Readers and Painters and Spontaneous Blabber

I found a guy at work that doesn’t watch television but is an avid reader. He is not actually a southerner (not born and raised) so that might explain it. At least someone else here reads. Granted, I have not gone out much, but I am pretty sure most people I work with are not readers. This one is an avid one. I was starting to be afraid I lived in the land of gape mouthed droolers.

And then yesterday I discovered there is a guy at my work who is a painter. And not a bad one either.

It is nice to know that there are people out there here in the south that know more than big trucks, football and beer.

Speaking of beer, I haven’t had one since September. I have had two small glasses of wine in all that time and that is it. Cigarettes are not even something I think about anymore.

I am still reading all things Catholic. That is, when I even have time to read. The Spanish I had to back-burner for a few weeks and am hoping to get back into this weekend. I was really enjoying that.

Writing. Uff. Writing. I got to try to fit that in somewhere. If I am not inundated with housework and repairs then I am driving two hours on the week end to the parent’s place.

I am a very poor time manager. The painter guy at work works as much as I do, is a single father, and finds time for the painting and I bet other things as well.

Of course, the other day I was thinking about rewatching the BSG reboot for the third time. Perhaps if I got to the writing and put that important piece on the back burner, then I would have time for the writing!

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A Home, Finally (Or why I have been absent)

It is almost a year since the wife, dog, and I left Washington state and moved to North Carolina. In December we found the house we wanted to buy. Obviously the pic is above. We live in a small town, really small, but one that is close enough to a larger one to have some modern amenities. The house is almost 90 years old so we have projects to keep us busy for quite some time. It is in really good shape so it is fully functional.

The loan process was hell. But who cares? We own a home! I love the old plaster walls. The wall to wall wallpaper has to go and other such things left over from the Starsky and Hutch era.

There is still unpacking to do and stuff, but I hope to be back to writing soon (and even reading – woo hoo!).

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…..

Story Generator

Toying around with some story generator I found online. Hilarious. My favorite is the paragraph with the two burping uncles. Enjoy!

The Red Mallet
A Short Story
by Thoyd Loki
Gregory Blacksmith looked at the red mallet in his hands and felt furious.

He walked over to the window and reflected on his sandy surroundings. He had always loved wet sea side with its squashed, slimy sand. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel furious.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Carla Parker. Carla was a brave brute with tanned toes and muscular fingers.

Gregory gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was an Angry, sad, beer drinker with skinny toes and pale fingers. His friends saw him as a squashed, slimy saint. Once, he had even brought a cruel back from the brink of death.

But not even an Angry person who had once brought a cruel back from the brink of death, was prepared for what Carla had in store today.

The blizzard teased like humping pugs, making Gregory frumpy.

As Gregory stepped outside and Carla came closer, he could see the determined glint in her eye.

“I am here because I want death,” Carla bellowed, in a tenacious tone. She slammed her fist against Gregory’s chest, with the force of 3174 goat. “I frigging hate you, Gregory Blacksmith.”

Gregory looked back, even more frumpy and still fingering the red mallet. “Carla, I love you,” he replied.

They looked at each other with hysterical feelings, like two faithful, flabby falcon singing at a very pugnacious New Year’s, which had opera music playing in the background and two stern uncles burping to the beat.

Gregory regarded Carla’s tanned toes and muscular fingers. He held out his hand. “Let’s not fight,” he whispered, gently.

“Hmph,” pondered Carla.

“Please?” begged Gregory with puppy dog eyes.

Carla looked insane, her body blushing like a black, bumpy boat.

Then Carla came inside for a nice drink of beer.

THE END

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 Class.com 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.

Writing

I am pretty much done (for now) with the whole moving drama. Next year comes the house. I expect that to be just as much fun as these last four months have been. Yay!

But I sit here right now with my Word open and the clown story up and am rewriting/editing it. Mainly editing, it was pretty much set to go as far as structure. I am just making the words flow better, and making it more coherent. Some of the story simply didn’t make sense because I wrote it flash-style.

I also dug up my Nano project, The Five Deaths of Horace Gumble, and am giving that a look. That was also a piece of flash writing since I didn’t know I was doing Nano until Halloween night. I am not sure if I can use that piece (50,000 words) as a whole. Flash writing a short story is one thing, carrying it on that long? It was tough.

Since I last posted the original clown story (sorry, I still haven’t given it a name) in 2015 (I think) I’ll repost the original here if anyone cares to enjoy it. Also I’ll leave a chunk of Horace Gumble below it was well (a chunk of Horace Gumble… heh, that’s funny given how many times he get carved up in the story).

CLOWN STORY:

Sad Face stood in the middle of the small room surrounded by his peers. The pasty white of his face was smeared with red and his frown was twice turned down. Sad Face stroked a large orange tabby cat sitting upon his protruding diaphragm. His inquisitors made a circle around him at tables too low and chairs too small. It was a classroom, a colorful children’s classroom of rainbows, alphabets, and of bears, bees, flowers and trees; all cut out of construction paper and adorning the four walls.

Grimrole the Peeker, Curly the Cue, Continue reading “Writing”