The Sixty-Fourth Post: The One Where I Jam Out to the Vitamin Series…

OK, I am a metal head. I freely admit that of my own will, and I will testify under oath that I am not a choosy metal head. I like Nu-Metal, Second Wave Of English Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal, Speed Metal, Death Metal, some Progressive Metal – but I love, love, love the Vitamin Series. What the Vitamin Series is a string quartet and a piano soloist (either or) that takes a band and adapts some of their music for either a string quartet or a piano. Yes, I know – Apocalyptica did that for a while – but the Vitamin Series also venture away from metal and cover different genres. I like listening to instrumental music when I write, and the Vitamin Series hasn’t yet disappointed me. Not really a shout-out, but a recommendation.

Anyways, I am about maybe three scenes away from the end of the book, which has become somewhat different than what I originally different than what I first imagined, but I hope it will be enough of a compelling ending to the story. That’s the one thing I am always not good at is how to end a story, because I can sometimes keep going in my head with what happens next to the characters. I think I’ve got a decent ending for this novel, but in my mind, I see the characters picking up where they left off at the end of the novel and getting into more trouble.

Gah – I’m tired. I think I’ll close up shop here today and retry this in the morning.

Sorry, all.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Sixty-Third Post: The One Where I Really Try to Get Myself Together Faster Than Usual, and Blow It Big Time…

I wake up at 8:30 AM and give myself a half hour to eat breakfast (today, more yummy sour cream pudding cake, which to me tastes an awful lot like the vanilla pudding cake) read some web comics and generally try to wake up. Well, it was a little harder than usual to get around to opening up this blog and put in the first entry. I’ll start typing, then I’ll think of something and go right to it rather than putting it aside and working on this blog. I wonder if it’s because I am still trying to adapt to this new work schedule and I am going to be far later than I was originally and getting 6 hours of sleep, or it’s because it’s 8:30 AM and I have had no caffeine since 10:00 PM the previous night. One of these I can solve right away (and will do so after this blog is finished), the other will require more time and effort on another front.

The reason why I’m slightly concerned about is, as I pointed out in my last entry, I am so close to being finished with the novel. In 12 to 18 days I should be finished and close to the 60K word count I imposed on myself. When it takes more effort than usual to get around to something, that means I’m getting fatigued about this and want to move on to something else, which is something I normally do (Isaac Asimov did it and he pumped out a couple of books in his time), but to quit this novel and move on to another thing is bad. Especially when I am this close to finishing the second novel of my fledgling career, I shouldn’t give up now. So, I just need to remember the advice I got from Ms. Tan and just smile and fake it until it’s over, and then have a cookie for my efforts (the cookie wasn’t her idea).

This Friday, The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters and I am going to wait until Saturday to see it. After I’ve seen it, I will come back here and give a full review for everyone. There is only one more summer film I am heavily anticipating (Total Recall), and only because it’s based off of the work of Philip K. Dick – who is an author that I recommend highly for the depth of the concepts he brings up in his work… which Hollywood runs to for their films. He is also a greatly influential author to me with his contemplations on the nature of memory, identity and just how shaky the concept of reality can be at certain points. Go look for him, either in book or on the big screen: Blade Runner, The Adjustment Bureau, A Scanner Darkly, and Minority Report are some that are taken directly from his works, but you can see his influence everywhere.

Well, time for me to get back to it.

Have a good day!

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Sixty-Second Post: The One Where I Can See the Finish Line from Here…

I am about 12-18 days away from finishing the first draft of my novel. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to have typed that sentence. Of course, after the rough draft is completed, then I have to begin the revisions. That task isn’t going to take that long because I already have some idea of needs to be revised (one character needs to have dialogue fleshed out, another needs to have some scenes added in) and that might tip me over the 60K limit I set up for myself. Not a problem for me, since I also intend on carving out 6K words of the manuscript before I send it to the editor for the final hammering (thank you Stephen King for the guideline: Your manuscript – 10% = success). If everything works out, this novel should be hitting everything by November. I am getting ready to find an artist to work on the cover and I have a feeling this is going to be somewhat… pricey, but hey – I need to take this more seriously than the last book (still available on Amazon!), even if it’s being written under a pseudonym. I still can’t believe that this is going to get finished soon. After it’s finished and sent to the editor (thank you, masked editor!), I am going to jump onto I/O Error and get that finished. After that… who knows? I’ve got tons of ideas and thanks to Amazon and Smashwords; I can get them out there. With any luck, I can get away from my job and work on a career – a career that I am very late coming to, but a career nonetheless.

On to other things: the Olympics! Next week are the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies. I’m bummed that I am going to miss them, but they and the rest of the Olympics are going to be faithfully recorded. I should clear out some space in the DVR… but all I have are series that I will have to either watch all the way through in one sitting or delete them. Some are not going to be a problem to delete, but others… well… I could just by the DVDs (the series in question: Fringe, Battlestar: Galactica, The Mentalist – all told, these series are taking it over half of my DVR space), which I was going to do anyway. Well, let’s just see what happens with the DVR for the time being.

Well, I am going to try to cut this entry a little short. I’ve been lollygagging off screen by going to the Internet and reading a few web comics and looking up some things (curse you, TV Tropes!). So, I will say good day and wish you luck on your endeavors. I’ve got characters to torment and not a whole lot of time to do it in. Oh, look – I went over my 500 word goal.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Sixty-First Post: The One Where I Demonstrate Why I Need a Warm-Up Blog…

… because I have no idea what to write. I didn’t get much sleep last night (got two hours, had to get up and use the bathroom, wash, rinse, repeat). So, I’m feeling kinda bleary eyed right now and there is nothing new to report, unless you’re a North Korea watcher. There’s some interesting things going on there… above the starvation, work camps and Vice Magazine dropping by every now and then to say ‘hi’. Apparently, the newly crowned Great Leader has dismissed his military advisor who was originally appointed by Kim Jong Il. The official line is due to ‘illness’: either the military advisor called in and said “I’m feeling sick, I don’t think I’m going to make it in today, boss” or Kim Jong Un called him and said “I’m sick of seeing you. We’re going to pack your desk for you, swing by to pick it up” is unknown. My opinion? When you take over a leadership position, you need to make sure you have people you can trust on your side… especially when you have one of the largest standing armies in the world. More than likely, he was dismissed once Un had made sure he had the loyalty of the armed forces on his side and any holdovers from the old regime would be keeping from making the changes he knows needs to be made to make North Korea a major player in the area. Another hint that things are going to change for the better in the Hermit Kingdom? Fashion. The New Leader was seen applauding a show where the talent was wearing conservative short skirts – something that we here in the decadent West wouldn’t bat an eye over. A lot of analysts are putting this together and saying that there is a new form of ‘glasnost’ coming. Those of my generation will remember what happened after the last time we saw ‘glasnost’. Yes – we were forced to watch a whole bunch of Soviet-U.S. buddy films.

Be prepared for another addition to the Iron Eagle franchise. That’s all I’m saying. I’m no North Korean expert. All the Korean I know is ‘yes’ and ‘hello’. I’ve only read one book about the area and I’ve watched about maybe six or seven documentaries about North Korea itself. I am just comparing the North Korea of today to the Soviet Union of twenty years ago.

So – anything else interesting? No? OK. Well, to let you know that another one of the greatly anticipated Summer Films is coming out this Friday: The Dark Night Rises. I am going to see this on Saturday just because of my schedule, and there is a Writer’s Group Meeting on that day as well, so I’ll be out already. I haven’t been there in a few months, I wonder if anyone is going to recognize me? I’m not going to have anything done for them to read, but I should try to ‘network’ at least.

Well, I’m feeling warmed up enough now.

Off to work.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Sixtieth Post: The One Where I Don’t Like To Brag, I Don’t Like To Boast…

But today, I’ll have toast. It’s the weekend, so I can eat things that I normally can’t eat due to the constraints of time. Toast and jelly is one of those simple pleasures. Today is also Saturday, so I schedule it like this: do the blog for about 30 minutes or 500 words, write the novel for 3 hours and break for a couple of hours to watch a movie (today’s movie: Anonymous) and have lunch, them go back to the novel for another three hours and then call it a day by watching more TV or maybe play a game while I cook dinner. Saturday is going to be a lazy yet productive day for me… if I can pull myself away from Facebook. It is Saturday. So it’s the Bob and Tom Show on the player and more toast for me.

OK – this is going to be a slow day and I don’t mind. Listening to Bob and Tom and they played the intro to a song that I hadn’t heard in years, so I went out and looked it up and bought it. Yeah – completely focused on the blog today. It’s Saturday. Yaaa – Saturday… and either someone dropped a pallet of safes out on the road in front of me, or we’re going to get another thunderstorm. Not really complaining, since my grass is still UPS brown. Hopefully, where you are at, you’re not going through the heat of the summer… or the famous Southern Humidity.

Now that I am gently caffeinated, maybe I can become a little more coherent. Nope. Apparently, even caffeine is taking it easy on Saturday. It’s now noon, and I started this at 10:30 AM – so we’re not the bundle of productive energy I am Monday through Friday. The power has gone out here. Thankfully, I’m writing this on my laptop and the battery is now realizing that to it – it’s Monday morning 8:30 AM. Wow… it’s coming down hard now. If I was standing outside, I couldn’t see any further than fifty yards clearly and I would be very cold because I am only in shorts and a t-shirt. It is Saturday after all. So, I’m going to stay inside and wait for the storm to go over before turning anything back on. Watching this rain coming down reminds me of something – it never rains in the novel. Maybe that should be noted somewhere. Well, let’s ask the question: does the knowledge of the lack of rain propel the story in some direction? Well, the villain of the story is called Everthirst, but there is no reason to bring up the lack of rain right now. Maybe that can be a point for a sequel, if there is any call for it. Sure, I have it planned out in my head, but if no one wants to read it, then I’ll just let it sit in my head. It’s cozy there.

Well, I should go on ahead and try to get a little more productive than I have been now. I hope your weekend is calming.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Fifty-Ninth Post: The One Where I Make Sure That a Hockey Mask Is Covered In The Work Dress Code…

Good morning everyone, it’s Friday the Thirteenth and the last unlucky day of the year… well, the last officially unlucky day of the year. I sure there are going to be days where nothing seems to go right, but today has horror as a purpose. So, to celebrate, I am going to go about my daily routine, except that I am going to clutch nervously at a rabbit’s foot. I’m certain the rabbit will be put out by the molestation. Not my problem really. It’s also Cow Appreciation Day (according to the marketing geniuses at Chik-Fil-A), so a pilgrimage is in order. So, if you see a cow, stop and say “I appreciate you” and go celebrate by eating the flesh of a barnyard compatriot. It’s how the pigs want it.

Anyways – I am confident that I will finish this novel before too long (and by too long I mean before I die). If I can keep up this pace I have been setting, the first draft will be complete by the end of next month, in time for my first vacation, and the various re-writes I know I am going to have to do before ‘Borderlands 2 day’. If all goes well, I should be ready for a winter release. So, it’s never too late to start planning for Christmas! J Other than that, there is nothing worth noting going on here. I was let out of work early, so I got home and was able to watch another program I recorded. I am counting down to the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games and getting updates on the Tour de France. For me this is the best sports month so far, it’s a pity I have to work to enjoy it – but hey, the Olympics are starting and I am going to record a majority of it.

This particular entry may be a little lighter than normal because I didn’t get much sleep – maybe four or five hours at best and the caffeine still has as of yet to kick in. Oh, well. Someone did comment on an earlier post I had about Sci-Fi and I agree – what does wrestling have to do with science fiction? Very little unless it’s part of a movie plot. I can understand on a practical level as far as wrestling makes money for the owners of the channel (Universal/NBC), but they’ve gone away from the sci-fi in the most part. Sorry – I did cover all of this yesterday and I still welcome comments, but I am not the official Sci-Fi channel apologist. They can’t pay me enough to do that, but they can certainly make the attempt.

On completely unrelated news: Steam has started their Summer Sale, which means they are going to get some of my hard earned money… but not as much as previous times. I have to set aside money for artists and advertising for my novel, but I am going to buy a couple of games for the PC. Maybe the Civilization Pack and Magic: The Gathering 2013 to mess around with on the weekends.

Well, I should get to work.

 

Have fun and make sure you avoid the black cats.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Fifty-Eighth Post: The One Where I Plot My Weekend Menu and My Cardiologist Orders a Bigger Boat…

Good morning everyone! As indicated, I’m thinking about dinners for the weekend and I know that the sense of smell is strongly linked to memory. Summer doesn’t officially start for me until I smell three things: a road being re-tarred, sunscreen and cooking hamburgers. Well, I can proudly say two down and one to go as of Saturday – I’m grabbing some hamburger tomorrow night and going to cook up some burgers for dinner, with baked beans and maybe some fries. I don’t need a reason to cook hamburgers, but hey – it’s summer now, in case you haven’t been near a thermometer lately. Yeah, I do odd things – I eat ice cream during the winter and I fry up burgers to declare that summer is official. In case you were wondering, the other scent was fresh paved road. I got that one down a couple of days ago after taking a trip to the local office supplies shop to window shop for pens. Yeah – I window shop at places like Staples. Yes, I’ve actually sent mail to pen manufacturers to let them know I was disappointed in their choice to discontinue a certain pen style… and maybe I might have a slight issue with not being able to walk out of a store without a set of pens. I can quit when I want – and to let you know, I walked out of Office Depot with nothing in my hands (only because they didn’t have the specific pen that I wanted, but that whole quitting when I want? Still possible).

Anyways, I didn’t get as much done yesterday as I had hoped, but with the headache and basically feeling run down, I thought it would be a good idea to take a small break. So I closed up shop early and watched a recording of one of the few Sci-Fi (I refuse to misspell that, in hopes that they will catch on, realize their mistake and go back to the way it was supposed to be pre-wrestling and all) shows that I enjoy: “Destination: Truth”. The reason why I continue to watch this program and give a pass to 99% of its other content (sweaty guys in tights don’t do it for me, might for other friends of mine – but not me. Nope) is because the host and crew have a sense of humor about them. Sure, they’re chasing after stuff that isn’t going to have a major impact on our lives, but there are some times where it’s just neat to watch. Some of their ghost episodes (yes, I watched ‘Ghost Hunters’ for a while, one of my favorite episodes is the first time they went to Waverly Hills. At some point, I got dissatisfied when it devolved into just an hour of ‘did you hear that?’ and ‘ooh, I got chills here’. Maybe a thicker jacket and a better sense of hearing is in order for you guys) are interesting. If you’re wondering: the other shows are Warehouse 13 and Fact or Faked. Yep. That’s a short list for that channel, but then again… as noted, I am not a fan of wrestling and while some of the movies they have fall into the ‘it’s so bad, it’s good’ territory that I can’t tolerate. Well, I will save a deeper rant about Sci-Fi for something in my TV and Movies section of the blog.

Well, now that I am warmed up enough, I am off to work more on the novel. Thanks for being here.

 

Sincerely,

Seething With Apathy

The Fifty-Seventh Post: The One Where I Am Being Easily Distracted…

OK – not hitting the ground running like my other posts. I’ve got a bit of a headache and I have also gone on a bit of a trivia bender, I’m afraid. I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Saturday and I finally got around to reading the trivia heading under its IMDB page. Yes, I am a trivia addict – especially movie trivia. When I tell myself that I don’t have a problem and I can quit whenever I want… I don’t believe myself and think I should get help. I then go to another movie and tell myself that quitting is for suckers. Other than that, the world is fine.

The novel continues along in uncharted territory. When I write something in my head, I tend to work on certain scenes and when I start slapping words on the page as it were, most of what I do is really write connecting scenes to the big scenes in my head. Sometimes, they’re just honest connecting scenes: the characters walk down a trail, discussing something that’s happening and revealing a little bit about themselves or the situation. Sometimes the connecting scenes become big scenes on their own and we learn a lot more about the characters than anticipated or even develop the plot in a slightly different direction than anticipated. Like the current scene I am hammering out on the laptop (after I am done here, of course). I think this is what’s called ‘discovery writing’. Once again – my lack of any formal education shines through.

There is quite a bit going on elsewhere. The Tour de France continues on and I am staying updated on the Internet when I get the chance. Lance Armstrong is getting his yearly lawsuit from the governing body of bicycling. Honestly – let the guy go. He’s underdone drug tests galore and cancer for pity’s sake. He won the Tour seven
times
. Get over it. It’s funny that doping allegations came up also when Eddie Merckx was about to claim the 5 Tour title and break a Frenchman’s record.

All right – aspirin break.

Yeah, this day is turning out to be a bit slower starting than the last few days, but I will carry on in order to at least maintain the momentum I’ve got. I’m up and somewhat dressed, so I should try to make the most of it. If I don’t, then I’ve made the dogs next door bark at me for nothing. If anything, I should do this for the dogs… until I can train them not to bark at me when I sit down in the study.

One more ‘writer’ thing: I don’t know if I am the only one who does this, but when I am working on a character, I try to find on song that would work as a ‘theme song’. It doesn’t have to be instrumental, but if someone were to hear it, they would get a better understanding for that particular character. For Anya’s theme, I will have to thank the History Channel for the one time they showed something historical. For all their promotions for the movie The Hatfields and the McCoys, they used a song from a band called ‘The Silent Comedy’. The song is called “Bartholomew” and I wish I could embed it in this posting. The best I can do if put the lyrics here and tell you to look them up on YouTube.

Oh my God

Please help me

Knee deep in the river

Tryin’ to get clean.

 

He says “Wash your hands

Get out the stains

But you best believe

Boy there’s hell to pay.”

 

Yeah you best believe

Boy there’s hell to pay sayin’

 

Oh, my God

Please help me

Waist deep in the river

Can you hear my plea?

 

He says “Son, you come

Like a beggar in the streets

You might make it boy

But by the skin of your teeth”

 

You might make it boy

But by the skin of your teeth sayin’

 

I rambled with the worst of them,

Fell in love with the harlequin

Saw the darkest hearts of men

 

And I saw myself starin’ back again

And I saw myself starin’ back again

 

Oh my God

Please help me

Neck deep in the river

Screamin’ for relief.

 

He says “It’s mine to give

But it’s yours to choose

You gonna sink or swim

You gonna learn the truth”

 

No matter what you do you gonna learn the truth sayin’

 

Ate the bread that once was stone

Fell from a cliff never broke a bone

Bowed down to get the kings over thrown

 

Now I’m all alone

And the fire’s grown

Now I’m all alone

And the fire’s grown

 

Sing sweet charity

Take what’s left of me

A new beginning or is this the end

Sing sweet seraphim

Take me back again

Or watch me make the messes of men

 

Well, that’s it for now. I should actually try to get some work done.

Have a good day, y’all.

 

Sincerely,

Seething with Apathy

The Fifty-Sixth Post: The One Where I Try to Stay Awake In the Morning to Do the Shout-Out…

As much as I like the idea of getting more work done on the novel, there is a downside for this particular lifestyle. If I want to watch TV, I have to sacrifice an hour (or however long) of sleep. The only reason I watched anything last night was my DVR has a particular bug in it – sometimes it doesn’t shut off recording, so an hour long TV show will take up 11 hours of space (!!!). Thankfully, I’ve been a lot better about recording and watching stuff (it’s called Saturday), but my favorite sports event is coming in a couple of weeks and I want to have enough room to record most of it. If I am still at my job when the Winter Olympics come around, I think I might just take those two weeks off and watch the coverage from sun up to sun down.

Anyways, the novel continues on at a pace that I find pleasantly startling and I am already thinking sequel. Hopefully, I will be able to tell which character will be the better received of the pair. I know which one I like, since I’ve played her in a few games (see, Sharon – games can be useful). Anyways, I also like the direction of the novel is taking now. It is fun when the characters take me in a direction I didn’t anticipate and I get to play chronicler. If everything goes along as it is going now, I should have the novel finished in a couple of months and edited within an inch of its life quickly thereafter. Once it’s off to be edited, I am going to work on another project: I/O
Error and get that finished up. I’m hoping to get to a pace where I finish a work every three months.

Speaking of whooshing deadlines: Every 14th blog, I do a Shout-Out – letting all my blog readers know about someone, something or some website that has been entertaining or helpful to me – and to answer your next question, I picked 14 out of a hat, just like how I make all my important decisions, thank you. Today, I am giving a second Shout-Out for Lisa Townsend, who is not only a good friend of mine, but is also a brilliant writer and has agreed to edit a novel of mine. I am extremely thankful for this, given that I am rather private about this particular work (being written under a pen name and all) and I want it to be the best it can be – first finished novel and all that. As I mentioned earlier, she is a published author and a fine one at that. I look forward to working with and reading her works in the future. So – go look her up and get one of her books. Well worth the price of admission.

Well – now that I am warmed up, time to put in the work.

I hope y’all have a good day.

 

Sincerely,

Seething With Apathy

The Fifty-Fifth Post: The One I’m Hoping You’re Still Able to Read…

By all accounts, there are going to be some people not able to log into the Internet today because of malware that they were notified about several months ago. Personally, I am crossing my fingers in hopes that work has been struck by it. Of course, by virtue of my schedule any computer issues that plague the company will be taken care of before I come in… except the one that seems to keep me from effectively doing my job. I’m afraid I might have to get upset and write a tersely worded e-mail. Continuing to speak of work – I am done with overtime. I know that I say this every time I take it, but seriously, I am finished with the notion of spending more time there than I absolutely have to on a daily basis. While, yes this will be a larger than average paycheck, and I am funneling a majority of it to hire an artist to do the cover work for the novel (Thank you, Lisa!), but I am also going to get some stuff that I’ve been looking forward to get into my hot little hands for a while. One of them is pre-ordering Halo 4. Great thing about this game is the release day is the week after my birthday… and I got the release day and the day before off as well. A nice week and half away from work, and I get to spend a majority of it shooting at virtual enemies and cuddling with a bottle of absinthe (any suggestions?).

Now, off to the notes about the novel thus far. A word of advice to any beginning writers out there (much like me) – listen to the characters. I’ve had to revise the backstory of one of the main characters (Anya for the one person here who’s read a little bit of it) and it’s a little better for it. I’m a little over half way there and I am hoping to get this done by the beginning of fall so I can get started on another book (a sci-fi/horror story I’ve set aside for the time being). My goal to become a self-sustaining writer and my main tactic is going to be based on an old Stalin quote: “Quantity has a quality of its own.” Yeah – I’m going to make it so that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a book of mine on Kindle, Smashwords and any other e-books providers. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to put forth my best efforts in all of my work (well, my writing work – my day job will be typified by the phrase ‘bare minimum’) because I have heard all the gripes about e-books and I am going to put forth every effort to avoid them.

Oh – my current e-book 4 Bits and a Dollar got its first 5 star review! Completely unsolicited! I am hoping that this will get some more sales and finally get a royalty check. When I get that wonderful check, I am going to buy lunch for myself. You will get to see that lunch here on this blog. Well, the warm up is over – time to get working.

 

Sincerely

Seething Apathy