Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Things I'm Doing

New Novel: So far, I've been able to plug away at the 1,000 words a day goal I set. Feels good to get into something new, and to already feel the pieces falling/clicking into place in my head. Already had a few character surprises, as one of them is nothing like I initially envisioned. Whatever, though. It's all about going with the flow, right?

Bring the Ink, Issue 1: It's almost finished and ready to rock your October. Not sure when tomorrow it will drop, but it is scheduled to drop on the morrow.

Book Proposal: I'm pulling together a proposal for a VERY different project than what I normally write. It seems to be shaping up better than I'd hoped, but who knows. All the work might be for not. More on this as it develops.

Waiting: Still no word from the agent-hopeful. It's only been a little more than two weeks since I mailed the book out--plus I heard that she's been busy moving or something. Regardless, I still feel the pressure.

Arting for My Friend: Still plugging away on his graphic novel. Fun stuff, but quite a bit o' work.

Broken-Hearted Bear: With the help of a few other artists and writers, we're building an on-going webcomic for Bring the Ink. I hope it will start in November.

On the Back Burner: The first volume of Gibberish; the collected group of my and Logan's reviews for the defunct; two ideas for webcomics/graphic novels; and my want to just watch movies and play video games.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mindless Entertainment

Before there was RockBand and the like, there were two games by Harmonix (creators of Guitar Hero and RockBand) called Frequency and Amplitude. I was obsessed with the two of them. Obsessed.

I spent hours trying to conquer every song on the highest of difficulties. I ruined my eyes playing those games (No, really, I didn't blink enough, which caused my contacts to shrink while STILL IN MY EYES, thus re-shaping my astigmatism into something even worse. I now where my glasses when playing RockBand and such.) I pissed off my friends playing those games--them hearing the same beats, same songs, me cursing, over and over and over and over and over again. Those were good times.

Yesterday, I busted out Amplitude once again. Man, such a good time. Nothing to think about. You don't really have to concentrate. You just let your mind fog over, check out and let your reflexes run the show.

It made me happy. And lately, this seems to be something that's harder and harder to do...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Life Goes Up

I'd forgotten what it feels like to really get into something new, to start a new story, find the characters, and watch what they do.

I'd forgotten the surprise you feel when something pops up in your writing that intrigues even you, when you ask yourself: "What in the world is going to become of that sentence?"

I'd forgotten how spinning brand new sentences, rather than pulling off the loose threads of old ones, feels so much better in your hands.

As I said on Wednesday, I'm spinning a new tale.

It feels good to remember.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

+Muffin of the Dead+

Haunting has nothing on blueberries.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wow... Almost Missed Today

Totally spaced this out today. I thought I wrote this earlier this morning. Glad I checked.

As for things to report: I've started another novel. It may turn out to be a short story, but I HIGHLY doubt it--considering it's based on a short story I wrote during my undergrad days. I've changed the main character, though I think the original character will still be in this one. We'll just have to see what happens.

The biggest thing with this one is that the process is already COMPLETELY different from my last novel. I suppose this is what they mean by each piece of fiction being its own evolving entity. Unlike Jumping Off Bridges, where I had an ending in mind, I just need to find a way to get there, this one, tentatively titled A Startling Lack of Color, is a bunch of pieces. Because it is based on the short story, I have pinpoints, places I want to be, but I won't know how to tie them altogether or how they will all add up to a story. So, instead of going from point A with point B in mind, I'm simply writing whatever point I feel like, could be A, could be GG, could be ZZZ, who knows? I figure I'll frustrate my future self, write it in pieces and let the me of a few months down the road go, "Why the balls did I not write this in a logical order?"

Considering how much I had to restructure Jumping Off Bridges, I figure it might be easier this time around to just have pieces to move around as I please. We'll see. I'll keep you updated as time goes on. I'm hoping this one is only about 60,00 words compared to JOB's 80,000+. Again, who knows. JOB was supposed to be a short story.

I'll keep you all posted as things progress, and perhaps I'll start a "Progress Report" along the side here. So you can see what all my projects are and where I'm at with them. Another writer I saw did this, and I thought it was a good idea. I might just steal it.

Gibberish tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

For My Funk Today, I Blame...

The rain? No. To easy, and cliched.

Starting off the morning by taking my cat to the vet? No. I suppose he is doing alright--all things considered. A cat with only one functioning kidney, and even then only about 2/3 of the normal capacity, is expected to go to the vet for various reasons.

Watching both The Informant! and The Incredibles this weekend? Maybe. These two fine examples of film--especially in character development--make me realize how sorely lacking my own novel still is in fixing the wants of each character AND having dynamic relationships with those they come in contact with.

Waiting to hear back about my novel? Probably. Granted it's only been a week since I even mailed the thing off, and less than that for the time it's actually been in the hands of the agent. Patience, everyone says, patience. I'm trying. I really am, but realizing how much my novel is still lacking worries me that much more that this thing has been sent off once again--and not quite ready for another's eyes.

An unknown fifth thing? Sounds like the best bet, as I'm not sure what has killed my drive to do ANYthing today.

Whatever it is, I have lost all drive, run out of gas on every project I've been working on. Maybe I just need a nap or a healthy dose of video games. Man, I miss those things...

Friday, September 18, 2009


My brain is numb today. Feels like I don't know what is what, or who is who, or which project of the many I should be working on.

Had a weird dream last night involving The Incredibles and Venture Brothers. Not exactly sure how the two overlapped, but I kept waking up because of it, then going back into the same dream. Something to do with a water park, and The Monarch and Sgt. Hatred inadvertantly kill Mr. Incredible, Dr. Venture, and Brock all at once, leaving the brothers to themselves. Not sure what happened to the rest of The Incredibles crew.

Who knows, maybe this is an omen: Pixar making a Venture Brothers film? Brad Bird directing an episode? Doc Hammer going to work for Pixar? Or Disney's next purchase: Adult Swim.

I suppose only time will tell how prophetic I am--and here's hoping that I'm simply full of dookie.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On to New Things

At least until I hear back from the agent, I'm devoting myself to new projects.

Currently, this means: doing arts for my friend's graphic novel, editing the latest edition of Bring the Ink, and writing a book proposal. Also, I want to get a bit of a backlog of Gibberish, so I can have a few weeks buffer--in case I get lazy. And, I have a new--I think--novel idea that's been buzzing around my brain for awhile, and it seems to be as good of time as any to start getting it out. Of course, I could always work on the stacks of short stories I wrote so long ago.... Oh man, I'm already starting to feel overwhelmed and I haven't even started on anything yet.

In other news, I purchased The Beatles Rockband, and it is a good time. While their music is wonderful, it's a bit of a bummer that most of their songs are so short. It didn't take too long at all to blaze through the Story mode. Not like it matters, the whole reason I bought the thing is because it will provide countless more hours of clicking and hitting and singing in front of a television with my friends. Though I am disappointed by the lack of "Hey, Jude," "Norwegian Wood," and "She's Got the Devil in Her Heart." I hope these will be available via Downloadable Content. (I will check after I post this.)

And sorry for the late posting of Gibberish yesterday. With my day of doing nothing, I almost forgot that I had yet to update the thing. I don't figure it ruffled too many feathers. Tomorrow's Gibberish should be on time and ready to rock... or something.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Novel Update: Done?

After a long haul of around 11 hours of writing yesterday, I think, I think I'm done. Granted, all I can think is that the whole thing is a piece a crap, and if anything, I ruined it as I cut pages, added some more, re-organized the last quarter of the thing, and added a new ending.

I suppose we will see soon enough. I'm mailing it out to the agent today for round two. Basically, I figure that if she passes again, I'm now in a good position to shop it around elsewhere. Otherwise, even if she wants to simply see another re-write, I figure I'm in. Any agent willing to look at not one, but TWO, revisions has to be invested enough to stick with you, right? Maybe I'm just projecting.

Either way, I suppose we'll know soon enough. Last time it took, maybe three weeks to hear back from her. Hopefully, it will be even sooner this time around, as I'm now in the "Requested Material" status. Who knows though. I'm just going to try to remember to breathe, to remember that I know have a novel that is very much ready to be shopped around, and I can distract myself with the sweet Rock Band grooves of the Beatles.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Novel Update: Pacing

On every earlier draft I had, I couldn't wait to be done, so much so, that I barreled through the last few chapters, turning them into thin bits of plot rather than good writing. With each draft, they have gotten a bit better, a bit more meat on those bones, but I inevitably race to the finish line. This time, I'm really trying to hold back, to keep myself going at a slow walk through the prose, find where it needs more emotion, more description, more sensory images.

It's getting harder and harder to do this though, as I'm nearing the completion of yet another draft. I can tell that it is better than the last, but I'm not sure by how much, or if it was even worth all the extra time. I honestly have no idea what I'm doing. I never have. Words come, and I put them on the paper. They do their own thing. I simply listen. I just hope I was tuned into the right frequency this time...

See you on Monday, with a completed novel, and less of an ulcer--I hope.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

+Screaming from the Heart+


Unless of course you are paying her for her love, then it is perfectly okay.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Novel Update: Puzzling

At this point, I feel like my novel has become one of those puzzles that is nothing but one color, or the same kind of texture (grass, hair, clouds, etc.) where there are so many possibilities for the pieces to fit together--sort of--but only one of them is the correct spot. I've moved a few more things around, and they feel even better in their new locations. Hopefully this is a good thing.

I've also been combining a few of the chapters, cutting out the boring parts and going for the throat instead. I'm really hoping this thing is much more emotionally engaging than the last draft, but really, who's to say if I've truly succeeded? It's going to be different for everyone. But I know that I feel drained after writing some of these things, like my emotions have sapped from my fingers and onto the page. Could be wishful thinking, but I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

As a side note: My cat has now been missing for a full 24 hours, and that is always disheartening. He's done this type of thing before and been gone for a little more than two days, so my wife and I are trying to keep the worries to a medium. Plus, this time around he has a collar with his name and my number, so I'm thinking SOMEONE would've called if something had gone wrong, right? Here's hoping...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Domo For Me

This arrived in my mailbox the other day. It is awesome. Enjoy Labor Day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Novel Update: The Tear Down

Right after my post on Wednesday, everything went wrong. Seriously, seriously wrong. Everything I was writing was utter crap. I felt with every atom of my being that I was ruining the thing I'd worked on so hard and so long and put so much love and effort and attention into. I was ready to throw the whole thing out the window.

Because of this, my wife--thank God for her--suggested I take a night off. I did. No writing Wednesday night.

And Thursday started a bit better, I was going through my chapters, plugging right along, but the feeling never went away. I kept feeling like, "No, this is wrong. I am ruining the entire novel." My friend and mentor, Mark Haskell Smith, told me I should simply follow my instincts, and if my instincts are telling me to stop--for the love of everything you hold dear--STOP WRITING.

Another chapter later, I finally listened.

I sat down--after climbing out of bed at close to midnight--with a pen and a scrap of paper my wife and I write our grocery lists on. I wondered what would happen if I simply cut half of this crap that was giving me problems, and it seemed like it would all be better. And like what I'm about to do with my novel, I'll condense the ending.

Basically, I'm restructuring the last few chapters, cutting a few more, and blending a few of the others. I think the overall arc is now EXACTLY as it should be. There will need to be tightening and a few more scenes that need some overhauling, but I think--knock on wood--that I finally have everything in order to make this thing an emotional punch in the face, gut, and genitals.

See you, maybe, on Monday. There may just be a bonus comic instead.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

+Terrorist Troll+

Are we even allowed to deal with mythical creatures? If so, I would like a pot of gold, a unicorn, and a pixie. In return, I will give plastic bracelets, Snickers, and my firstborn.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Novel Update

As this thing has all but taken over my life, I'm simply going to do novel updates for the next two weeks when Gibberish isn't there to entertain. If I see/read/hear something good, I'll still pass it on, otherwise, the updates might be a bit boring for the next bit.

Basically, things are on track. I've got until Sept. 14 to send off my novel back to the agent. (I just heard back from her on a check in, and they are still interested in seeing what I've done with the thing.) I've got less than a hundred pages to go, and unlike previous drafts of the novel, I feel like I not only know where this thing should go, but I also know the HOW and WHY it's going where it is. Perhaps this means I finally know what I'm doing. Perhaps I've finally just ruined the whole thing. I suppose we'll find out by the end of the month.

So get your freaking out hats on, because I'm sure caught up in the midst of it.

p.s. I'll be sure to let you know when the aforementioned interview/article about me drops at Broken Frontier.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

+Close Enough+


Besides, you still owe me from when Hell froze over.