Cracking the Frost

SmithCoronaBW03

First, a note: I need to start collecting photos of old typewriters. It’s getting more and more difficult to find proper images to fit this blog. And, while I adore the aesthetic of my grandfather’s typewriter, variety is demanded.

This April’s Camp NaNoWriMo was instructive.  Not only did I meet my goal, which was admittedly low, but more importantly I proved to myself I can write about a thousand words an hour, if properly motivated. I’m wondering if the drag created by the long process of working on Ivre lead to a very low word count.  Metaphysical Graffiti moves.

Every night, after dinner and a little time with my lady, I sit in the kitchen.  Internet radio tuned to WWOZ, I’d write out a thousand words of Baton Rouge weirdness.  Maybe my intense dedication to one project, with no other outlets, hampered me rather than helped.

Quite a bit to think about as the month starts to close.

Cycles & Sunrises

Ivre, draft one, is done.

In the end, the beast clocked in at 153K words and has taken up about two years of my creative energies.  I think I would have completed it much, much faster if I had taken the time to outline the book from the start. But, I will say the time I did take creating backgrounds proved very helpful later on.

Lesson learned: don’t go without a roadmap, write up some backstory, and keep yourself interested.

For April, I’m working on a writer’s vacation called Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s an experimental attempt at Metaphysical Graffiti. I bypassed one issue I had with my starting outline – the fact it felt too close to my personal live – and flipped character perspectives. This added a bit more distance, allowing me to write freely. If all goes well, I’ll have a good start and can fully work on an outline during the year.

But my main focus will be on short stories.  Between the novel and the haiku is the short story, and I’d like to return to this form. My first publications, years back, were short stories. I rather miss the form. Years of reading short tales of the strange and beautiful, I wanted to write my own.

This year should hopefully provide a few interesting opportunities for storytelling. And as much as I love the characters in Ivre, it’s nice to take a vacation.

Available Dark

NightOccoquan-12 I’ve heard the most dangerous kind of skier is a mid-level skier. The beginners are slow and tentative. They don’t know what they’re doing, so they’re cautious.

Experts are experts. They can rush through slopes with little effort. Bumps and turns which would panic beginners are easy to navigate for the expert.

Ah, but the mid-level skiers – they are better than the beginners. They have a bit more confidence. But they don’t have the experience level to really judge themselves. They overestimate or underestimate distances. They jump to advanced thoughts while forgetting the basics. And it gets them into trouble.

I feel this way about my photographs. I feel like I took better, more expressive pictures when I was just screwing around, barely knowing anything. Now, I know too much and it clouds me. I need to get back to experimenting. I need to try and test things out. Not overthink, just play.

This shot was me just playing, at night. I’ve got a lot of night shots where I didn’t think to hard, I just let the camera run and see what happened.

A little improv to help the dreaming along.

Deprecation & Satire

Image taken from page 7 of 'The Speaker's Eye, a satire. By F. R' by The British Library
Image taken from page 7 of ‘The Speaker’s Eye, a satire. By F. R’, a photo by The British Library on Flickr.

This may be the last of my image posts to WordPress via the automatic sharing. Apparently it’s being deprecated, along with LIveJournal. Thus, things change and die off, leaving me to rig up HTML once more.

But with the question of Satire – I’m wondering where I should place it. My personal blog? This one, my writing blog? Or should I keep my false manifestos on One True SFF Cannon elsewhere?

Metaphysical Graffiti

StMarysMonastary-23 by Urdith
StMarysMonastary-23, a photo by Urdith on Flickr.

Inspiration for a future project.

Joining the Insect Army

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.

Story Note and…

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…

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