Category Archives: Musing

I forgot

For an instant last night, wrapped up in my own world that included hot chocolate, Facebook, a chocolate chip cookie, this odd little dog, and a dozen other things to steal my attention away from reality, I forgot to write.

What scares me about that statement is it happens much more often than I would admit it to myself or anyone else. Maybe that’s why I’m telling you now, so I can get it out in the open where it doesn’t hide in the recesses of my daily denial. Confession is good for the soul, they say — we shall see. The truth is I go through constant bouts of self-criticism where I question my abilities and retreat.

I’m in somewhat of a creative void right now and I do exactly the wrong thing to deal with it. I avoid the blank page as if it were the tax man banging at my door. Go away, I shout, hoping the silence will return and I can go about the business of wasting daylight and avoiding my muse.

The blinking cursor beats a rhythm like a sadistic metronome banging out a funeral march as I stare at the blank screen – blip, blip, blip, blip…. It toys with me and I swat at the keyboard trying to drive away the demons that steal the words from my fingers.

The one bright spot in this sea of creative nothingness has been my blog and last night I even forgot that.  The horror…. the horror.

Tonight it’s the Oscars and a cup of hot chocolate to offer a few hours of respite from the blinking cursor. And tomorrow is another Monday to work up the courage to tame that flashing little bar that separates me from creative progress. It taunts me… it taunts me…

Be a Writing Warrior

According to Websters, a warrior is someone who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness. To that I would add a dogged determination to advance on a target, position, or result. Honestly, isn’t that what NaNoWriMo was all about – setting a goal and not stopping until you reach it?

Before I wrote Haunting Injustice, I would have told you that successful writers were the Stephen Kings and Tom Clancys of the world; success was measured in the books you sold. Surprising to me was discovering that success is not about dollars in the bank or pats on the back. Success is pushing through the daily distractions and getting the job done.

Every successful writer learns this lesson early on.

So the question is: Are you a writing warrior?

A best seller was a book which somehow sold well simply because it was selling well. ~S. Boorstein

NaNoWriMo – Day 21

Words today: —– (I did guy stuff)
Total Words: 46,212

What can I say – it got up to 75° degrees today with sunshine and light winds. I couldn’t let a late November day like that go to waste. And besides that – the last day of NASCAR season was today, so I watched the race, then went for a ride. Here’s a picture of Pearl taken last year at Meyers-Duren Harley in Tulsa. (Notice the Penguin in Leathers.)

Pearls Homecoming

Truth of the matter is I decided to make it a lazy Sunday. I can wrap up the challenge no later than Wed of this week, so I’m not concerned.

It’s back to the grindstone tomorrow.

If writers were good businessmen, they’d have too much sense to be writers. ~ Irvin S. Cobb

Summer Solstice

Summer noun (sum’ – er)
1. the season between spring and autumn
2. a period of hot, usually sunny weather

Solstice noun (sohl’ – stis)
1. the longest day of the year
2. it’s still hot, just a longer day of it.

For some people this is a major celestial event. There’s places in the world you wouldn’t be able to throw a rock without hitting a Pagan ritual of some sort. Magic abounds.

Today will be a few seconds longer than yesterday and tomorrow, but what does that really mean?  Will I get to write a dozen more words than I wrote yesterday? Do I get an extra meal? Does the mail take longer to deliver? Does the dog get to sleep a little more?

Nay, I say nothing really changes in the solar system we call my world. The magic of the solstice happens in the spirit.  The magic happens in my capacity to embrace it. So I’m going to have my own little pagan ritual. I’m going to sacrifice a bagel to the mother protector of all writers and ask for creative intervention in Hemingway’s name.

John Sebastion asked… “Do you believe in magic?”

To that I would say… “Most certainly.”

mmmmm……. Good bagel!

“In everything natural there is something marvelous.” — Aristotle

Waiting for Books

This is a lot like waiting for the Publishers Clearing house mailer. You know it’s going to be here, you just don’t know when. I figured I would have a box of books here by the middle of the month and shipping them off to those of you who took the pre-order option.

I would like to think the reason it is taking so long is because the publisher knows how good a work it is, they want to handle it with special care. Or maybe it is because instead of printing it the man on the press is reading it. Possibly it’s because the winter weather has the ink flowing like sap from a Canadian maple – painfully slow. It could be a simple factor of Franklin’s Law:  The lateness of the delivery is in direct proportion to the desire to have it. By the time the books show up I hope I have enough fingers left to hold the pen.

Whenever they do arrive, I’ll be busy turning them back around to readers.  I’m anxious to hear how everyone likes it.

“Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.” – Yoda

Gadgets… I love gadgets.

I have a weakness for gadgets.  Whether they are nifty little kitchen gadgets like those new fangled can-openers that won’t leave dangerous sharp edges, or even those handy quick choppers that slap-slap-slap an onion into submission.  I love them all.

But I’m a writer and also a reader, so I have been eying the new generation of eReaders, like the Kindle and the Nook, with great interest. The price tag has been holding me at bay. Yeah, a Kindle would be nice, having my favorite magazine and daily papers delivered to the comfort of my little slice of plastic every day, sounds very inviting. At the end of the day the only thing these gadgets do is deliver reading material and I just can’t justify slapping down nearly $300 for a device that just delivers print.

Then along comes the iPad. (Insert drool here)

Starting at $500 this thing will not only deliver the Times and the next novel by Stephen King, it is a calendar, planner, writer, web-browser, TV, movie theater, game machine, phone, map, shopping mall, photo album, mailbox, contact manager, jukebox, calculator, chat-room, doctor’s office, (catching breath) oh yeah… and you can read books on it, too.

It slices… it dices… it’s just not flash-enabled. (Not yet anyway)

My heart says buy, buy, buy.

My wallet says… “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

For all it does there are those that want to point at what it doesn’t do.  To that I would say, if it does everything I need it to do, so what it doesn’t do is immaterial.

Is the iPad a game changer?  In some ways yes, in some ways no.  It’s a step towards a new game.  It’s a look at the future of computing where we are no longer shackled to a desktop leaning over a notebook computer staring at a fixed screen.  We will be leaned back in those comfy Starbucks chairs playing games or chatting with friends around the world and sipping whipped mocoa with the masses.

I think my wallet has convinced me to wait for iPad 2.0.

That was close!!

Don’t worry, be crappy. Revolutionary means you ship and then test… Lots of things made the first Mac in 1984 a piece of crap – but it was a revolutionary piece of crap. ~Guy Kawasaki (Former Apple marketing guru)

The Words Won’t Come

The last couple of days have been a writer’s nightmare for me.  The editor open, the cursor blinking, the fingers hovering over the keyboard ready to spew forth the inspiration of creation.  A story to be crafted with sentences weaved together in a coherent mechanism of literary genius.  I want to write… nay, I NEED to write, but the background noise in the cranium seem to be draining away the creative juices like a child sucks Kool-Aide from a plastic box.

I know its there – the story, I mean.  I have the framework on paper, the concept, the characters and the path from first word to last period seemed so clear just two days ago, and BAM… it all disappeared like money into con man’s scam.  I don’t have the words.  What a nightmarish place for a writer.  A writer without words is like a kite without wind, or a scholar without a school, or a soldier without a mission.  Frankly…. It kinda sucks!!!

So, what do I do about it?

I just did. (See above)

You ever get a story stuck?

Call it what you will… an inspiration that won’t move forward or a tale with no path, whatever it is, I abhor it. It climbs in my psyche like a vicious parasite gnawing away at my creative process.  I can’t sleep. I can barely eat and through it all, the only thing I can think of is, “Where is the story?”  The only relief  will come by finding it.  I know the premise is sound, the characters believable, and the audience eager.  Now all I have to do is my part.  I have to connect the dots from the opening sentence and weave coherent prose that moves the reader, because isn’t that what we as writers are trying to do? …… Move the reader.

I was stuck.  I couldn’t find the story.  So, I gathered my wits, uncovered my beloved Pearl, and rolled away on a blustery Sunday afternoon, the low rumble of the Harley V-Twin singing a song of transport.  With the wind in my face and the machine tuned to perfection, I split my focus between the highway and the story begging to be written and click away the miles.  Suddenly, as if I had ridden through the winds of inspiration, the story was there in the form of a three act play.  The characters made sense and the plot sang to me like it was a choir sitting in the pew behind me.  It was as exhilarating as the motorcycle beneath me.

Now I gotta go write the damn thing!