and after that comes the move, and once I’m in place is when I can think about the story that’s coming in November.

I know what that story is, but there’s something lacking:  something in the plot.  Once you get past the magic of what’s happening, once you understand the rules, what then?  What’s going to keep people reading?  I believe I have the answer, but it involves moving things in the story time line around a bit.  This I can do because I can.  My story, and the characters will just have to like it.  What are they going to do otherwise?  Find another story in which to hang out?  Ha!

If The Con doesn’t get me wired up this week, I’ll start plotting out the time line.  I’ll order some tunes from Amazon, throw the CDs in the computer, and kick it old school–if 1995 is old to you–and work on my NaNo.  When I’m finished with that, I’ll edit another story.  When I’m bored with that, I’ll load up and head over to Strawberry Square and cop free wifi to do my updates.  And when I get home and I need relaxing, I’ll go out on the balcony and watch the sun go down.  And think of a girl I know who could sing me away.

Maybe this is the start of a great week . . .

Ride the Camp Kaiju Ashore

I’m told that today is the day that the Camp NaNo winner goodies are in the truck and heading up the dirt road, but I don’t see the damn thing yet.  I’ve checked the site twice this morning, but I must be way too early (it’s six forty-nine AM right now), because the truck isn’t here, and the goodies are lacking.

Or maybe Jason got the drivers last night while they were having sex.  You can never tell.

I’m considering what to do with said goodies, because there’s only one I wish to use, and I probably won’t be able to use that one until the software is released, maybe next month, maybe in October.  The last two NaNos those goodies have gone unused and eventually vanished into the aether, though I once gave a friend my Scrivener fifty percent off code so they could enjoy the software, which they put to good use.

Maybe this year I’ll hold my own version of The Hunger Games for the code.  Call it The Hungry Writer Games, and accept submissions for best and most creative death scenes written in five hundred words or less.  Spend two weeks getting them, then narrow the submissions down until there is only one person left standing, who then rips me off for my goodies.  May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor, penmonkeys.

Enjoyed the movie yesterday.  Plenty of jager on kaiju action, and the beatdowns were brutal.  And may I point out that a mecha head, like the bridge atop of the saucer section of a Federation starship, is the dumbest place to put your cockpit.  Sure, it looks cool riding around in the head, but when all but two of the jager pilots died, it came because the head is right there just asking to be abused.  Head shot, head shot, head shot . . . Guillermo del Toro obviously thought the BattleTech hit table was a load of crap, or he rolls boxcars with loaded dice, cause he showed little mercy to the cockpit crawlers.

Also, when they were fighting in Hong Kong I sort of got an idea where some of the action was taking place, ’cause I kept recognizing landmarks there.  It’s been a long time since I was last in the Fragrant Harbor, but I still look at the place on Google Maps, and dream.

After returning from the movies, however, my novel Couples Dance was on my Seagate drive telling me that it’s not going to edit itself.  Yeah, those lazy ass characters, they won’t do anything on their own, so I gotta pull it up and get in there and do some work.  Now I’m getting into the longer chapters, and Chapter Five is around thirty-six hundred words, so I expect to get about half way in and stop . . .

Right.  How did that work out?  About an hour and a half later I was through the whole chapter, having re-written here, deleted a few things there, and ended up adding a new Scrivener status:  “Recheck Revision”.  Because I found some tense issues, and I want to breeze through it again and make sure I’m not bouncing about in time like a faulty TARDIS.

No, I leave my time travel for my science fiction novels, not the erotic horror . . . or do I?

Pack Up the Camp

According to the work count genie on the Camp NaNoWriMo page, I have fifty-three thousand, one hundred eighty-one verified words for my Camp story, The Foundation Chronicles:  The Scouring.  According to this statistic, I have not only met my word count total, but I’ve “beaten” the fifty thousand total that is the goal of all these NaNo events.

I wrote throughout the day, because life kept me busy, so between prepping dinner and cooking it, eating it, and cleaning up after it was over, I’d roll up here to my computer and start typing.  A hundred words here, a couple of hundred here–and when you’re through with the typing, you’ve written another fifteen hundred words and put said story to rest.

I’ve been here before, but this time it felt as if I’d never reach this point.  The whole month of July has been a grind, and seeing how I’ve written eighty-six and seventy-one thousand word novels during the last two NaNoWriMos, this time I felt as if I could take a break and do something shorter and simpler–

Oh, yeah.  What was I thinking?

Originally I believed the story would run about twenty-five thousand words, and I went doubleplusandthensome on that estimate.  Maybe that’s why I felt worn out by this story, because it just went on and on . . . though that’s more the fault of the writer and not the story.  The story consists of the words I have in my head that I put into the computer.  The characters aren’t writing the damn thing; if they were, I could wake up every morning, look at my Scrivener project, and say, “Oh, isn’t that nice?  Jessica wrote out her second confrontation with the headmaster.  And Erywin threatened to kick his ass.  Thank you, ladies:  now I have a few more free hours to spend playing games.”

That never happened.  If it had, there probably would have been fewer deaths.  Maybe.  Hard to say, since I’ve created some bloodthirsty characters in my time.

So, that’s three new stories, almost one hundred forty-seven thousand words, written this year.  With two novels and a novella completed this year, I’m not about to dive into anything new.  The next thing on the menu is to finish editing Couples Dance and get it published, and if there is any time left over before October rolls in, then I’ll start polishing Fantasies in Harmonie so I can get it ready for publication.  But no new work, not until November–

By then I’ll know if I’m writing my novel as part of NaNoWriMo, or if I’m going to say “The hell with it,” and just write.  While the NaNo thing can be conducive to productivity, I no longer need it to get my ass started on a project.  I don’t need to produce fifty thousand words in thirty days, because I have done that, and can continue to do so when necessary.  I can track my word counts, which I normally do anyway.

I write because this is what I want to do, because this is what I want to become.

It’s easy to do, you know.  You only need sit and do it every day.

 

The Hell-Bound Pony

For this title I want to thank Meredith Woerner of io9.com, aka Unicorn Farts, for today’s title.  I’ll neither discuss unicorns or farts, but as I read her weekly reviews of True Blood–or as it is sometimes called, “Sookie’s Magical Fairy Vagina”, which would make a hell of a lot better title–there was a line she delivered in her last review (as of this post) that made me laugh.  Which is something I seem not to do much of these days.

By this time tomorrow my Camp NaNo story, the first part novel of The Foundation Chronicles, should be finished.  Sometime tonight I’ll write the last chapter, get another twelve or fifteen hundred words in the bank, type, “The End” at the bottom of the document, back the novel off to my Seagate drive, and consider it fin.

Another novel finished.  Give me that Fluttershy cheer . . . (deep breath) . . . yay.  Since the start of this year, good old 2013, that’s two novels written, one novel published, and a novella thrown in for good measure.  In terms of new material we’re talking about one hundred and forty-five thousand new words:  thrown in the blog and a few articles here and there, and we’re adding another one hundred and twenty thousand words.

That’s a quarter of a million words this year.  I’m tired.

A section of my mind is thinking, “Okay, what’s next?”  That should be getting one of my short novels in shape for publication, because I need to get something else out there, start cutting into this backlog that’s building up on my computer.  But there’s a section that’s screaming at me to take a break, to step away and do nothing for a while.

Yeah, right.  I know how that works, because it’s happened before.  In the past I’ve said, “Oh, I’ll set this story aside and come back to it in a month.”  Next thing I know, it’s five years later, and while I’ve gotten very good at driving the Nordschleife on my computer, I’ve not looked at said story once.  It lingers on, like some creature on life support, waiting for me to either rescue it from oblivion, or pull the plug.

Today I was going to blog about something that I felt bothered me, then realized–why?  Why bother?  Not write, of course, but why rant about something that I don’t care for, but no one else will give much of a shit about.  After a bit of reading and thinking, I decided that if I write about the monkey that seems to have crawled onto my back, I’m indulging in a bit of the insane, time wasting crap that has occupied my mind of late.

No, what I should do is finish my story, then think about what comes next.  Think about what in the future, and not what’s pissing me off, or what’s bothering me, or what sort of annoyances I can drop like a bad habit instead of hanging on to them and allowing those little things to bug me for no other reason than I want to be bugged.

Saddle up that one trick pony and ride that sucker straight into hell.

And enjoy the scenery along the way; I understand there are some painted roses I should see . . .

Power Line Math

I guess when you depends on energy to get your things written, you better hope your energy is coming uninterrupted.  Most days this isn’t a problem.

Yesterday it was.

I was just starting in on afternoon writing when the power went out.  It was just after two PM, and I had to do a  quick “Open up the laptop and save and bring it down” move before things died.  I work on a seven-year old laptop, and the battery is pretty much crap; after forty-five minutes I’m looking at a cooling hunk of metal.  So if I don’t have a power source, then I best save what I have and move on to something else.

Power was out for two hours:  it think it popped back on around four-twenty.  Power up the computer and start in on writing again–  Then it was time to go out to dinner.  So save off what I’d written after about twenty minutes, which wasn’t very much if you’re asking.

Go eat, return to the house about six-ten and . . . no power.  Utility people are right across the street replacing our power box.  The juice is back on in the house at six thirty-seven, not a big deal, so I get into writing again . . . and reading a few things here and there, and chatting, but nothing out of the ordinary, right?

Finally settle into writing about seven-thirty, and I’m going along, struggling with lines, and–out go the lights, a little after eight PM.  Save what I have, shut down computer, go outside and relax in the cool air.

And thinking about what I wanted to say.

I knew the discussion my two on-stage characters were going to have.  I’d even worked out what would be said for more than a few days.  But when it comes to showing the scene, to saying what they need to say, I’m holding back.  The words I want to say don’t come as easily as before.  Particularly with this story, which I’m trying so hard to have come out, in my mine, good.

Sitting in the back yard I thought about what was being said, how people felt.  I had a lot of math coming up, stuff I worked out earlier in the day concerning numbers for the student body, and spilling that out was going to come fairly easy.  Breathing deep the gathering gloom–yes, Moody Blues there, who I once saw play in the late 1980’s–I worked out the conversation in a way that made sense, and that didn’t puzzle me now.

Power was back on right around nine-thirty, and it was back up, power up, write up.  I wrote things, I made conversation, I showed body language and sensed emotions.  I’m not necessary happy with that last part, because I feel things didn’t turn out as I wanted; some of the feeling seem forced.  So I have the file up now, and I’ll give it a quick peek to see if there’s anything I can change.

I want this story finished; I want to move on to the next thing.  This weekend feels like a good time to wrap it all up.

If the power stays on, it might actually happen.

The Guardian Arrives

Yes, it’s true:  I was distracted by Project Runway last night, and that took almost two hours out of my writing time.  I don’t watch much in the way of TV, but I’ve never missed Project Runway if I could help it.  Seeing how this year they have a good amalgamation of drama queens, stress freaks, a crazy Russian who it trying to keep Old Soviet Union from asking for its stereotype back, and a dude trying to save unicorns, there’s enough insanity to get through the season–at least until they start culling the herd, then it’s every person for themselves, and you grab the popcorn and enjoy.

When that isn’t happening, I write.

The last part of The Foundation Chronicles is here, and that light at the end of the tunnel is probably me, the glow girl muttering, “It’s a girl, Mrs. Walker.”  Before the runway I wrote about a meeting in a format headmaster’s office between a Foundation official and the woman who ate the headmaster’s face–rule one:  never piss off the wrong teachers–and in the process of writing that scene I began mention people who will appear in the upcoming novel.  No, not this novel:  the next one.  Remember?

The writing part was a bit slow, due in part to having people PMing me, due in part because I needed to look up time lines to make certain a person who was recommending another for a position actually knew that person when they were together in school.  Remember those all those time lines I made before I began writing this story?  Yeah, they work.  I’d recommend making them and using them, but that would be proselytizing, and who wants that?

Really, try them.  It can make life easy to do your homework up-front.

But after almost two hours away from my computer, after all that time when I wasn’t writing, with it being nine forty-five PM and knowing that sleep would call soon, there was something I wanted to write.  There was someone I wanted to bring onto the stage.

There was someone I wanted to create.

I’ve been waiting for this moment to bring onto the stage a character I created two years earlier, and who would play a rather full part in this novel I’ve got kicking about in my brain.  So now I’d reached the point in my current novel where this mysterious woman, she who was mentioned earlier in the novel, to walk on and make her grande entrance . . .

By the time I’d finished, I had a little over five hundred words written, on top of eighteen hundred or so I’d written throughout the day.  It was a double good feeling to have all that wordage out of the way, and to have my character show up to–well, not save the day, but lay out some ground rules.

That chapter is on for today.  I hope to finish it tonight, then do a short scene–and, yes, I do mean short–then write the final chapter, and . . .

Check back tomorrow.  We’ll see about and then.

The Lights Go Down on Past Ways

I start off this morning with a little advice from Henry Miller.  He’s the sort of writer I’d like to become:  banned everywhere for writing interesting things.  Who doesn’t want that sort of notice?

As noted on the Novel Spaces website, Miller left behind eleven points of writing advice:

 

1.  Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2.  Start no more new books, add no more new material to Black Spring. (At the time this was his WiP.)
3.  Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4.  Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5.  When you can’t create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

 

I have rules that I stick to, or at least do my best to dance to their tune.  It’s not always possible–yesterday was a great example of how you can’t always write when you want to write–but I still get my writing in every day, even when I feel as if I’m drowning in a pool of fetid water, surrounded by the crap that are my stories.

That was this morning, when I crawled out of bed, by the way.  Now I feel much better.

Most of the time I get lost on that eleventh point; I also get lost on the tenth as well, which is distracting as hell, because that’s happened to me for the last three stories I’ve written.  But back to the eleventh . . . with social media all over the place, it’s easy to lose the signal because you’re trapped in the noise.  (Yes, that was a Peter Gabriel reference.)  It’s a simple matter to roll over to an online group, and think, “Oh, I’ll just check in and see what’s happening,” and before you know it an hour has gone by because you’re eye-locked upon something that, more than likely, has you scratching your head because you can’t believe what you’re reading.

Last night a friend of mine summed up a feeling for me pretty succinctly, which she does well.  This happened in a group of which I’ve been a member for some time, but where I’ve stopped participating because it’s become more of a social gathering hole than anything else.  One person was lamenting how people have begun turning on one another in the group, and they can’t understand why it’s happening.  After a few posts where people were kind of saying, “Mean people suck,” my friend stepped in and said, “Because all that gets posted here is insane, time wasting crap.”  The moral being, when you post insane, time wasting crap, you draw to those posts the people who love to wallow in said crap.

Rule Eleven is important.  You want to write, you write.  You don’t continue asking if you think it’s strange that you’re looking up techniques for dismembering a body, or what’s a good name for an alien (I always go with Bob, you can’t miss with that name), or your main character tells you they want to have an affair with the cute girl down at the Steak n’ Shake, but you want them to go skydiving, what’s a person to do?

What you do is write.

Cut out the noise; listen to the signal.

There and Back to the Big House

Oh, did you notice this is coming out late?  These things happen at times, trust me.  The delay is due to getting up at five AM, driving one hundred miles for a thirty minute interview, then driving home.  A little lunch later, as well as the fixing of a screen door has kept me off the computer for about two hours, and then–

Here we are.

It’s so far made for a long, tiring day, but at least I don’t have to cook tonight, because I’ve done enough of that for the last two days.  Kick back tonight, maybe pizza tomorrow.

Right now, we’re talking Great Hall.

The last two days I’ve been running about in Blender designing.  I should say, “Building,” because what I wanted to do is taking the build I’d made for my current story, and sort of see what it would look like if you turned into a three dimensional model.  I know, that’s being a bit obsessive about something that isn’t real, that’s just a part of my imagination.

There is a point to all this, however:  having a designed floor plan allowed me to figure out where some of the action in the building occurred.  I know there are those who may feel that’s a little too much work to put into a project, that it’s getting down into the metadata a little too much, but screw them.  It’s my story, and it’s one I want to publish one day, so I put work into my background.  Hey, it’s either this or spend twenty years on some fan fiction that will never see the light of day, right?

Originally I started with what you see on the right:  a building Main Hall 518layout rendered in 3D that showed as much of the inside as I could dream up.  I still have this, and the information came in handy when I started writing about battles and running and flying going on inside.  Visualizing these things came about from working with someone else, and I’m thankful that I listened to them on this matter.  (As for the rest, I’m still working on that . . .)

But I wanted to see more.  I wanted to see the area around the Pentagram, I wanted to feel the size, the enormity of the area.  It’s a big school:  everything here feels enormous, or is at least should.  Therefore I need to model the outside and the grounds, and I couldn’t do it in the program I used for the floor plan.

So off to Blender, and . . . Pentagram SoutheastBehold!

It’s not much to look at unrendered, but that’s what I’m building.  I have the Pentagram walls, the Coven Towers, the Clock Tower, the covered walkways, the older South Part of the Hall, the transepts, and the newer, more modern looking Library with the curving windowed wall that I couldn’t do the proper way in my floor plan program.  I figured out the scaling for this monster so that it’s not taking up a whole lot of virtual space, and it leaves open the possibility of modeling some of the other buildings.

If you want to get a feeling for scale, look at this:  Pentagram Main Gateit’s the main gate of the school going through the fifty foot high and eighteen foot thick walls.  And there, standing in the arch, those little sticks?  Those are two students, each five foot tall, catching sight, for the first time, of the main entrance some two hundred feet away.

With the story almost finished, I’m ready to move onto the next project.  But come November, when I may or may not do NaNo again, I’ll start in on another novel, and that novel will build off the little novel I wrote this month of July.

Maybe, in four months time, I’ll have even more to see.

 

 

. . . In That Quiet Earth

It’s interesting that just a few days ago I was talking about using Nukemap to figure out explosions for my story, and all of a sudden both Time and io9 are talking about the 3D version of the site, which does let you see what your home town looks like with a mushroom cloud rising overhead.  Of course the site is down at the moment, ’cause everyone is busy nuking their old schools, or their last job, or the home of the significant other who gave them heartache.  Enjoy that W-76 in your corn flakes, butthead.

I finished the part of my story dealing with the, let us say, battle I had there.  I started writing yesterday morning after posting yesterday’s musings, and thirteen hundred words later I finished everything with a good mauling.  Really, someone had their face eaten by a lioness, which isn’t the worst way to go, unless that lioness also happened to be an instructor who the foolish character in question had done nothing but piss off for the last two years.  That’s when your face gets eaten.  It’s worse than being mauled by a bear, let me tell you.

I even managed another three hundred words late last night to show things getting a little back to normal, though there are some whispered tales of what’s happening and who died.  The end is close by, and the story will probably end up hitting the fifty thousand mark when it’s all said and done.

The thing is, I feel no need to rush and finish the story before the end of the month.  If I do, I do.  If not, I’ll finish it the first week in August.  I met my Camp goal, and surpassed it.  I even feel proud that I managed another novella if not a short novel.  Beyond that, however, I feel a bit burned out and a whole lot of stressed.  Some of that comes from things in my life, some from things online.

Either way, there are changes coming for me, for I need them.  I need to walk away from distractions, and get more serious about this craft I’ve chosen.  As soon as this story is finished, I’m thinking my way through on how to make things . . . different.  Whatever the hell that means, you know?

As I was told once, if you wanna feel professional, you gotta be professional.  The time for acting is over.  Besides, I received my first royalty payment from Amazon yesterday, and it was enough to make me smile.  So the possibility of breaking through is still there.  I just gotta reach for it.

As Chuck says, you might just be doing it wrong otherwise . . .

Lastly, since I’d finished my writing early yesterday, I thought I’d jump into blender and start fooling around with modeling out The Great Hall and The Pentagram as they are described in the current story.  Despite not really knowing what I’m doing, just having the vision in my head and a few layouts I’ve developed.

Imagine my surprise when I finally get it all set up in 3D and . . . whoa.

I’ll show you tomorrow.

Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers . . .

It’s almost over.  This “short scene” of action that would end up the centerpiece of a twenty-five thousand word novella has turned into a novella of its own–thought, to be fair, it’s still the centerpiece of a short novel.  Funny how those things work out.

But it’s in the final stretch.  The last chapter ended up about thirteen hundred words full, and I set the first short sentence of a next part of the chapter before I decided my eyes were going to begin fighting me before long if I continued upon this course.

It’s what’s for breakfast, though.  After posting I’ll get into the chapter and rip into the sucker.  I’ll finish up the last segment of this nightmare, spill the last blood, and set up Part Four.  I still have another character to bring on stage in somewhat dramatic fashion, though I could say I’m really bringing four characters onto the stage, but one doesn’t have a lot of lines, and the other two–better not say.

“What of the unquiet slumber you speak of?” I hear you say.  I don’t really hear you saying it, but I know it’s there, at least in my imagination . . . good question, though.  Here’s what I mean.

First off, there’s this story idea that is tearing around in my head–again.  It’s another of those erotic fantasies, like the one I just finished before the Camp, and it won’t go away.  It wants me to write it down in my Ideas Project so that it becomes a thing, a real thing that stays around forever, but I’m resisting.  At least for now.  But the time will come–maybe today, maybe tomorrow–when I set the idea inside an idea file, and save the project.  Again.  Because I never have enough ideas, it appears.

Then there’s the dream . . .

For the longest time dreams have been impossible to remember, likely because of a combination of long work hours and exhaustion.  But they’ve been coming back, because who knows, they just do.  There’s a reason they tickle your brain in the middle of the night, because they are reminding you that you’re not the boss of your mind subconscious.

What did I have in my dreams?  A whole lot of being told that I can’t do things that I want to do.

It felt like I was at Comic Con, though it could have been any con, since I’ve attended GenCon and know what they’re like.  I was walking to and fro, my badge slung around my neck, and it seemed like everywhere I went, I’d hear from people about how I shouldn’t dress a certain way, or I shouldn’t walk a certain way.  How I shouldn’t walk onto a panel and talk about a certain subject.  How I should write stories a certain way, or that there were some stories I shouldn’t write at all.

Crap like that the whole time.

In the end I walked into a hall dressed a bit like the Silk Specter, though what I had on was more red and black than yellow and black.  I seem to remember flipping someone off as I headed through the door, because they were about to question where I was going, and I didn’t feel like giving them the satisfaction of being able to feel good about “telling me something”.

That unquiet slumber is over.  Now I have writing to do.

After I tell this idea to stop bugging me.