BULLETIN: The Epiphany Has Arrived!

June 30, 2015

We interrupt this Blog to bring you a Special News Bulletin:

The long-anticipated epiphany regarding how my current manuscript will come together sensibly and all ends will be neatly resolved, has finally arrived (please see posting on this blog from June 18th titled, Awaiting an Epiphany).

The epiphany arrived shortly after 11 o’clock this morning, Eastern Time, as I was sitting in my thinking chair on the back patio.  It did not come surging in like a bolt of lightning.  No, it was much more subtle and stealth-like.  It evolved out of a complicated thought process (the only kind I have) that centered on one of the main characters and an acknowledged motivation in her life that I have well established in the manuscript.  I had just never spent enough time thinking about exactly how this said motivation might motivate the character in a direction which heretofore was obscured and undisclosed. All this time it had been waiting transformation into the great epiphany that has finally revealed itself.  It is truly a day for celebration…ice cream for everyone!

  …and now we return you to our regularly scheduled posting already in progress…

 

UPDATE: MY SAGA AS A TEMP BASEBALL FAN CONTINUES….

baseball01_all-this-pitching

We are 73 games played into the 2015 season of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.  My guess is that I have watched at least 60 of those games.  This alone is unbelievable.  It has to be the most time I have ever devoted in my entire life observing a sporting event.  It’s not that I don’t like sports, it’ just that I am not a particular fan of any one sport or team and never watch any sporting event with regularity.  That all changed this summer.

Last spring I decided I wanted to follow the entire season of one baseball team.  I would become a fan, root for the team and maybe even purchase some team gear.  Why did I do this?  I’m not sure, can’t exactly remember, but that’s not unusual anymore at my age.  I can’t seem to remember a lot of things I do anymore.  But it makes no nevermind; it’s been an interesting endeavor.

For those who haven’t read my previous postings on this project, I will explain that I asked my friend and baseball expert, Ron, to pick a team that I should follow.  I gave him a few prerequisites and conditions.  He selected the Cubs as my team.  So I unofficially adopted them and I’ve been watching their games all season.

I remind you that my understanding of the game of baseball is very basic.  I know a player hits the ball with a bat and then runs like hell attempting to touch as many of the three bases as possible and to “get home” before one of the opposing players gets hold of the ball and can tag him out.  Going on concurrently with all this activity are at least a gazillion minor and major strategies, skill sets, decisions and luck that come into play, thus making the game of baseball unpredictable and—at times—fascinating to watch.

The Cubs are made up of a group of unusually young players compared to most teams.  In fact, one player is the youngest in the league.  But as young as they are, their skills often exceed those of much more seasoned teams.  They have ranked as high as #2 in their league and had a lock on a wild card position for the Championship World Series at the end of the season.  A few losses this past week have set them back and they have lost ground.

Currently, the Cubs are playing a series of games with the St.Louis Cardinals who happen to be solidly in first place.  It has been during these particular matchups that I—the ever amateur, half-with-it observer—have noticed a huge difference when you see a good team play the game vs. the “okay” team I’ve been observing since spring.  The Cardinals definitely know how to play baseball and they have presented me and my Cubs a humbling and grueling experience to go through the past several days.

As you may guess, I have begun to form some opinions, maybe even conclusions, about this baseball experiment I’ve put myself through these past three months for reasons I no longer remember.  Here are some observations in no particular order or ranking:

  • Baseball is a sport that requires a good chunk of time, although you do not have to be locked into every minute of the game. You can watch it and still do other things at the same time.  During some games I’ve written a posting for this blog; paid my bills; worked on fixing some things on my websites; read the newspaper; eaten a meal; folded laundry; cleaned my desk; fallen asleep; etc.
  • Each player seems to be especially good at one thing, pretty good at some others and maybe lousy at one.
  • I realize it would be annoying to knowledgeable baseball fans, but it would be helpful and educational to people like me if there was more time devoted to explaining the subtleties of game while it is in progress. I am not sure how this could be achieved but I am reminded how much I learned about football when John Madden did his little chalk drawing tutorials to explain an interesting play.  Often the announcers will say there’s been a shift in the positioning of the in- or out-fielders when a particular player comes to bat or the bases have players on them in a particular alignment.  I usually have no understanding why.
  • All the venues copy from each other. They all have an organ player (why not a trumpet?) and they all play the same songs, cheers, chants, etc.  Also, they all have a mascot of some sort who does the same things all the other mascots do and they all use the same graphics on their big jumbo screens.  These are not criticisms, just observations.
  • And, since I spent my entire career in broadcasting, I will add that some of the announcer teams are enjoyable and do a good job of keeping the viewer/listener involved in the game and knowing, basically, what’s going on. Others suck.
  • I went to one game when the Cubs came to my town and played the hometown team. I had a good time, but much like football, going to the game provides one kind of environment and atmosphere…television provides an entirely different one.  If you really want to watch the game itself and know what is happening as it is being played, then stay home and turn on the TV—it does a lot better job of covering the game itself than you will experience going to the ballpark.
  • And finally, despite my earlier take a few months back, baseball players still spit a lot. True, there has been an effort to lessen the spitting, but it’s still there and still noticeable….and still disgusting.

Okay, those are all my notes to date…Go Cubbies!

*****

Here’s my pitch to say thanks to those players who spent some time on base with one of my recent postings…you are all a home run in my book: Teri Griffin, Lanie Hyman Shapiro, Kathleen Neiman, Ed Nowak, Roni Komie, and the ever-loyal Emma-I-miss-you-when-you-disappear-for-months-Snow.


UPDATE: MY SAGA AS A TEMP BASEBALL FAN CONTINUES….

June 28, 2015

baseball01_all-this-pitching

We are 73 games played into the 2015 season of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.  My guess is that I have watched at least 60 of those games.  This alone is unbelievable.  It has to be the most time I have ever devoted in my entire life observing a sporting event.  It’s not that I don’t like sports, it’ just that I am not a particular fan of any one sport or team and never watch any sporting event with regularity.  That all changed this summer.

Last spring I decided I wanted to follow the entire season of one baseball team.  I would become a fan, root for the team and maybe even purchase some team gear.  Why did I do this?  I’m not sure, can’t exactly remember, but that’s not unusual anymore at my age.  I can’t seem to remember a lot of things I do anymore.  But it makes no nevermind; it’s been an interesting endeavor.

For those who haven’t read my previous postings on this project, I will explain that I asked my friend and baseball expert, Ron, to pick a team that I should follow.  I gave him a few prerequisites and conditions.  He selected the Cubs as my team.  So I unofficially adopted them and I’ve been watching their games all season.

I remind you that my understanding of the game of baseball is very basic.  I know a player hits the ball with a bat and then runs like hell attempting to touch as many of the three bases as possible and to “get home” before one of the opposing players gets hold of the ball and can tag him out.  Going on concurrently with all this activity are at least a gazillion minor and major strategies, skill sets, decisions and luck that come into play, thus making the game of baseball unpredictable and—at times—fascinating to watch.

The Cubs are made up of a group of unusually young players compared to most teams.  In fact, one player is the youngest in the league.  But as young as they are, their skills often exceed those of much more seasoned teams.  They have ranked as high as #2 in their league and had a lock on a wild card position for the Championship World Series at the end of the season.  A few losses this past week have set them back and they have lost ground.

Currently, the Cubs are playing a series of games with the St.Louis Cardinals who happen to be solidly in first place.  It has been during these particular matchups that I—the ever amateur, half-with-it observer—have noticed a huge difference when you see a good team play the game vs. the “okay” team I’ve been observing since spring.  The Cardinals definitely know how to play baseball and they have presented me and my Cubs a humbling and grueling experience to go through the past several days.

As you may guess, I have begun to form some opinions, maybe even conclusions, about this baseball experiment I’ve put myself through these past three months for reasons I no longer remember.  Here are some observations in no particular order or ranking:

  • Baseball is a sport that requires a good chunk of time, although you do not have to be locked into every minute of the game. You can watch it and still do other things at the same time.  During some games I’ve written a posting for this blog; paid my bills; worked on fixing some things on my websites; read the newspaper; eaten a meal; folded laundry; cleaned my desk; fallen asleep; etc.
  • Each player seems to be especially good at one thing, pretty good at some others and maybe lousy at one.
  • I realize it would be annoying to knowledgeable baseball fans, but it would be helpful and educational to people like me if there was more time devoted to explaining the subtleties of game while it is in progress. I am not sure how this could be achieved but I am reminded how much I learned about football when John Madden did his little chalk drawing tutorials to explain an interesting play.  Often the announcers will say there’s been a shift in the positioning of the in- or out-fielders when a particular player comes to bat or the bases have players on them in a particular alignment.  I usually have no understanding why.
  • All the venues copy from each other. They all have an organ player (why not a trumpet?) and they all play the same songs, cheers, chants, etc.  Also, they all have a mascot of some sort who does the same things all the other mascots do and they all use the same graphics on their big jumbo screens.  These are not criticisms, just observations.
  • And, since I spent my entire career in broadcasting, I will add that some of the announcer teams are enjoyable and do a good job of keeping the viewer/listener involved in the game and knowing, basically, what’s going on. Others suck.
  • I went to one game when the Cubs came to my town and played the hometown team. I had a good time, but much like football, going to the game provides one kind of environment and atmosphere…television provides an entirely different one.  If you really want to watch the game itself and know what is happening as it is being played, then stay home and turn on the TV—it does a lot better job of covering the game itself than you will experience going to the ballpark.
  • And finally, despite my earlier take a few months back, baseball players still spit a lot. True, there has been an effort to lessen the spitting, but it’s still there and still noticeable….and still disgusting.

Okay, those are all my notes to date…Go Cubbies!

*****

Here’s my pitch to say thanks to those players who spent some time on base with one of my recent postings…you are all a home run in my book: Teri Griffin, Lanie Hyman Shapiro, Kathleen Neiman, Ed Nowak, Roni Komie, and the ever-loyal Emma-I-miss-you-when-you-disappear-for-months-Snow.


TAYLOR CANNOT TELL A LIE…SHE CHOPPED DOWN THE APPLE TREE!

June 23, 2015

Song lyrics illustrated in this posting are excerpted from songs written by Taylor Swift
 Taylorrrr

Oh Taylor, Taylor, Taylor…what have you done?  You have cut the big Apple to the core.  It is but mere sauce in your hands.  And you’ve left it no alternative but to shake shake shake, shake it off.

Someday I’ll be living in a big old city

And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hurt me

And all you’re ever gonna be is mean

Why you gotta be so mean?

So by now you have probably heard all about how Taylor Swift took to social media and in the matter of a tweet here and a tumblr there, she was able to do in just a few hours what some of her musical colleagues had tried to accomplish for months—specifically, bring the mighty Apple tree timbering down in a thunderous crescendo that everyone heard the woodwinds blow loud and clear.

Are we out of the woods yet?

Are we out of the woods yet?

Are we out of the woods yet?

Are we out of the woods?

Are we in the clear yet?

Are we in the clear yet?

Are we in the clear yet?

In the clear yet, good.

If you’ve hung around this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m a big Taylor Swift fan.  Have been for a long time (click on the archives for my posting, Passion, Writing & Taylor Swift on January 9, 1013).  I know I know, I’m too old and she’s too young.  But I’ve been through all that.  My lust for her centers on her smarts and the incredible talent that she is at such an incredible young age.  Not only a prolific writer of songs that whiplash your internal organs but they are songs fully scripted for the most part—not just a la la la or baby baby baby.   Meanwhile she’s got business savvy that watches over her bountiful harvests as if a farmer who dares to wear white overalls and leaves leaf eaters far behind her in a cloud of plow dust.  And here’s the point:  she does it all with class.

I’ve got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt

And when we go crashing down, we come back every time

‘Cause we never go out of style, we never go out of style.

Apple had previously said it would not pay royalties to the artists providing the product it would use during the trial period of its new digital music service.  Taylor, via tumblr.com responded:  “We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” she wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”  Apple had heard all the arguments before from plenty of people in the music industry, especially the young, the new, the unheard of—all of whom stood to lose life-sustaining income if the big App refused to pay for work, their work, performed.  But Apple didn’t listen to them.

So it’s gonna be forever

Or it’s gonna go down in flames

You can tell me when it’s over

If the high was worth the pain.

Apple listened to Taylor.  She’s a formidable force.  Take time to learn about her; she’s a fascinating celebrity…my vote for Person of The Year for Time Magazine’s next annual issue.

It’s okay if you quibble with her voice or think her mannerisms are a bit quirky or her strut too strutty…it’s beyond all that that counts.  She gets it.  So few celebrities do.  And that’s why, with the quiet roar of her social media that reaches millions, she can bring a giant corporation to its senses to do what is right.

Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you

Been here all along so why can’t you seeapple

You belong with me.

No prob, Taylor, I’m with you.

*****

The following folks don’t belong with me, but I welcome the time they recently spent visiting my blog and I am grateful they did:   Tonysbologna, Ron Carmean,  Roni Komie, Mike Fuller, Margie of Curating Serendipity.


ANTI-SOCIAL…

June 22, 2015

SOCMEDCOLLAGE

Oh God, once again I was out back on the patio with a cup of decaf after dinner sitting in my thinking chair.  And what was I…well, here we go:

In our society there seems to be no refuge from someone always attempting to sell us something.  Social media, as revolutionary as it may appear, is just another venue over which hangs the usual “Sale Today” sign.  It is sad to me that the majority of those who attempt to “socialize” with you via the almighty Internet really have no personal interest in you beyond the number of almighty dollars you have in your bank account.  And, any information which leads to access to that money honey hole becomes the primary prize on which hackers keep their eyes, or in this case, their mouse clicks.

To this day I am not ashamed to admit that I do not understand much of social media.  Yes, I see where it is an outlet for many who heretofore had none…none at least to use for communicating to others and expressing themselves.  Hell, I write a new post for this blog three-to-four times a week and I have kept that up for well over two years.  But I will hasten to explain that I do it for two reasons:  one is that it serves as a discipline to help sharpen my writing skills and, two, if it brings attention to me as an author it may result in sales of my books.  See!!!!  I am as much a whore as those I am criticizing here.  Although as patronizing as it sounds, I am to a great, if not greater extent, more interested in winning over your approval as a worthy author than I am in thinking I’ll ever get rich…but that humble conflict is measured only by number of books sold so round and round goes the social circle.

Consequently, all this socializing, to me, is significantly unsociable.  Twitter is an excellent case in point.  I must be stupid because I do not understand twitter and what makes it tick…or twit.  Most of what I read on it is nonsense or a pitch, either disguised or blatant.  The pitch is often motivated by the desire for sales or for publicity.   Both are the same since the intent of the latter is ultimately…sales.

Let’s look at my experience with Twitter.  Every one of my postings on this blog automatically appears on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Linkedin, Goodreads, Google, and I’ve lost track where else.  Usually it is only the first few lines that appear and then there is a link to the entire master blog page on the WordPress host site.  I used to do a custom tweet for each posting, assuming I wrote a better “tease” to attract readers that Twitter did by merely excerpting the first x-number of characters they extracted from my opening paragraph.  But that was short-lived because it was more trouble than it was worth.

I am supposedly following 49 fellow twitters (or is it tweeters?) and 50-some are following me.  Those numbers come from 500+ tweets I’ve authored over the past couple of years.  Truth be told, I just went to Twitter to check those numbers and other than yesterday I haven’t been to the site all year.  It’s not part of my life until, of course, someone wants my money.  Yesterday, for example, I got an e-mail that a nice lady pictured with her dog signed on as a follower to me on Twitter.  As I try to do with anybody who extends a cyber-tap my way, I send a thank you note.  But do I keep it a simple thank you?  Noooo!  I am compelled to show the person I took an interest in him/her.  So I always check the person out.  This lady was into holistic living and wholesome eating.  I thanked her for deciding to follow me and told her I was returning the follow because I noted her healthful lifestyle would set a good example for me to continue to battle my ill-fed waistline.  That was all I said.  Actually, given the stupid restriction Twitter mandates on the length of anything you have to say, that’s all I had space for.  Well, I did not really have to say more.  Today my e-mail and my Twitter account have been intruded upon by a number of entities who want to be a follower, be a friend, be a pal or whatever.  All of them represent some kind of wholesome healthy food or vitamin or fat-reducing product.  Do you think all they want from me is to be sociable?  Nuff said.

If one is to be social with someone, a prerequisite, at least for me, is that the intent is sincere and comes with no hidden agenda, no strings attached and no deceit.  “Social” to me is an exchange of friendship or camaraderie, not dollars.  It is an honest link or connection made among human beings.  The problem with all this new social media—and  I know I sound high and mighty here having just gotten up out of my thinking chair—is that too few of us can socialize in lower case… because too many of us insist on spelling social with a capital $.

-*****

BREAKING NEWS!  …I have been humbled.  If you want to read a hilarious posting on the “Three Douchiest Things People Post on Social Media” then you gotta hook up with Tonysbologna..it’s well worth the time and, hey if you’re at work, what else meaningful do you have to do anyway?   Here’s the link:  

http://tonysbologna.com/2015/06/09/top-three-douchiest-things-people-post-on-social-media-part-one/

*****

Meanwhile, a very sociable thank you goes out from me to those who have recently stopped by marc’s blog and left a like, a comment or maybe something to eat…and they are:  Jay Michaels,  Jodie Llewellyn, Mike Fuller, Ron Carmean, and Margie of Curating Serendipity,


AWAITING AN EPIPHANY

June 18, 2015

EpipBulb

Have you ever noticed there are some words that you find especially cool?  Maybe you like their meaning, or how they sound, or what they feel like rolling off your tongue—whatever.  For me, it’s the word epiphany.  I didn’t always use this word, especially for years, because I could never spell it right.  In the old days before word processors and spell-check, if I couldn’t spell a word I wouldn’t use it.  I was too lazy to look it up in the dictionary.  Then too, I was such a poor speller I would often get caught in that catch-22 trap of not being able to look up a word I didn’t know how to spell because…I didn’t know how to spell it.

Now, just for grins, here is what you get in Word when you shade the word epiphany and click on look-up:  “…a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence.”  I personally define the word as a holy crap moment.”

The reason I bring this up—the word epiphany—is because I’ve been waiting for one for several days.  They are not known for coming along often.  In fact, if you are actively thinking about one coming along, it more than likely won’t.  So why am I waiting for one?  It’s this damn book I’m writing. I mentioned it in a previous posting.  This book, my third novel, is proving to be a writer’s nightmare.  I have the beginning and the end, sort of.  I don’t have three or four chapters in the middle.  I just left some blank pages.  I can’t wait for them to fill themselves up with meaningful content, so I decided I’d just come back to them later.  Meanwhile, I kept going and wrote the last segment of the book.  But it’s all kind of flat.

“Compelling” is another word I like.  I like my books to be compelling.  If they don’t motivate you to keep reading, then why continue reading?   I like what I’ve written for this new book, at least as a first draft, but it’s not very compelling.  It needs a holy crap moment and, so far, I haven’t come up with any crap that’s holy enough.  So I’ve been waiting for an epiphany. That’s what I told my wife when she asked me why I was standing against the railing of the loft upstairs.  I told her I was waiting for the epiphany that would finally put a “WOW!” in my book.  She told me epiphanies don’t stop in the loft anymore, that I should maybe walk on over to the bathroom and wait there for one.

I am not sure what to do.  I checked outside in the bushes for an epiphany.  I looked under the seats of the car. I even thought I’d go over to the supermarket because maybe they had a sale on epiphanies.  My supermarket has a lot of buy one/get one free sales each week.  But good thing I checked the weekly sales booklet and didn’t waste a trip over there.  Then, in a moment of desperation, I checked Craig’s List but there wasn’t even one epiphany listed.

So I guess I will just have to be patient some more. I know it will come eventually.  It’s just being stubborn.  Epiphanies can be that way.  Maybe I can force one out in the open if I come up with some ordinary but striking occurrence.  Hmmm, I wonder…where do I find one of those?

*****

Speaking of holy things, right about here is holy space. This is where I list the names of the nice people who recently stopped by my blog and took a gander (please remember to return it; there are only so many)…they are: Ron Carmean, Mike Fuller, Peter Bolger, Ben East, Margie of Curating Serendipity, and psychologistmimi.  Thank you!

 


CARS, BOOKS AND SEX IN THE 50s…

June 13, 2015

SimonGarfun

You must understand that I led a very straight and narrow childhood.  My parents were not especially strict and certainly not prudes.  But sexuality in the late 50s/early 60s was nowhere, nohow as present in everyday life as it is today, and certainly not in my household.  I have two stories to tell about back then, and one about now.  Ah, s-e-x…I knew I’d get your attention.

Isn’t it odd how isolated details of some childhood events stay with you forever?  Case in point:  One of the earliest memories I have of first becoming aware of something called “sex” is like a scene out of a movie.  I was 11 years old in 1956.  We owned our first family car.  It was a red and white 55 Chevrolet, later to become one of Chevy’s most iconic models.  In the 1950s cars were taking on all kinds of new meanings as marketing concepts evolved.  It was not unusual to refer to a car as “hot.”  Books, on the other hand, were never referred to as hot…until one called Peyton Place was published.  This book, like 50 Shades of Gray, shot so far off the best-seller list there was a line at any store that sold it.

Honest to God, I remember one of the girls in my class at Leeds Junior High School having a copy of Peyton Place with a brown paper wrap around it.  She actually took it out of her purse and read it—with a crowd around her—during lunch.  I was naïve then.  Okay, I still am, but I cannot believe the teachers did not know what it was.  I think for them it was simply too hot to handle so they chose to turn away and continue on with their discussion of Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

So it’s no surprise that my buddy Steven and I are curious about this Peyton Place book and we want to see what has gotten all the girls in such a sophisticated, mature reading mode. He and I pool our funds and decide to buy a copy.  But how do we do that?  We’re two 11-year-old boys buying the hottest chic-lit sex book of modern time.  Our main read is Mad Magazine for cry’n out loud.  So we script out this scenario whereby we go into Harris’ Drug Store, peruse the twirling paperback book stand for a few minutes with stares of puzzlement and then pull a copy of Peyton Place out of the slot.  We walk up to the counter and—oh my God—who’s there but Mr. Harris himself, not the younger, hip assistant drug store guy.  So we put the book on the counter and, as per script, I say to Steven, “Are you sure this is the book your mother told you to get?”  And, right on cue, Steven says, “Yeah, she said it was black and had this little train station on the front and that’s this book.”  So, of course Mr. Harris takes this all in, in addition to taking our money all in.  Then he whips open a bag, puts the book in it and hands it to me.  We’re outta there like a bullet.  And that’s all I remember.  I don’t remember ever reading the book, not a page.  I don’t know if we took it to school to prove to the girls that we were just as cool as they were.  I just don’t remember anything beyond the trauma of buying it.   But I remember that 55 Chevy.  I learned how to drive in that car.

Okay, that’s story #1.  Here’s #2…

I didn’t get the “official talk” from either of my parents.  What I got instead was a thin booklet with naked sketches of a boy and a girl and explanations of how things work.  I think it was handed to me by my mother when I was around 12.   I have to admit, most of what I read was totally new to me and while it was not as thrilling as the current Hardy Boys mystery I was reading, it did hold my attention.  I remember my booklet was green and my brother’s, two years older than me, got one that was orange.  Funny, he got his at the same time I got mine.  Either they didn’t have these kinds of books when he was 12 or my parents thought I was significantly more mature than my brother was at 12.  Or, it meant absolutely nothing at all, which was probably the case.  Y’know, it’s really fun writing about this.  I just wish my mom were here to read it.  She’d get a kick.

Well anyway, you better believe I got my hands on my brother’s book as soon as he walked out the door.  I wanted to see if there was anything in his book that wasn’t in mine.  I guess not, because I don’t remember any difference between the two. There is one thing that I do remember vividly and that was, when I went to school the next day, I found myself staring at many of the girls in a totally new light.  Suddenly, their appearance, their entire presence, had changed.  They, as I now understood, were just like the sketches in my book.  This was a revelation!  Even my favorite childhood book, Charlotte’s Web, couldn’t top anything that I read in my thin little green booklet.  From that point forward I didn’t give a crap about spiders.

So that was way back then, and this is now.  It’s 2015, I’m a month past my 70th birthday and I am in the middle of writing a contemporary novel.  And what is happening in this novel?  Well, I am attempting to write a sex scene and all I can think about are these two childhood memories.  And all I can see are these two sketches of a naked boy and a naked girl on the pages of a thin green booklet, and I am wondering…really, really wondering…how am I going to make this work?

*****

Almost forgot…here’s the latest and greatest who stopped by marc’s blog and left a comment or a “like” or maybe just a footprint…thanks for your support:  Ryan Lanz, Ben East, Gol Naran, The Drabble, Del Nolan, Ron Carmean, Rita Petrushansky-Mastroni, Mike Fuller, Kate Beth Heywood and facetioussoup aka MLWA.


ALL OF A SUDDEN WRITING IS…WORK!

June 10, 2015

SNOOPY

I am either writing my best book or my worst book.  It’s one or the other, period. There’s definitely no in-between.  How do I know this?  Because I have never had a harder time writing a book than this one.  All my others—not like there are a gazillion of them; only five—came pouring out pretty quickly.  The process for them was simple:  sit down at the computer and start typing; stop when you feel like it.  Each one, once the research was done, just took a few weeks to draft, some less.  I’ve been at this one since last fall.

A few months back I posted a piece on my blog about it.  At the time I was struggling because I had a beginning and an end petty much thought out in my mind, but I was at a loss for what was going to go in the middle.  Consequently, I stopped writing for about a month while I thought about the middle.  Just to get off the dime and start writing again, here is what I literally put in the middle of the manuscript:

Anchor Note2

I figured I’d come back to the middle later.  I knew what was going to happen in the end so I just began writing that section of the book hoping it would automatically lead me back to middle.  So far it hasn’t.  In fact I am struggling a bit with the end and I have quite a way to go before I get to the last page.

I have never written a book in segments before and while it doesn’t seem to be an issue, this entire project has been like a stubborn birth.  It’s coming out back-asswards, it’s weeks behind and already it’s a problem and it isn’t even a teenager yet.  So I figure if I ever do get this book done, it will either be my first best-seller or a total, total disaster.

I think the issue is one of time and circumstance—that much I have figured out.  The book spans 20 years and there are several significant circumstances that occur—but not close to each other.  That’s the problem.  What do I write about between these major occurrences?  I just can’t skip big chunks of time because I have to develop the characters and lead up to the major events.  It’s just that the chunks are being…well, chunky, at least for now. Or, maybe they’re being clunky. Whatever.

What is especially unusual about this book is that it hasn’t been fun.  All my other books were fun to write.  This one is work.  No doubt about it, I’m working at this one.  It’s been as bad as an office cubicle job: I’m walled in, the coffee is stale, nobody can help because they’re all busy with their junk, the boss doesn’t like anything I show him and I have to come back tomorrow and do it all over again.  But not to worry…you can always count on me to show up.

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Here is one little bit of writing that comes easy:  it’s a thank you to several folks who stopped by my blog recently:  Kathleen Neiman, Peter Bolger, Ben East, Sarah Fritsche, Ron Carmean, JoePa26524, redemptionink, and Lynn Workman…thanks everyone, I appreciate your support!

 


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