Tag Archives: writing

Updates, updates

I told myself to get back into updating ye olde blawg daily, to get me in the habit of writing something daily, which I tell myself will help with the actual writing I am supposed to be doing on anything real – any of the ideas I have rolling in my head for novels. Which, I should point out, I have actually gotten some  “here’s how the story goes, generally” notes down for, like this.

And right at this very moment, it all really sounds like total bullshit to me, probably because I let some asshole annoy me with his stupidity and then his panicky bullshit because he couldn’t be bothered to take ten seconds to think about something before completely freaking out. Likewise, his passive aggressive bullshit afterward didn’t do him any favors in my eyes.

I really wonder about someone who can’t quite get to the idea of choosing “settings” as the place to make a change in the app he’s using. It occurs to me that this is the kind of person who would gnash his teeth and rend his garments and wail about how he doesn’t understand anything about anything, and – in his own words, in not one, but two tickets – he’s now “fucked” and “screwed”, thereby ensuring that someone else will easily fix (because it was an easy fix) whatever it is he’s too stupid or too lazy to do in addition to him pissing off whoever has to deal with it.

So now that I’m typing this, guess who just found himself in a list of people in my head who will make appearances in the books I will write?

Since this guy is so terribly incompetent, he certainly can’t be the bad guy. You can’t really have an incompetent villain carry an entire book – well, I take that back, you can, but the book would not be very good.  I have read many books where the bad guy is so stupid, careless, and/or lazy that he should have been tripped up and strangled by his own shoelaces, yet the hero (male or female) is not able to figure it out for 300 pages.  That says something about that hero, too, but that’s something for another day.

No, this person will be a victim. Not someone that’s particularly going to be missed. Not someone who is a pillar of a community or an underthanked martyr, giving up their time for those less fortunate or privileged than they are. No. Not this guy. While I’ve been typing this, ruminating on the vagaries of dealing with people like this both in and out of the tech world, it came to me that I have the perfect spot for him. He’ll be a throwaway character with some very bad habits whose excuses have gotten old to those who have loaned him money and whose time has come to an end. It’s actually the first scene in one of those books up there. In my mind I had written that scene and the soon to be victim mans up, understanding his fate and resigning himself to it, but as I consider it now, I do believe that he will instead be a whiny, pathetic loser, paying for the problems he brought on himself – not paying in money, but with something far more dear: his life.

And now, having typed all that up there, I feel a bit better, and not like I despise the entire world because this one douchebag caught me up at a bad time.

By the way, those papers in the top image? Each one is a different story. This is how backlogged my brain is.  I have four different series characters, a fantasy trilogy, one standalone non-genre book, and one that I haven’t classified as yet, all hanging out in the idea lounge that is my brain, and all hanging out as a short description of what each of those books is about. I have to go update my author blog now, then post the same thing to my facebook author page, and then tweet the link to the blog – because authors these days need an “author platform”, a term that irks me almost to the same extent as “I know, right?”, “That’s what she said.”, a “You know” after every sentence, and “Because (something).”

Thus ends another blog post. See you tomorrow, peeps. Be well.

 

Where there’s a will

The thing about owning old-style crafted anything – like desks, for instance – is that when it comes to repair and you don’t have a full woodworking studio and all the tools that come with it, sometimes you have to improvise.

One of the drawers has been sticking, badly, and I finally got fed up with it tonight. I unloaded it and found the sides of the drawer were bowing out of their joints at the front. There are no nails or screws in the construction of the drawers except in the handles: the sides were simply groove cut in a tight fit and glued. So, to get them back in order, I brought out my handy wood glue. On a tangent here,I also use the glue on the joints of the bee frames when I’m building those, as well, to supplement the staples, as the bees propolize everything and the top joints get the most pressure when you’re trying to get them out for inspection. Tangent over.

I reglued the joints and then used some heavy things I happen to have around instead of going outside for (wet) bricks. Books, of course. After this dries, I’ll turn it over to do the other side, using the same weights. There’s a notch toward the front so a metal frame for folders can be placed, but the frame joints are 1/4 inch, and the notches are slightly smaller than that – no doubt this is what has caused the tops portions of the sides of the drawer to lose their grip and not seat firmly in their joints. Luckily, I do have a 1/4 inch wood chisel to open those notches just a hair in order to get the metal frame to sit evenly.

Once this is repaired, it won’t be such an ordeal to get the drawer open and then closed once more, and that is a Good Thing.

 

Exploring Planet NoSocialMedia, Day 6

I’m closing in on a week without the usual social media haunts of mine, and I have to say: it feels pretty damned good. I hit up the headlines on a handful of sites just a couple of times a day, and STAY AWAY from the comments.  Today I didn’t actually check the news until mid-afternoon, and that felt pretty fine, too. I’m quite happy to have avoided all the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the last few days especially.

What have I been doing instead? Writing! Mostly. I’ve also pulled a bunch of weeds, sorted out some things on my desk, cleaned out my inbox piece by piece, done some reading, worked (of course – something has to pay the bills until the writing does), and in general have been quite productive without the whirlpool of suck that is social media.

If you have it in you, and you want to get more done without the stress various social media outlets create (yes, they do) or just want to relax and do nothing, you could do worse than significantly scaling back the time spent on those. That isn’t to say there should be none in your life – after all, most people are not like me, content to live in their own heads most of the time – but I bet if you timed how long you’re on, you’d be astonished at the reality of the amount of time spent there versus what you think you spend there. I was. Real life is much more delicious with less of that particular seasoning.

 

Exploring Planet NoSocialMedia, Day 1

Some months ago, I told myself to pare back on the timesink known as facebook. I’d been doing really well, too, although I’d not gotten around to doing some of the things I planned to do, which was the reason I dropped facebook in the first place.  I don’t count this as a total fail, because I did get some rather deep introspectional type stuff done to clear up some things in my head that will help me forge ahead with these other things I want to do.

However, I wound up back on facebook as a place to vent after a few events (one of which was the horrifying massacre of 49 people and the wounding of scores of others at a gay nightclub in Orlando) and got sucked in again, resulting in more and more time there, wasted.

But! During the last few days of June, I made it known that I was going to live on Planet NoSocialMedia for the month of July, and perhaps even longer.  It’s slightly easier for me, as the only ones I actually participate on are twitter (not much), instagram (not much except pics from the ranch), and facebook, the ultimate alien-like, face-humping, time-wasting monster.

Today is (still, as I type this) July 1. I have not ventured off Planet NoSocialMedia today. I also have not written anything today. I think this will be all right, though, as I had to get some other things cleared out of the way after having a couple of days of forced rest thanks to some physical issues that cropped up.

Now, we head into Day 2. The goal: continue to work at things that need to be done at the ranch, but also meet a very basic step in the workout to rebuild those writing muscles. A mere 250 words, or about one page of a typeset book, is the target. We all learn to crawl before we can walk, and walk before we run, after all. I firmly believe that trying to start off with some huge goal, right off the bat, after years (ok, decades) of not pursing my art would be like the people who make resolutions to go to the gym, show up on January 2, vastly overwork themselves even though they are not used to working out, then find the next day they can barely move, so they wind up not going to the gym as they resolved to do, slipping back into old habits, only to do the same thing again the next year. I don’t want that, so that is not the way I’ll pursue it.

More to come, my dear readers who swing by every so often. Take care of yourselves.

Starting right

Happy new year, Dear Readers!

We start off our new year by…sowing spinach seeds before the rains come to engulf us. Yes, even before coffee. Often, beginning anything prior to coffee after just a handful of hours of sleep is not a great idea, but at least this process is not terribly complicated.

For the rest of the first new day in the new year, I’ll be doing treadmill walks at halftime in the various bowl games, finalizing my seed selection and ordering from different companies, working (of course), and – drum roll, please – writing.

Here’s to a fine, productive, and prosperous new year.

Project you: Dec 23, 2015

How is your Project You going, peeps? As usual, I’ll start with myself.

I told myself I would post on ye olde blogge every day. Thus far (because I tend to update late in the evening as I am up late in the evening and it’s quieter then) I have technically missed two days. Solution: keep an eye on the clock later in the evening if I haven’t posted to it, since the time I post probably isn’t going to change much on an overall basis unless I want to write up an experience or what amount to notes for myself (about the bees, for instance) soon after completing a task. I expect I’ll be posting more earlier when it’s time to start seeding flats, transplanting seedlings, and getting back to the farming (ok, gardening, but you know, it feels like old-school farming some days because pretty much nothing is automated).

That was one. Number two: the fiction writing. Not so hot on this front. I started an outline for what would be the first in a (particular mystery) series. I subsequently threw it away. I can’t say it was horrid, but even as an outline I couldn’t stand it, so I am not sure what’s going on there. The story itself is interesting – at least according to those who have read snippets of what I’ve written on the actual work – and the outline is basically just a series of scenes that will eventually comprise the book, not those terrible Roman numeral-type outlines that bind you like a straightjacket. It’s more like sitting down with someone and having them tell you a story, which appeals to me in a sort-of-outline thing. I’ll be working again to get something in place as a map, which can then be fleshed out into actual chapters into an actual book. I figure if I can get through this process once, it will be easier the next time around.

I read an interesting comment (actually heard it, but whatever) from a very famous and prolific writer who says he doesn’t write down the ideas that come to him. He lets them stew in his brain, and if the ideas hang around long enough, he supposes those must be pretty good ideas, so he then takes them out and examines them a little, maybe making some notes around them here and there until he gets to them. On the other side is another very famous, but not quite so prolific, author who says shes writes down everything, as otherwise she sometimes has issues on the current work because of the ideas pinging around in her brain. After thinking on it a bit, I’m leaning more toward the latter – not that this will keep the things from invading the space in my head (because my mind is stuffed full of all sorts of things), but because at least they will be there if I want to add anything to them that comes to me during the course of doing something else.

Number three: the treadmill sessions. This has morphed into a general exercise item between walking and lifting heavy things, which is fine, because the point is to get some kind of physical activity in per day. I’ve only missed a couple of days of nothing particularly physical thanks to medically-related things, and that’s fine, too. Not every day is perfect,  despite the little perfectionist voice in my head that I’d like to swat out of the air. Or at least out of my head.

And there you have it. I’m hoping you’ve implemented some kind of plan to get to where or what you want to be or do, and that you’ve taken steps – no matter how small – on the path to getting there. The old adage about a journey of a thousand miles starting with a single step is an old adage for a reason. It’s true.

Until next time, peeps! Be well. Do your thing, whatever that thing may be.

Putting the gardens to bed

Good evening, peeps and rancherinos! The day began wrapped in fog at the ranch today, and slowly burned away the last wisps of it toward noon, turning it into the sort of spectacular day that makes me glad to live here.

The quiet of the fog is different than the quiet of a normal day, but both are welcome – and one of the reasons we moved out here. It’s easy to lose yourself in the silence and allows the mind to wander even while pulling weeds and cutting down asparagus fronds to continue the process of putting the rows to bed as Mother Nature slowly embraces the change of seasons. That runs right up to and includes a scene for a novel unrelated to the one I am currently working on that now needs to be jotted down to have it for that future work.

A pileated woodpecker kept me company this morning, pounding away at the trunk of a tree with which he was obviously familiar, given the various holes in the trunk. I checked on the girls in the beeyard, and they were enjoying their sunshine, darting away in all directions on the hunt for nectar and pollen to collect and return to the hives.

Whatever you did today, folks, I hope you enjoyed it.

“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” – William Penn

Writing. Writing. Writing.

Just received the best critique from my instructor for the five pages I wrote in the last assignment for a class I’m in about novel writing.

“Wow! Awesome pages. Very little I would change. Great sense of POV, forwarding plot and characterization. Your dialogue simply shines here.

I can’t wait for more.”

There were two changes she made, simply to better identify who was performing a particular action outside the dialogue. Nothing else.

Sweet!

Fall

I had originally started this post on November 1, thinking the end of hurricane season for us would be a good jumping off point to begin posting once more, and specifically, to begin ruminating about fall. Then two things came to mind: first, that the next day was election day, and I needed to post network traffic warnings (because of all the sites we host that would be posting/following various things) and take care of some things before the next day, to make sure all the pieces were in place for appropriate monitoring. Second, that it’s hard to think “fall” when it’s still in the mid-80s and there are various medical appointments that are weighing on your mind.

So I stopped, saved it as a draft, and thought I would pick it up again post-election, and when I might be in a better frame of mind. But I didn’t, and tonight I deleted it since it seemed rather pointless to pick up a draft of five sentences when anyone who knows me knows that five sentences takes about a minute flat for me to recreate in a new post. I do ted to be verbose.

I’ve been a blog slacker of late, for reasons I don’t quite know, although I am by nature a quiet, private person, something that drives (or drove) certain people nuts. As it happens, I now firmly believe this is also something holding back my writing, because although I’ve have ideas bouncing around in my skull for 20 years, I’ve yet to put any of them to paper, so to speak, as this may have the result of showing something within myself and as a bonus, it may also well and truly suck and not live up to what are likely impossibly high standards I usually set, even though I know at the same time I am perfectly capable of crafting good writing. Quite the dilemma.

As usual, I digress. Fall is indeed upon us, such as it is here, and this month we’ve had several nights where we’ve dipped into freezing temperatures. Not many, naturally, as this is the south, and fall here means mid-70s in the day and 40s-50s in the evenings. The freezes are here and there, scattered like so many leaves giving up and spiraling to the ground. Tomorrow night, and again in the latter part of this week, we’re expecting more freezing overnight, which means it’s time to drag out the plastic and make covered wagons to protect the tomatoes, peppers, and other things that are a bit fragile from the weather in hopes that we can baby them through and get a harvest out.

There is more to come, and I’ll be backtracking a bit to pick up the pieces of my tales that I have missed by not taking a break from work.