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Archive for November, 2012

On reading: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

November 21, 2012 2 comments

Just got done reading the book 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Absolutely loved it. A great combination of science fiction, mystery, suspense, horror, all with a love story thrown in for good measure. I literally could hardly put this book down (okay, so I did put it down long enough to sleep) I loved the characterizations, the settings, the moods he created, and the incredible level of detail he brought to his description of Texas in the late fifties and early sixties. And of course, the story incorporates a subject with which I’ve been fascinated for years: the JFK assassination. It’s clear that King spent many hours researching just this element of his novel, as he was able to blend it seamlessly within his time-travel love story.

My recommendation: two enthusiastic thumbs up. Great for all King fans, new and old.

–dp

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NaNoWriMo 2012 – Day 20

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

As George Takei would say, “Ohh Myy!”. It’s been twenty days of frenzied tapping on my keyboard, trying to keep up with the 1,667 words per day minimum. So far, I’ve been pretty successful. As of tonight, my current word count is 34,024, which is about a thousand words ahead of the pace.

Now I will admit that I’m cheating a bit this year. By that I mean I’m not actually working on one novel exclusively. For now, I’m working on two different books, adding to one or the other as mood and/or creativity strikes me. But who knows? By November 30th, maybe I’ll add to/start another one. For now, though, it’s just the two. I realize that NaNoWriMo purists will look down upon this approach as not in keeping with the true spirit of the event, but I’m okay with that. In the end, I’ll have fifty thousand new words, and that’s 50K more than I had prior to November 1st. As for whether any of those fifty thousand words will be of much use, I can only guess. But the effort has certainly greased up the wheels of creativity and sped up these fingers of mine. Funny how that works.

The month of November has also found me trying to wrap up a few stories that I hope to submit to Cemetery Dance magazine later this year, or possibly early next year, depending on when they open up for new submissions. Thanks to my wonderful wife, Debbie, I’ve gone through several revisions of one particular story. I believe it’s done, at least for the time being, so I’ve set it aside while I continue other work. No hints on the content of the story, but I will tell you the title: Detective’s Lament. Also, I’m just about finished revising another story. Once I’m done, I’ll hand it over to Debbie for her to look over. It’s currently entitled: The Mostly Come Out At Night. After that, I have one final story to edit. Then I’ll just have to hurry up and wait.

I must give kudos to Debbie. She has been awesome. She’s supported my writing efforts all the way and put up with this crazy month of November, where I hole up in my office even more than usual. And so far, she’s proven to be a great reviewer. She’s caught quite a few mistakes, and she’s been willing to tell me when something is clunky or just doesn’t work. About all she hasn’t done yet is tell me that my story sucks. Perhaps that will happen with the next one 🙂

So far, November writing has gone really well, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s all turning out. The rest of the week will find me diligently tapping out my required words, celebrating thanksgiving with friends and family, and taking a bit of time off to watch some football. After that, one final push to the end of November and 50K words and finishing up those short stories.

Good luck to all you other NaNoWriMo-ers out there. And happy thanksgiving!

–dp

Categories: Writing Tags: , ,

On writing: the reality

November 14, 2012 6 comments

I follow a blog written by a guy named Jeff Goins. It’s a great writing blog and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants advice about writing and how to achieve your writing goals. A while back, he posted a list about what he called, “What Everybody Ought To Know About Writing” It’s short and sweet and nails the writing life right on the head. I dedicate it to anyone who has ever told themselves it would be really easy to write a book (oh, if only it were true).

It’s hard.
It’s harder than you think.
It never gets easier (but it does get better).
It’s scarier than it should be (but not too bad once you start).
It’s the last thing you want to do when it’s the first thing you should do.
It’s usually pretty thankless (especially when you’re doing it right).
It’s easy to begin, hard to continue, and even harder to finish.
It’s never enough; you can always do more.
It can be painful.
It’s hard.

For those of you who have actually sat your butt in a chair and attempted to write anything, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with this list. Perhaps the only thing missing is what I would consider to be the real last item.

It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.

It’s true. At least for me, that is. I find that it’s kind of like running. The actual running part is hard work, and not necessarily something I want to do or that’s easy to do. But, after I run, I feel absolutely amazing. Well, the same with writing. When I’ve completed an evening of writing, and laid all those words out on a “blank” page, I feel that same sense of accomplishment.

How do you feel after you’ve spent time writing?

–dp

Categories: Uncategorized, Writing Tags: , ,

On writing: NaNoWriMo 2012 – day 10

November 10, 2012 1 comment

Day 10.

One third of the way through the month of November and I’m at just a shade under 20K words. Not bad. I’m pretty happy with that. If I keep up the pace that means I’ll have around 60K words in one month. If only I could write that many words every month. Never mind that what I’ve written so needs a crap load of editing, and that a portion of it will just end up going into the bit bucket. The point is getting the words out on “paper”, and that I’ve been able to do. It’s also a great way to “grease the wheel”, so to speak. When you find yourself placing your butt in your chair each day and hammering out words, it does, over the course of the 30 days, help you get in the habit of writing consistently. And, it even begins to make it easier to get those words out. Ultimately, that’s the whole point of NaNo. So for me, so far, it’s working.

As an update to what it is I’m actually working on, I’m currently splitting my time between two novels. One that I’ve been working on for quite a while and hoping to finish up, and another one that I started but hadn’t worked on in a long time. It’s kind of nice to split the work like this. Depending on my mood, I can work on one novel if I have some good ideas going. Otherwise, I can shift over to the other one and work on it. So far, so good.

Now, back to it …

–dp

Categories: Writing Tags: ,

On writing: NaNoWriMo 2012

November 1, 2012 1 comment

If it’s almost November, it must almost be time for NaNoWriMo. You know, those 30 days of literary abandon. Once again it has rolled around to November 1st, the day NaNoWriMo begins, and once again the time has flown by. As much as I’d intended to be better prepared this year, here I find myself at the beginning of November feeling as if I have no idea what to do. Truth is, I do have some idea. Several ideas, in fact. I just haven’t written them down anywhere. Ooops.

So, off I go, headed into the unknown, with hopes of either creating part of a new novel, or creating additional parts to novels I have in progress. Either way, it should be fun. Wish me luck! I’ll be back with progress over the course of the month.

–dp