NaNo 2019

I won’t call it a bust, but I started and I just didn’t feel like participating after the first day. I really don’t have the kind of time now to devote to getting 50,000 words done in 30 days. I also got the story off on the wrong foot, and I would rather just let it stew in the back of my mind that push ahead on what my muse is screaming is the wrong path. I went comedy when I should have gone surreal. The goofy names and antics were supposed to be misdirection to deadly serious themes, but I dove into the yucks and there is only so far you can go with that before the misdirection because the direction.

Also, the title sucked (I had changed it from IDIOT THROUGH TIME to NO TIME NOW). Also the pug didn’t talk. Well, that is no fun. I am letting the story mulch in me brain for a bit.

In the meantime, I have another percolating story called JEMMY that I have started to toy with…

NaNo! Day One!

Supposed to be day two, but I do not have the kind of time I used to have and I had a rough start even getting the first line out.

I am only at 447 words but I will quickly make it up throughout the week. I was really stuck for a start. Regardless of what anyone says, it can be very hard to get the first bit out and get the ball rolling. I almost despaired of it and, wasting time, I was looking through my digital music library and I found the missing piece that got me going. It is THE GYPSY PRINCESS by Emmerich Kalman. It is a piece of early twentieth century operetta. Almost absurdly gay in its merriment to modern music. And, even though I haven’t a clue what they are singing, light and frivolous sounding.

It was perfect for the goofy jaunt I wanted to send my characters on. A group of character, by the way, that I’ve been carrying with me for several years.

John Biscuit
Mopey Lederhosen
Clem Blule’
Ryebu Watanabe

And, yup, those pesky clowns will be in there as well. Perhaps not the same as the ones in Sad Face (like anyone has read it!) but they all know each other. You know they do.

I offer up the first part I managed to eek out today. No, people do not talk like these people. No, people do not, in general, act like these people. And that is my point, or my intention. I am not a realist, not in my writing, nor, even, in my life. Or, let’s say, I am a staunch realist, and, therefore, everything else is play.

Let’s Play!

It is tentatively called – IDIOTS THROUGH TIME – I believe I will be changing it. Then again, if I achieve a desired effect, perhaps I will not.

“Well,” said Clem, “it looks like a brilliant thing!”

“It does, doesn’t it?”

“Will it work?” asked Clem.

“It is hard to tell,” replied Flanammel, “all the tests have seemed to work. Luca here seems to have been unaffected by its use.” He pointed to a pug dog eyeing them from its bed a few feet away. The pug looked irritated and uncomfortable and yawned in exaggeration.

“Should we give it a whirl?”

“We shall!” exclaimed Flanammel excitedly.

At that there was a knock on the door.

“Who is it?” yelled Flanammel and Clem together.

A meek voice replied from behind the door, “It is I, Morley.”

Flanammel and Clem looked at each other. “Mopey.”

Morley, as his parents had christened him, was known by all as Mopey, Mopey Lederhosen of the somewhat notorious Lederhosen family of poets and self-employed philosophers. They were notorious not for their poetry, nor for their philosophies (although they all bore the mark of being highly uninspiring) but for their creative deaths. Nary died a Lederhosen from natural causes or disease, but more from pratfalls or bizarre sequences of happenings that left physicists scratching their heads. There was Lute Lederhosen who, in an ill-chosen adventure vacation, died in a game of mushroom roulette inside the Hoia Bacui forest. There was Diedrich Lederhosen, who preceded Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes, in the construction of the first hot air balloon. However he did not precede them in the first successful hot air balloon. The balloon actually balloon worked fine, but Diedrich failed to secure a bottom to the basket that could support his weight. While Diedrich was found in various places in a small Bavarian village, the whereabouts of his balloon are a mystery to this day.

Clem hurried across the room, opened the door and embraced Mopey in a hug and ushered him into the room. Mopey was a short man with small features, short stature and a small, shuffling gait. He had on a brown striped suit narrow rolled shoulders to match his brown hair parted in the middle and slumped down either side of his head. In his hands he held a quaint Homburg hat.

Flanammel called out, “Mopey! Lords! I would expect that we have already time travelled every time I see you! You could have walked off the stage of a Dickens novel!”

“Hello, guys.” Mopey said quietly. He walked over to the contraption in the center of the room. “Is this it? Is it done?”

“It is, and” paused Clem raising a finger significantly in the air, “Luca went through it just today and look.”
Mopey looked over at the pug laying in his bed.

NANO 2019!!!

Alright, last year I had to skip out due to my back problem. That seems to be doing fine now, so it is time to gear up for NaNo 2019.

And, as usual, I have such a full plate that I am only now starting to think of it. Hell, I haven’t even read what I wrote for 2017 yet. And RCIA and house duties take a good portion of my time. But I am going in with both feet. I think this year I am going pulp. Although I never did use my Alt-Star Wars idea. Not really separate I guess.

Friday starts the writing. I will post throughout as progress is made (I am not sure if a really have that many readers anymore, but I will act as if I do). In December I am going to pull up The Five Deaths of Horace Gumble and see what can be done with it. I think there are actually more than one story in that thing.

Now onto some planning…

I’m Back!

Hopefully for good this time. I’m on a four day a week, ten hour a day work schedule, so I should have time to do extracurricular activities like writing (I wish it weren’t a luxury but facts be facts, ma’am) and posting here. It won’t be a lot. Even today I didn’t get done with house stuff until about half an hour ago.

I even batted out a few chords the other day to the tune of AN ALTOGETHER UNSERIOUS BREAKFAST. Only a fragment and I keep those all in a giant mega-file like a guitarist would keep riffs. Keep rolling those fragments and things slowly come together after awhile. I would have wrote more of it at the time, but I was already three hours late for bed and I don’t have a slacker job. Here is the fragment (I have no fear this will be stolen!).

What a strange, strange world I live in. Not your world, no. Your world is as normal as normal gets. Which is to say it is completely Continue reading “I’m Back!”

Spoon Fed Entertainment and the Imagination

I mentioned in my last post that there have been improvements since the early 60’s. One of them was race relations (no, CNN, it is not worse, and it is even better under Trump than Obama) and the other way technology. However, I added that many of us are locked in this technology unable to communicate with our fellow man, and unable to use our imaginations.

I wonder if this has been studied with any seriousness? I assume I am not wrong in this. I am noticing more and more the lack of public examples of reading. I counter that with the caveat that I live in the sticks in eastern North Carolina. Reading requires that you take parts and create in your own mind images and meaning that are conveyed through words by the writer to your mind.

A lot of people simply watch stupid things on YouTube. There is a scene in Mike Judge’s excellent Idiocracy where Luke Wilson’s character, waking up 500 years in the future, awakes in another man’s apartment. This man is a drooling dolt as is everyone in the future and he is sitting in his chair

watching a show about a guy getting his balls repeatedly wracked in various ways. With eyes half open he stares vacantly at the screen laughing moronically every time the guy on the television experiences testicular damage.

Likewise on the big screen now people are spoon fed giant spectacles of thinly cut characters in base stories of good guy versus bad guy. The stories are on comic books on the big screen. These kinds of spectacles started with Star Wars. And I am a big fan of the original films (also a great enemy of the Disney sacrileges!)

Although I find the comic movies to be too stupid to be enjoyed by those over five, there is nothing wrong with enjoying such a spectacle in principle. One wishes they were deeper than a kid’s wading pool…

But something happens to the imagination when it is simply Continue reading “Spoon Fed Entertainment and the Imagination”

NANO Day Three

This one is not going as smoothly as last year’s. At day three I stand at 209 words! Last year on day three I had 5,498 words! Of course I worked 48 and a half hours this week compared to last year’s whopping 23 hours. That makes a difference. Also, I blew my back out.

The real difference isn’t so much those as I am finding I actually have less prepped this year than I thought. Last year I had a character with a name and a story with a name, a title that actually told a lot of what the action would be. Namely that a man named Horace Gumble was going to die five times.

This year, since I was doing a sort of homage to Star Wars, I thought my job was easy. I thought wrong. While I love my original trilogy, writing such a tale, it turns out, is not really my cup of tea. I don’t think that way. Star Wars is quite a logical, tight construction. I see upside down and sideways.

I do have a name for the story. Race to Eternity which is something I first put notes down for in 2009. I thought – what the hell? let’s go for it!

Ah, and in writing this I found what that note about the ship that is the true vehicle and Rincon 6 have in relation to each other.

NaNo is Almost Here!

And I will be participating again. I am trying to have something concrete fleshed out instead of making all of it up on the fly like I did last year. That was tough. I still can’t believe I managed a semblance of a theme and resolution that way.

This year instead of a weird tale I am going to do light-ish space opera. I would have pursued this last year had I seen the disaster that was The Last Jedi, but it had not been released yet. John C. Wright and some other science fiction authors are writing alternate (or fan fic) Star Wars stories. They are stories inspired by Star Wars but not taking place in that universe (as far as I understand them).

I welcome this. It was Star Wars that originally sparked my imagination and an interest in science fiction. Such things usually wither and die or are never born in the small town in middle Michigan I was born in. Although I did have a strong interest in horror from a young age, so I would not have been completely lost without Star Wars.

Disney, the sacred lust whore of Satan himself (or herself, it is 2018 and after all) has effectively killed Star Wars so that only the originals are left to us and we turn away and forget the puke fest that is the modern take of what was originally a 30’s and 40’s style serial. At the least I can now accept those that include the prequels into the canon inept as they may be.

I haven’t read a lot of current science fiction but I think I am pretty safe to assume that those college bred, writer’s workshop grads are churning out piles of PC tepid garbage not worth reading.

So, where to go for tales of adventure? Well, I shall write one myself. I’m having a tough time of it so far and not much time left before November 1st. The title to the last one and the start of it were spontaneous and a little awesome. I have some notes but nothing is striking me with that SHAZAM! yet. Also, unlike last year, I work 5 to 6 days a week instead of two or three. That puts a little pressure on the 50,000 word goal. Oh, and looking for a house to buy. And lunches to make,,, and, and, and…..

Scattered Life

I have a particular problem that is getting worse and worse as I get older. I am one of those people (and I am sure everyone knows one) that starts many, many things – and finishes close to none of them. This problem is getting so bad for me that I have some six books that I am simultaneously reading and getting nowhere with. I have stories that are sitting around with anywhere from six sentences to sixty pages – all of them sitting around (with very few exceptions) in first draft form.

I just went on my Catechism site and see that the last quiz I took (for Institution of the Holy Eucharist) was from April of 2017, and I started the course in 2013!!!

My reading of the Bible will take probably until the year 2099.

I have no problem getting the daily stuff done, the chores. I never miss vacuuming, balancing the checkbook, etc, etc. But then – what happens? Now, even blog posts are something I can’t seem to get to.

And now my complete lack of discipline and time management has to compete with a 40 hour work week. Gone, oh gone, are the 23 or 25 hour work weeks (including the 16 hour work weeks, I will miss those most of all).

I can barely seem to muster up the discipline to write to my sponsored child!

I think what I will do is I will complete each and every one of these objectives. And perhaps I should write a to-do list everyday. I have had a free schedule today, for instance since 12 pm, it is now 3:30pm. I’ve been on the old internet.

I think I will make a goal first and foremost, since it seems to be the most delayed, to finish the catechism classes. Funny, I think there is a little procrastination in this. The classes are heavy in reading Aquinas’ arguments, and they can be quite tedious. I am pretty sure I have done enough outside reading in those five years since I started the course that I could just blaze through all the quizzes now.

Not Sure About Posting

I have so radically changed my life in the last several months, that I am having a hard time seeing a link, or a continuity, to this blog.

Another thing is is that I am without an office as well.

I now arise at 4:30am and work five shifts a week for a little over forty hours. It is my first excursion from the service industry since my stint at Menard’s (that lasted two weeks) in Green Bay in 1996. All my other work experience is restaurant/bar. Factory assembly is way off the beaten path. The work is different, the hours are way different, the people are different. I say the people are different. But, actually, I served a lot of factory people in my stint as a bartender. But they are different in another way as well. They are southern. Three thousand miles makes a difference.

I usually come home pretty tired.

On the other hand, I have not consumed nicotine in over five months in any form. And my drinking is down to one to two drinks per week – and sometimes several weeks with no drink at all.

The typewriter thing is over. The Smith-Corona was delivered with a broken power switch. And when I got that fixed, I found that the platen was so rock hard that the keystrokes were scoring the paper so badly it was turning it almost into confetti. The other typewriter is in many pieces still awaiting my repairs. I am not enthusiastic about writing on a manual typewriter unless it was an Olivetti.

However, I have decided to let my little fixation go. The typewriter is simply gone, and lament it as I might, it is going to stay gone as a viable writing instrument. If they were going to start producing and supporting IBM Selectric, I would change my story and quick. But that is probably not going to happen.

So I have been writing. I did a final copy of my clown story. And I am working on a story that has been bugging me for some time and will not go away. It came from one line that I wrote – for no reason that I know of – and it would not let me go. So I rewrote the line as the start of the story and went from there.

The single line was, “Jemmy was Falcon.” Whatever the hell that meant. I went ahead and steamrolled through it and now it has a definite meaning. It is five young adults on the shore in a – sort of – post apocalyptic world. There is a hotel of sorts that is sort of like the one from the John Wick movies. Except the use of it demands some of your soul. Jemmy will give his for its use. I know nothing more than that.

Mr. Wright said to somebody recently about writing, something to the effect that a writer is always writing his first book, because it is always the first time writing that book and each book is its own process. This was in relation, if memory serves, to a question of plotting vs. pantsing.

He left out the part of the James Pattersons who carbon-copy out their books and each one is exactly like the others.

Anyway. Writing is actually going faster and more productive than it did for me in Washington (or Wisconsin or Arizona) and I think that is because I have far fewer things in my way. Like drugs or alcohol, or cigarettes, or my own ego. And, far, far fewer friends. That last I would like to remedy at some point.

New Acquisition

A beauty, no? I got it on ebay for $1.04. This isn’t the actual photo, but a stock image from the net. The ebay photos don’t seem to be jpegs and I haven’t received the item yet. My mother had one of these in the 70’s and I remember they were quite good machines. Maybe not an IBM Selectric level of awesome, but still very good machines.

Last year I had bought a manual Royal Epoch manual typewriter. It seemed to be put out to prove the epoch of the typewriter was dead and you should give up on it. It was pretty crappy, clunk and you needed powerful fingers indeed to get out coherent sentences.

Last Thursday I got off work and went to Staples and purchased one of the last still manufactured electric typewriters, the Royal Scriptor Electric Typewriter. This thing was a hot mess from the start. First the margins couldn’t be set to where the paper was to be inserted, but insisted on starting and inch off paper even though the instructions clearly marked where to insert the paper. Then (and get this) no key hit produced that mark on the paper. You hit ‘Y’ and you would get & or p or ? or anything – M was e or 5 or whatever. Completely scatological. Called Royal and guys says “Yep, defective, return it to store.” Which I did for a refund.

So I await my SC Electra.

I found a Remington Quiet-Riter in good working order at an antique store today, but I am holding out for this baby.

Olivetti was the Lamborghini of typewriters until the retardation of man through computers. I know, I know, I say this from behind a computer screen, and if I didn’t have it you would never read me saying this. I don’t care, I say it anyway.

Regardless, that is a beautiful machine right there. I hope to slowly amass a small fleet of them keeping at least a couple functional for writing until I can’t get away with it anymore. I write a little with a computer, but it simply isn’t the same. I’ve tried for years but I can’t get around it.

I am too Catholic, I require the body as well as the mind. The book, the idea, the spirit is already in my mind. Typing to a computer keyboard is really the experience of it going from spirit to some other spirit. It is like a wish unfulfilled. The thought not made flesh. Yes, you could hit the print button after a session, but it is already too late. None of it is really physical until the printer barfs it out. I seek an immediacy, a physicality like ink from a fountain to a page.