Wednesday, March 5, 2014
But, this is the one day a month that Alex J Cavanaugh has given us, through the Insecure Writer's Support Group, to vent about all our troubles and woes and not have to worry about people thinking we're whiney, we're supposed to be whiney today. All of you trying to encourage others on your own blogs are starting to make me feel bad, so make up some troubles if you have your act together, just to make me feel better about myself. You know, misery loving company and all that.
Anyway, this month, I want to take just a moment to talk about my latest meltdown, which is this: I'll never be good enough.
It would take me way too long to get into all the details of how I went down this rabbit hole of self pity and doubt, but needless to say, that's where I'm at. I feel kinda like Michael Jordan when he quit basketball to pursue life as a baseball player. Not that I had this other field I'm so great in that I left, but that he was one of the most notoriously hard workers on the planet, but no matter how much work he put into it, he just couldn't will himself into being a major league baseball player.
And all that work he was putting into developing his skills of a baseball player, well, it was described like thing: If he were on your company softball team, you would think he's he greatest ever. But put him on a team with other major league prospects, and you begin to see that he's missing something.
Ah Ha! That's me. I've spent a decade obsessing about the craft - in spite the of fact that the comma is a still a mystery to me - and I think back to Michael Jordan, yes, I can shoot 1000 free throws per day just like he did when he played basketball, but there is not training I can do that will give me hands large enough to wrap halfway around a basketball, or to jump so high that I'm in danger of hitting my head against the rim when I leap.
Those are things that someone is born with. I wonder if writing is the same way sometimes. Yes, I can learn to plot a decent story, but that won't make me great.
And that's my rant, my fear, to put it more succinctly, is that as good as I can ever dream of being, won't be enough to ever make me the writer I want to be. Period. And as such, well, I don't know. Don't judge me. It's my free day.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Well, here's a funny example below of how clever folks use the service.
So, I've always wondered what it would be like to be Spider-Man.... now I know. It would be awful (P.S. Make sure you unmute it to get all the drama).
IN OTHER NEWS, I mentioned on the other blog a few weeks ago about wanting to read some SF from Octavia E Butler, I picked up a book the other day of hers (had the worst cover ever, that has to be bad on purpose, because, no one would ever put that out and think it was good) and started reading, I quickly got engrossed and was plowing through it when my WIFE picked it up while I was running into Home Depot for some grout and other assorted project things.
|That's ugly, right?|
I had it in the car and when I came out she was reading. Curses. Not only did she start reading it, she stole it from me. I'm halfway through a book that I can't read because my wife won't let me have it. I think she'll finish the whole thing today, so I shouldn't have to go that long without it, but damn.
In the meantime, it gave me an opportunity to write this post, so at least there's that. Of course, I tend to only have these sorts of things up when I can't think of anything else to say.
Friday, February 14, 2014
I know, the last few posts have just been these things where I just link to what I put up over at the Indie Writer's Blog. Um, this is another one of those posts.
It's Valentine's Day. I have a flash fiction piece up about a girl and her abusive mad scientist boyfriend. With Pictures!
It was a retelling of the story Briane Pagel put up early in the week. I tried to be clever with it. But I didn't have the time I needed to make it as good as I wanted to. I could have, but I'd have posted it the second week of March if I'd done that, no longer appropriate for the holiday.
So, please, go check it out. And have a great weekend. I'll have normal posts up next week.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Funny, it was supposed to be a 'weekend filler' post, where I put up a picture and a link and then make a barely coherent flippant remark. I was going to schedule it for tomorrow, but then I kept writing, I might have cried once or twice, there was drama... humor...
So it went up this afternoon instead.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The great Alex J Cavanaugh once dreamt of a world where folks like me, the unstable, wishy washy, highly sensitive writer could vent their fears into the world without fear of reproach. Yes, that’s the same Alex J Cavanaugh whose novel, CassaFire, is just $.99 this week.
As for me, I’ve been waist deep in revisions for some time now. I’ve been piddling with this story for a few years now – and complaining about it for almost as long.
The reason I’ve been mired in endless revisions, which show no sign of ending, is that I have hit upon a story that I like. I mean, that I really like. So I keep rereading and tweaking things over and over again in hopes that it will be to other people, all the things it is to me. Which is great.
But with that, I think, comes a whole new level of insecurities. I’ve been trickling out short stories for a couple of years now, just tossing them out when I feel like I’m not really going to find a better home for them.
But this, this is different, this is my heart and soul, and a (intermittently at least) a few years of my life. Not constantly working on it, but constantly worrying about it. If this is the best that I can do right now, then any less than stellar rating I get for it will be a reflection of me, as an artist, as a human being, and as someone that spent a few years working on a thing that will most likely be met with a collective shrug from the world.
So I’m pensive, nervous, and am procrastinating. Latest target for overall readiness…. End of March. We’ll see how I feel about it then.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Regardless Saturday, Jan 25, 1:02 p.m. eastern time. I've been working on yet another revision of my never to be finished novella/novel (it's really close here) and I figured I'd take a break to show you how hard it is to actually revise something.
9:22 a.m. - I awake. Extremely late for me. I have been sleep deprived for weeks and it's finally caught up with me. I'd intended to have been working on my revisions for at least since 8 this morning. I'm already behind my daily goal.
9:26 a.m. - Crap, I remember that my son has to be at work at 10 this morning. No point in starting now. I decide to read instead.
9:46 a.m. - Double crap. I remembered I was supposed to have awoken my son. Who didn't get off work until 12:30 a.m. the previous night. I wonder if this is entirely legal for my underage son to work these hours. I decide to not rock the boat, but wake him up.
9:52 a.m. - How it can take a kid an hour and a half to get ready for school, but 6 minutes to get ready for work, is beyond me. We drive to his work in a blinding snowstorm, it's actually very pretty. The snow is like sand blowing across the road. It doesn't snow here that much, and we almost never, ever get the super cold, sand-like snow.
10:10 a.m. - I'm back. The wife is up. I tell her not to disturb me, I've got revisions to do. I also promise her that this will all be worth it when the sales of this book are bringing in an extra $5k a month.
10:12 a.m. - I recall that I haven't checked my sales totals recently. I take a peek. Turns out I have sold a copy of War Angel recently. Somehow, my least favorite story written continues to make consistent sales. Albeit, very slow sales, but still, much more consistent than my other stories.
10:16 a.m. - I look at story, I have characters working on a log cabin in the 18th century wilderness. I realize that they have no access to things like nails, or metal. I had already described a door and wondered how it would work with no hinges. Decide to look up building techniques for colonial era cabins.
10:33 a.m. - I've somehow ended up watching a video of a baby polar bear taking its first steps. It's so cute.
10:55 a.m. - Twitter is very interesting this morning. Did you know JFK's last words to his wife were something along the lines of "Don't wear those glasses."?
11:16 a.m. - Realized being alone in the house with the missus is an opportunity not to be wasted.
11:18 a.m. - Back at computer. Ready to work. I haven't had breakfast yet. I decide on a V8. Trust me, it's the calm before the storm. I'll probably eat a whole camel and 17 decorative soaps before the day is over.
11:24 a.m. - Back to story research. So, I've decided that the cabin was made in the Swedish style. I decide all that door description has to go. No hinges, no sophisticated tools to craft anything that intricate. Unless my tough guys can punch a piece of wood until it agrees to become a working door it won't be happening.
11:26 a.m. - I'm pretty sure I missed something with the research. I decide to go back to make sure I'm not missing something.
11: 34 a.m. - Hey! Someone posted a comment on my post at the Indie Writers Monthly blog from early this morning (it was scheduled already, I didn't work on it this morning). I check it out.
11:37 a.m. - Comment isn't that special. But then I get a vague sense of guilt because I should have commented on some comments somewhere. And then I wonder if I've visited back everyone I was supposed to this week. I decide there's no time like the present.
11:51 a.m. - I'm so hungry. But can't worry about that now. I have a story to work on. Except, I'm not sure I can focus on a story without eating. It is almost lunch time. I've decided to go get a hamburger when...
11:52 a.m. - My mother calls and volunteers to make a stew for lunch. It sounds amazing and invite her over to use our kitchen, because I'm lazy. Also, I can work on my story while the wife and the mother cook. It reminds me of something else I learned the other day, the Old English for 'Bride' means cook. I remind my wife of this.
11:53 a.m. - My jaw hurts. Wife disagrees with history.
12:02 p.m. - Wife decides to take nap. Probably in retaliation to the 'bride' comment. My stew will have to be eaten later.
12:26 p.m. - I realize I have no idea where the past 24 minutes have gone. Then I remember that I used my phone to surf the web and check emails and twitter. It's all identical in content to my computer, but formatted differently. Don't ask me to explain it, it's a mystery to me why I can lose 20 minutes this way. Stupid phone.
12:28 p.m. - Am worried that story protag is way too passive. His call to action comes near the story's climax. I realize I've no hope of telling *this* story any other way. After two plus years of work, am thinking of chucking it.
12:34 p.m. - Can't chuck it. I've sworn I'm doing this. I'll just make this character aggressively passive. You know, I don't know. I suck. I hate writing. I should watch a movie.
12:45 p.m. - Tweet something about the day's productivity:
Oh, I've been writing all morning. Total words: 0. Websites visited: 3112:55 p.m. - Realize that I have no posts of my own scheduled for the upcoming week. Remember that I enjoy doing these diary posts, and decide to take a break from working and work on this instead.
— Rusty Carl (@Rusty87d) January 25, 2014
1:57 p.m. - I've still not eaten. I've been doing this post for one hour. Mostly fact checking. Did I really comment on a blog at 11:34? The timestamp on the blog disagrees with me. Whatever. Screw that. I'm telling you I did do it at 11:34. Done.
AND THAT MY FRIENDS, is exactly why I love doing revisions, and why it's been this one story for the past 2 plus years.