The Writing Moment

Going well. He crossed his fingers and sacrificed a cup of coffee and a pen to ward off jinxing himself. One book was still being revised, the fourth go-around. Another novel, Yum, was being written. Spoon fed by the muses, he was tearing through the story. He envisioned a short novel, and so far, it was going to plan.

Knock on wood.

The Writing Moment

Into the fourth revision I go. The novel flows more smoothly and the story so far feels complete and true. That’s a big reach when only fifteen percent has been done in this round but I hold onto any sign of progress and completion that’s found.

Meanwhile, I’ve started writing another novel, of course, because stories stir restlessly in the mind’s wings, eager to for their moment to be explored and told.

Monday’s Theme Music

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday –

It goes round and round with stifling tedium.

We travelers through time and space have landed on Monday. It’s May 1, 2023. As we expected. As ‘they’ planned it. Not sure if ‘they’ are Gods, Fates, machines, or some alien life form.

It’s cold today here. Our warm spell of sprummer has petered out. The autosystem has switched us to spring mode. 47 F now, the weather predictors tell us look for clouds. Check, got clouds. Ain’t no sunshine out there. High in the mid sixties Fahrenheit, and rain. We’ll wait and see, but they seem to have it right.

Finally got the new cable modem activated today. Called them up, read customer care the MAC and then waited for the cycle.

We live in the small town of Ashlandia in southern Oregon and use the local Internet provider. Town owns it and we’re trying to support the town. That means the minor sacrifice of not having a 24/7 response team. Shrug. How it goes. We went old school for the weekend, well, quasi old school, sneaking off to find public nets and use them to check email, post, catch up on news and games, lol. We also read, cleaned house, talked, and – gasp – watched over-the-air television.

Watching television was a hoot. We’ve been streaming over a decade. Turn on local channels for weather and local news, which is thinly and poorly reported. Just not enough money in it for the traditional local TV revenue stream. Change, right? There are whole channels dedicated to television shows from the day of yore. There’s a block of ‘war’ shows – Rat Patrol, Twelve O’Clock High, Black Sheep, Combat, etc. Another block is about westerns with Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, The Bounty Hunter, Wagon Train. It’s a true hoot visiting these blocks. Sometimes I wince at what I used to watch. Production values have improved, but they entertained me when I was young. Naturally, we also watched an episode of the original Star Trek.

For music, I have “Take it to the Limit” by the Eagles from 1975 in the morning mental music stream. The Neurons put it in the morning mental music stream while I was hustled through the house for the bathroom this morning. I don’t want to connect any dots there, though.

I’ve had coffee and brekkie. Getting ready to head to the coffee shop and begin round four of editing and revising The Light of Memories. You have a good one and try to stay pos. I’ll do the same. Here’s the Eagles.


The Writing Moment

I finished the third round of revision and editing for The Light of Memories. Don’t think the title is ever mentioned in the book BTW. When I read the last chapter, a short but sturdy creature, I cried. Not sure if the crying was for the character, ending, or being done with the process again. There I was at the coffee shop, a few years short of seventy, looking at my laptop and struggling against tears. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone noticed because I’m a man a few years short of seventy at a coffee shop.

I saved the doc and closed it, and then resumed writing another novel. I don’t know if time waits for anyone but I do know that when the muses say jump, I jump and then ask, “How high?”

The Writing Moment

The final hundred pages were attacked. He brooded. My god, this was boring writing, wasn’t it? Did it advance the story? Not to his mind today. Slash, cut.

After tough decisions on two chapters, the rest went with stunning, engrossing speed. Fifty pages were read and edited in the next two hours.

Just fifty pages remained, for this go-around. Then there’d be another. Because he needed to ensure the book made sense with the cuts made. That he hadn’t inadvertently destroyed continuity and coherence.

But for today and now, he felt pretty damn good about it.

The Writing Moment

Eighteen percent of The Light of Memories remains to be edited and revised in the third revision session. Small percentage but over a hundred pages. Once it’s done, another round of reading it through will begin. Figure I’ll read and edit until I reach the point that I’m not confused by anything I’m reading, that it reads smoothly and fully, that I’m not pausing to make corrections.

Then I’ll offer it to others. So, maybe this century. If not, the next.

The Writing Moment

Bright sunshine storms the world outside the coffee shop window. Yes, it’s a sunstorm fronting a blue sky, a cruel thing. Exerts the kind of pull felt when he was a teenager and a girl asked him to come to her house to listen to music.

He’s here to write. Edit. Just thirteen months into the novel in progress. Third revision session. Halfway through. Must be done.

With a promise to the day, I’ll join you later, he opens the novel and resumes.

The Writing Moment

Twenty-five percent through editing the third draft of “The Light of Memories”. It’s fun, and I think that’s because it can now be read mostly as a book and less than a work in progress. Small changes are the norm until — clunk, a section or chapter is encountered that needs such work that orange cones are deployed. I generally stop for the day when hitting those — there have been three — to think about what is wrong and how I might change it. I also continue refining the ending. Won’t know how well it fits now until I read through to it. Of course, the changes mean that there will be another editing and revision go-around before it’s turned over to the copy-editor.

Meanwhile, since I announced a new writing project will begin (yeah, it’s actually well underway at this point), several people have asked when the third book of the Life Lessons series with Studs will come out. I think I owe it to write number three.

I wanted to clarify my thinking about drafts. My first rough draft is labeled #1, but that’s a little misleading. My writing is an unplanned, iterative process. (There is a sort of map in my head, but heads can be so unreliable about this stuff.) So I don’t call those first efforts drafts, but iterations. Six iterations were pursued before the first rough draft was completed. It’s formally called a draft when a complete story — beginning, middle, and end — exists and can be read from one end to the other. With iterations, I often go down stubs to explore characters, concept, story, events, and settings. Some of these stubs don’t pan out. When that happens, a new iteration is initiated. Some stubs make it into the first draft but not infrequently are excised during the first editing and revision phase.

There’s always so much to read, write, edit, and do. Fortunately, it’s the life I’ve chosen.

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