Six Word Saturday

More of Ron’s enjoyable introspections about self, truth, and life.

Scrambled, Not Fried

Home Alone (Lonely). Ankle-Deep In Pizza.

Oh, sure; he enjoys his “alone time” at home amid the fading green hills while His Beloved is away, being all beachy and sisterly, watching the gulls instead of the crows, hearing the tides instead of the rustle of dead leaves.

But it doesn’t take him long to realize that, these days, he already spends too much time alone and only a total nidiot would pass up the chance to be with her every weekend, even if it’s at Sisterly Beach, listening to the surfy static and the screamy seagulls.

And, yes, it’s true that she went out of her way to make sure he had a fridgeful of healthy food before she left but, well, even a nidiot knows there’s no solo food like a large special Village Pizza pizza, and that a large special Village Pizza pizza will provide at least 3…

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The Writing Day

Yesterday was one of those ass-kicking writing sessions that probably released a liter of dopamine in me, reinforcing my addiction to my writing practices.

I began by writing summaries of my dark writing episode’s reveals. I then wove them into the two documents I keep to track of the novel. For this novel, the two documents are “Incomplete States Thinking” and “Epiphanies.”

The first is basically a compendium that includes the characters’ names and sexes, and other materials that I add to the novel. It’s the bible I refer back to for reminders about locations and relationships. It summarizes the concept and various arcs, and includes reminders about what I’ve decided at certain plot points. This novel is science-fiction, so a dictionary of terms, species, ships, and planets is also included.

“Epiphanies” is a much briefer summary of realizations that come to me. As an organic writer, I’ll often have no fucking idea where I’m going. I’m following paths through dark woods, at night, with a candle, during a storm, asking, “Okay, why did that happen? What happens next? Where the hell am I?”

I’ll go off to do other things that divert energy and attention from writing. Without warning, ideas answering those queries will sledgehammer me. They’re generally broader and more ‘strategic’ than where I’m at in the novel’s writing process. So, to capture them, I add them into a document. I later address them in the thinking document at a ‘tactical’ level, and then develop them into events, scenes, and chapters. Many times, I’ll write these, and determine where they go in the novel, and then add a bridge to get from where I am to where I’ve gone and where I’m going.

To give more insight into the two documents and their relationships, the thinking document is thirty-four pages, and just under twelve thousand words. Nothing is ever deleted from it; I’ll line through something that changes, and then add an elaborating note.

The other document, “Epiphanies,” is three pages and six hundred words. It has twelve bullets in it, with sub-bullets. I add to it to capture the gist. More detail is added to these ideas in the thinking document.

It probably all seems over-organized and tedious to others. It’s not a process that I planned, but a method that I learned to keep me on track and moving forward. I accept the process, with all its encumbrances, because it does let me finish novels. In theory, instead of creating an outline and writing the novel, I begin writing the novel, and create the outline as I go.

Additionally, when I write those events, scenes, and chapters, I generally create them in their own document. At the beginning of the document, I include a prelude to explain the document’s genesis, and how it’s fit with everything else. Once I complete its first draft, it’s put into the document. The prelude is not put into the novel, and its not deleted, but highlighted and marked so I know, at a glance, that it’s not meant as part of the novel. I write to capture the critical elements initially, so the original document is typically fifteen hundred to twenty-five hundred words. Once it’s added into the novel-in-progress, further editing, refinement, and expansion is conducted to improve its coherency, logic, details, pacing, language, and style. I generally have several main characters, with one prime main character. While the novel has an over-arching tone, each character has their own tone, which is conveyed by ‘their’ style.

Yesterday’s session ended with twenty-five hundred new words added to the novel. Most of these were in one chapter, of three scenes. It was a two hour session, and included summarizing the thinking and epiphany documents. I’m pleased when I reach over two thousand words in a session; I’m not a fast writer.

I don’t pursue word counts. I did when I first began the effort to establish a disciplined approach to writing. Since then, I don’t need word counts, but tend to stop after a certain number. Part of this, I think, is conditioning from the early days, but some of it can be attributed to how writing fits into my life. I like writing in the late morning to early afternoon, but then I need to do things outside of writing.

I could have continued writing yesterday. More material was available from the dark writing session. Time wasn’t on my side. I had other obligations. That’s life. I wasn’t worried, though, because I knew I would come back today, pick it up again, and continue. My writing output and processes tend to follow their own cycles of waves and troughs. Understanding that helps me cope with the rise and fall inherent in my process.

Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.



Pursuing the writing thread after my walk, sipping my first cuppa writing coffee (I drink one cup of coffee at home in the morning to start my heart), I’m thinking about America’s division. We come together for disasters. Hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters bring us together to help and save one another. In those instances, we’re no longer just Americans, but humans, caring for one another.

Then someone takes a gun and kills several people. Suddenly we’re not humans toward each other, nor even Americans, but Liberals and Conservatives, hurling insults and threats at one another, and creating a storm of anger and hostility.

Will there ever come a time when we move beyond this, to that place where we’re always humans to each other, stepping up to help, without resorting to vitriol? I don’t know. I have hopes it’ll happen. Then someone writes or says something that I find stupid, offensive, or horribly wrong, and there I am, in the storm of anger once again.



Saturday’s Theme Song

Heard this on the radio this morning, and just thought I’d go with it, mostly because it stays in my head. It’s a song that my wife and I often crank up on the radio when it comes on in the car. Writing “crank up” creates visions of me turning this crank several times until the volume increases.

Anyway, here’s Pharrell Williams with “Happy,” from twenty-thirteen.


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