Showing posts with label Writing 2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing 2017. Show all posts

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Blogging History Repeats Itself Again


December deadline approaches.          Image: All HD Wallpaper

Great broiling head chaos.

Let me explain: excellent progress on my Viking detective novel since early September, despite an eventful journey to Seattle. As the story accelerates, I've ridden the changes, chasing the narrative, but guiding the process away from the guardrails so as not to crash into a rewrite canyon, research gulch, or dull character canal. However, time is not my amigo.

I want to publish an ebook by Christmas. (The viking ebook will not be ready.) In 2013, I blogged about a similar publishing dilemma. A few weeks later, I blogged again. Finally, I stopped blogging about this particular conundrum . . . temporarily, you understand.

Four years have passed and I'm blogging about it once more. In order to meet my self-imposed deadline, I must postpone one project and return to the very project I abandoned in 2013. (As a side note, 2013 was the last full year of my life with a prostate.) Now the clock is ticking, the sands are diminishing, the digital read-out approaches zero. I've got around two months to polish a crude manuscript, score some cover art, and launch it on Amazon.

Who needs NaNoWriMo?

Crazy world out there. Mind yourselves and those close to you.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Story Shifts from Slashing to Psyche

b-maze
That makes the writing sound rather highbrow. It's not. This project is an uphill run wearing leg weights.

For the latest book, I've been inspired by two old outlines for the same supernatural detective story, only in different genres: one graphic novel and the other an animated TV series. As one might gather, both outlines are action-oriented, very visual.

As I struggled to develop the outlines into an ebook, the process felt awkward and forced, like two kitchen magnets with similar poles. Nothing fit together. I stopped trying to develop characters and event sequences and started to research various aspects of urban life, Islam, Vikings, and police procedure. Fortunately, I caught myself before ditching yet another book.

The action is still there, but diminished or unseen. Now I'm unsure what kind of tale I have. A minor character grows into a major player, while the main character's psychological struggles assume a larger dimension.

On I go, watching my subconscious sort out all the elements. I find myself being presented with the characters I need to write this book.

Eventually, I'll have a first draft.

Then I can research.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Waltzing Museum


Autry Museum

Sung to the Tune of Waltzing Matilda

Once an Aussie Tourist stood alone in Griffith Park,
Under the shade of a California Oak,
And he asked an old jogger, shuffling 'long the bridal path,
Will you snap a shot of the Autry and me?

Autry Museum, Autry Museum,
You'll photograph the museum with me,
And he sang to his camera, waiting for the jogger man,
You'll photograph the museum with me.

Basically, that's what happened yesterday. As I finished my modest run in hot weather, a short Aussie man in a large Outback Hat asked me to take a picture of him with the Autry Museum of the American West in the background.

Glad to help out a cobber, I took the photo, but realized he was in shadow. Informing my subject that his face was not visible, I suggested he move closer to me and I would change position, thus capturing both features and museum. He agreed, then glided back into the shade.

I gestured him forward to a spot where there was sufficient light. He stepped where indicated, then backed away. There was something in his mind. Something about the composition of the shot. 
Something as solid and immovable as Ayers Rock. Perhaps he'd thought about the photograph with furious concentration, flying over the darkened Pacific between Oz and LA. In any case, it seemed the man held the museum in greater esteem than himself.

After a few more pictures, I returned the camera to this humble fellow from a land far off and commenced stretching my ancient tendons and ligaments.

A pleasant trip and a safe journey back to your island continent, sir.

Or, as Gene Autry himself might have crooned, 'Happy trails to you.'

Chris Ford@flickr




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Death by Research


Learning in Tandem

A subtle end to any story, garbed in a cloak of righteousness.

By stopping to obtain details that will lend verisimilitude to my tale, I impend momentum, ignore troubling logic woes and character growth, and busy myself with a seeming good that is, done out of turn, a corrosive bad.

Sooner or later, research bores me, and I decide the book's premise was built on sand. From there, it's a short step to a new project. Like various toxic political theories, the next book is always going to be different, better, finally done right.

And, once more, hope will triumph over experience.

So I persevere with the latest book. I hope to release this supernatural mystery as an ebook for Christmas, with a softcover roll out in the first quarter of '18.

And I will succeed, provided I stop premature researching.

Watched San Andreas the other night. You knew where this movie's going from Fade In. But that was the charm. My mind hurt from a long day of researching. I really didn't want to be challenged. I sought visual relaxation and found it. (A few nights later, I watched The Master. And while I loved the acting, I have no idea what that movie was about, other than Scientology.) 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Pruning the Sidebar and My Lying Head


MVDIT Tech Blog
Yes, I know, blogging is sooo last decade. But on I trudge. Of course, I've neglected to trim the sidebar verge. So many promising blogs abandoned, without even a "Bank Sale" sign out front. But now tidiness reigns.

More writing today about the sidebar than I've done the last week on the book. Family crisis, problems with another neighbor—not that one—household projects, and a general lack of pep.

I blame my wife.

If she hadn't gotten a decent paying job last year that eased our financial pressures, I'd be cranking out copy like it was 2015 when I wrote 50 Shades of Zane Grey and Hallow Mass back-to-back while recovering from cancer surgery.

Already, the allure of a new project croons to me in quiet moments:

"It'll be easy to write. Hardly any research. The metaphors will blossom like desert flowers. You'll be finished in no time. This new book will be a big hit." 

Oh, devious, sinister cranium.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Desk, Be Not Proud

What the heck is going on here?

Apologies to John Donne

For those following my furniture saga, here and here, I finally bought a desk—30x by 60x with two grommet holes, drawers on both sides plus a pencil drawer. The color is mahogany. The delivery date is next week. Now what excuse will I have not to write? In the meantime, after some thought, I say:

Desk, be thou proud, though some have called thee
Useless and fey, but thou art not so;
For those who write at Starbucks know,
To cry out, at cell phoned customers on a yakking spree,
Had you but a desk, in peace, you might pen poetry.

 Actually, writing has picked up lately as I begin the third draft of my sci-fi-fantasy-YA-military sci-fi-keyword stuffed novel. Is intelligence enough to rule? Can arrogant, self-centered teenagers find happiness and companionship? Who is Uncle Rockwell and why does he steal everything?

Nonetheless, no one's going to read this for, maybe, eight more drafts, so why not keep writing the darn thing. Fie upon perfectionism! Well, a few corrections, here and there.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Attack on Titan Take and More on Office Madness

"Yummy new office chair."
These subjects have nothing in common, unless creepy giants arrive and eat my furniture.

First, Titan.

Hajime Isayama's popular work on strange, idiot giants devouring most of humanity has caught the interest of Hollywood. Warner Bros. wants a crack at the franchise. According to a January article in Deadline Hollywood:

"The feature would be a remake of the Japanese film that was done in two parts. In 2015, Part 1 ended up as the seventh-highest-grossing locally produced film. Part II did not do as well."

Having watched the 2015 film, I can tell you why I rocked and II didn't: eat-'em-count. In the first movie, people are eaten by the long ton. In the second film, there's a great deal of yelling between characters, but no set-piece Titan eat-'em-ups.

Having never read the mangas, I admit to, perhaps, missing some subtleties. But this is my considered opinion. Tinsel Town take note.

On to my office.

Since my last post on the subject, I've bought a very comfortable chair at a cool used office furniture store near my house. Great desks on sale as well but the rub will be getting one into my office, through the maze of boxes around the front door, down a narrow hallway to the appropriate spot. If the desk needs to be assembled here, it could be tricky. Move the boxes? Splendid! But there's the issue of where to stage them during the process. But these are First World obstacles. I want a new—or used in good shape—desk and will obtain one shortly.

Now back to wasting time instead of writing.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Room to Write

Newstatesman

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

— Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

While not a woman, once I had no money but a room to write. Now I have money—or my wife does, but California is a community property state—but no longer a room. Since I began my office reorganization, output on my latest book has fallen sharply. I never needed much of an excuse to procrastinate, but this has gotten silly. Last month, in order to compel me to complete the reorganization, I threw out my old desk first. Such a deed rendered me a prose orphan, with no comfortable spot to type.

I am a creature of place. Where I write is important. I'm not a coffee shop author, or one of the muttering territorial playwrights at the public library. I live somewhere. In that place is a space where I wrote two books, countless short stories, animation series pitches, TV animation scripts, acres of marketing copy, jokes for a stand-up comic, essays, and over a thousand blog posts. Since my self-imposed disruption, I'm not writing as much. I'm not happy at day's end for overcoming inertia and cranking out some pages. I can't find a stinking place where I'm comfortable sitting for hours on end and writing.

Yes, the answer screams out: buy your damned desk and be silent!

But a part of me really enjoys cursing the darkness as opposed to lighting a candle which is a fire hazard with all these papers lying about.