January 18, 2003

2519 Words

I was on a roll today, man. And some interesting mini-twists on the story came up that'll beef up some aspects of theme. And a ten year-old boy with nerves of steele and far too much guilt for any little boy to bear. Paul showing that he can be a very gentle father, even though he's pretending to be someone else's father. And he's about an inch away from learning who the killer is. I'll tackle that bit tomorrow. All in all, a damn good writing day. Off now to enjoy the rest of this sunny Saturday.

January 17, 2003

2045 and 2071 Words

That's for yesterday and today. Today was tough. I came to the big trouble spot that I'd anticipated since planning the book, and sure enough I wasn't able to pull it off the way I wanted to. But I think I did okay with it. I'll probably want to change it when it comes time for the rewrite. If I don't change it, I'm definitely going to have to better plant it, because it's sort of out-of-the-blue as it stands now. But I'm through it, and for now that's all that counts. I'm so close to finishing this thing. I've got eleven more planned scenes to write and that's it. Some of those will be short scenes, too. Though the climax will probably run longer than most. I'll be glad when this one is done. It's taken a lot out of me. It's also gotten very messy. I need some time away from it because it's going to require some heavy rewriting. Ah, well. If anything, I've learned A LOT from writing this book. After this one, nothing I write will ever be the same.

January 15, 2003

It's Alive

Thanks to a suggestion from one of Beth's carpool buddies, I managed to bring my computer back to life. Actually, it wasn't the computer that was the problem, it was a bum cord. Replaced the cord and I'm back in business. Though I did my writing on the laptop this morning, which wasn't too bad. 1663 words today. Would have gotten more but had to deal with some Real Life stuff that may help with my deteriorating financial situation. I'm not holding my breath though.

I had fun writing today, despite all the stress of late. I thought that was worth noting. Sometimes (a lot of times) we forget to have fun with our writing. We grow so serious about it, clench down, stress out. If that's what writing does to you, what's the point? So even though my "inner critic" was mouthing off at me ("Cops don't talk like that!" "You just repeated yourself again!" "Don't you think this scene's gone on long enough?") and even though at the time I still thought all on my hard drive was lost, and even though I'll be lucky if I can pay all my bills this month, I still had fun writing. I had FUN. I was reminded the other day of Ray Bradbury's book Zen in the Art of Writing. He talks about the "zest" and "gusto" of writing. He encourages the writer to lead with his passion, running so fast through the story that everything else (the critical mind, the day's troubles, whatever) is left behind. Heck, one of the chapters is titled "The Joy of Writing." If you haven't read this one and you feel like you've lost the fun in writing, pick up a copy. I think I'm going to reread mine soon.

Anyway, I'm afraid of heights so I'm going to step down from my soapbox now.

Happy writing. And have fun, damnit!

January 14, 2003

Computer is Dead

Of all the bad things that have happened in the past couple months--from a fender-bender that's gonna cost me 500 bucks to fix, to not getting paid for the two weeks my workplace was closed over the holidays--this is probably the worst. My computer, sad to say, is my life-line. It's got all my writings on it, it holds my thousand and one dream worlds where I can escape the crap of my life for a little while and cling to some hope that I'll make it through these rocky times. Now, that is gone. For some reason when I press the ON button on my computer nothing happens. The thing's gone dead, completely dead. Now, I have my novel backed up on disk. And, lucky for me, my girlfriend has a laptop that she can let me borrow (which is where I'm writing this entry), but I've got a bunch of notes as well as short-stories and random musings on my hard drive that I can't access now. Yes, I'm stupid. Not everything is backed up on disk. I'm too poor to buy enough disks to back everything up, and too dumb to think that my computer could just up and die for no apparent reason one day. Needless to say, I'm feeling kind of queasy about the whole thing. I have some theories about the problem. The switch might just be shorted. This is probably fixable...for someone who has the money to get it fixed. Alas, I am not that person. (Remember the 500 bucks for the car repairs.) Never mind the money I was supposed to use for school this semester which has to go toward paying my car insurance (good thing I have that) because I didn't get paid for two weeks over the holidays. Am I complaining? Damn right. I usually like to keep this blog strictly for writing stuff, but I just had to blow some steam off, so you, Dear Blog Readers, are the unfortunate victims of my diatribe. Please forgive.

I think I've whined enough. Don't know how often this blog will be updated. Don't know how long it will be until I have my own working computer again. Don't know much about anything at the moment. My future has never been more uncertain.

'Nuf said.

January 13, 2003

1711 Words

Took the weekend off to get some stuff done that was on hold for the two weeks we were away. Also spent some time having fun when we could. Saw a couple good movies. First off, Narc is probably the best crime movie to come along since Pulp Fiction, though it's a completely different kind of movie than Pulp--much more realistic. And it very well may be the best cop movie since...I dunno... Serpico? Go see it. Now! The other flick we saw was Adaptation. This movie made me like Nicolas Cage again--an actor I'd started to get sick of for his rather one-note performances. It's a clever and funny movie, and anyone who's ever spent some time in the world of screenwriting (professionally or as an amateur) will doubly appreciate this film. The running gag about Robert McKee and his writing seminar is especially funny.

As for the writing, as you can see by this entry's title, I've got another nice hunk of words done. I reread the last scene I did on Friday, too, and really liked what I did. I'm sort of awed, however, with how much I've changed this book since writing it. There's going to be a lot of revision going on. But I've kept pretty good notes on what I want and need to change, so that should make it easier. The scenes are getting shorter as the novel closes in on the climax, so as I suspected, writing this last section is continuing to pick up speed. I've increased my writing time a little bit and plan to maintain this schedule until the end of the book. I've estimated a finish in about two weeks. It might take a little bit longer, but I have a four-day weekend coming this weekend and three out of those four days to myself, so I might use that time to get in some more writing. Keep your fingers crossed I don't run into any more disasters between now and the end.