Scattered

I’ve just now had to stop, take a deep breath, and just accept that my creative energy is pretty scattershot right now. I thought that some of the writing I’ve done over the past couple of days would take the edge off, but it hasn’t.

Aside from the Raketenwerfer thing, I’ve scrawled about three or four pieces of my patented Vogon poetry. Just the usual stuff I’d never show to another living soul. Though I spent an inordinate amount of time polishing. I might never plan to show them, but at least they should be somewhat presentable in the unlikely event that they are ever seen.

I actually started two first drafts of things that will most likely end up as stories, once I figure out where they’re going. That’s six or seven pieces of writing, NOT counting the random stuff I’ve been cramming into the notebook, before I’ve even opened up the project folders of some of the stuff on the sidebar.

I had the idea that I could take a couple of past ideas, one unfinished and one I thought was finished, and hopefully polish one up in time for the crit group this Sunday. So far, it’s not looking good. Luckily, I have tomorrow off, but I was really hoping to get a jump on things today. Maybe I won’t.

I need to get up and walk around.

Brain Dump

I ranted like some rabid dog on the other blog some days ago. In case the context might have been lost, the story was that life conspired to deny me the writing time I took off from work to get (i.e. my first paid vacation in years). And since I couldn’t get it because, frankly, there were other needs to be tended to, I went and turned into a brat and went all “scorched earth” on my time. Meaning that I utterly refused to be a good family member and make myself present to attend to others’ very real needs if I couldn’t attend to my writing. Needless to say I made other people’s lives, and my own, pretty hellish for a while.

I’m not proud of that.

Luckily, by the end of last weekend, I got over it, even as I managed (to the possible chagrin of others) to beg, borrow, and steal writing time away.

Stephen King said in On Writing:

Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects.

Well, I managed to jot some things down, anyway. Oddly enough, though, I really don’t think a lot of my company seemed to mind. I made a little bit of progress on the 3rd, and hopefully salable, draft of “The one about the angel”

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
288 / 4,420
(6.5%)

I’ve also started drafts of things. Good beginnings of…something. Trouble is, see all those projects on the sidebar, there? Regardless of what I choose to work on, if I can’t get anything finished come Sunday’s critique group, I’m going to be sitting there twiddling my thumbs, and I’m damned if I’m going to do that.

Solo Action

I can relate to this.

“And maybe it’s our drive to be alone — not all the time, certainly, but enough to read and dream and reset our mental energies in order to deal with People again — that at least partly impels the drive to write. Reading and writing become the bridge crossing us from our carefully guarded alone-zone into the world, into the human condition itself. We contain multitudes, and those multitudes contain us.”

The sad irony of course is that I’m in a cafe doing this, instead of in the home office with the door closed. I can’t help it, I either need to be completely isolated or be surrounded by people who aren’t entitled to one iota of my time and attention.

I’m not so sure the solitude has to do with my particular drive to write. My drive comes from the struggle to take ideas from my head, some that’ve been there for years, and spit them out in a form others might appreciate. I’ve been doing the spitting part for years, anyway–why not construct something from it?

Childhood, Redux

“Utopia” has to be the best DOCTOR WHO episode of the new series, if for no other reason than it made me feel like I was twelve again, jaw dropped in awe of all the levels of awesome!

I’d always thought more of David Tennant’s episodes were more good than bad, but there was something that didn’t click the way Christopher Eccleston’s run did. I think it has something to do with age. Not mine, but the actor’s. To me, the image of the Doctor as this older, adult figure went hand-in-hand with his being a 900 year-old traveler in time and space. Whereas David Tennant is just over two years older than me. Not that his Doctor isn’t all manner of awesome; it’s just that some of the edge was taken off. Eccleston, on the other hand, has almost a decade on me. His Doctor, and his episodes, still held a bit of that larger-than-life gravitas for me. I enjoyed his run while fondly remembering the old childhood nostalgia.

But watching this last episode, I was right back there! Eleven or twelve years-old on a Saturday night with the lights out watching the only thing that PBS was good for (at the time, to me), getting my geek on.

The Journey vs. the Destination

If you read some of my posts on the other blog, you’ll be able to glean that I’m a big GTD and lifehack geek. One of the areas GTD encourages you to monitor and consider on some regular basis is a list of your goals and/or direction one or two years out. The stuff that comprises “Where do you want to be in area X, this time in the next year or two?”

I had three items on a sublist in this category, six months into 2007.

  • Get a domain name, which I did yesterday.
  • Plug into a networking/support group, which I can now cross off twice over as of today.
  • Membership in the SFWA – Well, two out of three ain’t bad, especially when 1 & 2 are bound to help me do that within the next year or two.

Now my other sublist that has the item “20 pices in circulation by 12/31/07”? I’m really off track, but not horribly so. Twenty might have been unrealistic. Yet what I’ve accomplished so far puts me waaay ahead of where I was this time in 2006. The journey vs. the destination…I think I’m starting to get it now.

Progress

This is something from the private journal that I thought was worth mentioning here.

If you asked me as recently as a week ago how I felt about my progress as a writer in 2007, I would’ve said, “Piss poor.” If you look at sheer numbers, I’m way behind. However, there’s just no comparison between where I am right now and where I was this time last year. Not only that, but since last week, I’ve made quite a few strides in networking with area writers, not to mention some pretty serious cats via Teh Intarnets.

It’s all about seed-sowing, which is what I’m doing right now and what I’m feeling pretty good with right now.

Grumpy Old Villains

Written World: 50 Things I Love About Mainstream Superhero Comics

8) The core team of the JSA is essentially a bunch of cranky old men who probably get together with old supervillains to play poker.

This sort of fuels an expansion of this idea in my mind.

I wrote that story as part of my deconstruction of the supervillain archetype. But, I want to take it further. We all know the various and sundry reasons why any superhero keeps fighting the Neverending Battle. But why do villains keep going? Why keep get your ass handed to you on a regular basis? Why cope with the various life disruptions caused by jail time or faking one’s own death?

Because they’re EEE-VIL? That might be a plausible explanation if they won something really worthwhile on occassion. Being psycho might be a better explanation; certainly that’s the one given to us by a lot of villains lately.

Gotta think more about this one…

Fonts

Jonathan Lethem, Richard Posner, and others reveal their favorite fonts.

Jonathan Lethem, author, You Don’t Love Me Yet: A Novel
I dislike the temptation of making a raw draft look like it’s already typeset. Before computers, I wrote three novels on a typewriter, and there can never be anything but 12-point Courier (double-spaced) forever: I write on an eternal Selectric of the mind. I can even hear the rattle of the metal ball against the sheet of paper, I swear.

Ditto. What’s the point of anything else, at least when I’m generating a manuscript? Although the labels on the folders of my GTD reference files at the day job are all typeset in Trebuchet MS.