Tag Archives: Couple Of Days

30%

Having cleared no less than 15,000 words, FRAGILE GODS is now 30% complete (by wordcount). This is roughly in line with my plot so far also, so I consider it pretty accurate.

To this I just have to add, “Wow, that was easy.” I’ve been hemming and hawing about writing more since September (when I hit the 25% mark), and here in just a couple of days I’ve breezed through another 2,500 words. And these weren’t just scenes I happened to throw together, either; while I think they need more polish, I like the new scenes.

So what happened before?

I’ll tell you, because I suspected it and later confirmed it:

I had written a scene that I hated. Now, at first, I didn’t know I hated the scene. I secretly hated it. (Yes, secret from myself.) Like everything I write, at first, I thought “wow, that’s really cool”. (Else why write it?) But the scene was garbage. It felt like teenage fantasy with cheesy special effects and overdone character emotions and contrived relationships.

And so I hated it. And because I hated the scene, I hated the book, and I hated the project, and I hated writing, and so I didn’t write.

I finally deleted the scene. Now, my mother has preached the perils of word processing to me for many years, and it troubles her that at a single keystroke, I could destroy months of work. True, I might not like the text, but what if I change my mind later? What if I decide the deleted portion was better? What then?

So now when I “delete” large swaths of text, I don’t actually delete them. I cut them and paste them into a text dump document; my own literary landfill where if necessary, I can dig them out again later.

But I have never had to, because invariably, whatever I wrote afterward was better than what preceded. It might still have problems, but it has always been better than the original I threw out, to the point that when I’ve lost a newer draft or markup and have to re-edit, and then later find the other markup, I’ve made the same changes.

The shocking and useful lesson with my terrible scene, though, was that cutting it didn’t fix my motivation. I still hated the book. It wasn’t until I’d replaced the scene, in my mind, in my plot, with something I thought worked better, that I began to enjoy the project again.

The other-other hobby: Confessions of a jack of all trades, master of none.

Black Fender Telecaster with maple fretboardAwhile back I bought a Fender Squire used from craig’s list, with a 10-watt crate amp in the deal.

It sounds like shit.

Lesson learned: You get what you pay for. Squiers are cheap knock-offs for a reason.

I put that Squier on its stand and never played it after the first few days. Every now and then, I’d take it back out, tune it, and put it back within five minutes.

Later my father-in-law bought an off-brand guitar with a beautiful full sound to it and smooth fretboard. Color me jealous.

After playing his guitar, I thought to myself, “Man…if my guitar sounded like that, and played that smoothly, I’d probably practice all the time.” But I didn’t have the kind of money he’d spent, even though it still wasn’t even a top of the line guitar.

Thus when a co-worker announced his Fender Telecaster was for sale, I sighed to myself and thought, “Yeah, if only.”

But after a couple of days, I thought, “Why the hell not?”

I spoke to the wife about borrowing money from savings against some of my future allowance, to which she agreed. My co-worker brought the Telecaster to work with an amp one Friday for me to try it out.

Two pickups, maple fretboard, and a clean, precise, sharp sound even further enhanced by installed vintage Telecaster pickups.

Plus it was shiny. Oh so shiny.

I took it home that day.

I was right; where I can’t stand to play the Squier for more than a couple minutes before I get disgusted, I can hardly put the Telecaster down.

┬áJust over the weekend, I’ve already added multiple songs to repertoire, including Extreme’s ballad “More Than Words”, and “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, popularly covered by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, and others.

I’m slowly working on Cliffs of Dover (Eric Johnson), but that’s going to be a long time coming. I’ve just started practicing my pentatonic and blues scales so that I can perform riffs better, since those have always been my weak point.

Best of all, I’m starting to write music again.

Website Updates

windowslivewriterfeediconsandfeedreaders-103ffrss4I’m not sure if you can technically call them “updates” for a brand new website that is still under construction in some ways.

Nevertheless, I’ve added some content to the site in the last couple of days I thought worth mentioning.

First, I’ve fleshed out three sub-pages to my Completed Projects page, explaining my philosophy and approach to Short Stories, Nonfiction, and Novels and the roles each of these projects play in my writing career.

Next, I’ve included the full text of two nonfiction articles; previously self-published at Helium, I can no longer sell first publication rights for them so I lose nothing by posting them here. More will follow in the days to come.

Third, I’ve included the first half of two short stories: Perfect Justice and New Magic. If you haven’t read these before, have a look. Or even if you have read them, feel free to peruse them again, suggesting improvements as you go.

I’ve also added pictures to practically every page and post, and enabled avatars in comments. I’ll be adding my own avatar later this evening. I don’t know how they work yet for end users, since I enable mine in the administrative back end, but if you figure it out let me know. It’s possible I may need to add a “login” feature to the site, but hopefully not. (I want to keep it as simple as possible.)

I plan on adding links to the bottom of teaser content (partial stories and sample chapters) which direct readers, “Where’s the rest of this story?” One idea I had is to include an option to buy a single copy of a full story from me for $1-$2 (or $1 per chapter for novels), but I need to research the legality of doing this and then publishing first north american rights from an intellectual property standpoint. In any case, I will add a “request this story” option and close friends and family will of course be entitled to full versions of any story they wish.