Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Today I wrote 763 words.
That's 500 words or more on every single day in February.
So, for some word count fun.
In February, I wrote 20,307 words.
In my current project, Sunny & Gray, I have written 24,671 words. That is 7 chapters, 5 of which I wrote this month. Which, if my math is correct, is 98 pages into my first novel (that's at 250 words a page, which I have heard is how it is figured in the biz). My character is still in 7th grade at the point of the story I'm in, and he's supposed to be in his forties when the book ends, so I get the feeling that it'll be a long book just to get me there. Probably a boring one too, but that's the way of it, right?
I also wrote a story called "Door Approach" that runs 3,114 words. That one probably isn't very good either, but isn't that what writers always think about their stuff? If I keep this up, I'm actually going to be able to call myself a writer.
And I finished up a story that I started several years ago, a weird idea I had where I took the audiodrama called "From Another World" that Rish Outfield wrote, and converted it to prose. I put 1,386 words in on that this month.
So, with some creative accounting, I wrote two stories and five chapters in my novel this month. I'd say that was a successful experiment.
And, as I said yesterday, I'm going to double my word count requirement in March. We'll see how awesome that can get.
And man, don't I look fat in that picture (and every picture of me for that matter)? That might have to be a goal soon as well.
I got together with Rish to record an episode of the show and just hang out. One of our new traditions, so new that this is only the second time that we've done it, is to sit down at the Wendy's and write together. Well, not together together. It's not a collaboration. Just a way to make sure that we both write.
So, we set a timer for thirty minutes, and just have to sit and write instead of talking. We did it last week, and I felt it was a big success. So, we did it again today...er yesterday. Once again, it was a success.
In half an hour, I got 580 words in. My late-breaking goal of getting 20,000 words in the month is all but guaranteed. I'm at 19,544. So, less than 500 words to go. As long as I do some writing today, I win! So, that's cool.
And today's the last day. I did it. And it has changed my outlook on life. I can't remember ever being more excited about writing. I'm going to make it. With these daily writing goals I'm going to conquer my biggest problem, which is doing the writing. I guess I can deal with other issues that come up after that problem is completely beaten.
So, starting tomorrow, I up my goal to 1,000 words a day. For the whole month of March. Gotta kick it up a notch.
After that, I'll start trying to conquer other goals, like publishing a book, getting together an author website, getting a Patreon up, getting a publishing business license or whatever the hell I need for that. You know, all the other things that need to be done.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Even after 500 words, I still didn't feel like it. I checked my word count after at least a half hour, and found that I was only at 507. I could have quit there, because that had beaten the requirement. But yesterday, I said I wanted to make it to 20,000 words on the month, and that meant I had to do at least 666 words.
I plugged away, and something weird happened. My mind added a twist in the story on me, and suddenly I was interested in writing it. Not long after that, I checked and found that I had made it to 943 words. Well above and beyond the number of the beast. I probably could have kept going for a while longer too, but it was getting late, and I was tired before even starting into the writing today. So, I called it a night. I only need 1,036 words to make it to 20,000 on the month now. That's barely more than 500 per day. So, I'm pretty sure I'll easily nail that girl...I mean goal. Sorry for the Freudian slip.
This song is called "Four Dreams". It's really freaking good. I can't help but want to dance around crazily when it plays.
This one is called "Tulip". It's got a kind of fantasy novel feel to it.
Let's see, how about this one from her first album called "Seed of Wonder". This is probably my favorite song she's ever made, it's really powerful and driving in a way that I once thought only heavy metal songs could be when I was a younger, less-experienced man.
So, there's a nice sampling of her stuff. Check her out. There's a channel on YouTube that has all of her songs for you to test drive. If you like Peter Gabriel music, then you will probably enjoy her. Their stuff seems pretty similar in style. She even toured the world as his backup singer one time.
So, now she's got a new album out called Memories Are Now, and I'd like to pimp it for her some, because she's one of those artists that you probably never heard of. As such, each album sale she makes is a big deal. She makes a living off her art, like I'd like to do some day, so I feel in a way like we are kindred spirits--indy artists struggling along in a cruel, cold world.
She's from California (like me), but lives in Manchester these days (unlike me). So, she doesn't get out to the states to play shows as much as she probably used to do. I looked at her US tour that she's doing with her new album, and it doesn't come anywhere near me. I did see her back in 2013 though.
It was an amazing show, because it was just in some guy's backyard. Apparently, this rich guy brings in lesser known artists all the time and puts on concerts in his backyard, and by chance I found out about it before it actually happened for once.
Since it was such a small scale show, everyone who wanted to got to meet her on their way out. I bought a CD and had her sign it, and got a picture with her.
Despite being such a long time ago, Jesca debuted a few songs from her upcoming album at the concert. Eventually, she was going to get around to releasing them to the public to buy, and now is that time. My favorite song from the new album was one of the songs she played for us in 2013. I recorded some of it. I missed the start, but here's what I got:
The version on the album is even better...I mean you get to hear the whole song and everything, so that's a plus right?
All right. I guess I've said my piece. Check her out. Buy her stuff if you like it. She's given me so much joy over the past few years listening to her music that I feel obligated to give her a plug. Do with it what you will. Thanks.
I managed to hit my word count all the same. In fact, I made it all the way to 716 before deciding to call it a night.
I'm at 18,021 words for the month. I'd really like to get to 20,000 before the month ends, but there's only three days left, meaning that I've got to get at least 666 words every day from here on out. That number would make Rish Outfield happy, but only if I landed right on it and didn't go any further.
I think I'll probably make it. Considering that today was a bad day, and yet I beat that total by some fifty words or so. If the next few days are better, then I should hit that easily, right?
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Somebody stole my camera off my tripod this afternoon.
My wife and sixteen-year-old son have already victim-blamed me for it. Apparently it's my fault for leaving it out there unsupervised. And sure, there are shitty people out there, so it was always a possibility, but I didn't steal it, and I sure as hell didn't force the fucker who did steal it to do that. So, I refuse to take the blame for their shitty deed.
There's a ton of teenagers in our neighborhood, and I'm all but certain one of them is the one using my camera now. Probably attached it to their fucking skateboard or some shit like that. When I said earlier that the time lapses were over barring some sort of miracle, the miracle I'm hoping for is a parent who knows their kid well enough to find it strange that they are suddenly in possession of a (knock-off) Go Pro camera, and forces them to return it. I know that's the longest of long shots, but it'd be nice. I've always tried to do good to others, so I feel that Karma ought to return the favor. But of course, Karma isn't real. It's just a nice fairy tale that some people like to tell themselves to feel good.
Anyway, I'm super irritated (if that hasn't been completely apparent by the amount of swear words I've spouted out during this post). I may buy a new (knock-off) Go Pro to finish my movie with. I'm only about a minute's worth of footage short of being done with it. I could probably wait a little while, since I need the spring shots now, and the weather has, after a few odd weeks of warm temperatures, taken a turn back towards winter again. These days, you can get super-cheap (knock-off) Go Pros from China. So, I'll probably do so. But I'd really prefer Karma.
Anyway, I went through my older shots that I have from earlier days, and picked one that would be my final time lapse in the series. I really like this one, and I hope you do too.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Today was a really, really slow day at work. So, while I sat twiddling my thumbs, I wrote (which is impressive when you think about it--how do you type and twiddle your thumbs at the same time?). I got my highest total so far: 1,573, which beats my second highest from the 21st of 1,377.
Those are the only two times that I exceeded 1,000 so far this month. But starting in March, I was thinking about doubling my requirement--1,000 words a day, every day in March. That requires a lot more time...probably double if I'm mathing correctly here. Will it be too much?
I went to a panel at the writer's conference last week about making a living as an indy author. Yeah, I thought it was about something else too. Indiana Jones wasn't mentioned once in the whole hour, so that sucked. But they did talk about self-publishing, and the way you had to do it to be successful. One of the things they said was that you needed to publish something every 30-60 days. Some of us in the audience gasped, but the panelist quickly told us that it was no big deal. Now, to be fair, these people were full-time writers. Their 40-hour-a-week job was to write. The writer said that she published books that were about 40,000-50,000 words. There are approximately 60 days in any two month span. So, let me get on the chalkboard here and work this out...
So, in other words, if I could get myself to write 1,000 words a day, I could write a 40,000-50,000 word novel every month. Hell, less than a month. I'd have 10-20 days left over to take a vacation and then plan the next one. That means I could be a professional writer without having to give up my day job just yet. Doing the math kind of freaks me out. I didn't think that it was possible, but as simple as that, it is.
I am 21,669 words into Sunny & Gray, and I'm just getting started. This book is not going to be 40,000-50,000 words long, unfortunately, but I don't care. I just want to tell my story. It's my first novel, and everyone says that it should therefore be a turd. First novels always supposedly suck. I'd rather that not be the case, but I'm resigned to the possibility. But they also say that the second one is usually better, and I'm resigned to that possibility as well.
All I can say is that this month has been a revelation to me, and a revolution for me as well. I feel great. I don't feel at all like stopping when March 1st comes along. I only want to take it to the next level. I can finally see what is possible, and I want to make it happen.
That mountain has been waiting a very long time, but I feel like I'm finally on my way.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
It was sixty degrees yesterday afternoon, and three hours later it was snowing. That's a weird shift. I guess winter isn't quite over just yet.
That puts me up to 14,128 on the whole month. It also puts Sunny & Gray at 18,489 words long. I hope this book turns out to be something that people want to read. After attending that writer's conference over the weekend, I fear that it just might not be. There's all these rules that the writers presenting in the panels talked about, and I think Sunny & Gray breaks most of them. They tell me that means my book will be boring. I suppose they're probably right, but I'm still going to write it. It's just one of those stories that doesn't follow the normal three act pattern. But I think there are successful books and movies out there that didn't follow that pattern, so maybe things will turn out all right after all.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Like, for example, one of the most important things, that is just how amazingly tasty Brazilian food is.
It was my daughter's birthday dinner, and she chose to go to the Brazilian churrascaria (which is Portuguese for barbecue joint). So, I got to feast on Brazilian barbecue, beans and rice, cheese bread, and fried bananas, and it wasn't even my birthday.
You know, when you succeed with your child on the important things like this, the other smaller matters like drugs and safe sex and all that will surely just fall right in line...right?
And then this other one is my old iPhone. It has a regular flat look to the lens. Is it better?
To begin with at least, I'm just going to use things that I already have access to, so these are pretty much my only choices. I'll use the Zoom H1 and my lav mic to record the audio, and luckily for me, I have a clapperboard provided to me by one of the great friends of the show, Justin Charles. So, I should be pretty set. Now I just need to try it. What camera should I proceed with? Comment below, or on Facebook or Twitter, or wherever you like...
Rish and I both liked that idea. After all, we already get together once a week. Why not force ourselves to write as part of that time?
So, we did. This week, we both sat down at the local Wendy's, and I set a timer on my phone for 30 minutes, and we wrote. I liked it, because, being away from my home computer I felt less able to waste time on the internet as I would normally be. I had to concentrate on the story I was writing and nothing else.
It was hard to know for sure how much I was getting done, because I was writing with a wireless keyboard paired via bluetooth to my phone, and the small screen rendered my paragraphs enormous. But I felt like I was totally flying through the story.
My total in the half hour was 613 words. Not bad. I think we may have to up the time to an hour instead, but I really enjoyed it.
Years ago, Rish and I both worked together. After work ended, instead of going home for the night, we both stuck around, and had to write for an hour. This feels a lot like that. I got a lot of writing done in those days, and wrote some of my best stories ever. I feel really positive about this experiment too. This is going to become one of our weekly traditions.
The writers' conference was worth the price for that piece of advice alone.
Monday, February 20, 2017
A month or two ago, my daughter asked me to recommed something to read as her first Stephen King book. I pondered it, and suggested Firestarter, one of my favorites and possibly the most accessible for a teenager. I chose well, because SHE LOVED IT!
Now, immediately, there's a new hole in my SK collection.
She's got The Shining.
Welcome to the club, honey. I hope you love that one too.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Anyway, I love sunsets. When I was on vacation in San Diego, I made it a point to be on the beach for every sunset, and took as many pictures as I could. Here's a few select ones:
But now I found a way to take it to the next level. Today, the sky was filled with beautiful, puffy clouds as the sun was heading to the horizon. And here is what I got with my camera on time lapse mode.
I don't know if I'm odd for loving time lapses so much, but I don't think so. I am becoming a little obsessed. It won't be long before I've got a seven minute video just of time lapse stuff I've shot. I love it.
And I definitely got that. I feel great. I came home, and, because I was curious what it might look like and contain, I tried assembling a short story collection of my work to date that I am willing to share. I was surprised how it came out.
Going with the stories that I put in there, the book would be 116,684 words. That works out to approximately 466 pages of material. It would contain 24 stories. So, I'm curious who would be interested in purchasing such a beast if I published it?
Most of the stories are available elsewhere, including having been podcast on the Dunesteef. Would that dull your interest? Would the fact that some of them are still yet to have appeared there make it worth it? Should I make it much shorter, maybe make two volumes with half the stories? I'm curious what you all might have to say...
Friday, February 17, 2017
Until now! That's right, I've written a new chapter for Sunny & Gray, and I think I'm to keep posting the chapters, in case anyone who knew me in 2014 is still waiting to find out what happens next in the story. And if 2014 was way too long ago for you to have had any idea who I even was, it's okay, because you can still go back and read those chapters and then come read chapter three. Just follow the links above.
So, without any further delay, here's chapter three, in which nothing really happens.
Oh, and some of the formatting is goofed up, but I'm going to leave it, because I don't really know how to fix it. Hopefully you can figure out how it's supposed to look.
I'm more than 1,000 words into chapter 5 of SUNNY & GRAY, which has grown to more than 15,000 words. I think a typical novel is approximately 90,000 words, so that means I am 1/6 of the way done if my math is correct (which it probably isn't). That seems exciting.
But, if I don't up my daily word count eventually, then I still have 150 days of writing before I get there...which seems less than exciting. March will have to be a step up.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
It's just over the halfway mark in the month, and I still haven't blown it. I did have the chance to be a real policeman, and I blew that, but I haven't blown the writing every day for a month thing yet. I'll see if I can keep it up.
So far, I've got 9,766 words. I'll have to see if I can kick it up a notch and get 20,000 in the month. That'd be cool.
Also, today I finished chapter four of Sunny & Gray. I now have twice as many chapters in that book as I had when the month started, plus one story I started and finished this month, as well as another story that had lain fallow for more than a year that I finished this month.
This experiment continues to be a success. As long as I don't have a heart attack and die at the keyboard or something, this will be the best month in quite a long time.
Jeez, this post is probably 500 words by now.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Yesterday, I finished chapter 3 of Sunny & Gray. Should I keep publishing the thing on my blog? I published chapters one and two back in 2014 when I first started writing the story. But it's been an awful long time since I did that.
Also, there's the old saying that people won't buy the cow if they get the milk for free, and I'd like to sell the finished book someday when I finish it. Will people buy it if they already read it for free? What do you all think?
Friday, February 10, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Still haven't blown it. A whole week straight. I know that's a pretty low bar, but you gotta start somewhere.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Then, somehow, I got rolling, and now I'm quitting despite the fact that I could keep going. I made it to 780 today, the highest count so far in this young month, and on a day when I would have loved to just go to sleep instead of staying up to write. That seems like a pretty big win.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
8:28 in the morning, and day one is a win already. I did 526 words so far. The scene I was writing only ran 433, so I had to keep going when I was hoping to quit. I had to power on, and type another hundred. Now, I gotta get ready for work and get out of here before I'm late.