Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Thematic Consistency?

Writing last night, I found myself going down a melancholic path with my character that was real, and reflected my own mood. Yet, thinking about it today, I'm not sure it's what I want my character to be - An unlikeable sod who is always worrying about how he's perceived or if he's "good enough".

I'm not going to change it now, though. I'm going to finish the story, then go back and edit as necessary. I'm just starting to become scared at the prospect of tackling that process. While I'm closer than I've ever been to "done" with this story that's been rattling around in my head for years, I'm starting to realize just how far away from done I am. The reality is better than the fantasy of thinking "it's easy, I can start anytime", as with reality I'm realizing that if I wait, it may never get done. But the reality is also sobering, and making me count the cost. Also good. Sometimes painful.

Press on,

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Tiny Steps

So, November - What happened back there, eh?  I didn't win NaNoWriMo, but I did win something else, if it can be considered a victory.

As I started to get burned out, I was looking for encouragement, and came across an article interviewing a published author/teacher whose whole routine is writing 250 words a day, minimum. He pointed out that even at the bare minimum, 250 words a day will yield 70,000 words over a years time. No small feat, though NaNoWriMo aims at 50,000 in a month.

I adopted his suggestion, and have been working diligently on my book and making good, if slow, progress. But progress to be sure.

So, to be clear, it's not "easy". It is doable. However, I've come to the place in the last week or two where I'm putting down just enough words to cover my goal, as I'm struggling to direct my story towards the next big event in a meaningful way. My concern is that I'm going to flush a lot of what I've been doing over the last couple weeks down the toilet in editing once I get past it, but that's fine, I suppose.

Still, since beginning this regime, I've had many (most) days go well over 250 words. Sometimes, it all just flows. But 250 allows me to be consistent without worrying that when I sit down to write, I'll have to be at the computer for hours. I can usually get my words down in about a half-hour, and if I'm rolling, can take more time as needed; But if I'm struggling, I can put it down guilt free, knowing I've pushed through more of the muck that just needs to be hammered out.

If you are considering setting a writing goal, but have yet to start for fear of failure, please allow me to suggest the "250 word a day" program. It's more than nothing, and if you scrap it all, you're at the same place as if you never did anything.

But you won't scrap it all.

Press on,

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hero Status

My friend, who is also working on NaNoWriMo, was telling me about his story, and talked about a character being chastised for preaching platitudes and "big gestures", when doing good needs to be in the everyday and small things. I liked that. A lot.

Because, when you are faithful to do good in the small things, you can be trusted to do good in those times when it is a "big deal". Not only can others trust you, but you can trust yourself, which is important - To not be paralyzed by doubt.

One of my characters revealed that he does not lie. Ever. That's been fun to write, because it demands I creatively craft conflict that is believable; that the character can get out of without lying, where lying would seem natural.

When I put it that way, it doesn't seem that cool. I guess I'm tired.


Press on.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Yesterday, a man opened fire in a church in Texas. He killed 26, including children and a pregnant mother. I heard about it from my wife, reading it on her phone while we watched Spiderman, digesting a nice meal of Chinese food, and 'huggling' with my son on the couch. (It's an old word he came up with when he first learned to talk. We still use it. I like it. The word and the huggling, which is really just sitting close and chilling.)

So yeah, I'm thankful. Thankful I wasn't a victim of violence. As Dr. Robert Maurer iterates in his lectures, we often default to complaining and anxiety, rather than thanking our Maker for another day of breath and mobility and opportunity. So, I'm thankful.

We say prayers with the kids every night, and before we do, I ask them what they're thankful for. I also contribute my thanks, as does my wife. Usually from the kids, it's that "I had a good day", which is good. Sometimes, it's more specific, but it doesn't always have to be. However who we're thankful to - That's specific. Our Creator God, Jesus Christ - Not only for the things we have, but for what we don't have. and above all, who we have. Those parishioners in Texas - We'll see what the fallout is in that church and community. If they were indeed believers, faithful and trusting in their Creator God's sovereignty, do not be surprised to hear words of praise, worship and maybe even forgiveness.

And don't be surprised if not all of them share that. We are a broken people, and sorrow can overwhelm. Faith can be shaken. Truth can be obfuscated by actions of evil. But truth does indeed remain. And in some ways, evil shows truth and beauty more clearly, as we often forget truth and beauty until it is betrayed,  mired as we are in our comfort and routine.

So, I want to remain thankful, especially in times of good for me and my family, so that I remember to be thankful when tragedy comes.

I'm thankful I was able to write tonight, and yesterday after the entry.


Press on.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Flies, the Time

...I mean, I've done stuff. I've been writing, just not here. Clearly.

But that's not the point.

It's NaNoWriMo, and I'm in it to win it. Because time is getting shorter. Because I don't know what else to do that will best use my time and talents to tell truth. Because when I look at my kids, I want them to have this story, at least so they can know more about me.

And because I've waited long enough. I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I was afraid to start. But November 1st, I revisited three chapters I'd begun two years ago, and said "now's the time". So it is.

So these won't be much, because I have to write story. Here's the count, because it's a game too:

As of this writing:


That's with a considerable head-start at the beginning, mind you.

Here's an excerpt:

“How long have we kept you, waiting until just the right time?  Until you showed us the way.  And even now, as I know what I must do, I fear.  But that is normal, isn’t it?  While I have faith in our mission, I fear the tumult that this means for us…and the whole universe.”
“Are you speaking to me, sir?” The voice came from the cylinder on the table in front of Elder Flynn.  A small circular speaker was mounted in the lower part of its chassis, under the open indentation, and what appeared to be a single “eye” was built on the upper portion.  It moved to look at Elder Flynn. The iris opened slightly as the eye focussed on the old patriarch, adjusting to the light. The robot had no visible limbs of any kind. The whole of its body was colored a faint metallic blue. The only other external feature were four teardrop shaped bumps evenly spaced around the circumference of the robot’s body below the speaker, just above the lower  inverted dome.
“No, my friend.  I was talking to your charge.”  On saying that, Elder Flynn dropped the small object into the indentation.  “It is now your responsibility to take The Link where it leads you.”
“I understand, sir,’ said the cylindrical robot.  “Gulp!”  The upper and lower halves clanged shut over the nested container, closing the object inside.  

Elder Flynn patted the curved dome above the robot’s eye.  “Good boy,” he said.
Press on...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stepping Stone

I just started art classes with Billy Martinez at Neko Press. Last night was my first. I've been wanting to try it for a while, and now I'm diving in. Hopefully, it will help me focus and aim my artistic expressions towards my goal of creating a comic. So far so good.

There were certain signs along the way that it is exactly where I was supposed to be last night as well. I will go into that more later when I have more time, but as a man of faith who seeks confirmation from God for my actions, I can say that I felt that confirmation in more ways than one. It may sound hokey, but I think everything happens for a reason, in it's proper time. More later.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Old Stories and New Inspiration

I submitted an entry in Glimmer Train's January Very Short Story contest. For $15 entrance fee, I uploaded a 3,000 word piece that I've had for a while.

So, the question is, will I take rejection like a man or will being rejected make me throw the idea of writing out the window, only to be picked up again when I venture outside? I don't know. I was praying the other day about whether or not my desire to write was something worth desiring, and realized that even if I was writing for a living, until I learn to become content, I'll never be happy anywhere, no matter what I'm doing.

I also asked that the desire be taken away if I'm not supposed to bother, or be reinforced if I'm supposed to pursue this dream. You see the length between posts? Time, time, time.

On the other hand, if I'm not rejected, if by some chance I win...will I take winning like a man, and look at it for what it is; Encouraging, but not self-defining. That is, one success does not mean I get to boast and get lazy and lose my mind. So too, neither does one failure.

Nothing for it but to wait. But not wait to write again.