Monday, October 31, 2005

break time


I've decided to give myself the night off. I'm halfway through the book now and I feel *really* good about things. It's careening toward the finale, now. I have a hunch that a day will be good to get some ideas straight in m'head. Likely, when I sit down again, things will be as intense as they were last week - I probably won't stop until it's finished. Tonight, I'm going for a nice stroll down to the pub for a dinner for one - notebook in hand, of course.

So, let me finish this cocktail.

xo

it was a graveyard smash

















Boo! Um…..Boo! Halloween has come again and the internet proves to be, bar nun, the sassiest place to locate pictures of strangers at their...finest. This ghoulish day is the kick off for week three of being novel. I’m still riding on the great feeling of hitting my goal yesterday. It was a particular good and relieving feeling because I had spent a solid hour of staring in agony at the three-hundred and eighty some-odd words of total garbage that I managed to initially crank out. It really didn’t look like it would happen. I decided to pour myself a glass of flat, diet coke and change locations. I moved from the studio to the basement couch. Using a complicated system of blankets and pillows, I managed to sink myself in a comfortably-reclined position. I had my Playlist (WritingList, and I’m motivated to make more Playlists just so I can come up with catchier names) drifting pleasantly out of the surround sound system.

At this point, my brain had come up with a metric assload of alternatives courses of action for me to pursue. The Playstation was not far way. There were quite a few games that would be entertaining for a Sunday afternoon. The DVDs were within my line of site. I could play a computer game, perhaps dust off Wasteland for a couple of hours. Maybe I’d go for a nice long run. It was a beautiful afternoon. Or, I thought, I could always eat and watch the Weather Channel. I mean, come on. I wrote a lot last week. A lot. I deserved some self-coddling.

I determined what I really deserved, after working so hard last week, was to push ahead and hit my goal. The next one thousand words, or so, was a teeth pulling journey through verbal hell. Finally, things kicked in. The transformers sparked to life, the lines were live, and suddenly I was off and running. You know the rest.

I think I had definitely psyched myself out going into my writing session yesterday. I mean, I knew exactly how many words I needed to write to hit my goal. I didn’t have far to go. However, it was a lot for a Sunday after a week of intense writing. Everyone needs a break. I’m *certainly* no exception. I don’t mean, necessarily, a break from writing, but a break from the pressure of meeting an ambitious goal. Regardless of mild burnout, I made the goal and had time for gym and dinner. Later that night, when I sat down to write a little more, the pressure was off and it was relaxing and easy. I was capable of writing a lot more, but my eyelids were just too heavy.

I’m rewarding myself (and Jen) by downloading the new Depeche Mode album off iTunes. If only my PodCasts would update!

Tonight is the night where the spooky, greedy children walk like the dead (infused with a too much sugar). Halloween, although cute in a neighborhood of wee kiddies, can be irritating when you’ve got three dogs that are begging for an excuse – any excuse – to bark. Jen won’t be around tonight, and I had planned on doing some pretty serious writing. I think I’ll set out the courtesy bowl of snickers and other assorted fineries for the little ones and turn off the house lights.

I’ll make up for my lack of spirit on Flag Day.

Word count: 52,033.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

jebus, buddah, allah I thank you

50,038.

For that, I think I've earned pizza and beer.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

everybody's workin' for the weekend

Happy Saturday, devoted reader(s). This post will be a short and sweet. Yesterday ended on a high, but totally exhausted note. The daily goal was achieved (at the cost of my sanity) and, I'll tell ya, I felt that I really needed and deserved a break. To be honest, I still do feel that way. That did not stop me from getting up at 8:00 am this morning to squeeze in a couple hours worth of writing. I've entered a portion of the novel where some of the research I've done will come into play. I hope that does slow my pace *too* much. I'm comfortable enough with the material to be able to weave it in fairly easily. That's not to say that I'm going to rush it. I *will* hit my goal this weekend, but I'll spend as much time as I can making sure that I'm not just "speed" writing. Granted this writing time will be squeeze in at bizarre hours, as I've got to be a member of the hallowed land of the living this weekend. I won't be writing to just get the words in, though. It would be a shame to have made all this progress only to write 8,000 words of utter shite. Not to mention, I'm actually really excited about this part of the book. This is one of the sections I have been most looking forward to writing.

I attempt to tackle the dialect monkey in this section as well. Dialect from the hip, I like to call it. On that note, it is time to go the gym. Gotta get the blood moving again.

Current word count: 42, 131

Friday, October 28, 2005

chicken with spicy black bean sauce

Magnificently, it is Friday. I knew it would come quick – it’s been a fast week. It has been a week frought with food delivered to the doorstep and many bottles of red wine. I’ve accomplished more on this Monday-to-Friday thing than I thought possible. I wrote, get this, 10K worth of words yesterday – in a single freakin’ day. Now, if it seems like I’m bragging, I am. I just never thought I was capable of that level of productivity. I don’t want to be misleading. It’s probably 115 pages worth of crap. I’d be lying if I said it was difficult to sit at a computer and do the following for a few hours:

Chapter 12:
Aslkjasfdljaf lk alsdkfjl ksdjlfkjlka sdlfkj lkjsdlkjf l alskdfjlkjas lkfj lksdf lfkldjlakfl lkjfldkjoalkd flkjlsdkf l fkdkdkdk lalaldkfj aslkdf lakj dl#$#%! Al ajkdf l alkdj lfkf k dfllak dk dlsk fljotoijs akldk fkljdsoit fkdla. LASkasdf lkd fl ls.

You get the picture.

At any rate, I’m in a very good position to hit my goal. I know I won’t be able to duplicate this verbosity next week. I have to return to the land of the living. No more take out. I have got to get to the gym. I’ll worry about next week in about 20K. Last I checked, it's still this week.

This week is all about the writing.

Current word count: 32, 389

Thursday, October 27, 2005

statement of the obvious

Goals are good. Goals are especially good for someone as easily distracted as myself. I have been achieving my daily word count goals so far this week (go me!). I’m halfway through where I need to be by Sunday to achieve my goal for the week. I was ambiguous when I mentioned this goal in an earlier post. I’m at the point where I think I need to fess up. Ya know, to keep myself honest. The goal is to hit 50,000 words by Sunday night. If nothing else, I want to prove to myself that I can write over 40,000 words in a single week while I work a full time, juggle seven pets and a one fiancĂ©, two bands, and reading before bed time.

Fortunately for my goal and I, the novel has taken on a life of its own. What I’d call the “beginning” is essentially done. I feel like I’m bodily yanked forward through this story. I’ve got the “middle” and the end, for intents and purposes, figured out. Now, when I say the “end” is figured out I mean this: I know where the book is going and I have some idea of how things were close out. As any writer knows, this can and likely will change, but to have an approximate idea of the “end” gives the story focus. The journey may be the destination, but sometimes, it’s nice to know where you’ll hang your coat for the night.

I drafted up the synopsis for A Prayer for Rain last night. Ideas come at strange times. I was putting away some laundry when the elusive words starting to surface in my murky head. So, I stopped putting away laundry, and ignored every and everything until got the idea on paper. I gotta be frustarting to be around sometimes.

Word count: 21, 172.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

it's okay to be afraid

I had a great day of writing yesterday. I met my word count goal for the day. What does that mean in the grand scheme of things? I’m back on track for where I had hoped to be this week. I just might meet my ambitious (insane/unrealistic) goal by Sunday. Wonder of wonders aside, there is something I’d like to touch upon in today’s post. I need to get something off my chest. I have this interesting hang up and thought, hell, it may be beneficial for me to share it (with the two people that might actually read this blog).

I have a deep rooted fear of the kick ass scene.

Here’s the breakdown: I come up with the idea for a scene. Pleased with myself, I find this idea to be particularly fetching. I see the action unfolding clearly in my head. As I sit down to write, part of me suddenly becomes deathly afraid at the prospect of putting this scene on paper. My fingers lock and I lose all mastery of the English language. I’m not exactly sure where this fear comes from. I do that the place is likely dark, dank, and really annoying. It may be from the “fear of starting a project I wont finish” days (of mostly yore). It might not stop me entirely, but it’s plenty enough to stall me. Fifteen minutes worth of lost time might not seem like a huge deal, but my time is almost always short. So, what do I do in this stalling period? Usually, I tinker around on the internet. I check my email, go to a few pages, check my email again, hit refresh a few times, and that’s generally it. I’m not sure why, but it’s comforting. When that little ritual is complete, I push ahead. A couple of thousand words later, the scene is done.

Either I need to put this fear to rest…or disable my wireless card.

In other news, I was able to drag myself out of bed this morning around 6:00am again (okay, it was more like 6:20). The after effects of too much wine the night before were largely responsible for a slow and painful start. I didn’t think it was going to be a good morning. Fortunately, my brain decided to get into gear I got some really cool stuff onto the paper.

Current word count: 16,083.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

10,000 (and one)

Every word counts.

I hit 10,000 (and one) words as of 7:30 this morning. I wrote for a couple of hours last night after recording some scratch tracks for the Phil Rossi and the Bad Habit EP de Force. Sticking true to my intentions, I got up at 6:00 am and wrote before I left the house to go to work. Things with the book are flowing pretty nicely - for the most part. Last night was a bit painful. I didn't get started until 10:00 or so. I was still wiped out from the CD release show on Saturday, not to mention beat after a long (mon)day of work. Sometimes, you just gotta force yourself into it, even if it seems the muse does not want to come and play.

She showed up halfway through a diet coke and made me work. She woke me up early, too. When she wants some, she wants some. Far be it from me to deny her.

I've decided that 10,000 words a week is a pretty good goal. Obviously, I'll strive for more than that, but I think it is a good minimum.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Week 2

Here I am, taking an early lunch as I write this today. You see, I spent most of the day eating and sitting around watching movies with the Jen. As an obvious consequence, my stomach has stretched somewhat from its normal size. Thus, I am starving and it is not quite yet noon. Ah well. I’ve come up on week two of the novel writing process. Admittedly, I only wrote a handful of words during the second half of the last week. Time was a precious commodity while prepping for the Pharmacy Prophets CD release. And what little time was left over was generally spent in lack-of-sleep delirium. That said, I fully intend to write every day this week with the goal of 10 pages daily.

Mur Laffetry brought up something that hit fairly close to home as I listened to her PodCast this morning. A portion of the discussion was devoted to life’s little distractions. She said it right on, at least as distractions relate to me - Unplug the internet. I have to say, the ‘net is easily one of the most cumbersome distractions I deal with when writing, whether I’m chatting away, surfacing idly, or obsessively checking www.weather.com. It definitely affects my productivity. Last year, I had some of my most prolific evenings of writing when using the Texas Instruments dinosaur laptop. The computer is from the mid-nineties. It has no wireless access. Hell, I don’t think it could even connect to the Internet via dialup at this point. Maybe I should dig the thing up and start using it. I don’t think I have the will power to stay off the internet.

Just a thought.

NanoWrimo is coming up in roughly a week. For the un-initiated, NanoWrimo is National Writing Month. The goal for participants in NanoWrimo is to writing a 50,000 word (175-page) novel during the month of November. The cut off is November 30th at midnight. As I’m already committed to my book-in-progress (which likely will be longer than 50,000 words, anyway), I cannot directly participate this year. I can, however, observe the month by attempting to write 50,000 words. This translates to roughly 1600 words a day. Really, not an overwhelming number – certainly not a number where the content or quality of the writing will suffer. Its 50,000 words closer to finishing the book.

Besides, goals are always good.

My first goal of the day is to transcribe about 45 mintues worth of notes recorded during a couple commutes at the end of last week. So, maybe last week I didn't write as much as I would've liked, but I did actively engage in the creative process for the new novel. I'll give myself a pat on the back, albeit, a small one. Writing Week officially started on Sunday. I was too busy eaty and being a vegetable. So, for me, Writing Week starts today.

Current Research:

Thursday, October 20, 2005

And so it begins

I thought it'd be nice to have a journal devoted to my continuing efforts as a writer. I was inspired bythis PodCast to do so. I felt the urge to add to my increasing lists of blogs...if only to let Brian and Zach say mean things to me. Actually, I did think it'd be interesting for people to see what this process is like for me. I regretted not keeping a running journal when I was doing the first novel, so as I begin the second novel, I thought I'd toss this up for the fun of it. You just might be interested. Who knows.

With that said.

I started my second novel this week. It's a continuation of A Prayer For Rain (the first book). It is a sequel. I'm not going to deny it. It's argued that a sequel is poor use of time and effort if you don't know how the first book in the series will fare. But, I'm not done telling the story...so, not much left for me to do, but write the sequel. I'll went on the prequel. Promise.

I'm happy to report, the muse has definitely bitten. The ideas are flowing like crazy. I've started keeping my mini-cassette recorder in the car (as I spend so much time in the car). It's a great way to capture ideas. Time is at a premium these days. When the dust of the Prophets CD Release finally settles, I'll be getting up in the mornings to write for a couple of hours. I'll sammich some time in on my lunch break, and whatever evenings I can manage to sneak in a few more minutes.

Every word counts.

So, with that said, I'll finish off by saying I hit 5,000 words today.