Inspiration for a future project.
What is the insect army? Learn more here.
I know it doesn’t mean much coming from a barely published writer. But I know when the ranks are counted which side I want to be on.
“The problem is that the ‘vocal minority’ of insects who make up the new generation of writers don’t scramble for the shadows when outside lights shines on them—they bare their pincers and go for the jugular. Maybe it is a good thing that SFWA keeps them locked up. The newer members who Scalzi et al. brought in are an embarrassment to the genre.” — (name withheld) on SFF.net
Besides – Ursula Vernon!
I’d rather aspire to be a cockroach. Adapt and survive, fellow Glass Walkers.
First, the story note:
Story idea from a dream: Under a resort in the Balkans, on the Dalmatian coast, there is a cavern of crystal. The resort owners know it. So does the secret police.
They all work for the thing which lives inside the cave. They do its bidding because it keeps business going.
As for the writing…
Since officially setting a completion goal for Ivre, I’ve only gotten 7,700 words into my total 35,000. I’m barely getting 500 words an hour written when I can sit and focus for an hour. I’m cursing whatever horrible twist of neural development gave my attention span. I can’t seem to lose myself and just write. My brain won’t stop. It wanders down alleyways too often.
And the photography – I’m dreading going through the photos I took of my friend’s wedding. I shotgunned as much as possible in the hopes of getting something decent. I look at photographers who can take a small corner of a room and, with a little light, some drapery and imagination, turn it into a statement. No statements for me. Maybe it would help if I knew what I wanted to say…
What if the structure of reality itself depended on keeping someone in their soul-crushing office job? What would it do to the person assigned to keep this office drone miserable?
Title: City, crowded office space
Creator: Adolph B. Rice Studio
Date: September 19, 1955
Identifier: Rice Collection 762A
Format: 1 negative, safety film, 4 x 5 in.
Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.
Repository: Library of Virginia, Prints and Photographs, 800 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA, 23219, USA, digitool1.lva.lib.va.us:8881/R
I cannot escape it. The time has come to once again set mile-markers in the ground and see how I do. And there is still one big item looming on my personal goals:
Ivre – at this point, the novel is over 130,000 words and I’m still 14 or so scenes from completing it. At approximately 2500 words per scene, that’s another 35,000 words. I’m setting myself a Feb 28th completion date. If I can’t do 35,000 words by then… I may force myself to shave my beard.
This year, I have to focus on work I can complete, revise and submit. And I need to work on getting my word count boosted. Faster typing, more intensity, better scheduling and BF Skinner style conditioning to enforce it all.
Last year, I set a goal to write a short story every quarter. I’m moving that goal to this year. After completing Ivre, starting March 1, I will first draft at least one short story of 6K words every quarter. And I will take others I’ve written, go through drafts, and begin submitting them to paying markets. I must learn to write faster, to focus and to finish what I’ve started.
But what about the novels? If this goes right, you’ll have three of the bloody things sitting about. Well, I’m going to set a goal this year of getting three Beta readers to tear them to pieces so I can rebuild them.
And lastly, photography. I need to set myself a goal of regularly taking photos. Each other month, I’ll set up a project theme – Business portrait, neo noir shoot, etc. – write up a description for the shoot, set up lighting diagrams, and take photos.
Ambitious? Yes. But given I’ll be unkind to myself even if I set modest goals, I might as well aim big and fail big.
Long Climb to the New Year
It comes time for reflection on the past year, and looking forward to the new one. It also comes time to review my goals and see where I stand.
For those who do not remember, my original goals from 2013. Reviewing all I had planned, and all I did, just brings to mind one of my favorite exchanges from Doctor Who
“I have failed.”
“Yes.” [Sees D84 lower his head] “Oh, come on! Don’t be upset. Yes, you’ve failed, you’ve failed. But failure is one of the basic freedoms.” ~The Fourth Doctor & D84. “Robots of Death”
I can say without equivocation I’ve failed in all my goals. My discipline is lax, my typing skills are not what they once were (I sometimes feel my hands stiffening, as if resin crawled along my tendons), and I am so distracted it is not funny. This entire year, I’ve focused on Ivre, aside from a failed attempt at camp NaNoWriMo. Though focused is a kind thought.
Were there any successes? Yes, but not on my writing goals. In life, the successes came with love, more trips to a variety of cons, and a new home. The day job is still a monster which devours all things, but I must learn to live with it and plan around it. I need to find the small hours, the tiny spaces when I can steal time away and write.
What about this year? What goals should I set? One goal will always remain: Finish Ivre. I’m so close. The last few pages of the outline tick away. All the scenes are planned and plotted. I simply need to keep writing, keep digging, and block the rest of the world from my view.
And short stories. My big regret is producing nothing in the way of short fiction. This year, I need to produce a story a quarter, and submit them. Even if a skinner box is needed, with Leo McKern in a circular chair laughing at my attempts, I will produce and submit short stories.
Admitting to failure is difficult. No, sorry, it’s painful. Imagine swallowing caltrops, then having a boxer punch your stomach until nothing remained but bloody, shredded meat. “You do it perfect the first time!” was my father’s refrain as I grew up. Living in my loud, furious replica of a war-torn Balkan state, there was no right of failure for me. Failure heralded an “Aye, you stupid…!” yell from my father, or motherly helecoptering resembling the “Ride of the Valkyries” scene from Apocalypse Now.
But I have to admit I failed. Now, I do what scientists and engineers and dreamers always do. I pick up the pieces, look at how I can improve, and try it again. Do better next time.
Maybe that should be my goal for next year: Do better than the last.