Writing Report January 12, 2017

Well, I did not finish my second female barbarian novella in time to send it off the the 3rd publisher. Two things prevented my finishing on time: First, I was running into some small but significant structural problems; scenes that played well by themselves but -- like a piece on a jigsaw puzzle that almost looks like the right shape and color -- don’t really fit, and in no small part because the jigsaw puzzle itself is subtly but significantly changing as it’s being assembled.[1] Second, I found my work schedule increasingly affected by the holidays + family obligations + long standing appointments + last minute changes in plans, etc., etc., and of course, etc.[2]

On the other hand, I did get a lot of writing done, just precious little on the 2nd female barbarian story, and perhaps the silver lining on this is that it will afford me a chance to go back and rework a few things in the first story.[3] My villains have names that look fine at first glance but after you type them a few dozen / hundred times they begin to look awkward and clunky, not a good fit at all so I can change those before posting it as an e-book.

The aforementioned structural issues are relatively small and minor but need to be addressed. Once we get the final battle underway I’ve no anxiety about puling it off: I wrote for Thundarr, I wrote for Dungeons & Dragons, I wrote for Conan, I have a good setting and a ferocious enemy so this should be fun.

When not working on the barbarian story (which was too damn often), I put together some essays, short stories, fictoids, and poems you’ll be seeing shortly. I’ve got a number of things written out in long hand in notebooks[4] that I need to transcribe[5] so they will start making the market rounds or prepped for posting soon.

on writing - william faulkner

[1] These are not major issues, merely minor ones of staging. If John and Jane started the story as brother and sister, it makes perfect sense for them to have a scene eating breakfast with their parents, but if the story changes and they’re no longer related then something has to be done about that scene because it no longer fits.

[2] I am by nature a night owl and my most productive hours usually occur after 10pm and on to 1am – 2 am – 3am – crack o’dawn. The house is quiet then -- or should be, if that #%@&ing Jeffrey Cat would just keep his yap shut -- and I can get into a rhythm and flow that really lets me chug along. I can work during daylight hours, too, but I am a creature of habit and the sort of person who needs to build up a head of steam before I can really begin work. In an ideal schedule I would wake sometime between 9am and noon, do some exercise, have some breakfast, read and watch some TV, then begin noodling ideas and thoughts together, doing housekeeping chores (both literal and literary) until after dinner, then some family / friend time, then I kiss my wife good-night and tuck her in at 10pm, and get hammering away at 10:01pm. But the cat has been corrupted by my late aunt (from whom we inherited him, and it’s a mitzvah to take care of Jeffrey until he departs and Jeffrey, old son, we do not want you to suffer and we will miss you when you are gone but you can’t keel over fast enough for us; and if anyone thinks we treat this cat cruelly or negligently, f.u. he is spoiled rotten) and he is set in his ways meaning somebody has to be up and sitting on the couch and watching TV or he will start yowling and wake Soon-ok up and then nothing gets accomplished so I frequently find my creative train of thought derailed almost as soon as I pull out of the proverbial station.

[3] Which, as threatened promised will be available online shortly.

[4] If I’m downstairs watching TV with the cat, I take a notebook with me to try to keep the juices flowing.

[5] Transcribing and editing being tasks that I can be interrupted on without losing my train of thought as opposed to the laser-like / diamond-hard concentration that goes into creative writing. Soon-ok has nearly provoked a heart attack in me on more than one occasion by drifting into my office with ghost-like quietness and unintentionally startling me when I suddenly become aware of her presence; luckily we’ve managed to instill the habit in her of calling my name or knocking before she enters so my brain isn’t caught completely flat footed.

invisible ghosts

I Luvz Me Some STARLET