Monday, 31 December 2012

Here We Go, Here We Go, Here We Go!

Merry New Year, readers! I hope you’re all doing well and making healthy, attainable resolutions instead of just doing what I do every year and pledging to become a wildly popular billionaire dinosaur-riding secret agent/space pirate. No matter how hard you try at it, the technology is just never there yet, you know?

So, anyway, it’s 12:00:01 or something here in 2013, and I’m excited to get going on this novel and that’s cool and all, but starting a novel at midnight is kind of a NaNoWriMo thing, and the work that you do in that stretch is almost never to be trusted. Here’s what I’m going to do, though: I’m going to go to bed, and then, later—when we’ve all woken up and dealt with any imminent hangovers or life decisions that we’ll eventually decide not to tell anyone about—I’m going to go out and take a walk and find someplace to have some lunch and then I’ll open up a notebook and start working.

That doesn’t do you a whole lot of good, though, because you won’t be there to stare over my shoulder as I write (not that I would stand for that anyway). So, if you could all please come back later this evening, I’ll have worked up a post that you might find worthwhile reading…maybe something with some scans of my notes for the day and some expansion upon them or explanation of them, and also—very, very hopefully—there will also be a copy of the core idea that I’ll be building the whole novel on.

Sound good? I certainly hope so.

Take it easy and be safe tonight, folks!



Sunday, 30 December 2012

Concerning the Current State of the Writer’s Head-Space.

With slightly less than twenty-four hours to go before we can all sit down and start writing this novel that I’ve been going on about for the past three months, I thought I might give a little bit of consideration to where I am right now and where it might take my thoughts on Tuesday as I set out to decide what I’m actually going to write here…

So, guys, I’m going to be honest: I’m thinking about space a lot lately. This isn’t really news for anyone who knows me. I think about space pretty much all of the time. But I’m currently reading (and it looks very much to be my Last Book of the Year) a copy of Packing For Mars, Mary Roach’s excellent non-fiction work about the science and history of living in space, and something about it has really been getting under my skin. I’ve also been slowly collecting a small stack of similarly themed pieces at work for the past while, and it could all make for very interesting research material should I work my way towards the idea of doing some near future science fiction.

Beyond that, well, detective stories have always been sort of popular with me. I get a lot of joy out of constructing and executing those, though mine often tend to get tangled up in some other genre or grand over-complication. Might be that I’ll finally try to do one that adheres fully to the Chandlerian tradition.

Fantasy is probably right out—or at least swords and horses fantasy. I wrote one of those for National Novel Writing Month back in November (my first attempt at a fantasy novel, actually) and it warped my brain in some funny ways for the duration. I found myself spending huge amounts of page space describing trees and wagons. I wrote a song. A song. I hate when there are songs in fantasy novels! And yet, despite my predilections towards a grittier, more streamlined type of fantasy novel, something very traditional spilled out of me. It was strange, and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it.

That’s kind of what I mean by all of this, though. I keep treating this upcoming bit of experiment like it’s some sort of well-rehearsed demonstration, and I’ll just come out and hit all of my marks and read all of my lines, and then a novel will be born out of the aether and you’ll buy it and somehow that will make me a millionaire. But there’s no guarantee of that. Odds are good that I’ll be able to sit down at lunch on Tuesday and I’ll be able to just pull an idea for a whole novel out of my ass, but I can only say that because I’ve done it often enough in the past to trust that I’m capable of it on the fly. It’s not a certainty. There’s no telling whether or not I’ll come around on New Year’s Day and want to spend all of my time finishing a short story that I set aside two months ago, or playing video games, or walking the dog. I’ll chronicle it—because that’s what this site is for—but it could be several days before I come across an idea that really sings to me, and, even after, that the odds are pretty good that it could change forms a few times over the next week; swapping concepts and themes and genres.

I don’t know. I guess maybe I’ve got the jitters about this whole thing. I’m tremendously excited about it, definitely, but there’s also the apprehension there that lurks by the trail-head of every new undertaking. And maybe you don’t want to know about that. Maybe you want me to swagger into this all confident and just completely wow you with how easy I make it all look (though if you had ever seen me swagger you would reconsider that), but that’s not really what this is all about, is it?

I want you, Dear Readers, to know that this is kind of hard and scary for me. Not because I want you to pity me or comfort me, but because I want you to know about the process and what all of this is like for a writer. This is part of that. Fear and apprehension and neurotic twitching. Starting a new novel is, in a lot of ways, like starting any new job.

For all of that, though, I’m good to go. I’m ready for this. I’m ready to see where it goes. And because of that excitement…well, I guess I’ll see you all here tomorrow.



Sunday, 23 December 2012

The One Thing I Know For Sure…

I was off to a wedding this past week; my good friend Coley and her new husband Markus. Some of my favorite people in the world. And a while ago I promised Coley that—whatever this book we’re coming up on next month ends up being about—she’s got an appearance coming to her. It’s part of my wedding gift, and her presence is the one thing I know for sure that we’re going to see in the future.

So, congratulations again, guys. You’re the best.



Thursday, 6 December 2012

Supply Run

Hey, folks. Welcome back! With NaNoWriMo over and done with, I’m very much looking forward to taking the month to decompress and get myself back in the Hey, Internet! mindset. This month, we’ll have periodic ramp-up content and a video version of my statement of intent from a couple of months ago as I try to drum up a little bit more interest in the site.

Today, though, I’ve been out to the shops and I thought I’d share some of the supplies that I picked up for the coming months:

Supply Run

Look at that pile of writerly paraphernalia. Makes me feel good just looking at it. It’s all pretty straight forward stuff, especially if you remember some of what I wrote a couple of months ago in my Creative Process article—a couple of pen refills, a new thumb drive, note cards, a set of slim and nicely portable moleskins, and (and here we enter the realm of things that make me feel ninety years old when I buy them) a 2013 day-planner.

So, really, this is mostly stuff that I’ll be using during the development stage. I’ll run most of my notes in the moleskins, which I went with because I like the quality of the paper and the construction and I’m hard on a notebook so that counts for a lot. The cards I’ll use during plotting as I get ready to really start writing, and the day-planner is for, I don’t know, planning my day I guess? It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ll figure something out. The pen refills are hopefully self-evident, and the thumb drive is there to accommodate my obsessive need to back up files.

All pretty clean and tidy, and now I’m set on notecards for the next two or three years probably.


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Okay. That’s it for today, folks. I wanted to get something out and up to show that I’m still in this thing, so I apologize if this post seems a little anemic. If any of you have questions or comments, please feel free to throw them up here. Also, if you have anyone who you think might be interested in this project…please do not hesitate to share the link. It’s much appreciated.