Monday, September 24, 2007

never again

We’ve all said it, maybe not out loud because of the pain, but inside our heads as we suffer in self-inflicted agony - the day after.

We tell ourselves this the morning after the binge, and with great conviction, only to find that some time in the future we imbibe again to excess.

You would think that after all this time, and many a “never again”, one of them would sink in and prevent the next occurrence.

Not so.

And I suffered - plenty.

Sunday was a beautiful fall day full of sunshine and mild breezes. Absolutely perfect. Except I spent the day in a very bad way in my bed.

Hangovers suck. But, what sucks most is they are 100% preventable - if you are wise and heed the lessons of history, which I obviously did not.

So, enough of my belly-aching (rather appropriate since my belly did ache) and on to the writing update.

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As ususal I have a new plan. Seems the thing to do when the old plan isn’t working.

I’ve stated that short stories are for me, so naturally I’m going to write my novel and to hell with my inner voices for now - except the one that says, “never again” - I’m listening to that one from now on.

I tried the past couple of weeks to spew out writing with no plan - and boy does that screw my mind over. I just can’t seem to do it. I need some kind of structure or direction or I just meander off to nowhere and end up chucking out what I wrote.

Hence the return to the novel. I have it completely plotted - and by this I mean I know how many chapters and roughly what high and low points need to be reached by the end of each of them.

Oh, and Monday’s are now slated for The Twisted Mind - yup this place. It’s been neglected pretty much the past year or so. So, Monday morning blog posting should happen regularly.

At least that is the new plan.

So this leaves Tue-Thur for novel writing. The plan of one chapter completed (1st draft) by the end of each month is a go.

Friday is a day I’m setting aside for game development, as in board game. I’m working on a game sorta like the old Master of Orion, something simpler than Twilight Imperium. It’s a fun exercise and something I need to do once a week to let off creative board game creation steam and work on a system that works.

And weekends are family times as well as keeping the old Reader’s Den updated.

Oh, and just as an aside, I’ve got a little chart set up.

For each day, Mon-Fri, I complete my plan objectives I get an X. Each X equates to 1 dollar to blow on whatever I want cashed in at the end of the month. Each day I have no excuse and did not complete my objective I get an O. O’s are bad and relate to negative 5 dollars to blow on stuff.

So there you have it.

Another Monday update - on Monday!

Until next Monday when I’ll outlilne another new plan . . .

. . . just kidding - I hope.

Monday, September 17, 2007

mine is 19, how big is yours?

No I’m not talking kid's ages, organs, or IQs . . .

I’m talking computer monitors. You see, it all came about like this . . .

Friday night I turn on the computer – and poof – no image on my 17 inch LCD screen. Hmmmm, that is odd I think to myself. Green light on the monitor indicates a go, but no image at all.

Moment of panic as I think maybe my computer has packed it in. Stay calm, check the obvious. I check the cables – okay. Hmmmmm. Restart, maybe a glitch in the matrix is all.

Restart gives me the same blank screen. Not good. So, I pull out the old 15 inch tube monitor and plug it in.

All is well.

So, off to the shop of the future to see what they have. And what is going on these days? You can get a 27 inch widescreen monitor for a computer . . .

Note to self – crawl out from rock more than once per year.

So, visions of watching my Lord of the Rings DVDs in super hi-def from the computer – dashed by the price tag.

One grand . . .

Err, let’s come down to Earth.

So, long story truncated. Got the LG 19 inch widescreen on sale for under 200.

And wow, way better monitor than I had.

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Virus scanners suck.

Here’s why.

Mine (AVG free) keeps screwing up every month or so. My XP machine keeps warning me that “I may be at risk” – um, yeah. Going for a walk has me thinking “I may be at risk” of falling aircraft, suicide bombers and boards with nails in them, maybe even sharks . . .

. . . But, after two and a half million years (actually just years, no millions) I have never had one virus reported on my machine and this after numerous scans, updates and butt pains.

So – solution – uninstall the pain in the arse virus scanner and tell XP to STFU about it.

I’m happier now and I think I even saw my machine smile too.

Oh, and I couldn’t get a virus on my machine if I tried anyhow. I use dial-up. By the time a virus crawled down the phone line and tried to infect my machine – it will be obsolete.

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Oh, and writing update. Still plugging away on non-planned stuff. It is damn hard to do. I’m used to having a plot.

It is writing practice though, so that is good.

And holy cow – it’s Monday again.

Another note to self – keep this up and people will start expecting it . . .

Narf.

Monday, September 10, 2007

in my shorts

This is where I’m most comfortable. You can read the headline two ways and both would be true. I wear long pants only for work and in the winter – and today was the start of fun again as I began another short . . . story.

There is something in my nature that just cries out “short story” and cries about “novels”. It sort of pisses me off because my brain works in such grandiose-plot-world-creation ways that I should be able to create a super cool epic novel . . .

Still, shorts are easiest for me to wear and write and my brain seems wired for both.

Now, this does not exclude novels from my bag of tricks, it just means they will be worked on in fits and starts.

And say, isn't this actually Monday . . . I better watch that - could turn into a bad habit.

And speaking of going off on tangents (was I, well maybe in my own skull) - Tolkien himself was writing Lays of Beleriand and the Hurin stuff (I think) when he took a couple of decades off (yes, decades) to squeeze in something – you may recognize it – called “The Lord of The Rings”.

Did your drink just come out your nose? Yeah, me and Tolkien.

We have the love of good pint of draft in common at least . . .

. . . Well, if the draft is non-alcoholic these days.

Which brings me to the weight loss thingy.

Can you believe I’ve been consistently less than 170 pounds now for almost one month? I’ve been tipping the scales more like 167 these days – only 2 pounds off my ultimate goal.

And to think that about one year ago I recall stepping on the scale and seeing 189. something and thinking – man that is getting out of control.

So a big WooHoo for me from me.

And yes, new material for reading night is assured. I’m not sure exactly what it will be, but I hope it will at least entertain somewhat.

Oh, and it will be short.

Because shorts rule!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Loco Motives

Every so often it is a good exercise for a writer to evaluate just what the hell he/she/it is trying to write.

So, with that in mind I’ve been spending this past week doing just that and the results may startle you – or maybe not.

I have this whole grandiose Sci-Fi novel meticulously plotted and began crunching away at the first chapter only to find myself depressed and uninspired and the novel train once again steaming along has jumped the tracks and turned into a wreck.

But why?

I’ve been writing for over twenty years (and most of it casually, very casually) and find time and again that the “novel” thing is, I believe, not my “thing”.

Follow me?

So, I’m going to start following some fellow writer’s advice from both my wife (don’t use a detailed meticulous strangulating (okay not her exact words, but the meaning) plot – just write and let the excitement come from not really knowing what is about to happen until it happens) and good friend Joe (write humour like you know you can – that’s your ticket out)

So – starting next week I’m going to buy tickets for the loco motive, fly by the seat of my pants and start ripping off some humour (short, long, in between – doesn’t really matter) and see what comes of it.

I’ve also found that my humour pieces get the most guffaws (okay, the serious stuff isn’t supposed to, but you get the idea) during our reading nights – which comes again in October.

And my intent will be to capture some of the essence of Buffy or Wonderfalls or Outer Limits (well the funny parts of Outer Limits – were there supposed to be any funny parts? W.F. Shatner = funny so yeah, there is.) and just have fun with it. I mean, despite the labourious nature of writing – it is supposed to be fun in the end – isn’t it?

So there you have it then. And try as I might I have a heck of a time getting a Monday update written and posted on Monday. So tell yourself this is Monday and you will be okay.

Unless you are looking forward to the weekend like I am then it’s okay to think it’s Friday which it is but for my purposes Monday . . .

Carry On.