Saturday, March 24, 2018

JP Mac's Four Rules of Writing


dplindbenchmark.com

I distinguish not a whit between fiction and non.

As I am now eight weeks into Webless Sundays—no Internet; computer turned off—and two weeks into my four new rules, I feel confident enough to share.

RULE #1

No Web Browsing Before Writing

A valuable tool, this Internet, but also an amazing time suck. Days have dawned when I've sat down to write, decided to "just check my email," and emerged two hours later, not a word written, and wondered what the deuce just happened, only to repeat the exact sequence of actions the next day.

RULE #2

No Web Browsing While Writing

There is a time for everything. Each day I allot myself several hours specifically for writing. That is the moment to put words on the page, not check the news, or social media, or my Amazon sales—depressingly moribund most of the time. Social media was designed to suck you in and keep you scrolling and it's real good at that. When writing, I write, turning off my web browser and leaving it mute.

RULE #3

No Research While Writing

Insidious. I'm writing a horror-fantasy book with an Iraq War back story involving troop deployments, wounds, genetic engineering and coal mining. Any one of those topics can metastasize into hours of link chasing. (Not counting visits to social media) At day's end, I'm exhausted, have written very little, and must face the fact that, at first draft stage, I might not even use any of the day's catch. I set aside separate research times for specific topics.

RULE #4

No Rewriting First Drafts

Rewriting the first draft has a name: the second draft. Perhaps I should say, "No Rewriting while writing first drafts." Such a practice is a bad habit I fell into; clearly a form of perfectionism and a fear that the finished work won't be adequate—hence not finishing. I've done this on two other book drafts and absolutely trashed my motivation for completion. Without even reaching the last page, I dart back to the first and tidy it up, plugging in foreshadowing and doing all the tasks normally reserved for later drafts. Sure, I've got a shiny chapter or two, but I sacrifice the overall story, losing spontaneity along with the delightful plot surprises  Mr. Subconscious will deliver if I'm not mindlessly polishing the same quarter panel over and over again. 

The last two weeks I've written more, Web browsed less, and ended the day eager to return to work tomorrow, not burned out on skateboard fails, cute cat videos, and watching old movie clips. 

I'll update my progress with this quartet of prescriptions as spring progresses.

Monday, March 12, 2018

What I Learned About Running a Decade Ago

As healthy as I was back then, I'm glad those days are past. Between unloading the house and training for the Eugene Marathon, I was awash in stress, stress, and a heaping order of stress.

From March 30, 2008
Busy with selling the house. We have become guests in our own home, leaving when prospective buyers arrive. We like to set out little treats such as bowls of steaming corn beef hash in every room. Our realtor has asked us to stop doing that.

My assistant coaching continues. Yesterday I ran with different pace groups. You pick up a lot about people on long runs. For example, at least three of my teammates were college athletes: two swimmers and a tennis player. Another teammate works for an elevator company. (Apparantly, you're in more danger from an elevator falling "up" because of counterweight problems then you are of crashing down to the basement.) Another runner owns a Ph.D and moonlights as director of a Civil War brass band.

Big open house today. I must go and prepare the hash.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Freak-a-Con Rolling Forward



Say it out loud only imagine there's a bad ass echo.

Livestream with Paul Rugg, Tom Ruegger and others Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 5:00 PM Pacific (8:00 PM Easter Time) on Facebook.

There'll be videos and contests and audience questions and anecdotes from the show they still talk about when the subject arises of a fascinating show that only lasted 24 episodes. Freakazoid is almost here!

On the subject of Warner Bros. from back in the day, I've had several people ask me if Steven Speilberg ever attended the Animaniacs voice recording sessions.

NO

Perhaps he attended a scoring session?

NO

In the day, Speilberg used to make his movies in threes, back-to-back-to back, then take time off. When Animaniacs began, he'd finished Hook and was in pre-production, then on location in Hawaii for Jurassic Park, followed immediately by work on Schindler's List. (We'd get faxes from him from in Poland, covered with frost.)

So Speilberg was often out of the country, and otherwise involved in the task of creating motion pictures. The idea that he'd pop by the remote, tricky-to-reach, studio where we initially recorded the Warners is mere internet chum. 

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Animaniacs Podcast Features Gabby Author


alligator.org (Good article there on Kids' WB.)
All I do is talk about Animaniacs, rebooted Animaniacs, and the Secret Room at Warner Brothers where people prayed they'd never be sent. And, of course, I carry on about my ebooks and how wonderful they are, and how everyone should buy one or two, until either Joey, Nathan or Kelly told me to be quiet and sounded an air horn that hurt everyone's ears.

As you can see, it was quite an event, baring in mind I tend to exaggerate a mite. Find out for yourself this Sunday, March 4 at Retrozap or via Twitter or iTunes. The show fires up at 6 PM Eastern Time/3PM Pacific, then lives forever on the Web. Lend your ears and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Kirkus Review Rates Cancer Book


Available at this place.
My cancer and my book, if you must probe and drag the truth from me. Kirkus was quite positive. For instance, they said:

"Mac's ordeal is refreshingly leavened, though, by his unique brand of dark, sarcastic humor, as when he laments an unromantic byproduct of surgical recovery ("Wearing a big wet man diaper chilled my passion"). This often charming remembrance will leave readers with a new appreciation for good health and a more optimistic outlook when things go awry."

To read it all, visit the page at Kirkus Reviews.

In Other News

In "Prostate," I touch on our dwindling finances. Recently, I was shredding some old tax documents from 2010 and was quite amazed to see how rapidly my wife and I burned through the proceeds of a house sale. (Minus a condominium, new vehicle, and a pair of laptops.) In '10, you could observe the last of the water circling the drain. Animation work consisted of a few meetings on two projects that went nowhere. In between, I published a few short fiction pieces, sold some stand-up material, and pitched a video game company to hire me as a scenario writer. This was despite having never played a video game, but, I figured, I'd never written animation before until I was hired. The game company said 'go away,' but with more finesse. 

In addition, I wrote a few articles for a now-defunct website. At the same time, I'd stalled on completing a first draft on what-would've-been my first novel. This stalling business on big writing projects continues to dog me. But like a fine wine, I sit in a dark cellar, covered with dust and cobwebs. After awhile, I finish something.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Do Your Doody for Valentine's Day


Author JP Mac
Roses are red, the jury is blue. Learn why.

Jury Doody to be precise. This fun Kindle non-fiction tale of crime, punishment and clock-watching is less than a dollar and more than a match for your short-reading pleasure. Surprise someone, anyone really, but a loved one might be best, with this fast-paced story of citizens sitting in judgment on a peer, showing you in detail how the justice sausage is made.

Still in awe over Sunday's book sale tsunami. At one point on Amazon Kindle, I had three separate books at #1, #2, and #99 in their categories. Splendid work, thanks to Oregon Muse, Hans Schantz and others for their stellar promotion.

Back to the keyboard.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Morning Book Thread Bonanza

dclibrary.org


For eclectic readers. On today's Sunday Morning Book Thread, arch sifter of stories Oregon Muse saluted my recent work on tussling with prostate cancer plus two other tales from the JP Mac canon

They Took My Prostate, Hallow Mass, Jury Doody Plugged


There. That's what happened. What manner of Web clout does this Oregon Muse fellow possess? Well, Hallow Mass rises on the Amazon rankings while They Took My Prostate: Cancer, Loss, Hope is currently:


And .99 Jury Doody is a lordly:


So thanks to Oregon Muse, as well as scientist-author Hans G. Schantz for his various pro-Mac tweetings and retweetings.

Choose among these works for your Sunday reading pleasure. I would if I weren't me.