Monday, October 3, 2011

Technical-ology

My mentor told me a story once about an old transient author (redundant) writing poetry on napkins in a bar. The man would scribble his verses down and do nothing with his stories. He didn't talk to anyone while doing so, or socialize much at all. One day, an inquisitive type found one of his little balled up passages and praised the man, asking him how it was that he was able to write so clearly and with such truth. He was shocked to find out the old man had no family and no place, given his gift. The reply, my mentor told, was something to the effect of "I love the individual, but I hate people." As usual, my mentor didn't tell me much of what I was supposed to get out of the story; he was a good person to learn from, I think.

So, Google has reached out and sunk its teeth into social networking (finally finished with its meal of Mapquest). Before they made their little engine public, a friend was nice enough to invite me to join. I only made a profile today though, because that's just who I am. I did not indulge the widgets or gadgets in investigation, and over time, I imagine I will transport the various links from my facebook page to the new one. If anyone asks, I'm all over the social networking thing. A writer in the guild I belong to says she devotes no less than two hours a day to promoting herself and her work. Perhaps that is the me of tomorrow, but I can tell you the me of today is unenthused at the prospect.

The writing done this weekend is a different matter. The chapter drafted was "important" in that it introduced the bad guy, which is not something I typically do. I think in most situations I try to present round characters that have differences of opinion and ideology with the characters driving the action, however in this situation there were nefarious arrows and insidious pointers to the figure in question. I don't think it's going to be much of a chore to get readers to hate the guy; it might even be a little fun. I did come across a bit of a problem, though, which is that on the pace that I'm on, I won't be done with the book until next year. Mathematically, I think I'll have to ramp it up to two chapters a week rather than just the one (and that's just a guess, I only do actual math at work).

So, naturally, when it's time for me to write more, my primary instrument for such (my desktop; I'm new/old school) decides to slow down in fits and starts. The monitor today did something I've only seen CRT televisions do, which prompted me to launch into my diagnosing methods: first, waggle the various cords and connections, and second, when that doesn't work, turn the machine off and walk away from it. The last step of any process I enact is to ruminate and plot. Doubtful that I could afford a new machine, so perhaps all the blogging and surfing I've done on this laptop was in preparation to write an entire novel on this handy machine. Challenges are simply opportunities to prove oneself greater, or some such.

To date, I've attempted plays, and scripts, completed novels and poems, and short stories in both of those categories. Now I think I'll swing for the collection fence. In the past, I always imagined myself lumping all my shorter work together and publishing it, all the while thumbing my nose at all those places that told me no (perhaps sticking the majority of them here is the high road?). The stories in question all deal with projections into the future, so it would make some degree of sense, but with this new idea all the stories orbit around a central concept dealing with a futuristic speculation. I've talked it over with one person, and they said it sounded feasible, cool even. Maybe I'll be responsible and update this new project to my website.

No promises.

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