Archive for category Writing
So long, farewell,
Auf Weidersehen, goodbye!
Why in the name of the seven known worlds* would I begin a post with the lyrics to a song from The Sound of Music, you ask? Why, especially, would I pick lyrics so heavy with the threat of a looming separation? Am I quitting this whole blogging thing? Hanging it up? Throwing in the towel? Taking my football and going home, or packing up my stuff in to checkered cloth, tying it to a pole and throwing it over my back, mid-century hobo-style?
No, my friends, have no fear. I’m not sure I could do that, even if I wanted to.
I am, however, about to become a little less prolific around these here parts, if only temporarily.
Because, as I mentioned, the time has come to write another novel.
When I left work on Friday, I had hopes of spending my weekend in a sort of lazy, bachelor-style fugue. That kind of shiftless, laying-about that would, of course, include hours and hours on a couch with a movie marathon or a baseball spree, the consumption of a whole host of terrible, processed, microwaveable meals, and the accumulation of so much sloth that my story would become a cautionary tale to frighten children lacking the appropriate industry.
But then I remembered I’m an adult with children of my own and responsibilities. So instead of spending the weekend in holey sweats adding some buffer to my BMI, I did yard work, got my season’s first pinkish hue watching the Puddinpop at baseball practice, and spent a good deal of time thinking about my next writing task.
I suppose it turned out better this way. After all, you know, high BMI is apparently bad or whatever. Plus, I don’t really care for processed, nuked food. Kinda makes me think of soylent green.
Also, and more seriously, I’ve got a good chunk of work to do this year. It’s time to get to it.
Little did I know when I woke up this morning that today is National Haiku Day! I’ll be honest, I had planned to give you poor people a break, which I thought would be well-deserved after foisting yesterday’s ridiculously long post on you.
(Not to mention that I’m still mostly too giddy about the whole signing-with-Foreword Lit thing to write a post that would make any kind of rational sense. But that’s neither here nor there.)
Anyway, clearly, I couldn’t possibly allow National Haiku Day to slip past without, you know, a haiku. So, here you go:
No post planned today
But! National Haiku Day!
Like this haiku, please?
Hey, I didn’t say it’d be good, did I?
Fine, hotshot, think you can do better? Let’s hear it. Yeah, that’s right, time to bring out your haiku best. Let’s see what you’ve got. Tweet it, post it on facebook, or leave it in the comments. We want to read your National Haiku Day haiku.
And just for fun—because let’s face it, I’ve got nothing to give away as a prize but old, wired PC keyboards missing letters—on the off chance I get more than three entries, I’ll pick my favorites and post them tomorrow.
Sure, it’s not exactly the lottery, but your odds of winning are a helluva lot better, I’m guessing. So get ‘em in!
According to the internet (and really, if we can’t trust the interwebs, who can we trust!?), Chinese philospher Lao-tzu wrote, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one’s feet.” The common paraphrase for that, of course, is, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
A journey of my own, one I’d been simultaneously preparing for and putting off my entire life, started more than three years ago with the single, not-terribly-kind sentence, “I have come to the conclusion that I am not a very good writer.”
With that sentence, I set about proving to myself that either I could be a writer or, well, just couldn’t. One way or another, though, I was bound and determined to find out.
In the course of the year that followed, I did, much to my delight, in fact, demonstrate to myself that I could write regularly if I put my mind to it. Even more importantly, what I wrote entertained my wife—sometimes to the point of laughing through tears—and that meant everything to me. Better still, not only did I write blog posts for Puddintopia that served as much-needed exercise for my atrophied writing muscles, but I also ended up with a complete novel, too. Oh, sure, I always hoped I’d end up with a novel, at some point, but I had no idea if it might take me half a decade to get there.
Turns out it didn’t.
I know I’ve been kind of worthless when it comes to making any kind of sense or producing even a mildly entertaining narrative here this week. Really, though, I swear, that’s over now and I’m going to be good and clean and room and eat all my vegetables and any and all the other kid-who-wants-a-puppy-style promises.
This probably goes without saying, but the thing keeping me pre-occupied all week was Brenda Drake’s Pitch Madness novel pitching contest hosted by her and several of her blogging friends. The long and short of it is that it’s intended to get pitches in front of agents specifically interested in them. The point of course being that if they’re specifically interested, the odds of making a match jump up like the striker toward the bell on one of those “Test Your Strength” carnival games.
Not that I know what it looks like when that striker jumps up because, well, I’m not exactly Popeye, but that’s a story for another day.
But this isn’t one of those. I mean, it is. A post, that is. But interesting? Well, in the immortal (nearly immortal? somebody check into that for me) words of Bob Barker, “Survey says?! Oh, I’m so sorry, you’re answer is just not on the board.”
Well, that might be more of a paraphrase.
Anyway, unfortunately, I can’t give you the post you deserve today because I have other pressing tasks to accomplish with the word-making skills. I’ve got a brand spanking new query letter to polish until it gleams light the sun I saw shining earlier today (pictured above). And if that isn’t enough, before I get any sleep tonight I have to produce a (blessedly) short synopsis for my new novel, Longshots. Yes, the one currently being considered in The Contest. Which, not coincidentally, ends tomorrow.
It’s possible these two things are related. I’ll never tell. (Pssst…here’s my entry).
At any rate, the query letter isn’t too scary, although I’ll probably end up rewriting it 3 or 4 times between now and then end of the month. The synopsis, on the other hand, is nothing to be sneezed at. The dreaded Novel Synopsis has been known to even bring the most seasoned of A-list authors to their knees, all weepy and beaten.
Now, I see you there, looking all smug and thinking, “Oh, sure, a synopsis. Whatever, loser. I wrote, like, three of those back in grade school for Mrs. Droopynecklace. And I got at least a ‘C’ on all of them. We called them ‘book reports, remember, Whiny McWhinerson?”
Yeah, look: writing a novel synopsis is not exactly that same thing as slapping together that report on “Flowers for Algernon” in 4th grade. For one thing, your novel synopsis has to sell your story to someone thinking about representing or publishing it. And let me tell you, the report you wrote when you were 10 years old couldn’t convince Inuit Native Americans to buy space heaters. For another thing, a ‘C’? Really? Below average? Go look at the nearest book store or open up the Books heading on Amazon.com and start browsing. Last time I checked, there were roughly eleventy quatrillion galactic crap-tons of books available for purchase in the world. If you want yours to be one of those, you’re damn sure going to do better than writing a C-average synopsis.
In fact, if there was any way you could make your synopsis, like, readable crack or something, that’d probably be a good start.
So, as you can see, producing a quality synopsis is tricky. Like, giving birth an entire living room of fully-assembled IKEA furniture by putting it together via the birth canal without using your hands, tricky.
Which is why I need to get started on that, and stop rambling here about this.
Instead of an interesting post, though, I did think to take a picture of the first sunlight since spring theoretically arrived last week requiring me to don my sunglasses. Yes, that’s the same picture above. Isn’t it pretty? I hope the suns sticks around for a while this time.
Now, if I can just write a synopsis that pretty, everyone will be happy.
This is pretty unusual for a Monday, but I’ve got a bunch of things occupying my grey matter at the moment, meaning I’m limited on the creative juice needed to put into writing a Snazzy Blog Post ™. Admittedly, it doesn’t help that my brain normally operates about as well as that 1958 For-dge-olet jalopy your grandfather refused to give up on when you were a kid. Never-you-mind about the thick black smoke it belched out worse than Uncle Hal after two helpings of sauerkraut, and if those damn hoodlums in the neighborhood were too dumb to know the difference between a backfire and gunfire, well, that was their problem. He’d decided when that car had seen better days, thank-you-very-much, and everyone else just could keep their damned opinions to themselves.
Anyway, the point is that even when my thinker is firing on all cylinders, it’s not firing on all cylinders, if you know what I mean. And now it’s preoccupied to boot, which never helps.
I did briefly consider posting a haiku or a limerick today, but nothing interesting came to mind as far as topics go.
It’s suddenly come to my attention that I’ve somehow recently shared next to nothing about the current state of my author-ly pursuits. I mean, I did little but badger you poor readers about writing back in November (well, when I wasn’t trying to ignore everything blog-related competely) as I worked feverishly* on my NaNoWriMo novel. And ever since then, it’s been the Pope this, a hiaku that, or 100-words about some movie the other.
It’s almost as if I’ve been trying to make you think I finally gave up on the whole business.
Fear not! You’ll (hopefully) be glad to hear that nothing could be further from the truth. In point of fact, I’ve been quite busy lately.
My four year-old son, The Attitude, apparently just started a new stage in life. For the last few nights, he’s been slow to get to sleep and has been waking up tearfully in the middle of the night.
Kind of reminds me of my twenties, but let’s not go there.
In my son’s case, I’m afraid it’s worse than a few questionable late night decisions. The poor kid is seeing bugs all around him.
I mean, he’s not really seeing bugs, thank goodness. But unfortunately, there’s just no convincing him that his room is clean and bug free. Even when we turn the lights on and show him it’s just a trick of his eyes in the dark, his 4 year-old brain will not be assuaged.
There are bugs. In his room. At night. Flying around. He is certain.
When you write a blog, it’s easy to forget that yes, in fact, you’re often-too-long-ramblings can, and sometimes will, end up scattered to the four corners of the real world. Well, or at least the “real world” of the internets. Which, you know, is also where people form long-term relationship with “catfish”, and I’m led to understand that’s not to mean actual fish.
I suppose that’s a good thing. That they aren’t actual fish, that is. Although, still.
At any rate, the point is that this is a moderately public soap box, meaning that, at the very least, Google—oh, well, and I guess “other search engines” (as if that were thing anyone cared about)—will frequently catalog the words used and then direct people here when it feels my blog might have some info pertinent to their needs.