Sleeping baby


One of the stranger aspects of this blog is that when I’ve got tons to comment on about a story, that basically means that I’ve got zero time to post on here because I’ve got to write.   I could regale you with such tales right now about how I’m completely freaking out, how I’ve dumped the storyline I originally had and substituted a free flowing time frame for reasons that are somewhat beyond me at this point.  How as late as this afternoon I was still deciding on my plot.  I could talk about how I’m currently debating between slogging through another few thousand words or getting some sleep and getting up early to try to leave myself a manageable amount left to write tomorrow night.  I could go on and on about these things but I can’t.  I’ve got to go write.  Or go sleep.  Wish me luck.

Panic and a pleasant Sunday.


I really don’t have a ton to say nor a ton of time to say it in. To be honest I’m not completely recovered from New Orleans and all conscious thought is being dumped into assembling this week’s story which is going…well let’s not talk about this week’s story.

Instead I’ll just drop on here to mention that over at Inspiration Bit, Vivien has been kind enough to feature my story “Private Showing” in her weekly series “A Bit of Literature.” Basically, every Sunday Vivien has been posting a different short story, varying her authors to include a nice broad sampling of the short story craft as well as pursuing her own interests in philosophy and art. She’s ranged from Hemingway to Thomas Wolfe to Capek. It’s always interesting to see what she’ll pick each week and for a bit of Sunday night reading you could certainly do worse. Having grown to enjoy her column I inquired if she was interested in maybe featuring a current author and, well, there I am.

Seeing my name on her page was a nice bit of peacefulness in what is quickly becomming a week filled with nothing but panic over my deadline.

And, that being said, I really need to get back to writing.

Feeling quesy from the Big Easy.

 Bourbon Street

New Orleans…is insane.  I should never be allowed to spend three days in a city where you can gamble, drink in the street and eat deep fried sausage.  This post is going to be very short because my hangover is so bad it’s basically a separate entity that’s living inside me.

I did not come up with anything stunning and new to structure this week’s story around.  And I’m very much out of time.  So this week’s story, which is another entry into the world of Matthew and Epp, might come across as out of place or sort of pointless.  There’s no central melody, it’s just a bunch of noise.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it might be very pretty noise, most likely entertaining noise…but there’s no…how do I explain this?

You know when you’re listening to an album and there are some songs that are clearly hits?  They stand on their own perfectly fine?  And then there are songs that are less self contained, they’re nice and all but listening to them out of the context of the album seems odd.  They really only work best when the whole album is taken into account.  I think this story will be like one of those songs.

Of course, I have no idea what might happen once I get into the thick of things so I should probably just shut up and go write.

Talking from beyond the grave.


Okay.  So I’m not dead.  But I am nowhere near a computer right now as this posts.  It’s a work of writing pre-packaged and set to go off Thurday night.  Whooooooo….spooky!

I didn’t want to miss a day.  Not that I have anything stunning to say.  Just to explain why, wherever in New Orleans I am right now, I probably have a stomach ache.

I feel like this story is getting very wobbly.  Actually, that’s not true.  It’s okay as far as it goes.  It’s just that since these Matthew and Epp stories are all starting to fall into one larger story, it’s getting difficult to make each one of them stand out.  Things need to be introduced and actions need to be taken that will come around to fruition later on.  But that means there might be some…intermediary stories that aren’t exactly gangbusters on their own.  Which I don’t like.  Each story should be gangbusters.  Or should at least contain a story in and of itself.  Which is where I’m getting into trouble.

I’ll put it this way. I’m finding it hard to write a sequence of stories and not chapters.  Which means I need to flesh out more of an arc for the current work.  Which means I need to let the hamster run and run and run on the wheel in the back of my head.  Which means I’ll always be a little nervous that he isn’t going to run far enough and come up with something before the deadline.  Which means my stomach hurts.  While I’m on vacation.

The things I do for you people.

In my mind, I’m already gone.


Okay. So I’ve got nothing. I really have no ability at the moment to sit here and write pithy things in this blog. I could stretch and come up with some lame metaphor about e-books and how they remind me of dolphins or something but I don’t think that’s going to cut it. My brain is pretty much switched off. I’m going to New Orleans tomorrow for a bachelor party and I think my mind decided that it’s vacation time already. Which means a not very interesting blog post for today, which isn’t so bad. What might be a problem is if I haven’t written enough of this week’s story yet, because the odds of me getting much done tomorrow morning are sort of slim and I don’t get back till Sunday and this could cause all sorts of problems. This is, I’m realizing now, the longest I’ll be away from a computer since I’ve started this project. Oh well. We’ll see what happens.
I did do one cool thing tonight. I watched about eight million hours of House, M.D. That isn’t particularly cool, but while watching I heard a cello song that’s popped up a few other places. I never knew what it was but I always liked. So I went to Google and searched for “What song is playing in House MD episode” and it sent me to a website that has all the songs used in House MD listed by episode. I located the episode, found the song, went on I-tunes, purchased the song, and am listening to it now. The internet never ceases to amaze me. I mean, does anyone even remember when you used to hear a familiar song in a TV show and you were then basically able to do nothing about it? You had to either hope that someone in the room knew it, or wait until you got to school the next day and hope that not only did someone else watch that TV show, but that they also noticed the song and knew the identity of that song. Hahaha…take that, social interaction!

I can’t believe I need a cheat sheet.

Clean Slate

The feeling that I’m repeating myself is back. This, I hope, is only natural considering I’m diving into the same set of characters for the third time in a row. It is, however, raising all sorts of questions that I’ve never really thought about. Like how to describe these characters. I already did that once. And I think I got it pretty well. Am I supposed to come up with all new ways to describe them? I mean, on the face of it that isn’t so hard to do. But to describe them in a completely new way with any sort of poetry is a little ridiculous. I got it as close as I could to perfect the first time around, I need to try and do that again? Can I just cut and paste the old descriptions?

I mean, I guess some of the characters are going to slowly change through the progression of these stories, so I can focus on that more. But the basic underlying “This is what this guy looks like” description that I usually dash off when I first have a moment in the story to breath, those aren’t coming along so well. Right now my plan is this: go ahead and make something up on the fly, but if it happens to sound an awful lot like the first descriptions I gave of these people, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

There’s also the fun notion that I don’t remember what I wrote. I actually have both “Second Choice” and “Three Lessons” printed out and sitting on my desk for reference. Which is just weird. I didn’t write these stories too long ago and usually I’m pretty good with stuff like this, you sort of need to keep a lot of things in your head while writing an entire book, but I think slipping two completely new stories in between outings in Matthew and Epp’s world has the effect of wiping the slate clean, or at the very least running a damp towel across some parts of the slate. Especially with some of the (for now) more secondary characters.

Anyway. Things are creeping along. I’m curious now to know how this is all going to turn out.

Flexing my no frills texting skills


I use my phone to text.  A lot.  I’ve mentioned this before but it’s sort of sad how far I’ve strayed from using my cell phone as anything but an elaborate texting device.  I discovered a few weeks ago that if I look straight ahead and sort of refuse to concentrate on anything that I can text while walking with rather astounding accuracy in both tasks.  And I use an old-school phone.  Just nine numbers, a star and a pound sign.  I contest that this is a good thing for me.  I’m not real sure how to back that up.  But I swear it’s true.

We’ll gloss over the whole “over the past five thousand years humanity has moved from an oral tradition to a written one so clearly there’s a large advantage to this” thing.  We’ll just move onto Google texts.  If you don’t know, you can text questions to Google and they’ll answer them.  You just send a text to G-O-O-G-L (466-45).  It’s  a little crude but you can get some decent information out of them.  If you type “Define” at the start of your text it usually works best.  Or, if you’re savvy like me, you can just type “D” and then whatever it is you want information on.

Granted, it’s nice to be able to tell instantly who wrote songs from the eighties (text “D Sunglasses at Night” to 466-45) but that’s not what I’m driving at.  What I really use it for is improving my vocabulary.  Or at least that’s the selling point I use when people tell me that texting is rotting my brain.  When I used to come across I word I didn’t know while I was reading I used to think about getting up and finding a dictionary, look across the room at my bookshelf, sigh, and then go back to reading and hope that the word wasn’t too important.  Now I grab my phone out of my pocket, text Google for a definition, then go back to reading.  A few seconds later my phone beeps and I have my definition.  Google is making me smarter.   I swear it is.

Although not smart enough to understand the thinking behind the T9 programmers.  Sorry for another brief texting tutorial, but if you don’t know what this is it’s a texting program that sort of guesses what word you are trying to type.  You just push each key once per letter, rather than pressing each key to cycle through letters, and your phone spits out the words that can be formed.  So if you press 2-6-3 the word “And” automatically pops up.  And if you cycle through the word “Cod” appears, also, apparently, able to be formed by those numbers.  Fair enough.  What baffles me is why, when I try to type, “Freaking,” as in, “This post is freaking weird,” my phone spits out one and only one word: Freakhog.  Granted, I can go back and manually enter the word I need, but, what the hell?  What dictionary did they download into my phone?  And then there’s, “Blowout.”  When I type that in my phone obviously thinks I’m trying to type in “Clowntv.”

Like I said, I type fast.  And it’s improving my vocabulary.  Problem is, when those two functions collide I sometimes found I’ve pressed send on a text without thinking about what I actually wrote and I wind up trying to say things like, “That party last night was a freaking blowout.”  (okay, never in my life have I ever even thought a string of words anywhere close to that but you understand what’s coming)  Only what comes out is, “That party last night was a freakhog clowntv.”

Maybe texting isn’t so good.

They’re back…again

Placid Ocean


Because my life isn’t complicated enough I think it’s about to become official that the stories of Matthew and Epp will grow over the course of this project into their own book.  I don’t want to officially make it official, not yet.  I’m not sure why.  Fear mainly.  But a larger story for them is starting to fall into place in my head and if they pop up every third story or so I think it’ll work out just fine.  Assuming all the gaps I have get filled in.  I’m sure they will.

At any rate, I’ve got this week’s story.  I’m not too too worried about that (yet), but this new aspect of the project has all sorts of other permutations.  Like how to organize these stories so they’re together.  I think I can just change the category titles so that “Second Choice” becomes “Part One: Second Choice.”  And then “Three Lessons” becomes “Part Two: Three Lessons.”  Which actually has me laughing out loud right now.  I sort of dug myself into a bit of a hole by starting to name the stories in sequence.  I’ve decided not to continue that tradition.  It was cute while it lasted but I was never in love with “Second Choice” as a title and to force myself to come up with numbers for titles for the next…nine or so stories that take place in this world is just silly.  For starters, it’s all sorts of confusing as it is because the first story is the “Second” story.  Plus, I mean two and three were sort of easy, but six?  Seven?  Nine?  Forget it.  I’d be locking myself in some pretty stupid titles and I think that there will be far far far better titles to be had for these tales.

Although who knows.  Maybe I’m completely wrong and things will just sort of fall into place.  I’ve been wrong once or twice before.

My point here, though, is that they’re back.  Matthew and Epp are once again the centerpiece of this week’s story.  Lord help me.

Eight Short Stories Down

Nine Ball


So eight are gone.  Out of twenty-six.  That leaves…drum roll…eighteen left.  Damn.  That doesn’t seem like a lot, does it.  Although eight doesn’t seem like a lot and I’ve run myself all sorts of ragged doing that many.  So maybe I should shut my mouth.

Still.  I don’t know why but for some reason reaching story number nine seems like a big landmark in my head.  Is twenty-six divisible by nine or something?  That…really seems like the type of thing I should be able to work out in my head.

Okay, I’m back, turns out it isn’t.  Anyway.  Something about this number makes me think this is going to be a good one.  Nine.  It just has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Of course, if everything over the next two weeks is as pointless as this post then maybe we won’t be breaking any records.  Whatever.  Eight stories down.  I get to just sit back and enjoy tonight.