Slow Writing Days

Some days, the writing flows like water and I feel like I’m at the top of my game. Then there are those other days when every sentence struggles to come out and finishing the current chapter is like accomplishing one of the Labors of Hercules.

Hemingway was right when he said that “all first drafts are shit” and though I love where Lights and Shadows is going, I must admit that it was a lot more fun when I was first developing the plot than writing the actual story…hehe. How does Hemingway’s quote fit into this? Simple, because while I love the story as a concept, it feels a little like it’s dragging and it has been provoking various synonyms for fecal matter to spontaneously expel themselves from my mouth.

I jest, of course.

The truth is that every story has its own challenges and we must adjust to each while putting our best effort forward. Ironically, I’ve found that each slow period is often followed by a burst of prose that would make Mr. H proud.

Now, where’s that Scotch…

Evolution of a Novel

I was working hard on Lights and Shadows last night when a deliberate burst of distractive energy caused me to think about Parallax. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence due to the fact that The Trilogy and Lights and Shadows inhabit the same story universe.

What pulled me over to Parallax wasn’t the final draft, but instead one of the earliest drafts that I wrote many years ago. Same characters, different situations, and in one draft the city of Walla Walla, Washington was obliterated during the AI Rebellion. For obvious reasons, I had to remove that entire sequence from later drafts. Why? Because if I destroyed everything in print that I thought had a silly name, I’d run out of settings. 😉

Anyway, going back to that early Parallax draft reminded me of something that has weighed heavily on my mind in recent years. Why was I publishing? Money? Fame? The short list at Spago’s? Okay, the last part was a bit much, but hey it could happen. 😉

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am probably more in love with writing and publishing my books than actually making money with them. I never claimed to be a salesman; I’m just a guy who makes things up on a blank page and presents them to the world at large.

Somebody grab me a checklist so I can check off how many publishing no-nos I am breaking here…hehe. Apologies for allowing time to pass between articles, but you know how it is. Know that I love you. 🙂

Winter has Finally Arrived

Well, it’s finally happened. The big snow dump I’ve been waiting for here in SE Pennsylvania and boy did Mother Nature ever take a dump on us. I don’t know the final tally, but we took enough inches to keep us satisfied until Summer.

I like snow. As long as I don’t have to do the following:

– Shoveling it
– Driving in it
– Walking in it
– Working in it
– Staying too long in it

Yep, I’m not a fan of anything snow-related outside of watching it fall and leave. Let’s face it, I’m not exactly a kid anymore and my days of sledding and tobogganing are way behind me.

I did notice something interesting when I was out in it a little bit ago. It was quiet. I’m not sure if the snow deadened the acoustics outside or merely kept the usual suspects indoors, but the silence had an unearthly quality about it. No echoes, no sounds reverberating off nearby structures. Nada.

I have no regrets about seeing such a snowfall. We’ve been lucky to have mild winters the past few years so we were due. Life goes on.

Thanks for your time. 🙂

Stop! Have You Quoted Your Source?

Quoting sources should be second nature.

The Long and Short Stories of Life

StopWe’ve all failed to cite a source at one time or another whether intentional or not and not always with our text. Bloggers are voracious readers and at some point we’ve discovered an article or book and right away wanted to share a golden nugget from it with our own audience.

While it was never our intention to steal the article or the book, we may have taken a couple of important subheads and expounded upon them in our own terms and used our own experiences to enhance those points.

I hardly thought of it as plagiarism, but according to plagarism.org. if we do this, we are guilty of plagiarizing. Authors have gone to great lengths to protect their literary works and copyright protection gives them exclusive rights over their works.

You are infringing upon those rights if you do any of the following:

  • copy words or ideas from someone else…

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Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself

I wouldn’t categorize myself as having a Type A Personality. I don’t believe in working too hard or too long and I certainly don’t define myself on what I do. I simply do what I do and hope for the best.

Yes, I’m driven to accomplish my personal and professional goals. I mean, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done, right?

I’ve been told on numerous occasions by numerous people that I am too hard on myself. Too hard on myself? When did being driven to succeed become being too hard on yourself?

My Writing Career (such as it currently is) is a product of starting from the ground up and building something that I grow increasingly proud of as I put out each book and I have no illusions about each misstep that I take. Not everyone will like what I write and since I am still a relative unknown (I think), I can either spin one hell of a load of hype or I can choose to continue creating until the world at large has no choice to notice me.

One thing I can say about the audience I’ve managed to put together up to this point is that they are certainly a loyal bunch and I wouldn’t trade them for all the accolades in the world. I often work in a vacuum and knowing that they are out there enjoying my work keeps me going during those times when my self-doubt threatens to overpower my enthusiasm for the content.

The problem with being told “Don’t be too hard on Yourself” is that it presupposes that I am somehow harming myself through my own actions. That is simply not true. I have to push myself a little harder than most, I guess, but I do take breaks from the juggling act from time to time when it all gets to be too much and I’ve managed to spread myself too thin.

I freely admit that my social life has suffered since I decided to shift my writing to the forefront. I simply don’t have the time to go out fraternizing when I know I have stories that need finishing. Such is the life of a creative person as I see it. I also know that if I spend too long in an idle state, I will choose to remain in that idle state and that’s no good for anyone. Besides, it’s never a bad thing to get lost in a good book. Especially when YOU are the one writing it.

I suppose that the intent of this saying is to take time to remember to enjoy Life. The thing is that I enjoy what I do. I suppose that I could chalk it up to my somewhat introverted tendencies when I’m not out in public. Perhaps not. I’m a very social person most of the time. I simply picked an avocation that takes me away from large groups of people. Plus, I’m a non-conformist who likes to do his own thing in his own way.

Thanks for your time and I am planning a new Lights and Shadows Update as soon as I get enough material written to post a decent excerpt. 🙂