Friday, October 27, 2006

wacky phrase for the day

"kitchen tractor" = vacuum!!

still laughing. particularly as it was Dana Andrews who called it that. ahhhhh, I adore old movies.

"Why so gloomy?"
"I got a 48-hour liberty and four dollars. What am I supposed to do, get the hysterics?"

mmmmm, love when Dana gets all sarcastic. William Holden who?

Almost time to get to serious work

So, last night was my last night to brainstorm before Nano starts (due to trip starting tonight) and did I spend it diligently working out novel outline and setting and characters or did I watch Glenn Ford westerns? Heh. Well I watched "The Man from Colorado" and if it hadn't ended so unsatisfactorily, I might have left it there and gone on to writing. (The only thing good about "The Man from Colorado" was simply how good-looking William Holden was.) But it vexed me so I threw in 1943's "The Desperadoes" to see if it would be better. It was MUCH better. It pleased me greatly. Even Randolph Scott was cool. He was so full of energy and smiles and not just riding around all glum and stoic. Shocked me. I think Glenn Ford just brings out the best in his co-stars. Plus more Claire Trevor and Edgar Buchanan being all shifty again. And the love interest Evelyn Keyes was really cool. Why is it the women in the 40's seem to have much more spunk and intelligence in 40's westerns than they do in later westerns? She runs the livery stable, rides out alone to rescue people, jumps into fights, even knocks Glenn Ford out when Randolph Scott fails. Way cool. Not a great western, not as good as "Texas," but a fun and amusing one. And it made me forget the other movie, which was the whole purpose, so all ended well.

Monday, October 23, 2006

running short of time

A week and a couple days until I have to start writing in earnest, and I'll be gone for half that. But I feel ready... sort of. My brain has consciously NOT been plotting and planning. I have the characters, the basic structure, a lot of questions, and the rest is just going to have to come together on the fly as November progresses. I think I should be far more worried about this than I am. Like there's a murder in part one and I don't know which guy gets murdered or by whom, and, as it ties heavily into part two, I feel I oughta know who gets bumped off. I can make a case for all sorts of scenarios, and all of them work, but none of them feel right yet.

I'm sure the characters will delight in surprising me when I actually get there.

My goal this week is simply to read and read and read. Get words flowing easily in my head.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Music and Writing

I love Basil Poledouris's scores. However, I can't write to them. Not sure why that is, but it simply doesn't work. They're excellent around-the-house music, good reading music (though I don't usually listen to music while I read), good journal-writing or internet surfing music, but if I try to write fiction to them, I stay distracted and unfocused. Not entirely sure why that is, but it's rather interesting.

Practice for Nano

Why is it on the days you think you have no words in your head, that you sit down on a project you have no intention of working on, and the next thing you know it's past midnight and you've gotten 1500 words in on it?

More and more, I understand that the key to my nightly productivity is having the right score playing in the background. The wrong music will halt a project faster than a computer crash. The correct music slips me into the right frame of mind, almost without me knowing it, and off I go. Whether I meant to or not. Boy, the debt I owe these composers that I love so much. Sure, they score movies, but they also underscore my stories. Without them, I'd get nowhere.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh crap.

You think I'd have learned my lesson last year: never disparage a fictional character. Never doubt them when they tell you they can make something happen just because your brain is too limited to see the big picture. Because they'll just laugh at you (good-naturedly, in this case) as they deliver the goods.

The scifi western IS a novel.

Insufferable, smirking, stupid, shirtless character.

I guess I have my nano project.


That was a typo for 2006, but it feels appropriate so I'm leaving it.

I don't like any of my possible Nano projects!!!

What am I going to do?

10 days down, 21 to go. Somewhere in those 21 days, a project must be found. And where the heck are my muses when I need them? What good are they? Why is an annoying pestering C! character lounging around, grinning crookedly, and going "how about my sci fi western story?" while the muses remain absent? It's just not fair. And unless he's got a subplot or six up his sleeves, that idea is a short story, novella at best. You got that, buddy?? So it won't cut it.

And I still don't have a project.

Does it have to be a novel? Can it be two novellas? Five short stories? Anything totaling 50K new words?

Sigh. That's the character talking, not me. He wants his story. It's about love. Figures.


Had a great writing night - very few new words, but much negative word count. Sometime's it's more satisfying to edit and reduce than it is to get new words. I removed over 500 words from an older short story that was in the "to be edited" pile. They were all clutter, all excess. Not one of them gave anything to the story. My original goal was to cut 300, but I had done that halfway through. So I kept going, hacking and slashing and tightening, reclaiming every word possible. I would like to remove 700 more words, but that would require rethinking the story, not just editing what's there. I wasn't ready to do that. Not yet, anyway. But there's probably some distillation I can do after I let the new version sit a little bit.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Productive Sunday

2500+ words yesterday. It's been MONTHS since I've turned out that much in one day. Three different projects, two short stories and a third story/project. It felt very very good. Gave me one of those "you can do Nano yet again, really you can, yep."

Uh-huh. Need to start getting characters and world nailed down. Fast.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

short stories

As usual, you wait long enough, one of the muses will offer up new ideas. I have two, a brand new scifi/noir story, and an older flash horror story idea that suddenly seems to re-surfaced with a new image. I do love my noir, and I really like this story idea, at least so far.

I forgot how much I like flash. I love how you write and write to get the story started, then roll your eyes and chop it all out as unessential once you finally get to the point. I love the hacking and slashing in flash, the word counting, and the ways you find of chopping any excess to meet the 1000 word limit and still tell your story. I love succinct, and nothing says succinct like a flash story.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

NaNoWriMo approacheth

And the inevitable question -- what do I choose as this year's project? Do I do the one I had intended to start last year, and ended up dropping in favor of a hotter project on Otober 31st? It's the first book of the Mystic fantasy trilogy. I'm actually leaning towards not doing it again, and writing something new and unplotted. I have this young adult fantasy novel idea. It would be different for me, and therefore fresh and 180 degrees from last year's novel. Might be a good thing. I have exactly one page of notes on it. It's tentatively called "The Barristal Riders" but who knows if that will stay or not. I like the idea a lot, so that give it sway. Though I like the Mystic books too, they're just more involved than I think I want to go right now. I think I want something different. The problem is, I know I can write the Mystic book... I know the whole story, it's just a matter of getting it down on paper. It would be a safe option, a relatively easy option. I know only a paragraph's worth of plot on the YA book. I could get partway in and fizzle. Course, that's always a risk on any story.

Well, there's most of a month still to decide, though I'd like to do a chunk of plotting first before I begin.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I wrote tonight. Real words. I forgot how good it feels when the words just come. Got through a section of story that's been bugging me for about three months...