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Where I’m At

November 27, 2011

It’s been a long-ass while since I’ve posted anything to this blog, though I’m happy to say that isn’t entirely because I haven’t been writing. I have been, just at a slower pace.

As I mentioned would probably be the case, I did not finish the revisions to my first novel by my self-imposed deadline. The way things stand now, I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with that story without doing a near-complete rewrite. (Satisfied in this context means feel confident enough to send off to publishers and have even a glimmer of hope for something more than a rejection letter.) And I just don’t feel like devoting more time to that novel. At least for now. So I’m putting it aside for a time when I feel like revisiting it, if that time ever comes.

What I have been working on for the past several weeks are some smaller projects. Some short fiction, and some notes for stories that could be short or novel-length. I have a small, but growing stack of index card with the names of protagonists and their primary conflict. Because really, that’s all you need to start writing something.

I am not participating in NaNoWriMo this month, though I wish good luck to those of you who are. (Pick up the pace penmonkeys! You’ve got three days left!) I wrote one month-long novel this year, and dealing with that first draft since writing it has proved to be more of a challenge than actually meeting my word quota by the deadline. Maybe next year.

For now, applying the lessons I learned about self-discipline from having written my first novel to new projects is my task.

That aside, I’ve read and seen some awesome stuff over the past five or six weeks. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon (dude needs a real website), and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins top the list. Both books tell very different stories in very different writing styles, but they struck me as having one important thing in common- they are both written in present tense rather than the more common past tense that most fiction is written in. Reading a narrative that described things as they happened made each book hard to put down. That’s a change I’m considering exploring in my own work. And if you can’t tell, I highly recommend both novels. (Yes, Hunger Games is “Young Adult” fiction. But I would say the narrative is sophisticated enough for anyone who considers themselves an adult.)

I’m also nearing the end of Game of Thrones. Yeah, I know I’m late to this party. But at the rate George double-R Martin produces sequels, I don’t exactly feel the need to catch up especially quickly. The question is, is it worth buying the DVD’s of the HBO series, or should I just wait however many years until they’re available on Netflix?

I got to attend “An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer” on Halloween. That was an amazing night. I now have an autographed copy of Anansi Boys. Sadly, I left my CD cover of Who Killed Amanda Palmer in the car, so her signature now graces a poster I bought at the show instead. For those of you who have been living in the musical equivalent of a convent for the last eight years and have never heard of either Amanda Fucking Palmer or The Dresden Dolls, you should read this article here, and then go buy some albums and remedy this gross deficiency in your life. (I recommend starting with either her Who Killed Amanda Palmer Album, or with the Dresden Dolls self-titled album, but you can’t go wrong with “Yes, Virginia” either.)

Lastly, I thought I would mention that I’m not sure how to feel about the passing of Anne McCaffrey. I never did read her Pern novels, though I was very unimpressed by The Rowan when I read it sometime in my early teens. I think that turned me off from reading her other stuff. Though when I see the number of authors I respect who credit her as an influence, I’m starting to think that her Pern novels may be worth a look.

And that dear readers (if there are any of you left) is where I’m at. Oh, by the way, the beer I had brewing turned out to be excellent.

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