Blogging Ahead

So, in order to get some blog posts queued up and ready to go on the days when I’ll be at the Fabulous Pikes Peak Writers’ Conference, I’m taking a quick peek at the A-to-Z Challenge schedule, and I find that if I include travel time, I’ll need posts V-Z while I’m there, and also one more post for the 1st of May.

April 26th also happens to be the StoryTime Blog hop, which means that letter V will have to be a short story in a sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction vein. It doesn’t necessarily have to be aimed at children, but it probably does have to avoid sex, violence, and language.

And I believe the theme for my alphabet challenge would be the letter M.

I don’t have the faintest idea what I was thinking.

Oh, well. Too late for buyer’s remorse, now.

The thing is, If I start early and stay ahead of it, I may be able to cram just about anything into my letter M theme.  If I slip behind, it’s going to take more and more time to find today’s appropriate letter. (As opposed to “hey, I can throw that over here.”)

The process might get me ahead of schedule for good.

If I didn’t Want You To Be Happy, I Would Have Married You.

So, today is one of my ex’s birthdays.

I haven’t seen him in years, but he was my first real, serious, this-could-end-in-actual-marriage-and-eventual-death boyfriend. Obviously, I was terrified.

He, on the other hand, was not terrified. He was full-speed ahead, I have a schedule to keep, and it is time to get married ready.

He’s the perfect person to think of once or twice a year… uhm… From another state.  He deserves to be happy, and that’s the way I picture him. Wife and kids. A dog, maybe two. Baseball games and camping.

Apart from the kids, the dogs, the baseball, and the camping, it’s not a bad life.

I had the chance to ask a while back. Ran into his father.

I didn’t ask.

I think I know. There’s just enough overlap in our social groups that now and then, I get a whiff of something through a friend, or a newsletter from a shared organization. The most recent update said North Dakota. And a career. It didn’t mention the wife or kids. And it probably would have, if they were there.

He was not cut out to be in a relationship with a creative.

He found my art-folders, once. You know, those big manila things with the plastic handles? No, not really polished enough to call a portfolio. I had two, and naturally, he had to see the one that was labeled “dirty.”

Charcoal dust everywhere.

I’m smiling, but I’m not going back.

And I’m wondering… If he saw me, now. Neck-deep in a day-job, still chasing dreams I’m not even I ever told him I had… revising the novel, collecting the rejections… You know… Would he perceive me as happy?

Dreams To Confuse and Bewilder

I’ve been the poster child for strange and bizarre dreams, lately. For some reason, and I’m still working out the exact logic behind this, I dreamt that I took not one, but two baths (really deep, use up all the hot water type baths) at my old pre-school teacher’s house. (Not the house she actually lived in. Something out of my imagination with no actual ties to real life.) And then, I found out the toilet wasn’t working. (Just a little too much momentum behind the flushes. Turbo charged toilets. That’s what you get for providing random children with STEM toys, thank you very much.) And I could not fix said toilet.

I was also hopping through a–sorta–cemetery, but a lot of the graves were cracked open. Talking. Mostly to people who were still topside in the dream, but who are dead in real life. I can’t remember the details anymore, but it was fairly peaceful. Probably not a whole lot like my relationship with them was in real life.

None of the concrete worked. It was a little like walking through a scrap yard… But with weeping angels. The kind that just stood there and did nothing. Not the kind that eat you.

I’m not sure if any of it meant anything. Probably not. But then, I don’t usually remember my dreams.

Possibly a bit of vitamin deficiency.

So, Uhm… My Novel is About…

I’m supposed to be drawing a get well card for a friend of mine who just had surgery. (Open heart, triple bypass. Haven’t seen him yet, ’cause no coughing on the heart patients, but I hear he looks much better.) It’s going to be a picture of a rat’s ass, because he’s usually saying things about people not giving a rat’s ass. So… well, come on! Someone has to give the man a rat’s ass. And they don’t actually make rat’s ass shaped balloons. I Googled.

I am also supposed to be writing a couple thousand words for NaNoWriMo. I’m a little behind. Not impossibly behind, but didn’t get my head start, well and truly distracted by current events, and not exactly sure where my story is going behind.

Someone I work with–a civilian, people–asked me if I was still writing. (Yeah. Writers quit all the time, don’t we? *smirks*) And if I was working on the same thing I was working on the last time he asked. (Probably four years ago?) And then, he asked me what this one was.

It’s a science fiction novel about a family who are quantum-ly entangled with the victims of Hiroshima.

Don’t you love the look on non-writers’ faces when you say things like that?

I didn’t even get to the part with Dostoyevsky.

Sixteen Days To Full-Scale Panic

Sixteen days til NaNoWriMo, and I still don’t have an idea. Not a plot point, not a character. Not a teeny-tiny play on words to amuse my Muse. (Who is more or less an eighth grade boy, at heart.) Well, fine. I’ll just start with an explosion and work my way up from there.

I haven’t gotten much done with the idea that fluttered through my head as a September/October project, either. Maybe a couple thousand words.

The rule, right now, seems to be that if it’s stressful, it’s going to happen. Head to head with supervisor? Check. (Not sure it makes it a whole lot better that I appear to be winning.) Car problems? Check. Family problems? Double check, and also… Thinking of joining a commune. Or a convent. Or a nudist colony. Something, anyway. Anything on an island. Or a space station. Or an oil rig. Something not here.

This is not a good year for anything but treading water. I’m still working on revising Lepterians. Still working on figuring out exactly what I have there, and how many of it. I’m filling out a plot thread or two, trying to get from Point A to Point B.

And Nano begins in 16 days.

I probably need Nano, this year. Some nice solid goals and a whole lot of peer pressure to keep me from feeling sorry for myself. And I do have peers. A whole team of them.

So, working down the checklist of things that I need to do to get my nano-brain in order. I’m getting pretty close.

 

IWSG: Am I Good Enough?

Go here for more information about the Insecure Writer’s Support Group or to Sign Up.

When I first started this round of query research, I had a dream in which an agent returned my query letter along with a do-it-yourself flaming bag of dog poop kit. Dear Author: Please ignite this on your porch. Well, I suppose we can all be grateful that, being city people, agents have very limited access to horse poop.

The first time I ever showed a novel to a beta reader… well, the first time someone actually told me what they were really thinking…. my inner pantser was hard at work. I’d been revising, but the truth is, I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how to revise, and what I had was the shiniest, most grammatically correct chunk of scrap metal that ever walked the earth.

Eventually, she gave the manuscript back, and admitted she couldn’t get through it. It was repetitive. Circular. Hard to follow. It was a disaster.

And she was right.

I won’t get into details, but the book didn’t start in the right place. It had way too many characters (most of them, corpses.). And somehow–I’m still not sure how I missed it–it had two protagonists, and they each had a partial plot line, and it was… well, sorta two incomplete books smashed together to make one complete disaster.

The picture I had in my head was so clear… and yet, what I’d written was unreadable.

After that, I’m always a little unsure if something–particularly something long–is good enough. Am I good enough? Is my writing good enough? Am I capable of holding a stranger’s attention through three or four hundred pages?

The whole “Am I Good Enough?” Question ties in with this month’s IWSG question. How do I tell if my project is ready? Well, I guess the answer is, I don’t. I run it through my revision process. Read through it a few times… and then send it out to other people to make that determination. I wouldn’t trust myself, but my friends are smart, and they have good taste. And if they like it, and if they’re able to make it all the way through… I fix the things they think need to be fixed, and ship it out.

Subscribe to Updates from Reprobate Typewriter By Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Me via WordPress”

Follow Reprobate Typewriter on WordPress.com

Follow Me on Twitter:


 

L is for Laughter

Click to Visit other A-to-Z Participants

Click to Visit other A-to-Z Participants

I thought about making this post about Lepterians–one of the two main cultures from my Science-Fiction-y thing–but then I thought better of it. After all, A-to-Z is about community building and creative exploration, and certainly not about siphoning off readers for my own petty gain. (oopsy!) So, I’m making this post about laughter.

And I’m going to try to keep it Safe for Work. That should be a challenge in itself. After all, my sense of humor usually ranges somewhere between eighth-grade boy and Caligula.

Today’s gift from the feed-fairy was a video from Four Femmes on the Thames.

Oh, wait… I said Safe for Work.

Well, then. Let’s just say that today’s gift from the feed fairy was this classic and wholesome recording of Louis Prima and Keely Smith:

It’s in black and white, so you know it’s extra wholesome. And plus or minus a few lines that wouldn’t make the cut today, I think it’s held up pretty well over the years.

But… I’m not sure it’s still funny for exactly the same reasons. Sometimes, changing perspectives ruin things, and sometimes it just changes them.

Since this is starting to look like a nice long ramble through all the singing comedy routines in my subconscious, I think I’d better shut up. I can chase a tangent like nobody’s business.

Hope everybody’s still enjoying the A-to-Z Challenge, and that we’re all hanging in there!