Monday, June 30, 2014

What next? You tell me!

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
It's the last day of June, we're skidding into a hot summer and I have no idea what to write.
I thought about writing some more about my experiences on Craigslist, looking for a decent tenant. But, honestly? That just bores me.
Then I thought about updating everyone on the progress of the book.  I'm at 34,000+ words, but the going is slow and I am distracted by other things such as Craigslist and new lamps.
I could write about the new floor lamp I bought yesterday.  It's sleek and black and I got those twisty future bulbs that are supposed to be more energy efficient, but their light is too bright white for my taste and I can't believe I'm writing about light bulbs.
Oy vey.
I could tell you what I've been reading. The latest, and supposedly last, book in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, which was ultimately unsatisfying and has left me desperate for something to read that I can sink my teeth into.
Or I could write about my job at the comic shop and the parade of characters who march through our front door. Often accompanied by loud, enthusiastic children.
If I was in a worse mood I'd blast the condition of the local roads, filled with pot holes and garbage. I think its sad that I drove from Alaska to South Carolina and from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again and never had a single tire problem. But in the last year and a half I've had to get three new tires for my car because of the shitty state of the local roads.
But no, I will not go off on a tear about municipal failings.
If I had a love life, which I do not at the moment, I might write about that.  But small children would have to leave the room, as well as some of the adults.  You know who I'm talking about.
I could, I suppose, write about all kinds of things.
But none of it seems very interesting to me.
So, I'm going to do something a bit different with this blog post.
If you're reading this and you want me to write about something, leave a comment.
What the hell! Let's see what happens next.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Greatest Hive of Scum and Villainy

So, a few weeks ago I decided to rent out the extra bedroom in my house for a little extra money. Which meant that I had to brave one of the greatest hives of scum and villainy in this world or any other: Craigslist.
Now, I've done the rental thing before.  I'm an old hand at screening roommates, face-to face, but Craigslist didn't exist the last time I was handling roommates.  And, well, you hear a lot of crap about CL scams.
Nevertheless, Craigslist's reach and effectiveness countered my concerns that I would be wading through a ton of scam solicitation e-mails.  So, screwing my courage to the sticking place, I wrote up an ad and posted it.
And waited.
And waited.
And waited some more.
After a little while, I signed out of the 'net and ran errands.
It took a couple of days for me to get a response to my ad and, sadly, the first responses were from scammers.  I ignored them and tweaked the ad a bit, being a bit more blunt about my expectations.
I got some more responses.
A couple of more scammers and then, all of a sudden, legitimate responses.
Which just goes to show that, sometimes, our fears are worse than the things we're really worried about.
So, gentle readers, be bold. Be brave. Be daring!
Go and check out Craigslist!
It's not as awful as you think it will be.
If nothing else the personnels' section will make you laugh.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Myth of Destiny

Good afternoon, gentle readers.
Today I'm going to talk about a friend of mine.
Last week she was diagnosed with second stage breast cancer.
The doctors tell her that they've caught it and that they expect her to make a full recovery. 
I don't know if my friend believes them.
You see, gentle readers, my friend's mother and grandmother both died from breast cancer, so I think this diagnosis has shaken my friend more than she'll admit.
We've been talking on the phone and I get the distinct impression that she's sort of soldiering on in the face of imminent doom.
She is one of my oldest friends, one of my best friends.  I love her very much and I think she is being a complete idiot.
Because, outside of fairy tales, there is no such thing as destiny.
Our lives are not preordained. We have free will.  That gives us power, the power to change what we do and how we do it.  The power to rail against the world and win.
My friend told me once that she thought she would die like her mother.  She said it so casually, so matter-of-factly, the way you or I might say, 'The weather is nice today.'
Thinking about it now, the way she said it sends chills down my spine.
It was just so accepting of this imagined fate and now, well, circumstances seem to be colluding to engineer that fate.
She has suddenly come, face to face, with the reality of this bad dream.  And I am afraid that this belief of hers, that this is how she will die, that it is inevitable, will impede her recovery.  That she will not fight to recover, to live, as fiercely as she should, as I know that she can.
I hope my friend is going to read this. I hope that it makes her angry that my perception of her is so skewed and wrong, that she'll call me up and rant and rail at me and tell me I'm an idiot.
I hope I am.
I hope she does.
Because I love her and I don't want to lose her to this awful thing.
What next?
Who knows?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Food Coma

No blog update today, gentle readers, because of Texas Steak House and their enormous portions. Also, I think I'm about to slip into a food coma....

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blame & Wonder

Good afternoon, gentle readers.
I haven't gotten much writing done lately.
Not for lack of trying; I've been sitting down at the keyboard every night for the last week, banging away, producing nothing worthwhile.
I think the last piece I was happy with was a submission to 365tomorrows, and that one had been haunting my head for the better part of a month.
I'm still working on the sequel to Dawnwind: Last Man Standing, which I have privately started referring to as That Bloody Book.  At the rate I'm working on it, however, George R.R. Martin will have finished his entire Song of Fire and Ice and probably edited a couple more Wildcard novels before I finish this thing.
It doesn't help that I'm distracted, sort of, by other things: the house, the job, life in general. But trying to blame my lack of productivity on all that just makes me feel lazy.
I suppose I could blame Youtube and Hulu for some of it.  I was watching Fallout: Nuka Break and Bus Pirates on YouTube this week and binge-watched every episode of Deadbeat on Hulu last night.
But if I'm going to do that I might as well blame David Weber and Rachel Aaron for writing such engaging characters as Honor Harrington and Eli Montpress.
The fact of the matter is, ladies and gentlemen, that I could blame a lot of things: the weather, the birds that insist on singing outside my window, movies I have seen, cakes I have eaten.
But those aren't reasons, they're just excuses.
And there comes a point where you have to stop making excuses and admit the hard truth: I'd rather be writing something else.
That Bloody Book is just no fun to write. 
It has become a kind of duty to me, something I HAVE TO FINISH.
Writing it is less a creative endeavor and more of an endurance contest.
Can I finish it before I snap and run naked down the street screaming at the top of my lungs?
Well, okay, that probably won't happen.
But sometimes that's what it feels like it's becoming.
So is it any wonder I get distracted by other stories? I've got an unfinished fantasy in the wings and, percolating somewhere in the back of my head, a sequel to The Marvelous Land of Ap.  There's a supervillain story slowly taking shape in small notes and character descriptions.
But the funny thing is That Bloody Book could be fun again. Last weekend, on a lark, I started writing a short story set in the same universe with the same characters and the words just poured out like milk and honey.  It was wondrous.
I just have to find that same sense of wonder with the current story.
So, what's next?
The hunt for wonder.