The end is nigh

April 15, 2018

Grimaulkin Redeemed is at 39K words, and I just started what I believe is the beginning of the  ending of the main plot. I have to throw in a few side plots for filler. I’m especially concerned why a certain antagonist is even in the story. If I take him out, a lot of really good stuff goes with it; not to mention about 10K words. Kill my darlings? No., that’s too easy..I’m going to fit that damn square peg in the round hole.

I didn’t do my homework last weekend, working on Redeemed and my own personal homework instead.  While doing laundry, I can work on Earth, specifically Virgo, and at least get that one in the can. Taurus is giving me trouble because, well, it’s pretty obvious that a Brokeback Mountain scenario just screams for that one. Yes, there’s a cowboy involved. Yes, there are cows involved. (Steer, not cows…gotta get that straight.) But I can’t copy Brokeback Mountain. And it’s sounding a lot like Cancer right now, so I have to do something to twist it.

My son asked me about War Mage and I kind of wanted to hide under the seat. I have such a hard block with it. I want to make it realistic. But I don’t want to get hate mail from veterans saying, “You got this wrong.”  And because the internet and books are somewhat classified, I can’t get the full picture and the details. I tried to read a critically acclaimed book about soldiers at war, but the print was so small I couldn’t see it. Audible to the rescue (I hope it’s in there)!

I hope to get to 42K by next week, as I will be busy for the second half of the week and may not get to write. I’ll do laundry and get Virgo out.

What happened in the year 2000?

April 8, 2018

I’m on medical leave (long story, not going into it) so I have some time to write. I try to write at least 1000 words a day, in between the recovery. I’m coming up with some good ideas, and I’m over half-way through the novel. I’m stuck a little on how the police handle mail, and what they had available in the year 2000 with computers. Did cops or the feds have hackers on the payroll?

MySpace and Twitter didn’t exist, neither did Facebook or other social media sites. AOL and Usenet were the big community sites. I have to cast back in my own memory what AOL was like at the time. It’s challenging, because the old memory isn’t what it used to be, and I have no idea what cops could do then. Did they look up IP addresses? Did they know how to find people from an email?

Of course, I could just gloss over it like I plan on doing with War Mage. Though it bothers me.

“Capricorn” is finished, edited and ready to go. I had planned on working on Earth this weekend but I got distracted with other recovery work. “Family Bonds,” the short story tie-in for Grimaulkin Redeemed, is also done and formatted. When I do the laundry, I’ll work on Earth (because it’s on the computer in the laundry room).

In two weeks I’ll be at the Warwick Public Library selling books, signing them, and giving away the short story tie-ins (that are very cool). April 21 from 10-2. Hope to see you there!

Keeping Time

April 1, 2018

My aim was to get to 40K by the end of March, but it’m up to 29K at the moment. I’ll probably get up to 30K by today, and then it’s all downhill from there.

I took two days off and then started writing, and realized that I had messed up the time sequence. That’s the problem with me, sometimes, when I take time off. I have to go back to the beginning and read what I had done. Scrivener has a place that you can put document notes, and I’ve started to utilize that section.

Grimaulkin Redeemed takes place on November 1, 2000. I have to check an online calendar (though Scrivener gives me the option of saving the image of that calendar) to follow the days and dates, and now I need to make note of the moon phases. I’ve also made it more difficult for me–or for Mike–to get out and do things because now he has a job that takes up his mornings.

I’m also having trouble with the main plot. It pervades the story, but it’s not in your face all the time. And I need to figure out the motive of the antagonist–why does he do what I want him to do during the climax? Mike is paranoid about the antagonist; does that mean his paranoia is justified? Or would that make things way too obvious and easy?

The strange thing about writing, sometimes, is that you want to make it complicated for the reader, but not obtuse. You don’t want the reader to say “Huh?” But you want to keep them guessing, letting them try and figure out what you’re doing. If you make it too easy or obvious, readers get mad and won’t read your next book. But if you spring it on them without any foreshadowing or clues, they get mad too. It’s a fine line.

I was listening to a interview of an author (Steve Barry, I think) and the interviewer said that the ending came out of nowhere. That kind of ending would irritate the hell out of me. My editor said the same thing about Grimaulkin Tempted. I had dropped a few hints that only really astute readers would pick up on. During the rewrite, I made it more obvious that time around with an internal dialogue.

There are a lot of threads to keep in mind when writing: Time, place, character feelings and growth. Some of these come naturally, and can stay in my head. Other times, I get confused. Brothers of the Zodiac had a full time-line that I did one boring day at work about four years ago, but it got eaten by the website (it no longer exists). I had character names, places and dates. All gone. How ephemeral the cloud is.

Scrivener helps me keep track now. Full moon is coming up, and Mike is going to be a bit busy. I hope.

Life suckage

March 25, 2018

I’m up to 27K words in Grimaulkin Redeemed–almost half way there! About half-way. My goal is 60K words, but with my luck, the story will end between 50K and 60K.

Life has been getting in the way recently. Suffice it to say I’ve had to scale back some things. One is the game, not because it’s a bad thing, but because I only have a finite amount of time during the week and weekends, and I’m trying to concentrate on writing and my hoarding issues here at home. I haven’t played the game in 3 weeks (one week was due to no electricity). I’m feeling guilty, but there was only one person I played with on that game. Unfortunately I haven’t seen him when I’ve checked in, either, so maybe he’s running into the same issue that I am–Life intrudes.

“Capricorn” is finished and gone through its first editing pass. The as-yet-unnamed story tie-in for Grimaulkin Redeemed also went through its first pass and was just returned. The publisher and I are not in a hurry for that one, but the novels are what I’m being pushed to deliver. Gee, wonder why? (laugh here)

I plan on trying to get a podcast out this week or next weekend, and it will be about this statement: “A bell isn’t a bell if it hasn’t been rung; a song isn’t a song if it hasn’t been sung.” This statement pisses me off.

Procrastinating

March 18, 2018

Today I’m procrastinating writing. I’m cleaning out the litter boxes, picking up my office, staring at the cats…anything but working on the blank page of Grimaulkin Redeemed.

I wrote the exciting part that had been running around in my head for the better part of a week, and now there’s nothing after that. I have to write an hour-long conversation, which I suspect will be boring on the page, but I’m not sure what to do to make it exciting. So I’m staring at sleeping cats, hoping something comes to me.

I purchased some Ernest Hemingway books for the 6 hour plane ride to San Jose in August, and I’m trying to refrain myself form reading them. That would probably help with the conversation I have to do. I’m doing research for the conversation, because Mike has to talk to an expert in something that I know very little about.

The good news is that the short story is done, though the title is still in flux. Maybe “A Family Gathering”. That is the tie-in to Grimaulkin Redeemed. Sort of. You’ll see.

Well, the cat moved out of my office. Guess it’s time to get down to business.

Maybe if I watch some Hulu…