Laughing All the Way

I found myself laughing as I edited today, because I was dealing with the holes.

Still editing Book Five, An Undying Quest, of the Incomplete States series, I have half of the novel edited. The thing about the holes and the society that use them is that I hadn’t planned these holes. The holes in discussion are worm holes, but small, controlled to some degree, such as the way that we control water by channeling and funneling it, and managing levels and temperatures, etc., that are located in a cavern on another planet. The people use the holes to travel to other places, and sometimes to other times, and, if they’re brave enough, to visit the dead.

As noted, they were completely spontaneous when I was writing that section, and created a history and structure on the go. Reading, editing, and revising it today, this society’s depths, history, and complexities surprised me. There’s a sense in reading it that it’s historic fiction, and that you have some sense of what’s meant by the terms and relationships because that’s your history.

I quite enjoyed reading it. Will it work for others? Maybe, maybe not. I think it was James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) who said something like, “Tell the story, and let the reader catch up, if they can.” That’s what I’m employing in this instance.

I must admit, one aspect of the holes was inspired by a scene from Field of Dreams (1989), when Terence Mann (James Early Jones) accepts the invitation from Shoeless Joe (Ray Liotta) to enter the corn. Love that scene.

Done writing and editing like crazy for another day. Off to join the real people, the real world, and the real sunshine.


Progress Report – Incomplete States

I finished editing and revising A Sense of Time today. It’s the fourth book in the Incomplete States series. It’s three hundred thirteen double-spaced Word pages, and seventy-five thousand words. I’ll begin editing and revising the fifth book, An Undying Quest, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve continued work on the side with the sixth book, The Final Time. I look forward to working on it full time after I edit the fifth book. Based on my projected social calendar and holidays, and my pace with the other books, I’ll probably finish editing and revising An Undying Quest by December’s end.

Done for today, though. It’s becoming cold outside. That bastard wind never relented and the sun is skulking behind layers of clouds. Time to go home, maybe have some hot soup for lunch.

It was a good day of writing and editing like crazy.

A Summit of Positive Energy

I awoke early, but stayed in bed. The muses were already up, and were in a dictating mood.

They were working on the next novel in the Incomplete States series. The Final Time is the sixth book in the series, which is about five more than I’d planned.

Apparently, while I’d been sleeping, I’d been thinking over the novel’s concept challenges. While doing that, my muses engaged with my subconscious. Net results were that they’d figure out the issues and objections bugging me yesterday, and had created action and dialogue.

After staying in bed, I heard the muses out, and then got up, went into my office, a.k.a. the snug, powered up and typed. It wasn’t a lot, ten free-flowing pages, about eighteen hundred words that must now be edited, but that manner of spontaneous writing inspires me. It’s the best kind of writing, because it seems like it’s a writing zone. The book seems powerfully tangible. The process leaves me breathless and energized with excitement.

There’s always a caveat to this. Just as I have a few days in a dark trough roughly once a month, I also crest a summit of positive energy once a month. I endure the dark trough. It ain’t fun. During that time, I feel bitter. Drenched with self-pity, I despise myself and the world. Sometimes, when it’s really dark, I wonder WTF do I ever write? What is the point of this crap? Why do I put myself through it? Surely it’d be easier not to be a struggling writer, but someone who lives the retired life, traveling, puttering around the house, going to the gym three mornings a week, taking in movies, and so on. That appears to be what my retired friends do. It sounds appealing when I’m sunk in the dark trough.

But this summit? Man, it’s a joy. I accept it and run with it. Sometimes, though, that positive energy gets carried away, and the promises that I make during this time are difficult to fulfill when I crash into the trough. And again, that’s my life.

The trick with the mood extremes is to write no matter what I’m feeling or experienced, and accept that what I write may be great or terrible in either state, but it must be edited later.

Okay, got my coffee. Time to edit and write like crazy, you know, at least one more time.

Sick, Compromised, Logical, and Wrong

I confess, I’m not a good person to have as your driver on vacation. Yes, I’m safe, aware, and involved, but I’m also goal oriented. I’m driving for that destination. Stop to look at the view? That’ll slow us down. Eat? What? You have to pee? Are you kidding me?

Yes, once I put a goal into place, it’s hard to abandon. It’s true with my driving and my writing. What is a strength is also a problem.

I’m debating about a sixth book in the Incomplete States series. (The working title, The Final Time, came to me as soon as part of the brainstorm that inundated me last night.) It’s a logical decision to me, as though I’m in control of the whole thing. Yes, and no, of course.

First, I acknowledge, I’m a little sick of working on the series, sick in the sense that I need a time-out. Sick, as in the sense that I was eager to work on something different. I have a goal in mind, and I’m almost there. I don’t want to turn away from that goal. I see and understand that about myself.

I thought that maybe I could compromise with myself and my muses. I will write some on the side, maybe, maybe not, we’ll see (he said, hedging his commitment), and continue editing full-time. Yes, that sounds like a good compromise.

Yes, I’m pretty stupid at times, thinking that it’s all about logic, control, and goals.

That’s not it at all.

I forgot that I write for myself. I write for myself in the sense that I am my number one fan, and my number one reader. I write for myself because I want to know what I think. I want to know the story. To now think of the story and try to apply the brakes is ridiculous. I want to explore it; I want to know.

That means I must write it.

That might all fizzle out, of course. Perhaps as I begin exploring it, the story will peter out. I’ll conclude, there’s not anything more to write and learn here. I might write some and realize, well, this is really just part of the last book.

I don’t know. It’s foolish to waste time contemplating what might happen or whether I have a decision to make. I’m a writer, and must write, and then I’ll decide what to do with it.

My coffee is at hand. Time to write and edit like crazy, at least one more time.


Cyber Monday

Others call it Cyber Monday, but I call it Writing Monday.

Writing Monday follows Writing Sunday. It’s the day before Writing Tuesday, and comes two days after Writing Saturday. Writing Friday precedes Writing Saturday, and falls after Writing Thursday, and two days after Writing Wednesday Eve.

Sometimes, to make it easier to say and follow, I call Writing Monday, Monday.

Likewise, every day is Coffee Day, but I call the days by their ISO 8601 standard week days, because the coffee is implied. Hell, in many cases, it’s expected. What’s a Monday without coffee?

As I have a full cuppa of hot java at hand, it’s time to edit and write like crazy, at least one more time.

Progress Report – Incomplete States

I wrote five books (originally four) for my latest work in process.

I began work on this series in July, 2016. It was originally one book in concept, but what did I know? Eventually, it became four books. Then I felt it necessary to split the original final book into two books because it was over six hundred pages and three hundred thousand words. In an amusing aside, twenty-five documents were created to develop the five books, with well over a million words.

I considered the first take on the entire series to be a beta draft because the novels’ story lines were so interwoven. While written one at a time, I often edited and revised the previous books as I learned the story.

Now I’m editing the fourth book, creating a true first draft of the Incomplete States series by clarifying that story. Once the first draft is finished, another draft will be required to ensure that the same story is being told in the series’ five books (Four on Kyrios, Entangled LEREs, Six (with Seven), A Sense of Time, and An Undying Quest). Then comes another draft to sharpen and polish, and then it goes to the editors for their input.

I’d expected to have the series’ first draft completed by Thanksgiving, but my error (not saving a backup) set me back (lesson learned). I now have December twenty-first as my target date for completion. It’s not unreasonable, as long as I don’t do anything stupid.

Meanwhile, it is fun to read my creation. I’m enjoying myself. My writing /editing time is a sanctuary from existence’s frustration, pain, and weariness.

Time to edit and write like crazy at least one more time.

All Those Spectrums

Whenever I read about the stages of coping with grief, aging, or ASD, I think more generally about spectrums. My overall philosophy is that everything in existence is on a spectrum. Those spectrums generally have multiple sub-spectrums.

Fer instance, my body is on several spectrums. The spectrums are about my body shape, physical age, genetics, and conditioning. Some of the things are on spectrums that I can’t do anything about (genetics) and knowing this helps me adjust my other efforts and expectations.

The spectrum of time is fun to think about because now because the past in the same instant that the future becomes now. What a spectrum!

Emotions and socializing have multiple spectrums, too. I think of Johari spectrums instead of Johari windows. Nothing wrong with the windows, except for the conceptions that some have that these things are fixed within those panes, but my impressions are that we slide along, changing through the day, depending on circumstances, like whether we’re supervising, socializing, working alone, etc., but also circumstances such as who we’re dealing with, and our what’s going on with our body. Yes, it’s complex.

Naturally I think of these spectrums while writing. I appreciate that I have multiple spectrums about my work in progress and my writing prowess in general. My writing spectrums include ranking my grammar and punctuation, word-smithing, story-telling, and creativity. There are also spectrums for how well I create characters, portray action scenes, create settings, etc.  Yes, it’s complex.

Think about it came about because on the editing spectrum for my novel in progress, I feel pretty damn good. Meanwhile, on my story-telling spectrum, I feel far less confident. I’m anxious and worried about whether the story I’m trying to tell will emerge from how I tell it. I’m in the middle regarding its creativity and settings, because I see how I’ve built from the foundations that others have set.

But again, thinking of these things regarding my writing as spectrums enable to visualize my strengths and weaknesses, and helps me assess where I need to improve.

Enough of this stuff. You may say that I’m overthinking, over-analyzing, and over-complicating things. You may be right. It works for me, however, so who cares? Find your way — or don’t. It’s your choice.

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

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