Posts

A little; more

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Not a whole lot to report on the writing end. I've organized my to-do lists, and like every other time recently, was surprised at how much I'm not doing. I have three novels I could be submitting to agents, but I never developed a good system for generating the kind of volume I need to make that worthwhile. There are a lot of success stories about people finding agents, but on average it takes dozens and dozens of submissions before anything sticks. While I'm working on edits, maybe that's something I'll do: make yet another list.

In the mean time


I looked at this image in layers. First was the first-response factor; did I like it in and of itself. Then the content factor; did it do what I needed it to do as a cover for the novel resting behind it. On to the logistic factor; thinking about the issues last time, where does my byline go, and the title, and does that obscure any of the finer elements to be placed later. I'm happy when I think about the events of …

Like soap bubbles

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Been a while. So long that I can't really remember when I last wrote here, or what about. I have a distant recollection of some ambitious plan perfumed with an abundance of optimism. I'm not going to be a downer. I'll just say that I've learned a lot.

Today I sit in a laundromat while my dirty clothes rotate in soapy water. I always wondered about those people, in the movies and TV shows, sorting garments and slotting coins. I can now add that experience to the list of recent experiences. I don't see the same people regularly like I thought I would. I don't have any conversations with strangers like I hoped I would. Like I feared I would.  But the weekly chore-ritual has settled into its place, predictable and quantifiable.

What I haven't been able to work through as yet is the writing. And I guess that part is a bit debatable. An artist friend professes that thinking about writing, outlining, sketching, even drafting temporary, unrelated things counts. As…

2019 2020

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Every now and again I hear a story about a conspiracy of events, where a person is in the right place at the right time, having just experienced a prepatory series of events that puts them in the right mind space to receive whatever opportunity. I always wonder if it's the human brain seeking to order events in retrospect into some sort of providence, or if it really is a stroke of the divine.



Yesterday I was up in the mountains of Blue Ridge. A friend was having a celebration, and I had been asked months previous if I would attend. It being so far removed, and the request being so vague, I agreed without giving it much thought. Had I had all the information ahead of time, my answer very likely would've been different. However, as I sit here delivered, having passed through the crucible safe and sound, I'm glad I went. "When they told me you were coming, I didn't believe it." That's what my friend, the guest of honor said. I couldn't refute the insin…

Days of

I don't keep physical lists of things I need to do. Rather, I keep mental lists that I obsess over continuously. I moved recently, and going from apartment to apartment, there's a lot to do, a lot of ends and beginnings. Internet and utilities, account numbers and ending balances. Changes of address. I didn't have the internet for a few weeks, and not for a lack of trying. I learned a lot about modems and MAC numbers and networking and customer service. From my one favorite chair, I toured the world as I was transferred again and again. I felt bad for the people who had to read me scripts about how much they cared about my problems and couldn't use their real names.

All of it was a great opportunity to put things off. I haven't written on the new novel, and difficulties in the lives of my editor and my illustrator ground the publishing to a halt as well. I took a cue from their situations and stopped working myself. Work picked up along with the summer heat and...…

For sight

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I imagine that if I read more how-to books about writing, or read any at all, I'd know more about why certain writers write, and how writing came to certain authors. I know that for me, in the beginning, before being in college and having a mentor, before filling notebooks with stories instead of class notes, before I chose to write to articulate my frustrations and confusions, before all of that I had images multiplying in my head. My parents chided me for making sound effects with my mouth as I walked ruts in the carpet, from the kitchen, to the dining room, through the den, down the hallway, over and over and over again. They'd pick me up and sit me down on the couch, or tell me to go to my room, whatever it took to make it stop. I don't know where it came from, but I do know that I was never good at staying in the lines, or shading, or coloring. I had plenty of mental images, but there was a disconnect between what I saw behind my eyes and what I could create with my …

Suspended animation

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I made a plan for summer in mid spring; I guess that was my first mistake. The cover artist and I have settled on the line drawing, and color is being added. I'm told by the end of the week it should be about done. I'm pretty excited, however I am not in possession of the edited version of the inside of the book. All in all, in my abstract dreaming, I wanted all of this to be done before now, so the first book would be out in April, the second in May, so on and so forth. It was neat, in my mind, very orderly and squared. That should've been the first red flag that it wasn't going to work out how I planned. So, I'm not really sure where I am, exactly.

I'm in limbo at work, too. Spring semester has ended, and the summer session isn't quite here, yet. The first week's first day was a lot of sitting around looking at emails I'd already opened. I've revised up to the 4th book, turned back around and mad some decisions about some dangling choices in …

"Together-ness"

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I don't think collaboration is a skill that automatically comes with the writer tool set. A lot of the quotes about writing and being a writer mostly involve ideas like stillness and solitude. But no matter how good the words in the book ultimately are, the initial cover presentation accounts for a lot. I guess it's very similar to attracting a desired mate. In most cases, they see us first. Before they know anything about us, they interpret how we choose to express ourselves outwardly. I can't speak for other writers, but I don't draw all that well. Certainly not well enough to produce a cover. Nor do I have any talent at all at photography or graphic design or painting. I tell people, in fact, that it's because I can't express my ideas in a representative fashion that forces my words to come out the way that they do. So, all of that is to say I had to tell someone else about what I wanted my cover to look like. This was the initial sketch the artist produced…