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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Writing From The Set Of A Terrible Movie, Apparently

It’s been densely foggy for pretty much all of the past three days around here. I quite like it. It’s really pretty, and while it does trap in the acrid exhaust smell closer to the businesses, here in my apartment complex it is currently trapping the smell of someone nearby frying bacon. 

It thinned a tiny bit earlier today (you could see the end of a street block) and then it thickened up more than it had been all week, until going outside felt like stepping into a terrible old horror movie where you could tell the budget had run out, so they were desperately hiding unfinished sets with as much fog as they could pump out. If I go running in the dark and the thick fog and I get killed by a monster, it probably serves me right.

Speaking of things serving people right, a man in England moved into a studio apartment on the ground floor of a refurbished monastery and discovered a trap door in his pretty wood floor which led down into an ancient and ruined dungeon. So he went exploring with a friend.  Neither he nor his friend were eaten or possessed by the Things With Long Arms and Clacky-Clacky Teeth which had been chained up down there centuries ago, but like me running in the fog, it would have served him right. He’s still living there, so we’re in the early days of this horror movie. I assume he’ll come out of bed one morning to find the trapdoor propped open and small, odd, muddy footprints leading across the floor…

Still plugging away at the book, but about to take a break and go write a bunch of articles for BookRiot, because my vast queue of articles I stacked there seems to have been expended. Fortunately, I have a whole bunch more to write. When I first started writing for them, I was so excited to be doing it and so terrified I would run out of things to say and have to stop that I covered pages with notes, trying to come up with as many articles and ideas as possible. I didn’t use much of it, since I eventually settled into whatever the hell it is you call what I write there. Now, I don’t worry too much about running out of ideas, although I do occasionally worry that I’ll devolve into kvetching about things and render myself irrelevant. Not quite yet, though. Er. I hope.)

Anyway, the novel is ticking along nicely. I’m not that far into it, but I like what’s happening…and best of all, amidst all the flailing of the last few pages, I’ve really come to understand Jenny, my main character. I know what’s wrong, I know what’s good, and I know what makes her tick, jump, and relax. After the opening rush of the book settles down, I can get to exploring her and her situation, and I’m looking forward to that. There are still a lot of things I don’t know, but I trust they’ll be there when I need ’em. It’s really nice to be writing fiction again. I don’t feel entirely useful if I’m not. (Usefulness and relevancy; the two things I worry about most, apparently.)

I want to talk about Pacific Rim, but that’ll have to wait, because I want to go eat something rather more. 

 

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

An oddment sort of day

I woke up this morning anticipating a very busy and chaotic morning. I had agreed to watch the son of a friend of mine. The boy’s just turned three, is both wonderful and also something of a force of nature (particularly when combined with my own three year old). I figured the morning would pass in ruckus and noise and I’d chase after them. (There are worse ways to spend the morning).

Instead, I wound up not watching him. And then Nathan wound up going off to live for the morning and part of the afternoon at the pet store, while his mom worked. Suddenly, I find myself with an empty house, some tea, and all sorts of writing to do. Unexpected, but there are worse things.

Last night, I wrote a thousand-plus words of the novel. They started out difficult, but by the end, the story was flowing and the language had settled down and I was having a blast. Those are actually the best days, because they teach you that it gets better if you just keep plugging away at it (just like you can learn that a run which starts with pain and lack of breath will turn out to be fun, once you hit your rhythm). I stopped last night, mid-sentence, knowing exactly what was happening next. Today, I’m itching to get back to it. Before I do, though, I’ve got an article to write.

Well, if we’re honest, I have a dozen articles to write…but I’m trying to pace myself. Instead of writing piles of articles each day, I’m trying to space them out a little more sanely and devote a little more time to the fiction. The novel right now, but some short stories, soon enough. I adore my non-fiction writing, but don’t feel I’m doing something useful and relevant if I’m not writing fiction. (The fact that I’m not sure anyone reads short stories anymore, and that they don’t seem to stay published for very long, doesn’t help that ephemeral feeling much, but what can you do).

My reading fixation, of late, has been Sherlock Holmes. Not just reading, of course. I keep re-watching and pouring through both the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch BBC epiodes, and also the Robert Downey Jr. movie (I don’t have the second one, but want to re-watch it). I’m not sure what this fixation is for, or about, or where it’s going…but I don’t worry about it. I just assume that somewhere in the back of my head, gears are turning and something is working itself out. 

Right now, I’m reading A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, which is due to be a movie starring Ian McKellen soon. I’m looking forward to the film all the more because the book is excellent. 

Enough chatter, and back to the book. I have shadowy monsters with too-long legs, moving unnaturally fast down a darkened street, coming after a woman who is stuck in a window. I guess I should go make something happen.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Ages, Genders, And Also Ages

Every now and then, a particularly clever piece of spam slips through G-mail’s impressive filters and lands in my inbox. This one is excellent.

 

We are a  specialized agency in (Global) Customer  Service  Research.
We are starting a big research project in the United States. We need
to recruit `Detect!ve-Sh0pper’ individual to join and work as a surveyor.

There is no charge to join us and this project takes place every month.
You will get $3OO per each assignment. Payment check/money order
will be a certain amount that you will be required to cash at your bank,
reducing your salary and have the rest used for evaluation.

Contact us with your personal INF0 if you interested_.
_________________________________________

=:= N.a.m.e-:
=:= PhysicalAddress-:
=:= Phones-:
=:= Sttate,City,Zip-:
=:= Ages-:
=:= Genders-:
=:= Ages-:
=:=CurrentJob

Your response would be greatly appreciated, Thank you.

 

 I’m done with this writing crap. I AM a Detect!ve-Shopper Individual from this day forward! 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Writing, Exercising, and other Autumnal Bits

It’s properly fall here now. I’m fascinated by how Autumn happens in the Pacific Northwest area. In Minnesota, there was a brief and beautiful fall which gave way quickly to bleak, gray days which hung around until the snow fell and the ice formed and it became winter.

Out here, though, the trees change to amazing colors, the air turns a bit sharp and cool…and it stays like this for ages. Because we don’t get the brutal snows, there were some trees that hung onto their fiery leaves well into January last year. Right now, the sun is out on a chilly day and the light is golden and beautiful. You wouldn’t expect long, Ray-Bradbury-like Autumn days in the Seattle area, but there they are.

I am a few scenes into the novel. It came with a title, The Girl in the Cupboard, but I was surprised to realize a title from a different project also fit, and so now it’s got two titles. The printed title page sitting next to me on the desk says The Girl in the Cupboard, or, Fugue.  I’ll pick one eventually, but I’m enjoying it right now. “OR” titles always felt like a proper classic literature thing. Moby Dick, or The Whale. That kind of business. 

To write it, I’ve occasionally been visiting the small college that’s a mile or so away from me. To get there, I shortcut through a local park, along a thin trail that winds through thick forest. It’s gorgeous and the path is lined with blackberry bushes. I ruin my dinner occasionally, because I pick and eat them on the way there, then pick and eat more on the way back. My favorite thing, though, is walking the path when it rains. Occasionally, I get tired of being wet and duck under a little cavern under some trees and remain perfectly dry as the rain comes down so thick, it beats itself into mist against the ground and fallen logs.

The other wonderful thing about this time of year is how much run it is to go running. I run at night, since it’s easier than trying to work it into the rest of a hectic day. This time of year, I wear a light running sweater when I go out. It’s completely dark and chilly and it’s just me and a lot of traffic (I run along the busiest street I can find. It focuses me. I don’t entirely know why). 

Last night, I went running and discovered my right leg really hurt. Rather than doing something sensible and going home, I instead figured I could run it out and headed off. It got worse instead of better, until I was two miles away from home and couldn’t support my weight. After sitting for a while on a bus stop bench, I admitted defeat and hobbled home. Today, my right leg is stiff and has the deep aching pain of an elbow that has been over-extended. No exercise tonight, alas. Hoping to be back out and running in a day or so.

I’ve fallen completely in love with Susanna’s Pacemaker and have been building fascinating schedules for myself. I’m currently on a randomized one which I hope will get me to November 1st and in vicinity of 50,000 words. On the lower word-count days, I’ll be able to do articles for BookRiot and stuff like laundry and the dishes. On higher word count days, I’ll just focus on that. (and I’ve already decided that if the day calls for 300 words and I feel like producing 1,000, I will, dammit.)

In addition the novel, I’m working slowly on a short story. It’s got a lot of variations to it, so I keep starting and stopping the writing as I try to figure out which ideas go in and which don’t. It’s a lot of fun, though. Right now, it’s all by hand in a notebook.

Right. Fresh pot of tea is made. Time to get back at it. 

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2013 in Uncategorized