The Three Hundred Twenty-Fourth Post: The One Where I Triumph Over The Forces of Distraction…

Hello, everyone — I am happy to say that I made a breakthrough! I was willing to be able to sit down and write two thousand words today. This might not mean much to some people, but to me it is a huge triumph. Beforehand, I felt that I had to have a certain ritual (Starbucks, music and enough iced coffee to drown an elephant) to be productive. Also — there were certain things here that would lure me away from writing. All I had to do was just grab a tray from the living room and bring it into the kitchen, far away from that evil PC and his henchmen TV, Hulu and Netflix.

The story is picking up a little right now — for the main character its leg day and dishing on the second non-date to his friend Matt. I’m thinking that he should see the main character in a play (given that she’s an actress) before getting up the courage to ask her out on a real date. I’m trying to keep the timeline straight in my head…which I probably should sit down and maybe construct one since I have a program to do that. When I start Drinker, Jester, Flirter, Spy I am definitely going to use it as I want to keep everything straight before I sit down and write the text.

I’m thinking that tomorrow, after the writer’s meeting and getting another 2,000 down, I am going to give myself a treat and go see the X-Men movie like I’ve been promising myself for the past…what…three or four weeks? I’ll even review it for you, although, by now if you’re a fan you’ve seen it and if you’re on the fence more than likely you’re going to wait for Blu-Ray.

Well, sadly, I must cut this short because I have to get up early.  I hope y’all have a good evening.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Three Hundred Twenty-Third Post: The One Where I Think Everything Is Coming Together (Finally!)…

Hello, everyone! I finished up a really good writing day today (2,000 words in about three hours!) and I can feel myself getting into the groove of this novel. Ben has made an appearance and I’m going to play him as some who seems to be looking out for his interests, but he’s just waiting for the time to pounce. He’s not really the best villain I’ve come up with, but right now he’s the most realistic as far as how he presents himself. Romance novels is not what I really want o be known for, but I’ll do it if I have a good idea.

But, as I write this, I wonder if everything is a little too easy for our protagonist.  Jennifer is really friendly — she just gave him a peck on the cheek for their second ‘not-date’.  While his pressures at work are the norm, and Matt (his best friend and trainer at the gym) is helping out…I just can’t help but to wonder if I can’t throw some grit at this oyster. Again — this is only the first draft. There will be plenty of chances for me to make his life a living hell. I know I sound bad, but I want the reader to empathise and root for the protagonist…or at least not hate him.

I hope that this mojo I have can continue on for this week and the next, so I can get some headway into this novel so I can finish it and get started on the next project. I’m chomping at the bit to get back to fantasy. I also have a couple of projects that I need to get back to…maybe next year. I’m going to gauge the response of The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show as to how I proceed with this particular world. Think of something that’s rooted in Louis L’Amour…or Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Guns, some magic and hopefully some interesting things happening: zombie servants, people possessed and the possible End of The World.  As a good friend of mine would say: “The usual.”

Well, on a side note — I do need to go to bed early tonight (well…early-ish) for a possible job interview. Speaking of that…as always if you would look to the right, you’ll see current links for books either I or friends of mine have written, a Bitcoin tip jar ($700 a Bitcoin!). As always, thank you for dropping by and I hope y’all have a good rest of the day.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

 

The Three Hundred Twenty-Second Post: The One Where I Remark On My Pecularities…

Hello, everyone! I didn’t get a whole lot done because I wasn’t able to get to the office yesterday. I might have tweeted about it.  My car has a problem with the air conditioning. I found the root of the problem: I don’t have one. Apparently, there was some larger issue and it called for the removal of the compressor as a patch. So, I went to the mechanic, think that I still had the ailing compressor and it would be about $200 to replace.

Nope.  A minimum of $1,000 to add one.  Fine.  I don’t really go that far now that I’m a (quasi) working writer. The farthest I go on the work week is to the “office” and that’s only six miles away. I could walk it, but if anyone here has lived in the Louisville area knows that there is no heat, but varying degrees of humidity. The sticky, Southern, energy-sapping humidity. So, I decided to stay home while the mechanics opened the hood to the car and said “Well — there’s your problem!” and slammed it shut.

For some odd reason, I can’t work at home. Yes, it’s the American Dream: my commute could be nothing more than drifting through the kitchen, plopping down in front of the computer desk in my living room and fire up the old Scrivener. Two thousand words later, I can turn off the program and turn on Facebook or anything like that.

Let me walk you through how that’s not going to happen in my lifetime and yours, too.

First off: While I have a serviceable kitchen, the kitchen table has become a filing system. I don’t have enough room to set up a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk. So, I eat in the living room. At my desk. The morning routine is set in stone:

  1. Wake up, eat breakfast, read webcomics.
  2. Take a look at Facebook.
  3. Stay on Facebook — exchange witty repartee, make funny remarks, save cat pictures.
  4. Realize I’ve spent three hours trying to think of a funny caption for the AD&D Group (picture of a monster surging up from a sewer taking a group of adventurers by surprise — my caption: “ROTO-ROOTER!”)
  5. Spend another two hours playing Pot Farmer.
  6. Realize that my day is now a quarter of the day through and I’m still in my shorts.

I can’t work at home because the computer is such a huge distraction to me.  I do all my work on an old laptop. Now, you could say: “So, use the laptop and stay home, doofus.” I would respond: “I still have the TV, the Blu-Ray Player, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, the refrigerator and the people walking by the house chatting about how if they think they’re going to let him back in, they can line up and kiss my ass (you go girl).

Frankly, home is the biggest set of distractions I have. So, I head out to the office and write there. Counter-intuitive as it sounds, I can get a lot done in the office than I can at home. Two thousand words? No problem. I just shut off the Wi-Fi so my battery can last the three hours I need it to last to write. I plug-in my headphones and either listen to music or radio. I can come in, get some coffee and work to my little heart’s content. Hey, it works.

As far as what’s happening with the novel, I did push the deadline up a little…as long as it’s done and off to the professional editor by August, I’ll be fine. My ultimate goal is to get this finished by the first of August, then start on the fantasy novel (The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show) for August, September and October. If everything works out right I can swing into Supercapitalist for NaNoWrimo. December can be spent either finishing up a long-standing project or a quick one for cash. This is fun and all, but I need to get something in my bank account.

Well, I think that’s everything for now. I’m going to talk about a project next time…or maybe review a film after I get my two thousand down for tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Three Hundred Twenty-First Post: The One Where I Try To Get Back Into Some Sort Of Rhythm…

Hello, all — I know that I have been out for a few days from both insomnia and really not a lot going on here as far as writing goes.  Not that I’m not working (I’ve been working as fast as I can) or anything, but I’ve been focusing more on Lard of Love rather than my vampire tale.  Also, I’m getting ready for my second fantasy series called Drinker, Jester, Flirter, Spy.  OK…so my research is really just watching Burn Notice, but you would be surprised about how much tradecraft you can learn from that show.  Absolutely has nothing to do with the women in scene changes.  Nope.  Nothing at all.

Lard of Love is dragging a little bit for me, and there is really nothing left for the vampire tale except a lot of historical research.  So, I am working on the characters for the other fantasy story just because I can’t seem to focus on just one story.  This one is based off of a gaming character I made (aren’t they all?) and I’m working it into the same fantasy world as The Ushabit Series, The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show, The Ridden and at least four hundred years after the events of The Quietest Heart (on sale at the right hand side).  I always try to come up with an elevator pitch for the books that I write (in order: ‘Dr. Frankenstein meets Lord of the Rings while doing a Larry McMurry cosplay’; ‘Dr. House meets the Biblical Legion’; ‘Sybil and Raiders of the Lost Ark take a road trip through Lonesome Dove’).  So far, the elevator pitch for this is shaping up to be: MI-6 recruits Monty Python to infiltrate Fredonia.  Doesn’t really encapsulate the serious parts of the story, but it’s enough to hopefully get an agent to look at it.

Back to Lard of Love, my erstwhile romance novel.  It’s dragging a little bit because we’re heading into a part that I really haven’t thought through.  I just have to try to work through it and get to the next scene I have written in my head…which isn’t going to be for a while because that’s at least two acts away.  The main character is a fat guy.  I can get away with saying that because I, too am a fat guy.  To answer your next question: no, this is not autobiographic.  I just wanted to write a story in which the fat guy gets the girl rather than the fat guy being the main character’s best friend and certainly not an object of sexual affection.  I’ll just keep working at it.  I’m not hating it yet, but the pace is not doing any favors for me.

Well, that’s all for now.  Tomorrow, I need to get back to work on the current one, just work through the slow part, try to make something of it and get to another good part (maybe the main character could give a chubby chaser’s convention a shot?  Speed dating?) to keep me going.  I also need to get the car taken in to fix the air conditioner before the worse of the heat hits…then again, I’m in The South — while technically it is spring, but the thermometers are telling me it’s 103 degrees (or 93 degrees.  How can there be a ten degree difference in just two blocks?).  With that in mind, I’m going to get to visit the mechanics so we can see about getting the car to keep from dying for at least another five years.

Thanks for reading, as always — please look at the links on the right for current works (I promise to put something up soon) and there is a donation QR if you have Bitcoin.  Hope you all have a good evening, and I’ll chat with you again.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Three Hundred Nineteenth Post: The One Where I Give Credit Where Credit Is Due…

The reason why I call the main category “The Background Chatter In My Head” is because it’s precisely that: it’s what I’m writing in my head, even when I should be concentrating on other things…like cooking, laundry or driving.  Sometimes, there is an idea or a concept that’s in my head that runs around for a while.  This one is going to show up in a couple of my works: the vampire story I’ve been blathering about for a while, and another one which I might discuss later — it’s a take on a very popular Biblical tale.

The concept is the idea of a mentor.  Now, when we thing of a mentor, we tend to think of people who have been instrumental in helping us understand the world and our place in it. Mine are Leslie Dressler and Amanda Hillard-Beam.  These two women have been central in me becoming the writer I am trying to be today.  They have been kind, generous with their wisdom and their time.  They are a sterling example of a good mentor.

What if the mentor wasn’t so good?  What if the mentor seemed to have something against the pupil?  What if your mentor said flat-out that they would not help you, threw a beer bottle at you and said to scram?

What if your mentor was bad?

It doesn’t seem to make sense.  A mentor should at least not want their student to die — even if that’s what it would take to get through their thick skull.  Mentors in TV, stage and cinema were at the very least cranky drunkards who bullied and shoved their student to education and then tell them ‘you had it in you all along’.  They may be crass, but at least they had their student’s best interests at heart.  We have at the other end of the spectrum: the noble and wise teacher, gently pushing their student past their limits with gentle encouragement (or in the case of the Star Wars series, where the notion of mentor was cemented in my young brain) and ultimately stepping aside (or getting a lightsaber jammed in their bellies) to give the student the chance to fly on their own.

The idea of a mentor doing harm isn’t a new one, I know that, but I’m just turning the idea around in my head as what the vampire could be to our protagonist as first, but he’s been a vampire for so long, he might forget (or is he?) that his student is a little bit on the squishy side.  While it’s not actively trying to kill him, but he is certainly making our pseudo-Harker remember the lessons.  While it’s not necessarily a bad mentor, I would certainly hope he grades on a curve.

The other bad mentor I was thinking of is nothing more than the Devil himself.  Him being a harmful mentor is really par for the course.  The notion I am having deals with something that has bugged me for a while: what happened to Abel after he died.  I can see all the theology students raising their hands and stamping their feet for attention (yes, I know that he went to ‘the Bosom of Abraham’ and if you’re a Catholic, he was carried up to Heaven by Jesus during the Harrowing, but that’s not my point).  However, I am not going to let facts get in the way of a good story.  The idea is that Abel discovers a new world after death, and runs into something that is called It-That-Is which enslaves the spirits of the dead.  Abel needs help, and the only one that can help him is Morningstar (try not to call him that, it brings up bad memories).  Obviously, there will be bad blood between the two from that whole Fruit Incident, but there is nowhere else that Abel can go for help.  This is an idea that isn’t going to be worked on for a while because I want to this to an epic series along the lines of “A Song of Fire and Ice” or “The Dark Tower”.  So, there may be notes here and there.

Well, that’s it for now.  I wanted to give some heartfelt thanks to my mentors — who may or may not want to do me harm — and talk about something else in my head.  Thanks for reading and I hope you have a pleasant evening.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

 

 

The Three Hundred Eighteenth Post: The One Where I Try to Find My Plastic Glow-In-The-Dark Fangs…

Hello, everyone!  As I am getting ready to get this vampire story fleshed out, I’ve talked about the protagonist a little, but now I want to look at the antagonist.  I’ve called in a vampire, but that’s only because I want to get myself (or the reader) into a certain mindset about the character.  And what is that mindset you ask?

That this guy is mad, bad and dangerous to know.  Much like Lord Byron.

Earlier on, I explained that I wanted to bring back the menace and danger to vampires.  There is a lot we can still do with this particular archetype that doesn’t have to be limited to just sex (although as Stephen King points out in Danse Macabre — that’s what they’re there for), but it can be for any sort of lust.  Lust for money?  Sure — you ever seen a poor vampire?  Lust for power?  Have you ever seen a vampire worry about his voice not being heard in city hall?  Vampires are the spirits of lust given form and substance.  Sex is picked because it’s the most primal and the one that almost everyone can identify with.

I don’t want to call them vampires, though.  That word still has a lot of baggage to it.  Yeah, i said that I wanted to use the word vampire to put myself in a mindset, but I don’t want that word to be used  in the manuscript.  I don’t want my protagonist to suddenly jump up and yell “BLOODY HELL!  YOU’RE A VAMPIRE!

That is not going to help matters.

So, I’m going to call them vampires, but I am going to give them a couple of traditional weaknesses so that the reader can begin to pick up on things, but still leave it open to the reader should they choose to not believe that a bloodsucking fiend from hell could be a bit on the ornery side.

Well, I’m starting to feel a little mentally fuzzy, so I am going to make it an early evening here.  When I come back tomorrow, I’ll get back to the character of the antagonist and maybe think of some ways he can be a mentor to the protagonist and some ways he can be a jerk to him.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good day.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy