Friday, July 31, 2009

so ends July

Day 337 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Not exactly an end of the month review since it’s a day early, however, thought I would share a few details of leaving the rails - as it were.

As far as reading goes I’ve got the yearly target beat already - 5 months early. So, good for me on that count.

The writing though has taken a beating this month and I’ve actually accomplished about 50 % of what I intended.

I endeavour to do better in August.

Some good news came along yesterday too.

It would appear my wife has been offered permanent employment - she was only contract and subbing last year - so this is welcome news indeed.

So, the plan to dump my old employer and seek out a new life was not so insane after all. I’m not surprised though as my wife is very determined and very smart - kinda knew that when I made my decision earlier this year to jump ship and try this writing thing full time.

Which means, starting next month, I’m going to give it a try at “full time” again, less the one week of planned vacation already scheduled.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, July 30, 2009

giving in

Day 336 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Urges.

We all get them and mine are appearing in the form of must-write-short-story impulses right now.

So, I’m thinking, I should indulge myself and crank out another short. I already thought of the idea before I woke up this morning. It will be another tale of Morley Fenn, private eye caught in a harsh universe where Cthulhu is more than just a Mythos.

I know, I know - the novel!

I’m having a hard time buckling down to such a huge project this summer. As I’ve previously mentioned, and so I think, with my days kinda screwed up as they are with vacations and the house a bustle of activity, I’d set my sights on shorter works until September when I will then get down to this novel business - and finish it once and for all.

It may be a running away from the larger work during this summer, but maybe it’s what I need for the moment.

July is almost over and August’s schedule of activities is even more intense.

Waiting for September then, and come November 1st where I’ll start shopping my novel around and beginning on another.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

such a small thing

Day 335 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

As you can guess from the image provided below - today is ‘War of the Ring’ day.



Dawn rises cold on the battlefield of Middle Earth, and the free peoples wait, mostly unaware, as the hordes of Sauron amass for the onslaught . . .

. . . or something.

This game by Fantasy Flight Games is pretty good at wiling away a few hours (like up to eight, depending on how long you deliberate between actions) and keeps the flavour of Tolkien’s world well.

The gist of the game for the free peoples is to secret the ring into Mordor where it needs to be destroyed, while Sauron’s target is to crush the free people’s resistance and ultimately capture their strongholds to win - either that or corrupt the ring bearer so much he goes nuts and hands over the goods to its maker, Sauron.

So, without further delay, I’ve got many jobs to complete this morning, including my writing, before the war begins this afternoon.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

hafta reburn

Day 334 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

In the transfer of music from my old machine to my new machine much, of my collection was lost, or just plain refused to transfer.

It was a comedy of system errors between corrupt burned CDs to my machine wanting to reboot for no reason half-way through a transfer, etc. I was frustrated back then and gave up on it.

So that was then, and now that it’s now, I’m back to ripping all the stuff that didn’t make it over on the initial horrendous transference.

It’s been going pretty quickly because I think the new machine is a tad bit faster than the old, plus it has a lot more RAM to play with during the process.

You see, I really need my tunes in order to write. I’ve become so accustomed to listening to everything from Bach to Kraftwerk while I construct stories and novels that I was feeling a loss with half of my collection missing.

I’m happy to report that I only have about 30 more CDs to rip and my collection will be complete once more.

Now, back to the white screen and the words which will soon be filling it.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, July 27, 2009

like sands through the hourglass

Day 333 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

These be the daze of my life . . .

Okay, I may have glimpsed a Soap on TV once, or twice, during my lifetime.

Anyhow, this is my new timer for my writing sessions.



And you are immediately asking - How did I find it?

Believe it or not, I was at Chapters yesterday and voila - they have these things. A bookstore carrying hourglasses - I was like, okay then - um, how much?

It’s not a true hourglass though because it only times for 15 minutes - however, that is the perfect amount of time for getting one star on my calendar for writing.

Oh, and for scale - the Talosian is about 3 inches high which makes the 1/4 hourglass about 5 inches high . . . no telling how high I am, but I'm not in the picture, which avoids the whole issue . . .

So, I’m keen on using it today (first time) and getting some of my writing up on a website which requested that I do so. Me, getting a request for my writing - very nice and odd and exciting and, oh, it's not for money . . .

I’ll post the link once it actually happens.

The life of a writer may not be as exciting as a stunt double or a mercenary - but it does lead one into very strange other worlds and neat little adventures on occasion.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, July 26, 2009

concentration camps needed

Day 332 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

I’ve been drifting pretty badly this summer so far.

There have been relatives visiting, with more on the horizon, and it’s taking its toll on my concentration for writing.

I need to go to a summer concentration camp and get sorted out.

But it looks like that is not going to happen anytime soon as half of August is booked with ‘other’ activities already.

I’m actually looking forward to September when the little one is off to school again and my wife goes back to work leaving me and my muse alone in the quiet house to churn out the pages of fiction.

This does not mean I have done no writing or reading this summer so far, but it means the amount I wanted to get done is far short of the goal I set myself.

But I’m wondering just how hard I should beat myself up over it.

After twenty years of cube squatting, I think I deserve a bit of a rest period before diving headfirst into the shallow end.

So, I’m going to take it a bit easier until the end of summer. I’ll still get my second draft completed and have my novel ready for shopping around by November, it’s just that most of the work will be done come September and October.

I think I just want to spend time with my family, and since we are all home all day this summer for the first time ever - it seems a shame to waste it by hiding myself away for hours in my lair.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

science news

Day 331 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Is soon to be mine again through the generosity of my lovely wife.

She is playing a wedding today and earning enough money to get me Science News magazine for a year. It’s a once a week magazine which reports on tons of current science discoveries of every kind.

I had a subscription for two years about five years ago, and then I didn’t renew it because of the cost - which is pretty steep. But it does come out once a week so that’s 52 magazines a year. Lots of material to stuff into my Twisted Mind helping me produce fiction.

So, I’m off now to hit the intertubes and get a new subscription.

If you write Science Fiction this is a fantastic source of mind fuel.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, July 24, 2009

two due list

Day 330 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Well I signed my final papers ever, which transfers my accrued pension amount into my own control, from the company I used to sit in a cubicle for and perform non-value added activities while sneering and rolling my eyes at high-ranking executives for their constant boneheaded maneuvers.

You can see it was always a match made in hell.

You can also see why said company fell off a cliff and is still in free fall as far as I can see. Yes, they can call themselves “New”, but let’s face it - a dog poo by any other name . . .

Good riddance - and no, I will never buy another of their products because all of the ones I’ve owned so far have fallen short on reliability and personal satisfaction.

And it would seem, as of today, I have one week (self-imposed) to hammer out a completed second draft of my novel.

This is going to be a tough one, but I’m determined to make it so. I have to keep in mind that it is a second draft and not the final product and just let it happen. It will be edited and re-written again.

So, with this happening in writing land, I’ll get to it then. Once week sounds like a lot of time until you look back upon it and think - where the hell did the time go!?

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

behind the curtains

Day 329 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

So I mentioned 10 bookshelves in my lair.

And you probably rolled your eyes and thought - another exaggeration.

Well, here is a picture of the wall behind my writing center. It shows half of the bookshelves in my lair, and pretty much encompasses the to-be-read books waiting for me to get at.



Yes, I have a book collection problem.

This after purging around 500 books from my collection over the past two years.

Of course, if I hadn’t bought another 300 more during that time, then the shelves would not be double stacked on the other 5 bookshelves you don’t see.

And today is the final day of paperwork for me and my former employer.

I’ll be taking my accumulated pension amount and removing it from the bumbling corp and putting it into my own hands.

Once this takes place (actual money transaction date Sept 1) all will be finished and I never have to think about that horribly stagnating and mind numbing place again.

Well, early bank appointment and then much cleaning left to be done before the ladies return from their vacation.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

even more visuals

Day 328 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................



Above is a close up shot of my lair and working area (well, playing area too I suppose.)

In the shot you can see some of the following.

My yellow pile of star stickers which I use to put on the calendar upon completing tasks for the day.

My 14 oz vacuum walled stainless steel coffee mug, full of coffee as you can see - cream only, no sugar.

Four pens - because I believe in quadruple redundancy in my writing implements.

One of my two thumb drives to keep backups of my writing - double redundancy on backups.

Fallout 3 and expansion plus Heroes V. Some games to enjoy after the day’s tasks are completed.

Now for a more expanded view of the lair working area.



You can clearly see the dark hunter’s green walls that match the computer desk top.

My new computer complete with 19 LCD and Talosian guardian on top.

Posters include an original 1970 LOTR poster, big poster of the solar system, a calendar from my insurance broker (lame, but functional), and of course a map of the province of Cyrodiil (if you need to ask . . .)

Well, this concludes today’s visual.

Now you have a better idea where I spend time agonizing over my writing. What you don’t see behind and to the sides of the lair working area are the 2,000 plus books housed in the 10 bookshelves that line the walls in the lair as well.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

some visuals

Day 327 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

-some visuals-

Well, I’ve blab on long enough here at the Twisted Mind Emporium, so now it’s time to give up a few pictures so you can have a better idea of some of the things I’ve recently blabbed on about.

First up is the Teletubbie Timer I call LaLa because, well, if you know the Teletubbie’s then you know LaLa.

And so I give you the first visual.



Next up is a shot of just two of the four holes that now adorn my basement ceiling. Lovely, isn’t it. The only thing better is coming down to do my writing in the morning and hearing the sickening splat of water dripping through drywall onto carpet.



Well, lastly I have two shots of myself (no, I do not use any kind of hair colouring - it is as black as my heart . . . kidding, no - really) I will let you decide which of the two will be my new picture here at the blog and over on Twitter. The old picture is of me here at Twisted Mind dates back to when I was 23.

Exibit A - crazy look, multiple chins (I count four) and matted down hair.



Exibit B - staring off into space, eyes slightly askew, no countable chins though.



Well, I hope you enjoyed the visuals today.

Oh, I did find out that my old card reader just plugs nicely into my new computer and the two play together well. Hence the visuals.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, July 20, 2009

reef of the devil

Day 326 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

So there I was, all geared up for a day of productive activities to complete, all set to tick them off of my rather extensive list - when the phone rings.

I answer it.

Would I like to participate in a game of Arkham Horror with every expansion, most notably the new Innsmouth one?

And I’m like - Yes!

And then the list went out the window, but such is life and I had a lot of fun playing the game.

The entertainment highlight (for me) came late in the second game (we won the first one too easily so began another) when my spy character, Trish, who really looks like Talia Winters, ended up going to Devil’s reef to close a gate.

Now, Devil’s Reef can only be accessed by boat and you need cash to get a boat. Let’s just say I was out of cash by the time I got there and was swimming for my life and sneaking by monsters (the spy’s speciality) like crazy going back and forth between two aquatic places when an empty boat drifts by.

I manage to get into the boat and make my way back to the docks, thinking this ordeal over, when I was promptly snatched by Deep Ones and pulled back to Devil’s Reef seemingly for their amusement. Just as my spy was cursing her luck a gate opens on Devil’s Reef and sucks her into R’lyeh - Cthulhu’s underwater dreamland.

Much hooting and tear-induced laughter was had at the expense of my poor spy’s predicament.

Let’s just say that after all she went through all this crap in Innsmouth (she managed to exit the R’lyeh gate and close it) she was consumed off Devil’s Reef and we conceded the game to the Great Old One. Well, it was way late and we were not going to pull off a victory.

Oh, the fun that you can have playing board games with others.

Turn off your computer, gather some friends, and give this retro social activity a try.

I think you’ll like it.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, July 19, 2009

home alone

Day 325 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Yup, for the next week I have the abode all to myself.

Squee!

I can play 80s music as loud as I like without seeing the rolling eyes from family members.

I can play several hours of Fallout 3 without the other type of look.

I can eat what I want when I want and stay up as late as I want.

I can work undisturbed on my novel re-write while I eat sunflower seeds.

I can read whenever I like for as long as I like.

I can watch movies or TV shows on DVD at top volume without being asked if I’m deaf.

I can convince a friend to fire up an Arkham Horror game including the Innsmouth expansion.

I can, and I will.

Oh, and I”m also doing a deep clean on my lair. This will likely mean another few hundred books being purged as well as other awful offal which I’ve stored like a rat forever.

I know, I did this a while ago, but it was only a surface scour. Now it’s going to be the real deal.

Really - I will part with lots of stuff.

There may even be pictures.

If I don’t get too lazy.

Oh, and I cracked the level cap program in Fallout 3. Guess my Science skill was high enough!

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, July 18, 2009

another damn mouse

Day 324 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

So it’s four in the morning and I hear this metallic clicking, over and over.

No, not from an escaped Fallout 3 robot, but a mouse caught in our tin-cat live mouse trap.

It’s been a long while since the last micro-rodent got caught in it and I thought maybe our attic over the garage was relatively free of them.

That would appear to not be the case. What we caught is a deer mouse, fantastic climbers, and so small when compared to our pet rat.

Still, they chew on wiring and cause no end of no good for your house. If you see them, get rid of them any way you can.

This little mouse will take a long drive (they need to be deposited over 2 kilometers from your house or they can come back) and find a new home in the forest outside of town.

Let’s hope it finds a nice tree to live in - or an owl’s belly, depending on how you feel about these things.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, July 17, 2009

another damn leak

Day 323 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Well, this latest leak discovered last night makes 3 in 6 years.

See a trend here.

Yup, one pipe leak in the basement every 2 years.

And the house has a drywall ceiling in the basement so it’s quite a damn mess went a pipe decides to spring a pinhole leak.

Advice to anybody out there thinking of finishing their basement - never, ever drywall your ceiling over water pipes - ever!

Still, while my basement ceiling was filling with water we were out having a great picnic in the sunshine, so all was not a bad day.

Just don’t put drywall on your basement ceiling - oh, already said that.

Damn leaks!

Well, after this one we should be good for another couple years . . .

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, July 16, 2009

lvl 20

Day 322 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Seems like a reasonable level cap.

However, nearing that level now, I find that I’m only about 75 % through and that cap is no good at all.

It’s good enough for D&D (tried and true), but it is no good for Fallout 3.

It seems like the harder section of writing I’m going over necessitates more escape from the real world activities, and since it looks like a game of Twilight Imperium 3 is not going to happen any time soon - my eyes gaze upon the unreal worlds of 1s and 0s.

Scary will be the day when we figure out how to pipe these products directly into the brain and do away with the computer screen altogether.

Imagine a computer so complex and quick and accurate that it could trigger exactly the right rods and cones to produce on the retina the images needed.

I don’t think I would like to play Fallout 3 when that happens.

Something about a Deathclaw ripping you to shreds while you squeeze off as many shots in panic trying as best you can to not be its dinner that I don’t think lends itself to complete immersion in sensory surround vision and sound.

Well, unless you want to have a heart attack - for real.

For now it’s back to the novel, then afterwards, some more wanderings in the wasteland.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

most wanted

Day 321 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

This is my favourite car racing, cop chasing, adrenalin lacing, fast pacing computer game.

I finally got “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” to work on my new machine. It was a simple matter of using the compatibility option of windows 2000 when installing and then not using the compatibility mode once it was installed.

Loading problems aside, there is nothing much more fun than outracing the cops and causing spectacular crashes, sometimes taking the cops right out of the picture.

All of the cop chatter about your exploits as they try to set up roadblocks and capture you is downright fun, and sometimes nail biting.

But there is no time to bite your nails when you are cruising through town at 120 miles an hour evading the cops and trying not to crash.

Then there is all the street racing goodness as you try to work your way up the most wanted list. The game gets progressively harder the higher on the list you climb.

The cops will start using roadblocks, spike strips, unmarked cars, rhino suburban trucks and even helicopters after a while.

Holy car race batman.

And the actors and script during the cut-scenes are pure unadulterated cheese - they are so bad in fact they will have you laughing - well it had me laughing.

So, if you want the best cop chasing, street racing computer game go out and get “Need for Speed: Most Wanted”. It’s the most fun you will have in a simulated car (besides Flatout) that you can find in a PC computer game.

Remember keep you that street racing for the game, and drive responsibly . . .

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

teletubbie timer

Day 320 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

So, I was wanting to get an actual sand hourglass, but was unable to locate one. (Anybody know where I can find one?)

Anyhow, the one I bought is for cooking and looks just like La La the Teletubbie - well, not exactly like her, but close enough to cause me a laugh every time it’s writing time and I need to time how long I’ve been at it.

And I should take a picture and show you, but this new computer has no card reader and figuring out how to transfer the image is - well, too much like work - so you have to trust me on this one.

Posting late today because my wife and I slept in (daughter is at a sleep over) and had porridge and peaches for breakfast and talked a lot about what writing is all about.

Mostly we talked about the practicality of writing. How it’s not about the feeling so much as the ass in chair hard work. I think if you ask any successful writer they will tell you the actual writing itself is only one part of the whole and not the whole - if you follow me.

I get a kick out of writers that are so excited to be cranking out thousands of words a day - this is all well and good if you have a plan, or a deadline to meet for a publisher.

Or, it’s fine if you like to write for write’s sake. I am not going to poop on your output in any way. After all, you can’t sell a product you don’t have. (Yes I know all about Breax)

Maybe the Engineer in me is just too damn practical, but I see writing as a having several well defined and pragmatic steps.

Plan.

Execute plan.

Edit.

Re-write.

Rinse and repeat until it’s off to the publishing houses (seems like 3 to 7 times is the norm) - then start on your next project without looking back.

Yes, I know everybody works differently, so am not speaking as a know-it-all. In fact I know that I don’t know enough about the process yet or I would have more than a few short stories published by now.

End of babble.

Start of hard work.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, July 13, 2009

late nights three

Day 319 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

I’m feeling dragged over the coals from the activities of the last three nights.

Long night one was our offspring’s sleep over. The house gets invaded and I feel displaced. I did not get a good sleep because I stayed up and watched Stardust until after midnight once the girls finally went to bed.

Good movie, by the way.

Long night two was our reading night, and despite it being fun, it too lasted until after midnight and I was up at around 6 AM the next day.

Which brings me to long night three, our D&D night (yes, after midnight again last night) when I finally fell off to sleep. I did manage to take down three adversaries with magic missiles in the final battle though - which was a blast (actually, several of them).

And I’ve gotten so into the habit of going to bed around 10 and getting up at 6 now that I can’t seem to switch it. Problem is when I go to bed really late I still get up at 6 and so lose sleep.

Tonight I’m getting back to routine.

Until Twilight Imperium night, which I’m trying to schedule right now for this coming week.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, July 12, 2009

d20 day

Day 318 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

I get to roll some d20s again today as we pick up a D&D session last played around 1978, I think.

Okay, maybe it was a few years after that, but still the events and our current character status is beyond my abilities to accurately recall.

There was something about a dungeon, and getting poisoned and wondering who among our party was going to get a cure and who was going to be allowed to die.

We are a low level party, and hence, pretty useless. A rabid kobold and his pet gerbil could provide us a genuine threat and leave half of us dead.

So, what did we do in the last session - from what little I recall - we foolishly ventured into a place we should not have gone. And now we face the prospect of rolling up some new characters.

Ah, the joys of Sunday evening adventuring.

Should be a whole lot of fun.

But, isn’t that the snarl of a gerbil coming from behind that closed door . . .

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, July 11, 2009

40 years tourney

Day 317 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Today is our tennis club’s 40th year anniversary tennis tournament. Even our mayor is going to show up.

Truth be told, I couldn’t remember even who she was. I’m non-political like that.

We each will be given a T-shirt (for free) and participate in (I think) one ten minute match or something since over sixty people signed up for this event and we have only 3 courts.

There is even supposed to be a cake afterwards

I hope the weather holds up for it and we don’t get the rainstorm predicted by meteorologists - but then again, how often are they right?

So it should be a fun day followed by cake.

Then this evening is our gathering of writers to have a reading night, and the day after that will be D&D version 3.5 . . .

. . . like the version really matters.

What matters is the getting together and having some fun.

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, July 10, 2009

plan 9 from inner space

Day 316 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Well it looks like my dry spell is coming to an end.

I’ve had my summer vacation now and it’s time to get back to the grind of daily writing.

Today I’m going to print out everything I’ve done on my novel in its second re-write, read it over and see how it should really end.

I’ll be writing a first second draft (if you follow me) of the end. I know how it’s all going to end (with what I hope is a pretty cool final scene) but that final fath to the ultimate conclusion is still a bit foggy. I’m hoping the printout and re-read of what I have so far will clarify what needs doing for the final journey.

If all goes well I will still meet my self imposed deadline of August 1st. Then it’s off to the races again with edits, then a third and final draft - after that it’s off to try and find a publishing house.

Then, when all of that is happening, novel number two will get a first draft. It’s more a true Science Fiction than this one I’m currently working on.

Well, I best see if I have enough printer cartridge left to print what amounts to about 150 plus pages.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, July 09, 2009

aquatics

Day 315 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Today is the day my offspring has her swim test in the hopes of advancing to the next level of fishiness.

She loves the water (maybe that's why one of her favourite bands is Aqua?) and is a good swimmer - well we shall see how good today.

I think they have to do a thousand laps and tread water for an hour and rescue dozens of drown victims - or something. Sadly, I mostly sit at the side of the pool and read while she does her thing, so I’m not totally clear on the specific details of what she has to do to pass.

But I’m there more for her moral support than to keep track of the specific activities she has to excel at to advance in the level - and to give her a lift in the car, mostly.

Today I’ll not bring a book and cheer her on.

Then tomorrow, the last day of the lessons, is going to be all games. Games in the pool. Her all time favourite activity.

Tomorrow I’ll bring a book again - at sit far away from the splash zone.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

keeping to the script

Day 314 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

As I finished off chapter 12 of my novel’s second draft I became somewhat stalled and left with a bit of a quandary.

You see, a character at the end of Chapter 12 gets away and carries on his life, when my mind and story cried for this character to feel a world fo hurt.

If I make this character experience a world of hurt, then I have to significantly re-write the last two chapters - and I mean re-write by a lot!

If I leave it the way it is then it seems kind of anti-climactic (not that it was supposed to climax at that point just ratchet up a notch or two) and the story concludes over the next two chapters in a satisfactory way - but maybe not a stellar one.

So, do I just bite the bullet and inflict the world of hurt and screw up my timetable with massive ending re-writes, or do I carry on as if nothing in my mind has happened (you know what I mean, har har) and finish it the way it was originally scripted?

And you thought writing was just about slapping words down on pages and sucking somebody in to book-forming then for you to distribute to the masses. . .

I’ll give it some more thoughts and add yours (from comments) to them - if you have any.

I know it all sounds very abstract, but I know you have imagination and are up to the task.

Thanks.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

watery works

Day 313 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

So I went into the huge city yesterday and scoped-out the book stores and the one gaming store.

I restrained myself well and only picked up a copy of the remade card game, Waterworks.

For those that know the game it needs no explanation, but for those that don’t know the game because they never got the chance to play it - it is a load of fun.

The idea is to build a pipe network going from your facet to your spout and you have copper and lead pipes with which to do it. The fun comes with sticking other players with leaking sections of pipe, or making their network take a nasty turn in the wrong direction - all the time you are trying to complete your own network without other players screwing you over.

Sound fun?

Well, it is. You can play 2 -4 players, but it is not as good with only two.

And my good friend, who came along for the ride, picked up the latest Arkham Horror expansion (Innsmouth) and it looks as ridiculous as the last two huge expansions. And it is a huge expansion - complete with another board, 8 new nasty Old Ones and 16 more characters to play and around 40 or so more monsters.

This game is officially over the top now. You pretty much need a gymnasium floor to play on if you use all the expansions at the same time.

Just nuts - and, um, when can I play!

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, July 06, 2009

crunchy words

Day 312 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Looks like, as I reflect back on the men’s Wimbledon final played yesterday, I have some words to eat.

Holy crap, was Roddick pulling out all the stops and playing better than I ever imagined he could!

By rights I think he should have beaten Federer, and if he had not lost the second set tie-breaker I'm sure he would have. It’s actually too bad he didn’t since he was the better man on court yesterday.

So, I chew away on the words from yesterday’s blogs and realize my error. Sorry Andy, man. What can I say in apology except keep playing like that as you will be racking up some more Grand Slam titles of your own, and pretty damn soon - like say the 2009 US Open.

Well, I took a few days off of writing (I know, shoot me) while my parents were up visiting. It was too hard to concentrate during the time, but starting today I’m back at the re-writes again.

I’m pressing for having a second draft complete by the end of this month.

Well, swim lessons continue for the week so my mornings are a bit filled again and hence the shortish blog today.

Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, July 05, 2009

history making

Day 311 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

On the tennis courts this day.

Federer will take Roddick in straight sets and clinch his place in history with 15 Grand Slam titles.

Nobody else has done it before since the open era starting in the late 1960s.

Right now Federer is tied with Sampras at 14 titles.

Even the mighty Borg only managed 11.

This is a pretty unbelievable feat, but what little I’ve been able to watch of Federer it’s really no wonder. The guy is like a machine, accurate as all hell, and he never seems to get injured.

His only competition is from Nadal, and he is out injured. Now, before you go saying Nadal is better (and he arguably may be) his playing style will leave him out in the dust before too long. The way he flails around hitting his balls and the way he moves with all his excess moves - he is destine for injury and early retirement.

Sorry, Nadal. Much as I admire your play, the way you play is going to wreck your body in short order.

So, today, in just a couple of hours, I’ll sit back with a coffee and watch history unfold in my favourite sport.

Now, all I need to find is some strawberries and cream and I’m all set.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, July 04, 2009

high calories

Day 310 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

With the visiting of my folks comes the dinners containing vast amounts of calories. Everything is fried, or rather deep-fried, in butter and any condiment is the highest fat product on the market.

I feel as though I’ve gained about ten pounds already this past five days.

Luckily I have only only two more days to endure before I can get back to eating enough food in one day for one day, instead of one week.

My aging body is not used to eating such rich foods either and so there is always a lingering feeling of illness afterwards.

Not my idea of fun.

But it will pass, and it makes them happy.

Today’s meal will not include pounds of meat. This may be a first.

Oh, and to all you Americans out there - Happy 4th of July!

Until tomorrow . . .

Friday, July 03, 2009

sad state

Day 309 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Well, after thirteen years without cable TV hook-up, I finally got to see some Wimbledon tennis matches this year.

No, I did not break down and pay for cable. My folks are up, and at their hotel they have TV, and hence Wimbledon.

What I noticed, watching the Roddick/Hewitt match, was that these guys (at least these two) were not very good. And these are some of the top players in men’s tennis right now?

No wonder Federer cleans the floor on a regular basis with these guys. It seems only Nadal (now out with knee injuries) can give him a run for the money.

I’ve been saying it for years, but tennis these days is mostly all about how hard you can hit the serve and ground strokes to generate aces and winners.

Sad state of affairs.

I really miss the finesse of the late Seventies and early Eighties tennis matches.

Oh well, at least I’ll get to see Federer make all time history as he cleans (probably Murry’s) clock this Sunday.

Until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, July 02, 2009

late month in review

Day 308 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

Well, this last month (June) sees me almost completing my reading goal for the year already.

I’ve finished 26 novels so far this year and it looks like there is not to much in the way of let-up for the coming months. I’m a mere 1,500 words from my goal of 10,000. Next year I think I’ll make it 15,000 words.

On a post-apocalyptic theme I picked up some “Deathlands” novels and read the first one. Wow, the writing is damn good. It looks like one of those lame series that never ends, but it is the closest thing I’ve read to Fallout 3 yet - and, as I’ve said, it’s well written.

Well, the first book “Pilgrimage to Hell” is anyhow.

As to my writing goals I’m working on Chapter 13 which is the second last chapter of my novel, ‘Typhoon Rising’. It’s getting harder going because as I near the end of the second re-write a lot is changing and so the original first draft is starting to unravel a bit.

It’s a fun challenge, but it will take me about two more weeks or more to unwind the yarn I’ve knotted up now.

Watched our town’s fireworks from our window last night. We have a house situated in just the right place to do that from the second floor. Then afterwards my daughter goes straight to bed. It’s ideal. No crowds, no mosquitoes and no traffic to contend with afterwards.

Well, a bit rushed today with swimming lessons and singing practice for my offspring.

Until tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Canada day eh

Day 307 of 365 in the “Marathon of the Dope” . . .

.....................................................................................................

So, if you haven’t guessed it yet - I’m Canadian.

So what, you say.

Well, I’m kind of with you on that one. I mean, as far as I’m generally concerned, I’m just another biological entity surviving on this ball in the middle of nowhere and what a country is called where I live is pretty much irrelevant to that.

Still, as far as where I was born, I think Canada was a damn lucky stroke for me.

For starters we have some of the world’s best comedians. I guess living in close proximity to the US has always made us laugh . . .

We have the most tenacious mosquitoes too - maybe not as nasty as those in Africa, but still they rank up there with any blood-sucking creatures on the globe.

And Billy Shatner, I mean come on already - the guy’s a legend in his own mind and a few others.

I think I’m just going to stop right there before I tear up and gush all over the page.

And, poutine is awful - really, really awful!

Until tomorrow . . .