Sunday, October 31, 2010

tricks

Holy crap, doesn’t NaNoWriMo start tomorrow?

I’m going to be participating this year, but not like everybody else. Instead of shooting for 50,000 words, I’m only shooting to make sure that each and every day I spend my quality morning time writing.

Yes, it does sound a lot like my regular routine. But I need the NaNoWriMo bamboo shoot up the chute to get back into the routine of writing every day. Seems I’ve been goofing off more than writing these past months, and that behaviour has got to stop.

I’m over half-way done a new short story and NaNoWriMo should push it to finished and then out the door to seek a home in permanent ink.

It would appear that this summer, with the whole family home, screwed up my writing routine. Nine weeks of trying to stay to form while the weather was nice and the family was all home was pretty much a bust.

But it’s getting cold out now, the deciduous trees are almost bare, and I know I’ll be getting out the snow shovel soon (groan) so I need to get back to producing copy.

It’s what it’s all about.

Oh, and happy halloween . . .

Did you hear the enthusiasm there? I didn’t either. I’m just not in the Trick or Treat mood this year at all. My daughter is pumped though and we are going over to a friend’s house tonight and walking the streets with the kids. Should be, um, cold.

I bought a new toque though which is very warm. I’ll break out my winter coat and mitts as well. I may even get out my long underwear.

Wimpy? Yes. But when you spend two or three hours standing on the sidewalk at zero degrees and ninety percent humidity (like just about every day of winter around here) the cold settles right down to the marrow of your bones.

And no, I will not be dressed up as anything except a trying to stay warm old guy street walker. Maybe that passes as a costume?

Anyhow, starting tomorrow I’ll be running with the NaNoWriMo pack once more, but for entirely different reasons than cranking out another novel.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

recovering and reloading

Well, am I glad that is almost all over now.

The cold-from-hell, that is.

It’s been a while since my body was infected by such a nasty bug. Hope it only happens once a decade or two.

Even today, after fighting the damn thing off all week, I’m still hacking up stuff and blowing my nose on occasion.

And, after cleaning out my drug cabinet, I found the cold medications I was taking had all expired about two years ago. Hmm, maybe that’s why they were not very effective in staving off the worst of the symptoms I suffered.

Anyhow, suffice to say little, as in no, writing happened this week except for an email or two.

I did manage to fire up some computer games though in between sufferings and did a lot of Wasteland searching in Fallout 3. I visited a good friend two days ago, I was ambulatory by then if just barely, and we managed a game of Arkham Horror.

We lost.

We played against the Ancient One: Shudde M’ell and were a bit hazy on the end game rules so kind of winged it. We had one character devoured right before the final showdown. Not a good situation to find oneself in. Despite our best efforts using dynamite, elephant guns and fists, we had the world come crashing down around our ears - literally - as Shudde M’ell is the giant Uber-Dhole.

Um, okay then.

Seems I could have managed some writing, but with a cloudy head and out of date drugs not doing what they should I just didn’t. Bad, bad me.

I promise to do better this upcoming week.

Oh, as a family, we did watch some more Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Hmm, the more I watch, the more I like. I must be weird. Fallout 3 and Sabrina . . . not really a matching pair of distractions, but there you have it.

Well, here’s hoping that next week I’ll have a short story update, as in I finished the first draft and am now polishing it.

But the same friend lent me his Orange Box . . . you know, Half-Life 2 and Portal . . . hmm . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 17, 2010

not at my best

I’m not going to complain . . . much.

Two days ago the plague-from-hell decided to take up residence in my body. Yeah, you know the one. Every time you swallow it’s like razor blades and rusty nails scraping down your windpipe.

And then, when you think you can’t stand it anymore, it mutates. Gone is the agonizing pain every time you swallow and you are somewhat releaved, but then comes the mucus.

Bucket loads. A house full of tissues can’t compete with your bodily production. So you resort to drugs - the stronger the better.

But all that manages to do is make you dizzy and dopey and want nothing more than to sleep. But you can’t sleep because every time you lie horizontal you are deathly afraid that mucus will envelope your entire body much like a cocoon scene from Aliens.

The worst is past though, for me. I only blow my nose once every five minute now instead of constantly. I’ve had very little sleep, and I’m cranky as all hell.

Best keep off my lawn today, unless you are there to rake leaves into compost bags.

See, the complaining is done.

But my short story isn’t. Turns out that, as it always does, it’s taking me longer to get it right despite knowing where it’s going and how it’s going to end.

And the worst part about this sudden damn affliction - I had to miss our monthly reading night which I was really looking forward to.

There was homemade pizza, lasagne and fresh-brewed coffee and well, just everything, or so I gleamed from the emails. One of our group finished his long short story and I really wanted to hear the conclusion. Virus’s suck.

Well, I’m able to function today at about fifty percent, so I’ll get to doing some work on my story and leave you to wander the web in search of real content.

And if you can help it, please try to remain virus free.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 10, 2010

turkey shorts

Seemed like the right blog post heading for today since, here in Canada, it’s time to gorge ourselves on turkey and stuffing once again.

Yes, I will be eating too much of it, but it’s only once a year . . . okay, twice for me since we celebrated it early with friends last weekend too and will be doing so once again today with relatives . . .

Anyhow, as I was walking to the bank (no, not to rob it, though the idea did cross my mind) I was struck by a lightening solution to the short story I’m currently working. Okay, maybe lightening is a bit of an exaggeration. It was more like when you wear a wool sweater and drag your socked feet across the carpet and then touch a doorknob . . . you get the idea.

So there I was working out some of the plot in my head, strolling along the sidewalk, and suddenly the solution popped right into my skull. If it wasn’t daylight you may have been able to see the lightbulb flash over my head . . .

Yeah, I was that excited about it. I am, by nature, a short story artist at heart. I’ve written so many of them (like over a hundred so far) and really love when a good one comes along. I think I’ve mentioned it before but the novel is like a huge slog-fest for me that never seems to end. Yes, I’m still plugging away at mine, but I’m more excited about this current short story for the moment and so . . .

And, once I properly polish it and then read it for our reading group for feedback, I’m going to try and get it published. I go through these bouts of sending my stuff out like crazy for about a year and then end up running out of steam and eventually stop. I know, Heinlein would not be impressed. It’s a lot of work to keep your stuff in circulation and let’s face it, once a story gets rejected many a time you do start to wonder about it.

Still, three published so far and that was really only from two bouts of sending out. Time for me to start a third round. No time like the present.

As for auctions, well, last night I picked up a wall clock for 5 bucks . . . It works too . . . most of the time. I may have to take it in and get it cleaned and oiled or something, but it looks cool, sounds cool and even chimes on the half hour and at the hour with the appropriate number of chimes.

Yes, I get excited over the little things.

Well, there is a story to polish, and books to read, and family to consider, and cooking to do . . . but the damn lawn is cut for the last time for 2010 . . . see, it really is the little things that make me smile.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 03, 2010

er um yeah

Seems that when I used to post a blog once-a-day I had more to relate than this once-a-week gig . . .

So, as I scrape the bottom of my cranium barrel for something, I’ll just start with the obvious - my writing.

Been doing it consistently now for over a week after the long lapse, and I’m going to make damn sure I do it every day for the entire month of October. Been flirting with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo again this year . . . but if I do it will be a limited thing, like just making sure I produce something every day for the month of November without the pressure of cranking out 50,000 new words. I know I can do that if I want, as I’ve done it twice before - it’s not a pleasant experience though and does lead to a bit of burnout come December.

As far a reading goes I’ve been chewing through books like crazy. I’ve passed the 45 mark already and don’t look to be slowing down much with three months left to go.

Reading is good for the writing. Don’t believe me? Just ask Stephen King and he’ll set you straight.

I am going to mention that at my age (somewhere between infancy and dotage) I’m slowly losing touch with what is happening on this globe. With dial-up internet and no TV hookup I get a very limited view of the big picture.

Not sure it that is a good thing or a bad thing. Likely better for me than not. Keeps my blood pressure regular.

Notice how I’ve avoided telling you anything about how my novel’s third draft is coming along . . . er, I have started a new short story though, and it should be ready for a read through come this October’s reading night.

So, the air is getting chilly in this part of the world and the furnace is actually running now as I type this, yes, before the sun rises.

I was hoping, against all hope of course, that my damn lawn would not grow six inches in the last three weeks with the cooling temperatures - but alas, it is not to be. I need to get out there, likely today, and chop the damn stuff down once more. This will definitely be the last mow of 2010 though - I don’t care what it does after today until next spring.

And I’ve gone to a few auction previews but have just not seen anything worth my time in the evening to stick around for.

Maybe next week’s auctions will be better. Still trying to find that 1937 Bakelite telephone . . .

And this ends the letter to my parents . . . geez, doesn’t it sound like it though . . . barf . . .

Until next Sunday . . .