As Always

Done writing like crazy for today. 

Done writing like crazy on Incomplete States. I finished the beta version of the series today when I wrote the last words of the chapter that bothered me.

I went through it today, and it didn’t bother me as much as I remembered. It worked better than I realized. So, okay, it’s acceptable for now. We’ll see once the first draft of the series is finished.

I began this series with a half-assed concept on July 16, 2016. It was just supposed to be one novel with a working title, The Long Summer. I didn’t expect to be working on it for over two years, but as I explored the concept and it grew, so did the novel. As I learned the story, I learned that there were a few more novels to it. I realized it was a series. And, as I wrote, I realized, as many writers do (as Thomas Weaver reminded me), I didn’t start at the beginning. That forced me to go find the beginning.

Now the four books and the series are completed, in a beta version. The fun part, the most exciting part, the creative part that lets me gulp down coffee and write like crazy, is completed. Now work is required. Revision and editing.

Revision and editing is fun in its own way. I know from editing and revising other novels, what I wrote will surprise me. Hopefully, that’ll be so this time, and the story will engross me.

Starting that will need to wait until tomorrow. I feel comfortable going back and reading the first book tomorrow because I began writing it last October and finished its beta version in January of this year. It’s been a few months, time enough for it to slip out of mind so that I can look at it with fresh eyes.

As always, as expected, I experience a spectrum of emotions with being done with this phase. I’m elated. Writing a novel or a series is challenging. It takes some fortitude, discipline, hope, and persistence. Finishing one is satisfying because I established a goal and achieved it. I also feel a little free, because a burden has been lifted. I’m anxious, too, because now I need to edit and revise it and put my baby out there.

As always, too, I feel sad. The fun part is over. That was amazing. The writing process often presented unexpected twists and turns in what I was writing. I feel privileged to enjoy such a creative process.

Now, too, as always, not having the series to write means changes to my daily routine. Change is always a challenge, so I need to work through that.

As always when writing that first effort, it’s been a ride.

Now, as always, my ass is in a little pain from sitting for so long. I’m hungry, too. The day has moved on without me, and I need to go out there and catch up. To use a favorite final line from a favorite author, novel, and series, “Good-bye and hello, as always.”


Friday’s Theme Music

Slipstreaming through the streaming flow that sometimes seem to be my thoughts (and other times seem to belong to others), I come across a cache of STP, shorthand for Stone Temple Pilots (and not Scientifically Tested Petroleum or something else).

There are several jewels in the cache. Demonstrating its own affinity, my mind goes with “Interstate Love Song”. Released in the music-rich environment of the SF Bay Area, the song quickly became a favorite commuting tune. Coming out in 1994, it saw through retirement from the Air Force into the transition to being a civilian and finding a job in 1995.


Writer’s Strike

I was contemplating going on strike this morning. Why not? I can, can’t I? My muses and characters go on strike when they’re disenchanted with the story. Isn’t it fair that I also go on strike?

I do not like the chapter I’m working on. It’s almost finished. The characters and muses agree, yes, that’s the chapter. It’s perfect.

My reaction is, I respectfully think you’re fucking nuts.

I’m aware that I am the writer, that the characters and muses are imaginary constructs that exist as part of my writing process. (Well, I hope that’s the case.) It’s a subject that takes me into an existential hole. I’m the writer, and I think, therefore I write, but I always seem to be driven by the muses and characters’ preferences and decisions. When I stumble in my writing, it’s generally because the characters object to the story’s direction, or the characters’ development.

This, I think, is turnabout is fair play. I object to what they’re doing. I don’t like it. There isn’t a writer’s block involved. The characters gleefully push their words their my fingers, and we make great progress toward the conclusion. So, it’s not a block. It’s a disagreement.

Frankly, the situation has been developing for a few weeks. Just a few days ago, I was complaining about my characters’ tendency to talk things over. I wanted action. No, they needed to talk it out. Well, they’re the characters, right? I’m just the writer. Despite our artistic differences, I yielded to them.

I’m going to yield to them this time, too. Because, number one, I feel the urge to write like crazy. I don’t like what I’m writing, but I feel obligated to write it. This brings up a couple questions. One, is it totally insane that I feel obligated to write it? Two, do I need to like what I’m writing?

I answer the first question, yes, you’re fucking nuts, but that’s not a problem, per se, and I answer the second one, but if I’m writing for me, shouldn’t I like what I’m writing? This prompts some internal dialogue between me, myself, and I, and the suggestion that maybe I do secretly like it, but I’m worried about how readers might react.


I’ve not put on my reader’s persona to address the issue because it’s just too early. It makes no sense to read this as a reader when I haven’t completed it as a writer. It’s a work-in-progress.

I console myself that this is the beta draft, not even the first draft, dude. I also console myself that many writers think their first draft is crap. So, you know, write the crap that the characters and muses are pushing, and then revise and edit the hell out of it once it’s written. Despite my disagreement with my muses and characters, getting it written remains the key. That’s my function as the writer. The mantra is, get it written. The mantra is, you’re still learning the story. 

Okay, now that I’ve vented, time to write like crazy, at least one more time.


Chubbasaurus Orange

Chubbasaurus Orange (catfinition) – breed of hefty orange cats who enjoy eating and hunting but are very sweet.

In use: “They weighed twenty and twenty-one pounds, but the chubbasaurus orange cats demonstrated amazing leaping abilities, with one jumping as high as a man’s shoulder when the cat went after a robin taking flight.”

Pogo (left) and Schectker, chubbasaurus orange.

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