Monday, November 15, 2010

To NaNo, or not to NaNo...

Oh Monday, you've been gone for a week. I wish you'd stay gone.

There are people all over the interwebs right now, arguing about the usefulness (or lack thereof) in NaNoWriMo. Some people are out there saying that the entire exercise is pointless, a giant waste of time. Others argue that it is about learning and building habits that are useful to every writer...

hmmm... Let's look at something from the NaNoWriMo website, CLICK ME IF YOU WANT TO GO THERE

"Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down."

I think the bigger arguments, for and against NaNo are built around this bit of info. The NaNo naysayers argue that, "writing a lot of crap" is a giant waste of time for thousands of people. Also, the fact that NaNo is an event made entirely for people that want to write a novel seems to invalidate everything done therein.

umm, who else should "National Novel Writing Month" be geared to?

Sorry folks, I am wholly on one side of this argument. You'll get no unbiased blogging here, and I'm not even a participant!

NaNoWriMo is for people interested in writing. If you're not interested, you probably don't know what it is, and probably don't care. I'm ok with that, you don't need to care.

Take me for instance, I am not a chef. If there is a "National Cook Your Heart Out" week, or NaCoYoHoWe, I am not interested. Even if most of what is cooked in that month tastes like dirty pants. I don't have to taste it, or even know how cooking shoes can help to make you a better chef. I do understand, however, that if NaCoYoHoWe helps one person to become a better Chef, then it is worth it. Especially to that one person.

I have written crap. You have probably also written crap. Therefore, WE have written crap, without a reason, and possibly without any encouragement or hope of making that crap better. NaNoWriMo gives a reason, encouragement, and hope to lots and lots of people.

It also might help people to realize that they are not writers, and that's ok too. Why waste years thinking about writing a novel, if after a week, you hate pens and paper and computers and everything that has to do with writing?

NaNo can also help people to become better and more disciplined. I know that making writing a part of your daily routine can be very hard to do, and if this project helps with that, then I'm sure you'll think that it was worth it. Even if everything you write this month really is crap.

Blah... wow that was a lot of soapboxin... sorry about that.

To the NaNoers out there, good luck :)
To everyone else, good luck as well :)

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Friday, November 12, 2010

Works In Progress... plus coffee

It's Friday, it's Friday!!! (happy dance, trying not to spill my coffee)

So, it's friday (see above for confirmation) and that means that it is time to share about the work that has gone into the last week. It's all pretty exciting for me :)

As far as "Clockwork Charlie" is concerned, she is resting peacefully as the story forms and shifts and forms again in the ol' noggin. I have dedicated November to revisions and editing of "The City" but I'll be back to work on CC soon!

Revisions on The City: Going very well! New file created, writing commenced. I already have Chapter 5 put back together, and am also editing as I go... back and forth, in craziness, but I'm loving it. The story is coming back together, and I think the changes have already added so much.

First draft word count through Chapter 5: 36,067 words

Second draft word count through Chapter 5:(editing not finished) 35,020 words (lots of dead little darlings there)

I think that's about it as far as my WIPs are concerned, let me leave you with a little Jonathan Coulton:

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ahh, so Bachman is really...

Hey there, you... wink wink

So the other day, I talked a lot about my reading experiences as a younger lad. Today I want to talk about one writer, that may have had the most impact on my reading journey, from then, til now.

I must have been around thirteen or fourteen when I read my first Stephen King novel, although it was published under the name, Richard Bachman. I loved every minute of "The Regulators" and have been hooked ever since. (Yes, I was a horror kid, even then. My dreams involving Freddy Krueger were not horror movies, but action/adventure flicks, or sometimes even more like buddy comedies)

Of course, immediately after finishing that book, I jumped into "Desperation," which was its counterpart, published under Stephen King. From then on, I was hooked.

I followed Mr. King's work from horror to fantasy and back again. Even in his world, where demon clowns or evil dogs may eat your fingers, his writing seems very honest. His characters have weaknesses and flaws that usually outweigh whatever hero-qualities they possess (just like people here in real life), and even his villains have their upside.

Mr. King is also one of my favorite short story writers. I grabbed a collection of his, titled "Everything's Eventual" from an airport kiosk when I was traveling from Spokane WA, to Reno, NV. I made it through all of those stories in one day, even though my flight was only three hours. Airport benches are not the most comfortable, but they'll do in a pinch if you need a place to sit and read.

What is the point of all this musing?
There may not be one. I love Stephen King, and if you have somehow not read any of his works, you should. (is that a point?)(Hey, I never promised these blogs would be well formatted)

Any thoughts on Mr. King?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boys Don't Read!

Boys don't read!

That's not true, not even a little bit. I'm jumping a little late onto the bandwagon here, but I have an opinion, and a internet access. so there.

I have read a lot of blogs about the boys and their reading habits. Do they read? What do they read? Why don't they read? ...etc. To be fair, most people seem to agree with me. They know that boys do read, and some boys read a lot.

My experience as a reading boy leads me to ask, "Why is there even a question?"

When I was a young boy (elementary age) I already loved to read. So did most of my friends, who were also boys (yes, most of my friends were boys. no, I did not worry about cooties...). We read kids books; The Hardy Boys, Shel Silverstein, and anything about Batman (Comics count as reading!).

As a matter of fact, I don't remember any girls that I knew when I was that young that liked to read (though, to be fair, I didn't really pay attention).

Now, middle school was a different story. My group of friends began to change. Some of those boys that loved to read like me began to disappear, and girls became an integral part of everyday life. Sports became important to so many people, and reading seemed to fall by the wayside for a lot of others, pushed there by video games.

For the most part, though, reading was still abundant. R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" stories were a great way to continue reading, without having to worry about books covered with pictures of kissing. (Man, there were a lot of those) My friends and I even began our journeys to Middle Earth and Narnia around this time, leaving plenty of room for Batman, of course.

It continued through high school, though the flock did thin again. R.A. Salvatore became a daily part of our conversations, along with Terry Brooks and whatever our teachers sent us home to read. (Dracula and Shakespeare were among these. Kudos to teachers willing to share their libraries!)

So when people say boys don't read, what are they talking about? I believe they mean boys don't read YA (Young Adult). And, for the most part, they're right. YA books are usually romance centered, even when funny, and often have kissy faces all over them.

Batman does not. (well, most of the time)

This may be a strange, rambling post... but there you are.
Any thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment.
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The leaves, the Revisions and the Schedule (or Fall for Just1Writer)

Hey there, long time no see. How are you today? I'm good, rushed but good. thanks for asking!

Ahh, November. It really is a beautiful month, especially here in northern Idaho (at least compared to Nevada, where you live may be just as gorgeous, who knows?). The leaves are golden and orange, and scattering themselves... well everywhere. There is also lots of wonderful rain, and nice cool days to bask in.

I love to see the seasons change, and this, has inspired me. Of course, you may already know that since it is November, I have started revisions. Today actually, I was a big slacker yesterday and didn't do anything. Today, however, went really well. I'm cruising through Chapter 1, and I believe there is already vast improvement. Yay! (sorry, I get a little enthusiastic) My goal for this revision, is to have it done by the end of the month.

Is this a lofty goal? Yes. Is it attainable? Yes. Will I actually be done before the end of November? Maybe, maybe not, but it makes me feel better to have a goal. There are some parts of this revision that will be long and painful, I will be killing lots of my little darlings, rewriting a secondary character arc, and doing lots of editing. Editing. Editing. Editing.

Still, there will be other bits that I can skim over. Parts and places and people that do not need tinkering. THAT is very exciting for me, and I'll use the juice from that, to keep myself going in the rough patches.

In other changing news, I've decided to set up a real schedule for this blog. It's worked so well with my word count, I can't help but think it will be good for this part of my writing as well. Starting next week, (because I already missed Monday) I'll be posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is a formula.

Monday will be general writing stuff day. I'll talk about parts of the journey, questions, topics of interest, etc...

Wednesday will be about other writers. I want to share some of my favorite books, find out about gems that I may not know about already, and maybe even talk about other bloggers and what I have learned from this community.

Friday. Friday will be about my Works in Progress; word count, schedule, and all of my little darlings.

As for this week, well...

Clockwork Charlie is on a hold while I dive into revisions (you know, unless the muse starts cracking the whip on that one). As of now, CC sits at 7,016 words, and I feel great about all of them right now.

Revision of The City has started, and I'll be updating on that as we go.

that's it for now,
thanks for stopping by,
buh bye then

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo, maybe next year...

So if you can't tell by looking at my blogroll (over to your right) I follow quite a few blogs here. Most of them are writing-centered, but a few are real life friends. We're not talking about those today (sorry guys, you know I love you). No, today I'm going to talk, just a very little bit, about a project that a bunch of the writers I've met here are into.

NaNoWriMo (means National Novel Writing Month) is this great project that gets folks to write a novel. People that have been kicking around story ideas, and always wanted to write... something, are encouraged to join. It runs from November 1st through November 30th, and the participants have that time to, well... write a novel. It sounds pretty fun, and if I'd have known about it earlier, I might have even joined in. However, I am currently already writing a novel (which doesn't count because it's already started, and it's destined to me much more than 50,000 words, which is the project word count), and I will be starting revisions on The City after November 1st.

So why am I writing about it if I'm not involved? Because it's rad. If you've ever had the idea to write a novel, or even just have a story kicking around in your old skull factory, you should do this. Take the month, get something on the paper. It doesn't have to be great, the project is all about quantity, not quality. In my own writing experience, one of my biggest hurtles was learning to write daily, and I think NaNoWriMo would be a great tool to get someone started on the habit.

Want to know more?

Now onto my own stuff :)
Daily word count is still functioning properly! I think that 500 words a day is the perfect mark for my schedule, and it feels great to have forward motion every day (which is something I struggled with a lot while writing The City).

Clockwork Charlie is up to a whopping, 6,044 words! I know that doesn't seem huge, but it feels great, and it still seems like I just started. I think I'll also have a general outline to post on my WIP page soon... ish :)

I've spent all of October staying away from The City, waiting for the crits to come rolling in, and after November 1st I'll be starting revisions. Very excited to look at this story with some fresh eyes.

I think that's it, for now,
thanks for tuning in,
buh bye then

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woman Troubles, Robots, and Chapter 2!

Good morning, good afternoon, or good night (whichever it may be). How are things?

I love writing about Mac. Who is Mac, you ask? Well, Mac is the robot in Clockwork Charlie. He is her sidekick, her friend, and the only family she has left (not going in much further than that at this point I'm afraid). It really does take me back to the sci-fi and fantasy stuff I read as a kid, C.S. Lewis and L. Frank Baum... The hero always had a loyal sidekick, someone they could trust, no matter what. There's a big part of me that misses that, misses the simplicity in it. Anyhow, it's lots of fun for me, even in a more adult setting like C.C.

Writing from the perspective of a woman... Needless to say, it is very different. I've written women main characters in my short stories before, but this is already a very different venture for me. One big thing I've already come across, is trying to write about a woman's body; without seeming lecherous. I think I'm staying on the right side of the line, but only time will tell, right? ;)

I'm very proud to say that I have been able to hit my 500 word goal every day, excluding the weekend. If I am able to write on the weekends, I'll use either my Saturday or Sunday to get a 2,000 word day in.

The count thus far, is at a healthy 4,125 words. YAY! (that is not sarcasm, just in case you were wondering) I have just climbed into Chapter 2, and I'm very happy with my pace.

Mmmm, the coffee is delicious today, but my cup is empty. Time to get away from this glowy box and get a refill.

I think that's it for today,
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Friends, Word Count, and Progress

Hey you! Gee, that is a very nice shirt. Is it new?

Wow. I have to say that I loved my first Blogfest! Thanks so much to Dayana for putting it on, and thanks to everyone who visited, commented, and even became followers of my blog. It was all very exciting, and I loved being able to read all of the other stories that came out of it. You can click HERE to check those other stories out, and see Dayana's latest blog.

Can't wait to find another Blogfest as fun as Animal Writes was! :)

And now on to something completely different! (or at least, kind of, a little bit different)

Writing continues for Clockwork Charlie (of course it continues, I just started!). I'm already really enjoying this story, and am totally in love with my MC. I think that's important; caring for your MC. You're going to be taking this journey with them, helping them, and even causing them pain. So it stands to reason that if you don't care, no one else ever will (at least, it seems logical to me).

What do you think?

Now, while I wrote my first novel, I wasn't in need of a full-time job. I was able to set a word count of 2,000 a day, and meet that goal. I loved it. It was incredibly freeing (and also too freeing at times, what with all the slacking).

I no longer have that luxury. I work a full-time job, and have lots of people in my life, that are fun and beautiful and wonderful. 2,000 words a day is just not a realistic goal right now, so I'm going to shoot for 500.

So far, so good. Clockwork Charlie is now at a healthy 1.788 words (I have no definite end number, though I'm shooting for somewhere around 80,000). I'll keep you up-to-date on my progress, wish me luck and lots of coffee :)

thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Short Story, a Blogfest, and a Pizza Boy (minus the pizza boy)


So I signed up for my first ever Blogfest! You can follow the link on that there TITLE :) You really should, Dayana has a great blog, and I'm super glad to be one of her followers.

An advance warning: This is not a feel good story, and it may get a little graphic. Animal cruelty is disgusting, and I tried to be honest about that in this story.

Scent of Fear

sniff snuff sniff
This damn kennel reeks of fear, I've been smellin' it since they started bringin' in those others. First timers... ya can always pick 'em out by that smell.

I lean against the bars ta' see what's there... can't see much, but the growlin's already started. Once they catch a whiff of another dominant, the newbies always go right ta' growlin'. Most of 'em won't last though... there's just too many of us ol' timers here, and we already got the taste and scent of blood.

Once you make it past your first time... well, ya' can't ever go back.

There's a ruckus outside; a bunch of snarlin' and bangin' against the kennels. Someone got loose. Dutch'll be here any second, and whichever poor bastard is out there, well he ain't gonna make it to see the ring.


That'll be Dutch... I scoot way back in the kennel and pretend to be sleepin'.

"What the hell's goin' on in here? I'll skin you mangy bastards if you don't..." I hear him take a couple steps... there's a mean soundin' growl, then a thud and a whimper. "Well, I'll be dipped. I think you're Dallas's pooch, huh?"

Must've been Runner, then... He's a beast. I don't know what Dutch hit 'em with, but it had'ta been big, cuz Runner ain't even whimperin' anymore. Bad for Runner, but good for me. That means one less fight for the rest of us.

"The rest o' you mutts better keep yer' damn yaps shut!"


With that, Dutch is gone, just as quick as he came. The fear is even thicker in here, now, most of these dogs ain't seen Dutch before. They got no idea what he's like, or how he acts when we ain't here. He feeds me good, and even lets me sleep in the bed with him... when I win, and ain't too bloody and hurt, that is. He promised that today was gonna be my last fight. All I gotta do is win, and he won't bring me back no more. I plan on winnin'.

There's no more growlin' or barkin' now. The old timers like me are just waitin' our turn, and the newbies are too scared, too wired, too clueless to know how to act. So they just stay quiet. It's better that way anyhow.

The noise from outside is gettin' louder. They'll be makin' bets and talkin' trash like they do. Pretty soon, Dutch'll be in ta' get me. Then it'll be time ta' get ta' work. It ain't fun, and I'm older than I once was, but at least I get fed regular. Some o' these poor dogs get brought in, off the street. Hungry and tired, without any meat on 'em, but willin' to fight to stay alive.

I guess that's what we all got in common.

Then, the noise from outside gets real loud. Someone opened the door, and I'm sure it's Dutch, cuz all the others got real scared again. I can't stop my tail from waggin'. I know what's comin' next, and it makes me all jittery. My front shoulder still hurts from last time, but I don't limp or whimper. Can't let 'em see me as weak. They'd be on top of me quick, I know I would.

"Come on, Duke," says Dutch as he starts unlockin' the kennel. "It's time to show these pups how we do it."

sniff sniff

I can smell blood on him as he puts the shades over my eyes. Could be Runner's, but I don't think that's all. They've already had a few fights today, and there's always dogs that don't make it out. The thought puts me on edge, and I can't help but to start snarlin'. Don't know who I'll be fightin' today, but it's bad luck for them.

The place he pulls me to smells bad, like blood and smoke and piss. They always do. The people are already screamin', some of 'em know me and yell my name. "Duke. Duke. Duke." That's always strange, the only one I care about is Dutch, and he's right next to me.

"Okay, Duke," I can feel Dutch kneelin' next to me, "it's about time. You gotta just one this one more, ya' know."

I can smell the dog across the ring. He stinks, and I got a picture in my head of what he should look like. Big. Mean.

Dutch jerks the blinds off my head and I only have a second to look... I was right. He's huge, and he's got blood and spit hangin' like shoelaces off his face. This ain't gonna be easy.

Soon as his mask comes off, this one's on the lunge. He comes at me low and quick, just not quick enough. He means business, but he's a first timer, no doubt. He's already low and half-way turned when I snap up his back paw. He ain't frail, but I tear through his skin quick, and he starts flailin'. He's scared. This won't take long.

He turns real fast, spinnin' two or three times before I feel the bones crack. He screams loud, I see a few heads turn away. It ain't pretty, but I don't know what they were expectin' when they came here. He starts pullin' away, and I let him.

The screamin' stops, and he thinks it's over, but I didn't hear Dutch's whistle. I'm on him fast, and he's surprised. He yelps, but it only lasts a second before I feel the flesh on his throat give way.

Ahh, there's that whistle. I let go, but somethin's wrong. There are new people, and lights everywhere.

"Get down!" they holler over and over again, and folks are listenin'. Dutch won't be happy about that.

I'm spinnin' around, lookin' for Dutch when I feel somethin' go around my neck. It's a leash, and it ain't Dutch. No point in fightin'. Whoever's holdin' this thing is strong, and ain't gonna let go. I just hope Dutch is okay, I don't hear him anymore.

"Well you're a good boy, aren't you?" It's a gentle voice, no one I've heard before, and he leans down next ta' me. "It's okay, fella, you're retired now. There's some food in the truck, and we'll take real good care of you."

Retired... looks like Dutch kept his promise this time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

692 Words, a New Beginning

Good Morning, fun seeker. You're looking (insert something sexy here)-tastic today!

Wow, staring at that white page was daunting. I spun in my chair and clucked my tongue, made high-pitched groaning noises and tapped my fingers in a ghost pattern on the keyboard, without pushing them in. My girlfriend even laughed at all my craziness as she asked, "Is this part of the process?"


That first sentence is an ice breaker, it's my ticket into this new world, and it needs to be a good first impression. I probably spent more time tottering here, thinking about those first words, than I did writing. I'm okay with that, it was a beginning, and I think that this new world and I will get along just fine.

If you haven't already guessed, I started writing my next novel, "Clockwork Charlie," yesterday. I woke up with the bug, and got a quick outline written before I had to go to work (my day job- blech). I felt good about it, and it was a nice release; proof that this next story was ready to be told. I didn't really think a lot about it at work, it's just not a conducive environment for that sort of thing.

As soon as I got home though, I knew it was time to get to it. It went really well. I didn't reach any number goal or even really set one, for that matter, but I got started. 692 words, that's what this new beginning comes down to, and I think we're off to a great start.

Oh, and I got to reference TikTok, from the Oz stories, in my writing! How cool is that?

In other news, the coffee is delicious, and I'm hungry. I think I'll have some yogurt and Grapenuts. Mmmmm, foods...

Buh bye, then

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some Time Apart...

Well, hello there.

Right after I finished the first draft of my novel, excitement was overwhelming, and I didn't really think of much else. I was ready for edits and critiques and revisions. I was ready to offer my own critiques to friends and crit partners looking for the same thing as I was. It was all very exciting, a new era, a new world for a writer just finishing his first novel. I was ready for all the new steps.

Now, I'm ready to be writing again.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still very excited about everything and happy to be patient as crits roll in and editing trudges forward. However, I miss writing. So, it's time to get on with it.

I have quite a few steps left to really be finished with "The City" (name change coming soon) but I can't take any of those steps until I'm ready for revisions. Thusly, I will now step away from it. I will send chapters as crits come back, I will be patient and thankful to those that are sacrificing time and talent to help me out, and I will get those revisions done when the time comes.

For now, though, I need to write. It's a release, and I need it. It's a bit like breathing for me, and as much as I love to snorkel and look beneath the waves, I also need to know when to come up for air. And who knows, maybe a little time away will be good for us, "The City" and I.

She's very important to me, and I love her, but I need time to be my own man. I'm sure that she'll flourish away from me as well. She needs time to mature, to develop into her own story...

Ok, I think I took that metaphor a little too far, but you get the point. So, within the next few days, I plan to start work on Clockwork Charlie, and I'm very excited.

I think that's it for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hey, I won!

So, I've been moving very slowly in my editing. Very slowly. I'm pretty much a lame slacker who needs a task master to keep me on mark. I'll get back to it, as a matter of fact, I plan on getting through a bunch of it today. I just need to not play on the interwebz too much... hmmm, this could be more difficult than expected.

I have been getting some awesomely helpful reviews/crits from the folks that have been kind enough to trudge through my first draft. I don't know if any of you will ever read this blog, but you pretty much rock infinite. I'm still working with my crit partners on a chapter-by-chapter, close up review (which is very important and helpful) but I also have a few whole story reviews trickling in. These are both very encouraging, and very painful. I can see that I will be slaughtering my "little darlings" once I start my revision. (If you don't understand the reference, read more of my earlier blogs ;))

I'm ok with that, though. It's all part of the craft, part of becoming a better writer, and that's what this is all about. I want to have this book (and others to be named in the future) published, and therefore, must learn to whittle away the excess, trim the fat, hone the skill... etc.

It's all actually very exciting to me, and I can't wait to start writing this story again.

On another note, I won something! That's right, me. Ken. This guy! I've been reading several blogs recently (look at my blogroll to see which ones) and I entered my name in a contest at WAG THE FOX (click that title to check it out) pretty much on a lark. Then the unthinkable happened; I won the contest! wOOT!

Because I've been such a slacker, I didn't even know about it until I finally checked the email I have linked to this blog (yesterday). There are a handful of sweet books being sent out to me, and I can't wait to start reading. A huge thanks to WAG THE FOX (in case you missed it the first time) for holding such a rad contest in the first place!

Now, I need to brew more coffee. That means I need to get away from this computer for a moment. So I'm going.

Thanks for reading,
buh bye, then

Thursday, September 23, 2010

French Toast and Brains

Hey there!

...I know, I've been a slacker. I'm sorry. I'm back now, though :)

Actually, I haven't been slacking... that much. I've been reading for others and responding to crits. I now have around ten crit partners, not to mention the folks who agreed to read for me from It's pretty amazing, and scary, and strange to know that there are strangers from all over the globe (literally) reading my book. Wow.

I've received some crits from early chapters already, (mostly positive, and with great ideas to help me along) but I haven't finished my first edit yet, so no revisions. I want to get as much input back as I can before I start that process anyhow. It'll be long and painful, but I'd also like to write this story as few times as is necessary.

I had french toast for breakfast. It was good. I made it. Also, I had (am still having) lots of coffee :)

What? You don't have coffee? Go get some! I will wait...

See, much better, yes?

Hey! If you know about any great books about zombies, tell me.

ummm, that's it for now,
buh bye then

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Introductions, rejections, and coffee (of course)

So, every time I start a new blog here, the hardest part is deciding how to start. Should I greet you (the reader) with a "hey there" or something maybe a bit funnier, or should I just hop right in? As you can see, today, I've jumped right in. You likey? Hmmm?

I stated in an earlier blog that I had sent out some early queries (you don't need to look, I really did). It was an early test-run, a bad experiment, a horrible idea... However, I think I've learned a few things from it.
1- I'm a little over-eager (I already knew this, but I want my list to be longer)
2- I'm not nearly as worried about criticism, now that the story is finished
3- Rejection letters aren't soul-crushing
4- Rejection letters are actually pretty inspiring for me
5- Rejection letters that aren't form letters make me feel pretty special ;)
6- I really love coffee (again, just trying to fill this sucker out a bit)

Anyhow, I'll let the letters continue to trickle in as I finish up my editing and revisions; using each one as a little flicker of inspiration to keep going (and a reminder to take things one step at a time!).

I'm still editing, still working with my crit partner, and still several steps from really having this book finished, but I can't stop thinking about my next project. I'm ok with that. It's very exciting, I'm going into a genre I've never written before (not even a short story), and it's going to take place in a time period that I've always been enthralled with (the roaring twenties!). I'm in love with this setting; flappers and prohibition and mobsters and dirigibles... etc. See, very exciting!

I think that's it...
Thanks for reading,
buh bye now

Friday, September 10, 2010

Killing my "little darlings"

I don't remember where I got the phrase, though I think it was from my partner-in-crime Lucas, (you can check out a little of his writing at the "Infinite Quacking" link over there--- in my blogroll, though it is woefully out of date!) or Adam Heine (another blogger I read, check out "Author's Echo", again in the blogroll). I believe it sounds quite a bit more morbid than it actually is.

Basically, killing your "little darlings" is editing (read: cutting out) words, sentences, or even entire pieces of your writing. More specifically: words, sentences, and entire pieces of your writing, that you LOVE. It's a tough process, and I find myself with internal debate each time it occurs.

"Wow, that just doesn't fit there at all," I said to myself.
"It doesn't hurt anything, and it's just SO poetic!" I replied enthusiastically.
"Well... No. No, it doesn't belong, and it's just going to give the reader more questions."
Panicked and afraid to lose, I pulled out all the stops, "But... But that sentence could be the pinnacle of my writing!"
"Hmmm, well I suppose I could wait until someone else... NO! I have to cut it."
"Sob sob, whimper whimper."

Anyhow, (sorry if that was a bit ridiculous, but I think I've made my point) I've finished the third chapter of my editing, and I found myself having to cut a lot. I mean, it was wanton destruction! I was cutting and changing words, altering sentence structure, and highlighting whole paragraphs... (highlighting makes it easier to stare solemnly, sadly even.) DELETE.

And this is only my first edit, in which I'm mostly reading for grammar and punctuation. Right after this, comes my revision, which is almost guaranteed to be a blood-bath.

On the bright side, I am already getting some great feedback from my crit partner. That means, as I go through slaughtering my "little darlings," I can blame her. :)

I think that's all I have for now,
buh bye, then

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Crit partners, puppies, and coffee (of course)

I didn't get much work done over the extended weekend. Nope, I spent time with loved ones, just playing around and watching Star Wars :) I feel it was just as productive as any other weekend!

I found my first crit partner the other day (yay!). She seems to be a very awesome lady, who happens to be an English teacher... in Japan! (how freakin awesome is that?!) For anyone who may not know, a crit partner is someone who will read through your work, and critique it (now the "crit" thing seems pretty clever, huh!) (No, it's not some random Dungeons and Dragons reference) (Though, I could see why you'd think that) (wow, I'm using to many of these).

Anyhow, she already sent me a very informative review of my first chapter. She pointed out some things I hadn't noticed, as well as confirmed a few things I was already thinking. I'm excited, though I think the process might be a bit rough (like tearing off a band-aid).

Grrr... You may have already heard about or seen the video of the girl throwing puppies into a river. It literally made me sick to my stomach, which never happens. Anyhow, two days after I heard this story, I heard another one. An old lady had found the puppies (well five out of six puppies) and was nursing them back to health. How amazing is that?!?!? My heart swelled and choirs sang and monkeys threw poo in celebration...

It seems that it may have all been for nothing. Many people are now saying that the puppies the old woman was holding in her photos, do not closely enough resemble the puppies that had been in the original video. The rumor is; the girl that had thrown the puppies cried out for help when she started receiving threats, and a neighbor jumped in to help, making the video.

Grrr... ok... breathe in... remember that this blog is supposed to be about writing, not evil people.

I know it was a tangent, but I've been thinking about it a lot, so I decided to share. Now to brew more coffee (I love the french press!) and get back to editing.

Thanks for reading, buh bye now-

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bloggity updates and other stuff

Hey there, you're looking spiffy today ;)

umm, this is funny, and I love Assassin's Creed

Yeah... So, I've been doing some work on the blog! (if you didn't notice) I dig the tabs on top of the page (go ahead and look) a bit more than the links that had been on the side of the page (don't bother looking, they're not there anymore). I also added my "Works in Progress" page, so you might be able to see what I've been up to, at least as far as writing goes.

I'm still editing and doing the big read-through on "The City," but I've made some progress in other areas also. I finished up a first draft of my query letter, but I'm going to hang on to it a bit. (I actually sent out some early queries, but I think I'm going to edit it a bit before sending more). Haven't gotten any further with the synopsis, but I haven't been slacking, so I'm okay with that.

In the past few months, I've written a couple of short stories that I am going to start submitting. My first stop with those, will be an awesome magazine called "The Sun." (I may be late finding this jewel, but I love it!)

As far as projects go, I already have the idea for my next big one. It's only an idea for now, but I'm pretty excited about it! Wanna know more? Well, for the low price of $9.99...

Just kidding :)

I don't have much, but the generic idea is a diesel-punk storyline about a girl called Clockwork Charlie. That's it for now, as I said, it's a very new idea.

So that's all I have for you, for now.
buh bye, kids

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Editing and gopher milk

I finished my first edit of Chapter 1 last night. I swear I've been over those pages, at least a dozen time, and still I found things that needed to be fixed. Tense issues (changing "is" to "was" or "are" to "were"), paragraphs not being broken where they should, and even spelling mistakes... SPELLING!

Oh well, calm down, and take a deep breath. (oohhmmmm) Okay, much more zen now :)

So yeah, my first read-through and edit of Chapter 1 is done. Yay! However, I haven't started my query letter yet, and my summary is still untouched. I'm nervous about letting people read it, trying to get it out there, and about my possible failure. Don't get me wrong, I did write the book for myself, and I finished it for myself (even after all the wrong turns and breaks in writing).

There is still a big part of me, though, that needs this book to succeed. I know that the odds are against me, and there are thousands of "writers" out there that never have a word published... I don't want to be one of them. Also, I know that the art should be for me, and it is. I love writing, always have, and probably always will.

I guess these jitters are to be expected. I am, after all, in brand new territory.

Hey! I also got the new Scott Pilgrim graphic novel (an early birthday present from a beautiful lady) which I intend to read within the next few days. I'm very excited to finish the series, and the movie was pretty rad ;)

that's it for now, I think.
Thanks for reading

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Storm

So I wrote a poem not long ago, but without internet access, I didn't get to post it. I have the good ol' "webz" again, so I'm going to post it now. And away... we go!

Where is the bridge
To stand me away from the waves
The sand, the rush, the crash
Not the surf but the sand...
The waves.

Where is the bridge
To carry my scorched palms from the swell
deep beneath the salty, breaching foam
your hand, your eyes, your breath
Not the sex but the heat...
The waves.

Where is the bridge
To keep me dry through your storm
The sweat, the tears, your rain
Not the ocean but the cloud...
The waves.

Still and thorough, you beat against my roof
Hot and strong, you press on my shutters
If you are the storm, I need no bridge...
No curtain, no door, no roof
Come in, my storm, and rage forever with me.*

So that's one of the things I've written in the last month or so. As I already may have mentioned ;) I finished the novel, and have also written a short story. Things have been good in my world, more zen than in the recent past.

Good day

Friday, August 27, 2010

End of the first step

So, here I am, more than two years from the beginning of this journey, and the book is fully written. Really, it's only a first draft (or first draft plus, I did a lot of editing while I went along) and there is more work to be done, but I feel like I've finally put my tired foot down, after holding it up; hesitating to take that step.

As a matter of record, before I do my first official edit, or have any beta reading done, the stats on the book stand like this:

13 Chapters

408 pages; double spaced, size 12 courier font (like most publishers seem to ask for)

87,412 words; black and white, on the page (this also seems to be a plus) ;)

I also finally have an internet connection, so as things continue to progress, I will update this page. I'll also be bringing the other random thoughts on life, poetry, and short stories that roll out in the coming days.

The next step for me, in the "big book" process, is to finish my query letter. It needs to be well written and exciting, so as to catch a literary agent's attention. I haven't started this, but it's only like a one page project, so it might not take me three more years. (hehe)

I also need to finish my summary, which I have started, but haven't looked at in months. A bit of a longer process, but another necessity in the publishing process.

One of the more important things I have to do, is finding beta readers. I need to find people that are willing to read the book, and kick back some honest thoughts on the story. The good thing is; I don't need a red-pen to fix punctuation, just some honest thoughts and feedback. For the most part, I'm delegating this job to a "critter" website that I'm a part of, but if someone is interested, an extra set of eyes never hurts.

Well, that's all I've got for you, for now.
I'm sure I'll be back soon, and more regularly :)

thanks for reading

Monday, April 5, 2010

Down to it...

So I have no excuse for the laziness that swallowed the last two weeks or so. I just did nothing beneficial. At all. Oh well, I can be angry at myself and say crazy things about making up for the time I lost, or I can be realistic and pick up where I left off. That seems more constructive.

Right now, I have just under 75,000 words done. Even with all my slacking, that's a pretty big deal to me, and if I buckle down... Well, I'll be done soon. No more self setting deadlines. That kind of thing just seems to make it easier for me to miss my mark.

I'm at this weird spot in my story; I can see the end, and hell, I even know the end. But, there is a step missing between where I am, and where I need to be. It's frustrating. There seems to be this wall... just stopping me from meeting the end of this story. Should I look at changing the ending? I mean it's not written yet, but it's kind of been set in stone (in my mind) for a while now.

Do I change it, or do I just keep moving forward, having faith that it'll all come together? I think it will, but I also think I need to be open to the possibility of change here. Hmmm... I guess we'll see.

On a personal note, I'm psyched because this Thursday, I'm scheduled to get my first tattoo :) It's been a plan that I've hmmm'd and haah'd, but I finally just made the appointment, and now I can't wait. I guess sometimes you just need to make the decision.

Ok, that's it for now

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Dreams: a poem

I dreamt of her last night,
The one who bore my love so long,
Silently carrying me.
Without complaint or praise,
She cherished the burden of my love.
Her strength hidden,
Behind the beauty of uncounted freckles,
And beneath the glistening locks.
Cumbersome I became,
But still, she carried me on,
With her smile, and her kiss.

I dreamt of her last night,
The one with undiluted beauty,
Though her smile fades.
The days become darker,
The nights glow red like a cigarette's cherry,
And sleep is rough without her.
Her skin so fair,
Her lips sweet, milk and honey,
The veil she wore, lifted for our kiss,
But her kisses are now gone,
From all but my dreams.

I don't write poetry often, though it is where my passion began. I had a poem published once (long ago, in a galaxy far, far away) but those times were dark, and so were my words. (Come on, I was an angsty youth, long before it was cool to be emo!)

Anyhow, I don't write many poems as of late. They scare me more than I would like to admit. Fractions of words and sentences, thrown onto the white for the sole purpose of exposing a bit of yourself... at least that's how I have felt when I have written poems.

But, it's something to post here. I spent the last week doing nothing, as far as writing was concerned. I'm back at it, though I obviously missed my own deadline :)

Oh well

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So, I've begun work on my book synopsis. I'm hoping to get a few early submissions sent out while I finish up the last bit of the book. I am a little hesitant to send out the synopsis before I'm done, but the submission process can take quite some time... (Three months to a year in some cases)

It's nerve-racking! I am trying to summarize my story in about five pages. In those pages I need to make a publisher want to read the book, outline the whole story, mention all the important plot elements, talk about character growth, and most importantly; MAKE THE PUBLISHER WANT TO READ THE BOOK!

I'm trying not to stress, and I want to believe the story will carry itself... But, I find that it's times like these, when I need to be confident, that I get weighed down with self-doubt. There are so many people out there, writing stories, trying, hoping for the same thing I am hoping for. Most of them fail. It's just a fact.

I truly believe that this book will stand on it's own merits, I do. It's a story I would like to read, and I think that is the point. The worry, however, begins once I realize that sending out my submission, means that I am no longer in control. That scares me.

Oh well, I guess that's it for now

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

mmm, coffee

The title really has no meaning on this post. But, I do love coffee!

I've been very slackish when it comes to posting blogs. It doesn't have anything to do with my writing, I've been pretty good about that. I just feel like I should have something new to say when I post here, so I don't... sometimes :)

I finished my 9th chapter, and in a lot of books, that probably isn't even half done. However, I like a longer chapter format. So you can kind of see what 9 chapters means to me, it's 64,000 words or 218 pages. Still, it's got a ways to go. But, I intend to finish my first draft by the end of March, and I think I can do it. When I came back to Idaho in January, I had only 100 pages, or just around 30,000 words. So, if I can stick to my count, or put in a few long days, I know I can do this. It's about self-control, and I'm working on it in most aspects of my life now.

Eating less often, smaller portions, better food


Walk every day

Don't be so impatient

Write 2000 words a day

clean more...

anyhow, these are things I should have had control over a long time ago. So, I'm working on it.

Wish me luck

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

more about wrting

So, I started this blog so I could talk about my writing, and I guess I've done that. I think I need to do a bit more of that, at least that's how I feel today :)

It's ridiculous to think that I started writing "The City" nearly two years ago. I actually got the idea for the novel from a short story I wrote around that time. When I started it, I was extremely happy if I wrote two pages in one day... maybe once or twice a week.

I got about ten pages into the story, when a good friend of mine said something along the lines of, "Well, that's just a lot of bollocks. You can't write this whole story from first person, at least not the way you've done it." Yeah, I stopped writing for quite a while... Then, one day, I went back to it. I read what I had done, and realized that my friend had been right. The whole ten pages were filled with me tripping over the story, due to the point of view.

So, I changed it, fixed it, rewrote the whole bit. It was a start, and I was writing again :)

I "sprinted" through the next month or two, and reached something like thirty pages. It felt good. I was moving forward, and that meant that I was moving toward something. So, naturally, I stopped writing. Can't remember why, or if there was even a reason, but I stopped... for months.

Then I moved. I was having a hell of a time trying to find a job, so I spent my mornings playing with my computer :) When I ran out of fun stuff to do on the interwebs, I found my story again. Why hadn't I been writing? Where had the time gone? Imagine how far along I could have been, if I hadn't stopped. Oh well, too late to wonder now. And, I got back to work.

I was moving forward again, I even decided to set my own word count and work on this blog. It was good. I did some short stories and started some comic ideas with friends. Writing became something more than just a thing to do for me. Then my mom got sick...

Three months went by before she passed, I didn't write anything.

Three more after her funeral, I didn't write anything.

I came back to Idaho at the beginning of January, (literally, I got here on the first) with the purpose of finishing what I started. When I looked at my manuscript, I realized that I had 100 pages done. That was huge for me. I went back to work :)

And here I am now. Still not as far as I'd like to be, but I can see the end of this book, and have already started the next in my mind... and maybe even the third, which actually takes me back to the short story where it all began :) Anyhow, if I can keep from slacking, (feel free to yell at me randomly, assume I'm slacking because I'm good at it) I think that "The City" will be finished by the end of this month. (the first draft at least)

There ya go :) It may be a very choppy blog today, but now you know a bit more about my writing... or at least the story of my writing... I don't know, I think I've even managed to confuse myself :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I don't like throw out phrases like "writer's block." When those pages all start to blur together, sometimes you just need some space. A couple of hours away from what your working on, or even a couple of days away from your computer can help. Staring at the pages and cursing every time you have to delete what you just wrote, is not helpful... at least not for me.

And yet, here I am. I am stuck. I noticed I was stuck yesterday just after I started writing. type-type-type... delete... type... delete... type-type... "What the hell!!?" delete...

So I walked away. I spent the day just relaxing. I walked around town and tried to deal with some personal stuff (tried being the operative phrase here... I'm fairly certain that this stuff is the reason I'm having so much trouble... But, that sounds like an excuse) and didn't even open the thing again yesterday. I got up this morning, made coffee, and took a shower (all the things I do to get my brain going) and still, I can't get beyond this wall...

Well, I guess that's it for now. If you have any ideas about getting past "writer's block" feel free to let me know :)

buh bye then

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's in a name?

So the main character of the novel I'm working on, is named Jonathan. Sometimes I wonder if it's too plain for a fantasy story, but I just cant bring myself to make up odd sounding, crazy ass names for my characters. "What do you want?" asked Jayhamdifibleritsz... Lol, yes that might be a bit much, but you get my point.

Whenever I read a story where the names are obviously invented, it takes a while for me (as a reader) to get used to. Don't get me wrong, I use some strange, or even unheard of names in the story: Imlay is Jonathan's teacher, Bixby is a faerie, and Ponder is Jonathan's love interest... etc. (By the way, I don't know why, but I love the name Ponder for a girl)

Maybe I'm just biased and the names in my story are just as wonky as in any other fantasy story. Oh well, feel free to tell me what you think :)

On another point, I have been a slacker for the last few days. I haven't written anything and whenever I have tried, I have just felt lost. That's mostly an excuse... I just need to go to another place in the story or go back and do some editing. Oh well.

So I guess that's it for now. Jonathan may have an ordinary name, but I like it.
buh bye :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Step

So, I finished Chapter 7 yesterday and I'm feeling very good about it. I mean, I still have to go through and do some editing, make sure it flows well, etc... But I think It went very smoothly. As a matter of fact, it was going so well that I did well beyond my normal word count just so I could finish the chapter.

It was the first battle sequence I've ever really written, but I think it reads well. I'll probably post some of it on here eventually, who knows?

Otherwise, things are going well :) Relationship stuff seems to be going very well, which makes everything else seem better.

I actually don't have much to say, so I'll post an excerpt from Chapter 2 for you to read :) Again, please forgive the formatting

It had been a week since his thirteenth birthday, which marked the beginning of manhood for a boy in The City. Jonathan and his mother, Eliza, were finishing the after dinner chores, as his father sat in front of the fireplace, stoking the logs for the evening’s fire. As always, he held the long wooden pipe to his lips as he worked, making the house smell of sweet weed and smoke.
When the knock came, no one knew who it would be so late in the day. It was an ominous knock for his parents, but to a young man like Jonathan, anything new or different was bound to be exciting. He bolted to the door, his eyes wide in anticipation, and his mother barely had time to think before he had it opened and was greeting the men at the door.
“Hello sirs,” his head drooped a bit at the sight of the visitors, “my dad is by the fireplace.” He opened the door full and gestured to his father as Abel made his way to the door. “Dad, it’s some old guys for you.”
Abel pulled the pipe from his lips, ready to greet the visitors, when he noticed who they were. Three of the “old guys” his son was talking about were members of The City’s council. The fourth was Imlay. He was the Magician of Third Chapel, and his presence was not a good sign for the father of a young man.
“Hello, Abel.” Imlay greeted the boy’s father warmly.
“Hello,” said Abel, hesitantly beckoning them inside, “what can I do for you gentlemen?”
The man Abel knew as Elder Danes stepped forward with a great smile on his face, “We’ve come to talk to you about some wonderful things your boy has in store for him.”
Elder Danes continued inside as the rest of the men followed. Danes and the Magician were the only ones Abel knew by name, but he had seen the other two at council meetings. Elder Danes walked buoyantly through the house, and with the sense of someone bringing a winter fowl to a hungry family.
Abel was incredulous as the men seated themselves around the table. “Would anyone like a drink?”
“No, no, no,” Elder Danes replied excitedly, “we have far too many things to speak with you about, and far too little time I’m afraid.”
Abel sat, putting his pipe back to his lips, happy to make the men wait on him in his house. As he took the first few pulls from the warm sweet weed, he looked at each of the men in turn, trying to weigh their reason for being there. When he reached the Magician’s face, it was somber. Abel had never taken the Magician’s post too seriously, but he was happy to see at least this man had the common sense to know that a father wasn’t going to take this news lightly.
As he released the smoke from his lungs in slow, amber rings, Abel asked, “So what is it you gentlemen want with my boy?”
“Ah, right to the point! Good man.” Danes’ face lit up excitedly as he continued to act as spokesman for the group. “No point dilly dallying around when there is such exciting news for a young man to be shared.” He pointed happily at Abel, “And you, believe me when I say, ‘It is such an honor for his family as well.’”
Just then, the young Jonathan came bounding into the room from the kitchen smiling, until he noticed the look on his father’s face. “What’s wrong, dad?”
Abel looked at his son, then, and tried to relieve some of the tension is his demeanor. “Don’t you worry about it, son. This is a conversation for adults, you go finish helping you mother for now.”
“Nonsense!” to Abel’s consternation, Elder Danes’ voice was once again booming through his house. “Of course he’s welcome for this. It’s his life we’ll be talking about. And such exciting news for the young man!”
Young Jonathan halted in his tracks as the men contradicted each other. He looked from his dad’s face, which was now crimson as he gnawed on the end of his pipe, to the old politician’s face, glowing with enthusiasm and completely oblivious to the raging man across the table, just waiting to explode. He took his cue from the anger in his father’s scowl and stuffed his questions back down his throat before they had a chance to escape his lips. Slowly, he made his way back to the kitchen with his mother, hoping to hear bits of the conversation which was apparently, after all, about him.
“Elder Danes,” Imlay spoke up, hoping to diffuse the situation, “we are in Abel’s home. If he wishes the conversation to be private, I think it best we follow his decision.”
Confused by the boy’s disappearance, Danes turned back to the table. “What’s gotten into him?” As his eyes reached the fuming Abel, the old man’s face shot through with white. “Oh yes… quite right.” He stammered timidly, “Sorry about that, Abel. I guess it’s hard to contain my excitement, is all.”
Taking one more long pull from his pipe to calm himself, Abel was glad to see that his reaction had changed the mood of the meeting so quickly. It felt good for him to have the power in this group of politicians. “Now, tell me straight. What is it you want from my boy?”
Still reeling from his host’s reaction, Elder Danes turned to Imlay to provide the answer.
“In time, we hope that you will see the reason for our excitement, Abel.” The Magician looked thoughtfully at the younger man, and continued, “It has been over three decades since we’ve found a suitor for the Magician’s apprenticeship, and this is an amazing day for us.”
Standing now, Abel somehow stopped his voice from rising, but the anger was obvious, “My son will be staying here with his family. He has his future set out as a working man, not some soft politician or librarian.”
“There was a time, Abel,” Imlay answered him now, “when we could find magic in half the boys of Third Chapel. Back then, we had the luxury of only bringing in boys who were willing, with families that had no arguments. That, I’m sorry to say, is no longer the case.”
Abel had had enough. Screaming now, “You think you can come in here and talk to me like I don’t have a say in what my son does with his life?”
Without raising his voice, Imlay stood. His full height casting a huge shadow from the light of the fireplace was very intimidating. “The role the boy will play, in the years to come, is far more important than some idle resentment you hold for Magic users and politicians.”
Not willing to be put down by the other man’s stature in his own home, Abel railed on, “IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!”
“But daddy.” It was an insignificant sound compared to the men’s argument, but it brought all eyes to the small hallway by the kitchen.
“But daddy,” young Jonathan spoke up softly, “I want to go.”

-posted by Ken Lindsey 2-2-2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I almost didn't write anything yesterday. I told myself that one day without writing wouldn't hurt, might even do some good.

That may be true, in some cases. Walking away from a project to get some perspective might be just the ticket... on another day. On a day when my brain isn't screaming at me to get to it, and the story isn't sitting there, so ready to be put on paper. The lazy part of me wasn't interested in the work, or the love I have for it.

"What if, doing the work, reaching the word count everyday, leads to me getting burned out?" I don't see that happening.

Yes, I set the word count almost like an assignment. It's a goal for me, a way to gauge my daily steps. And somehow, my human brain has made that goal seem like a grind. Even though I love to sit in front of this screen and watch the white pages float away under the haze of paragraphs, something in me says that the goal I've set is too much like homework.

It's ridiculous, really. I love what I'm doing, crave it, and think about doing it whenever I'm not. And yet, there is still the urge to blow it off, watch tv, and do it tomorrow instead.

Guess what, lazy voice in my head. I will do it tomorrow, just like I did it yesterday and will do it today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A bit Backwards

So I've decided to make today all about writing. Strangely enough, it's nearly noon and I haven't written a word. Well, that's not true, I've been adding and deleting words most of the morning. I just finished my 5th chapter yesterday, so I've spent most of my morning going back over it, doing some editing.

I do this a lot. Lots of people say that you shouldn't edit your work as you go, and maybe that's the "right" way to go about it. I can't not edit as I go. (read it again if you must, yes it's a double negative... I just happen to feel it's the best way to share what I'm trying to say) I need to be sure that I haven't gone off on some tangent, or changed some crucial part of the story with a throw-away sentence or paragraph.

Plus, I actually like the story and don't mind reading it a few times :)

I have no idea how long this story will end up. When I began writing, I had a fairly rounded idea. I was going to shoot for a norm... eighty thousand words seems to be the norm. Twenty thousand words ago, it seemed almost unattainable. Now, however, I'm afraid I'm going to overshoot that mark.

I don't want the characters to be overdrawn or the story to be heavy handed, but I also want the world to come to life for a reader. It really isn't an issue yet, like I said, "I have no idea how long this story will end up."

Ok, I'm done for now. I'm going to write :) I think I'm done editing for now, and I've gotten some stuff off of my chest, so writing is the target now. So far, my day has been about writing, which is what I was going for, so I consider it a win. But, now I'm actually going to write.

I do have a story to tell after all :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Forward Motion

Even on a slow day, you can accomplish something. I sometimes get down on myself if I don't reach my word count goals, but then I have a day like yesterday. I was just flat out sick, under the weather even. I did nothing. The slow days and short days aren't that bad, because at least I'm moving forward.

Today was great. I hit my word count early and feel so much better, it's like a different me. I wish I had sucked it up and done something yesterday, it feels like a whole day wasted. Oh well, I'll get over it :)

Well, since I've been gone for so long, I haven't posted any of my writing like I was planning. So, I think I will actually post one of my short stories today so it can fill out some space on today's blog.

Here ya go, please forgive the formatting. Blogspot isn't very format friendly.

Never, Ever Bring This Up Again:

Just off of Nevada’s Highway 50, somewhere between Carson City and Fallon, an eighties model Toyota pickup sat on the side of the road. It was a red pickup, and its tires were caked with grime and dirt, and the bumper, on the driver’s side, was bent upward and pushed through the now broken headlight.
There were two men in the truck; the driver, with his arm leaning out the window, covered in what looked like mud, holding a cigarette, and one passenger, just sitting still.
“Never, ever bring this up again.”
“What, do you think I’m an idiot?”
Matt, the driver, was stocky and tall, with tattoos covering his thick arms. Although he was still in his mid-twenties, his hair was thinning noticeably, and already peppered with grey. “Jesus,” he muttered as he exhaled the smoke from his cigarette.
The passenger, Jeremy, was just as tall as Matt, but thinner and with a full head of hair. Whenever they had gone out drinking together, Matt jokingly referred to Jeremy as the “bait,” using him and his classic good looks to draw in the ladies. Not tonight though, no jokes or ladies tonight.
The inside of the truck stunk horribly, even after they had rolled the windows down. It was the filthy smell of whisky and smoke, but there was something more to it. Something awful and too sweet that made their tongues click, and their gag reflexes shutter whenever they breathed too deep.
Jeremy just stared out the passenger side window, afraid that looking at Matt while he spoke would make him lose control, and vomit. “What do we do now?”
“First we gotta go clean up the truck, and pull that damn bumper off.” Matt took one last drag and then flicked the butt out into the desert. “Then, we gotta get cleaned up, and get ridda these clothes.” He grabbed the front of his shirt, showing Jeremy the dark, oily stains.
“What about the shovel, do you think it’ll clean up?”
Matt started the truck and pulled another cigarette from his shirt pocket as he thought about it, “I guess we’re gonna hafta toss that too.” He lit the cigarette and took a long pull from it before he continued, “I mean, a shovel’s supposed ta get dirty, but there ain’t no accountin for the blood, is there?”
“No, I guess you’re right,” Jeremy shifted in his seat as Matt pulled the truck back onto the highway, glad to get more fresh air into the cab. As the cool air hit his face, he knew that the whisky had finally worn off. He could feel the wind pushing on the broken skin beneath his eye, where Matt had hit him earlier. Although it stung, he was glad for the feeling, glad to know he was no longer drunk.
Matt noticed as Jeremy touched the skin lightly, trying to estimate the size of the wound. “How’re you feelin over there?”
“It’s a bit tender, but to be honest, I’m just barely startin ta feel it.”
“Yeah, I figured ya wouldn’t be feelin it much when I hit ya.” Matt looked at his friend for a moment, a hint of sorrow in his eyes, “I am sorry for that,” he pointed at the sore, “but you were gettin’ pretty hysterical… and you were startin ta freak me out.”
Jeremy watched as the truck’s remaining headlight turned onto the gravel road that led to his house, “Don’t worry ‘bout it, I needed it anyway. That’s the only point of the whole thing I can even remember without it bein’ all fuzzy, ya know?”
“Yeah, well… that might be a good thing.” As they pulled up to the little garage next to Jeremy’s place, Matt realized his cigarette had gone out in his hand. As he relit, he gave Jeremy a serious look, “We can’t ever talk about this, can’t bring it up, ever.”
Jeremy nodded, “Do you think I can get one of those?” he asked pointing to Matt’s cigarette.
Matt pulled another of the cancer sticks from the pack in his shirt pocket, “I thought you quit,” he taunted as the corners of his mouth began to turn up.
“Yeah, well…” He lit the cigarette and took a long pull from it, enjoying the nicotine as the smoke trundled though his mouth and into his throat and lungs. “My daddy always told me not to be a quitter.”
Matt opened the door and began to get out of the truck’s cab, grabbing the keys from the ignition, “Well, you and your daddy need to get the toolbox outta the back of the truck so we can get this damn bumper off.” When he closed the door, his movement caught the motion sensor, activating the flood light on the front of the garage, illuminating the front of the truck and part of the driveway.
Jeremy got out of the truck quickly and tried to kick some of the mud and grime from his shoes before grabbing the toolbox. It didn’t come off easily, and when it did, it came off in great chunks that made a nasty slurping noise when they hit the ground.
Trying not to think about the gunk too much, he reached into the bed of the truck to find what he was looking for. It was an old toolbox, all metal and heavy, with rusted corners and a creaky handle that made him grunt as he lifted.
“Oh, Jesus,” came Matt’s voice from the front of the truck. “This mess is gonna take all night.”
As Jeremy made his way to the front of the truck, Matt stood back, looking at the damage with both hands resting on top of his head. “Is it really that bad?” Jeremy followed Matt’s eyes to the offending spot as he set the toolbox on the hood.
At first, all Jeremy saw was the mutilated bumper, covered in mud. As his eyes adjusted to the artificial light, though, he realized that the stain was dark red, not brown as he had first thought. It wasn’t mud. There were stringy clumps of it crammed into the creases in the metal, and covering the busted headlight and fender.
Jeremy threw up, splashing whisky and bile at his feet and onto the toolbox. Matt jumped back quickly to miss the splatter, turned away from the mess, and covered his mouth and nose with his hand. “Jesus, Jeremy! What the hell!?”
Jeremy coughed and spluttered, dropping his half smoked cigarette to the ground. He turned away from Matt, leaning into himself with his hands on his knees, waiting for the burning in his nose and throat to go away. “I’m sorry, Matt, I dinna mean ta… I dinna know…”
“Damn it, man! I aint cleanin this crap up myself. You better just get your head on and get over it, real quick,” with that, Matt walked to side of the garage where a hose was hung, neatly on the wall. He unwound the hose and began dragging it back to the truck, glad for the wash gun on the end.
“Why’s it so stringy, Matt?” Jeremy was beginning to stand straight again, wiping his mouth as he said, “I didn’t know it… blood, I mean. I didn’t know it would get all stringy like that.”
Without any warning, Matt began spraying the ground at Jeremy’s feet, trying to clean the vomit away from the truck. “Blood aint stringy, you idiot. That’s the hair… or… you know what I mean.”
Jeremy’s throat clinched, fighting back another attack, “Oh god… what did we do?” His voice cracked and tears started flooding down his cheeks. His torso began quaking as it was rocked by the sobs issuing from his chest.
“What did WE do?! You little bastard!” Matt dropped the hose, which stopped spraying immediately after the trigger unlocked, and stomped toward Jeremy. He grabbed the sobbing man by the front of his shirt and slammed him onto the hood of the pickup, knocking the wind out of him.
“You best shut yer damn fool mouth! You’ll either get yer head on, or I’ll beat yer brains in right here. You hear me?” Still pinning Jeremy to the hood with his left hand, Matt slapped him across the face with his right, bringing a stream of blood from the freshly closed wound under Jeremy’s eye.
“I’M SORRY… I’M SORRY!” cried Jeremy as he cowered and squirmed, trying to get out of Matt’s vice like grip.
Beginning to raise his hand to strike his friend again, Matt caught himself, and stopped. He released his hold on Jeremy’s shirt and allowed him to slide off the hood and onto the ground. He clenched his teeth shut and took in a deep breath through his nose as he pulled another cigarette from his pocket. “Lets just get this mess cleaned up, and then you can go to bed, sleep it off.”
Without speaking a word, or even trying to staunch the blood that was flowing down his cheek, Jeremy slid the toolbox under the bumper and got to work taking it off. He loosened the nuts under the fender without much trouble, and in minutes, the bumper was unattached and sitting on the ground at his feet.
“Now, we just gotta get that stuff cleaned off,” said Matt as he dropped the butt of his cigarette into the puddle of vomit and water. He took his pack from his shirt pocket and tossed it on the hood. Then he unbuttoned his shirt and took it off, wadding it into a ball in his hand. “Might as well get some use outta this before I gotta chuck it, huh?”
Jeremy followed suit as Matt picked up the hose again and used it to soak the shirt before spraying the fender of the truck. When Jeremy approached, with his shirt in his hand, Matt soaked it for him and then both men knelt in front of the pickup, and got to work cleaning it.
The work was long and messy, taking just more than an hour to complete, and both men were silent until it was done. They both stood, tossing their ruined shirts on the ground, and leaned against the truck.
Matt chuckled as he pulled his last cigarette from its pack, “I guess you really didn’t quit, huh?” he said as he pointed to the small pile of butts that had gathered from the two of them smoking as they worked.
“You know me, I always try and do what daddy taught me,” replied Jeremy, laughing for the first time that night.
Matt walked toward the garage again, this time grabbing an old aluminum garbage can and carrying it back to the truck. “What are you gonna say if somebody asks about that eye?”
Smiling slyly, Jeremy felt a tinge from the wound as he answered, “I’ll tell ‘em the truth. I’ll tell em, I don’t remember much, but the guy that hit me was big… and ugly.”
The two men laughed and harassed each other as they filled the garbage can and used the hose to rinse away what they didn’t want to pick up. When the work was done, they stood in the driveway, watching as the sun rose above the mountains that surrounded the valley they were in.
“Jeremy, you know we have to be careful about this, right?”
“I know. Never, ever bring this up again. I get it.”
Matt reached into his front pocket and grabbed the key ring. “Well here ya go, then, these are yours. I’m gonna walk home, I think.”
Taking the keys from his friend, Jeremy smiled, “Thanks, Matt, for everything.”
Only a few yards down the driveway, Matt turned, “If I find out you ever drive like that again, it’ll be your body I bury in the desert,” with that, he waved and began his walk home.

-Ken Lindsey
posted 1-16-2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

coffee breath and sleepy eyes

So I'm feeling pretty fantastic right now :)

I mean, I had a bit of a long night, dealing with relationship issues and people who should stay out of them, but overall, things are good. I hit my word count yesterday for the first time since my mother got sick, so that's awesome. Also, the future is looking brighter since I decided that writing isn't just what I want to do, but what I'm going to do.

What's gonna stop me? Yes, there are plenty of roadblocks: financial concerns, people telling me to grow up, days where the white pages just won't stop being white.

Those things don't matter, because I got to wake up this morning, knowing that I get to do what I love.

So, I'm tired because romance is difficult and people suck, I smell like coffee all the time because I no longer drink soda, and I wouldn't change a thing because you can't fix what isn't broken.

I think there will be more about my writing in the next post :) I just felt like rambling today

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where have I been...

Damn it life does get in the way doesn't it...

I'm writing again, though its taking time for me to get back to my word count of 2000 words a day. It's a start I suppose. The book is actually taking form and I am now plotting the second and third in the series so that I can keep some form of continuity as I go.

Two funerals since my last post... What the hell

I find myself agreeing more and more with Harvey Danger when they sing "Happiness Writes White." It's very true, the things that float around, trying to bring some sort of bliss to this thing I call my life, also keep me from my goals. Don't worry dear readers (that's funny because I'm fairly certain I'm the only person who ever sees this blog) those things seem to be slipping away with more rapidity every day. (how very emokid of me)

Anyhow, back to the point; I'm writing again and that's good. Therefore I will also be blogging again. Starting the moment I hit the publish now button down below.