Sunday, January 28, 2007

Editing is hard.

Which is, I suspect, why I traditionally do so little of it.

But I formally decided a couple of nights ago that, not only would I allow myself to consider editing work as part of the "write every day" resolution, I would start off my editing work on the big one -- the novel that I finished in the summer of 2005, "Waiting for a Miracle."

I made this decision for a few reasons.

First, I really do want to keep up with the resolution, but it's not even the end of January and I've already done a horrible job of it. Lately, with two plays on the go, the last thing I want to do when I get home is crawl up to the computer and spend an hour at my desk. I want to just drop into the sofa, turn on some music, and relax. Editing is writing work that I can do on the sofa, if I've got some pages waiting for me.

The second reason is that, for the most part, I hate editing. When I'm finished writing something, the last thing I want to do is look at it again. I want to move onto something fresh and new and exciting. By allowing myself to include editing work as part of the resolution, it gives me a reason to do something I don't much enjoy, when I'm too lazy to do the actual writing work.

And the third reason evolved out of a conversation I had after the play on Friday night.

I asked a few people to help me choose a new career. The question came out, partly as a joke on the current trend that most people have four or five different careers in their lifetime, unlike people in the past who would generally stick with one career through their entire working life. And it came out partly as a result of a certain degree of employment dissatisfaction I've been feeling lately.

Among the many suggestions that were tossed at me (some good, some odd, and some downright dreadful), someone said, "Write a good book."

Which got me thinking. Maybe I should.

Which got me thinking, hey, wait a minute, I almost have. I've got a book that's pretty darn good, and probably just needs some cleaning up before it's of publishable quality. And all I really need to get it there is to, you know, actually work on it.

So I printed out the first two chapters of the novel tonight, double-spaced for easier editing. That amounted to about seventy-five printed pages (which is actually quite a lot, leading me to consider splitting some of these earlier chapters into smaller chunks), and promptly started work on editing a novel for the first time in just about ever.

And holy fuck, editing is hard.

I spent two hours, and made it through about twelve pages. Twelve double-spaced pages. There's black marks everywhere, sentences added, sentences modified, whole paragraphs yanked out. I'm ripping this book to absolute shreds, and it's actually a book I'm more than a little bit fond of. I can only imagine the sort of editing work that would go into something I didn't like at all. Although, more reastically, if I didn't like it at all, I doubt I'd bother with the editing work. You can't polish a turd, as they say.

And I'm only one night, and two hours, and 12 pages into this editing job, and I'm already wondering, when I'm done all this, when I've transferred all the changes back into the document, so it's a true reflection of this version of the story, when I'm done all that, will I be able to look at it and not make any further changes? Or, if I let the book sit for another six months, would I find myself making just as many edits as I did this time? Would I end up going through this whole process all over again?

This is what I'm afraid of. This, more than anything else, is why I don't edit. Because once you start, you can edit forever.

I have a book called "Paper Dreams." I first wrote it, as a novella, in 1990. Since then it has been rewritten, from scratch, another three or four times. Each time it's become considerably better. Each time I've found new things under the surface that can be mined for meaning, for significance. And each time I find myself thinking, "Wow, this is really, really good."

And, inevitably, time goes by and I look at the book again, and find myself think, "Oh, that's shit. I should just start that over again."

This is why I don't edit.

But I have to, and so I will. I have to make "Waiting for a Miracle" is good as humanly possible. Because I really want to be able to proudly send it to publishers. I really want an editor somewhere to read it, and then phone me, desperate to be able to put it into print. I want this book to have a life outside of a folder in my computer. I want people to read it, to experience it, to be moved by it. I want an audience.

And yeah, I'm thinking maybe "Write a good book," isn't a bad idea for a next career.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More fun with spam

The subject line of a spam that arrived in my inbox today.

When your penis lets you down in the most inappropriate moments, ask Cialis Soft Tabs for help.

Maybe it's just me, but is there really an appropriate moment for your penis to let you down? Are there times when you're really counting on your penis to come through for you, and it doesn't, but you think, "Okay, under the circumstances, I can let that one slide..."? Am I over-analysing this stuff, or does it really read as ridiculously as I think it does.

All this reminds me of the good times over at Spamusement. The site hasn't been updated in forever, but the archives are worth a look if you haven't been over there before.

Ha ha!


Well, it's not even the end of January yet, and I'm already struggling with this stupid "write something every single day" resolution. I suppose under the circumstances it would be easy to blame my current involvement in two different theatrical productions, which leaves me very little in the free-time department. But really, that's just making excuses.

Because, honestly, I'm really not so busy that I can't find at least fifteen minutes to post a little something here. I could, if I was so inclined. I'm just not. When I do have a few minutes to myself, the only thing I want to do is lay on the sofa and relax with a little bit of gaming.

In a little less than two weeks, "Seen Change" will be at an end, and I'll have a little bit more free time on my hands. At that point, there won't be any excuses left, no reason that I won't be able to write at least a little bit more. Any one want to make any bets on whether or not I'll actually do it?

I actually can't believe it's been four days since the last post here. It feels like maybe two at the most. Time is flashing by me at a ridiculous rate right now, and there doesn't seem to be any way to slow it down. Some days I find myself staring blankly into the distance, wondering what the heck day it is -- I honestly couldn't remember if it was Wednesday or Sunday for a couple of minutes yesterday, which doesn't make any sense, because there were plenty of little cues around me to indicate what day of the week it was, such as it being the opening night of the play. But still, for those few minutes, I just about had a panic attack because, if it was Sunday, there were a whole lot of things I didn't get accomplished that needed to be.

Fuck it, I've got nothing interesting to report in this space. I'm just filling it up so I'll feel like I've actually written something today. So now I have.


(Picture above is courtesy of the Ha Ha Funny Pictures site. Check it out and make your own!)

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Maybe you know this. Probably you don't.

Since the new year, I've been pretty much on a wine-only liquor diet. There's a couple of reasons for this, and the primary one is a desire to modify my lifestyle so I'm drinking just a little bit less than I have in the past. This has grown out of a realization that there may be some connection between "depression" and the intake of "depressants."

The wine only -- and, in this case, specifically red wine -- grew out of a couple of other things. First, I realized some time ago that red wine gave me a sort-of creative buzz, one that left with a desire to sit down and write something, so it seemed as if it would go nicely hand-in-hand with my resolution to write more in 2007. Also, recent readings on the health benefits of red wine indicated that up to three glasses a day helped to lower blood pressure, and three glasses a day seemed like a nice, round, not-terribly drunk sort of number.

This is not to say that I've removed beer or other liquors from my life. That is not the case at all. They're just not part of a regular lifestyle. Some of them were -- particularly beer -- but that's the very habit I'm trying to overcome.

So far, the change in lifestyle has actually brought about a noticeable improvement. My mood is better. I'm sleeping better. I'm waking up feeling better in the morning. And, barring the occasional day where I've dropped the ball, I'm being more productive with my writing.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with why I'm writing tonight.

After a "Seen Change" rehearsal tonight, I went out with a handful of the cast and crew for dinner and a few drinks. Thinking this was one of those "not part of the regular lifestyle" nights that I had allowed myself to have, I figured I'd have a few beer, just for a change of pace. And I did. And they were tasty, and I enjoyed them very much, and there was much chit-chat and laughing and merry-making at the table, and was fine with the world. Until it was time to go.

When it was time to go, I paid my bill, headed out of the bar into the parking lot, and as I walked towards my car I felt something...odd.

I felt this massive, soul-sucking sort of void in my heart.

I felt this terrible sense of despair and loneliness crashing down on me. And I thought, "What the fuck is this all about?"

Because I recognized it. It was something I had felt for a good portion of 2006. It was, in fact, one of the things from 2006 that I was eager to be free of. And here it was again, from out of the blue.

And I wondered for the first time if maybe it was the beer. Because I hadn't felt that way while drinking red wine for the last few weeks. Quite the opposite, as I've already mentioned.

I find this possibility somewhat troubling. I mean, I wasn't looking eradicate beer from my diet because it made me depressed. I was looking to reduce its presence in my diet because I was drinking too much of it. I'm still quite fond of beer, and the thought of having to remove it completely from my life is...well, a thought I'm not willing to entertain at the moment.

So here's hoping it was a one time thing, and the next time I feel like treating myself to an icy cold, refreshing brewski, it's a pleasant experience from the moment it begins until long after its over.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Well what do you know, you *can* stop procrastinating.

So, I did it.

Sat down with the novel tonight, and pushed my way through the trouble spot. And it was...well, I won't say it was a nightmare, but it sure wasn't easy.

I found myself tangenting an awful lot, going into some insomniac, stream-of-consciousness style stuff that, essentially, allowed me to pad the last chunk of this chapter just a little bit. What's weird about it is that, at the time, while I'm writing it, it doesn't feel like padding. It feels like this character struggling for coherence, struggling for meaning, struggling to make sense of his own head, and the world around him. But when it's done, the whole bit just feels sort of...meaningless.

Meaningless because it's not really driving the story forward. And in a way, it feels like anything that isn't driving the story forward is just padding. Just taking up space. Just killing time.

But I'm wondering if, in a book like this, part of the story really is what's going on in the character's head. Not just his internal reactions to the things going on around him, but the random flailing of his thoughts as well. Just letting his headspace go wherever it wants to go. Because, even outside of the raw, point-to-point narrative, this is a book about a guy flailing about in his own broken perspective on faith, and coming out the other end with something new. Seems to me I'd have to have a lot flailing around to capture that.

I stumbled upon a nice bit of metaphor, entirely by accident, but completely botched my attempts to actually bring it to life on the page. I'd include a segment here, but, like I said, it was pretty badly botched, and not something I feel up to sharing publicly at the moment. Hopefully I got enough of the gist down on the page that, when it comes time to edit, I'll remember what it was I was going for, and be able to actually do it properly.

Here's one line, though, that captures the basic idea: "
I’ve gone without sleep for so goddamn long that, until this moment, I had forgotten that being awake meant a whole lot more than just not sleeping."

And on that note, it's time to hang up the writing hat for tonight.

Sometimes 'good enough' is good enough.

This message, courtesy of some spam that was waiting for me in my inbox this morning:

In popular mythology a small penis is still thought to signal a totally inadequate lover. Penis Enlarge Patch can make you an adequate lover.

It seems to me that if the best your product can do for me is make me adequate, it might be time to head back to the ol' marketing department. You might want to try selling me on a side effect or something.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Where did that come from?

There's a bottle of Tequila on the kitchen counter. I don't know where it came from, or who it belongs to, but I hope to find out so that I might have a tiny taste.

Not right now, of course.

Maybe Tuesday.

I'll stop procrastinating. Tomorrow.

I'm still avoiding the next portion of the Insomnia novel, for particularly good reason except that I'm not sure how to get from point A -- where I am right now -- to point B -- which is the start of the next chapter, which I wrote months ago in anticipation of the fact that I was eventually going to get there.

I should just stop procrastinating. Just throw caution to the wind. I actually had a flickering of an idea just before I sat down to write this post, an idea that could get me through this next potentially rocky area without a hitch, while keeping my narrator's head spinning, not entirely from a lack of sleep.

So I really should just sit down and do it. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I'll stop procastinating.

I guess on some level, I'm afraid that I'll hit another road block as soon as I get past the intro to the next chapter. Because I have a pretty solid idea of how it starts, but after that, only a general idea of where the rest of the book is going. My hope is that by working my way through easy part of the next chapter, it'll get the creative lubricants working again, and everything after while move as smoothly as really, really smooth moving things. That's the hope. Of course, the opposite is just as possible -- as soon as I get through the easy stuff, I'll just hit yet another road block.

This is part of the problem of writing a novel with a "follow the story and see where it goes" mentality. Sometimes it just doesn't go anywhere. And the fear of it going nowhere can be quite overwhelming at times.

I didn't actually do any writing yesterday, not proper writing, but I did sit down at the computer for an hour or so to work. A few nights earlier I had done some editing work on "Dinner and Drinks" -- a vulgar one act play about love and romance that I finished last summer -- and needed to transfer the pen-and-paper edits into the computer, to make an official second draft of the play. Which felt sort of good. It's not often I actually do any editing. Usually I'll write something, and then move on to the next project, leaving the previous to collect dust, never to be touched again.

My initial thought with this "Write every single day" resolution was to include *only* writing of new material. A friend wondered if I would include editing of a previous book as part of the "write every single day" resolution, and I immediately told him no. But I'm beginning to have second thoughts.

Editing isn't as obviously creative, and you certainly don't have anywhere near the word output as you do when you just sit down and start writing, but it's still a very, very vital part of the creative process. And on days when I'm just dry, and I have nothing to say here, or anywhere else, at least if I sat down to edit I'd be behaving in a constructive way, instead of playing video games or watching movies. And really, that's the point of the resolution. To be constructive, and creative, in some way, every day.

So I may have to rethink this knee-jerk response to editing as part of the "write every single day" regime. Between now and the end of the year, I could get a lot of editing work done, even just on days when I found I had little actually say that was new.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sometimes truthiness is better

One of the most improtant things in all of my creative work is honesty. And for the life of me, I can't think of anything that could possible be any more important. A creative work -- whether it's a film or a play or a novel or a painting or even a stupid newspaper column -- should endeavor to communicate something real, something significant, something true.

I made a vow in my column a couple of years ago, when I decided that I wasn't going to retire it on the tenth anniversary, to be honest with my readers. In my own words:

As writers – and more importantly, writers lucky enough to find themselves published – we have a responsibility to you, the reader, to speak truthfully. Because this is a column and not a news story, I’m thankfully free of having to ensure that I quote people properly or spell their names right (at least most of the time). But even when writing a rambling, general-interest, opinion-based piece, it is my responsibility to ensure that it is an honest, rambling, general-interest, opinion-based piece. I owe you that much.

Having said all that, I am currently questioning the wisdom of, essentially, confessing to copyright violations in this most recent column. While I fully stand by my new year's resolution to try to right those wrongs by purchasing one CD every two weeks of music I have already acquired illegally, it did occur to me to today that maybe proclaiming that resolution -- and thus proclaiming the illegal acquisition -- might not have been the best choice.

It's the sort of thing that can come back and bite you in the ass.

I'm hoping, of course, that if it should come back and bite me on the ass, that by the time it does, I'll have purchased enough CDs to make the majority of my MP3 collection completely legal. This is, of course, assuming I follow through with the New Year's resolution for longer than one week. Which, given my history with New Year's resolutions, isn't such a safe bet.

So what I'm really hoping for is to not have this thing come back and bite me on the ass. And for me to learn a very, very important lesson from this. Try not to discuss your own criminal activities in a printed newspaper column.

Let that be a lesson to all of you as well.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Maybe this wasn't such a great idea...

Part of why I wanted to establish multiple writing outlets for my New Year's resolution to write every single day is because -- particularly at the moment -- I don't always have the time to focus all my attention on just one thing, like finishing the Insomnia novel. Which is where I'd like to be focusing all my attention. Two bursts of writing on it in the last few days has me almost feeling like the ball is rolling again (though I'm about to push that ball through a sort-of sticky patch, where I might get hung up a little bit...).

Unfortunately, acting in two different plays which are both in rehearsal is leaving me with A) Very few free evenings to actually sit down and focus on that novel; and B) Very little energy left by the time I actually do get home.

Simply put, I don't feel like writing. I don't feel conscious enough to string together a sentence, let alone a series of them, one after the other.

On the bright side, coming here and writing about how I don't feel like writing actually manages to fulfill my promise to myself, of writing. On the down side, writing about how I don't feel like writing is going to get pretty old pretty darn quick.

I think getting back to work after the Christmas holidays is sort of sapping my energy a bit too. After two weeks off, it's a little tough to get the motor running in the morning, a little tough to drag yourself out of bed. Even after the all-important first coffee of the day, I'm still half asleep until the afternoon.

I suppose I'll take Wednesdays off in my "writing every day" thing because I'll be writing my column that day, which will be the fifth possible outlet for my daily writing. I considered taking off on whichever day I happen to do Stick Figure Drama, but decided that might be just a little bit cheap, as really, there isn't a lot of writing that goes into that. There isn't much drawing going into it either.

Speaking of Stick Figure drama, when (NOT if -- I promise, it's a when) the updates get done, and regular updating becomes more consisten (okay, that one might be an IF), there's some exciting stuff for you guys to see. The next few weeks will see the introduction of a whole new, well, gimmick I guess. But the idea makes me laugh. And, really, that's the most important thing.

Nothing personal.

On titles

I've actually been meaning to post this for rather awhile now, but just haven't gotten around to it for a number of reasons, but following the post of a few minutes ago -- also about the novel -- this seemed like a perfectly appropriate time.

I'm still working on a novel that reads, "UNTITLED," at the top of the title page. This is, of course, the norm for me. Generally speaking, it's not until I'm at least halfway through, and quite often not until I'm at the end of something, before I know what the right title is. That's because, quite often, I don't have the foggiest idea what it is I'm writing about until I'm at least half-way through, or, quite often, at the end.

I already had a title that was bouncing around in my head: "Absence of Faith." It was a title I'd tacked onto a never-completed short story some years ago, taken from a chunk of lyric in a Nine Inch Nails song. I'd always liked the way those three words fell together. They seem to say so much with so very little.

But a few months back, another title idea came to me.

I was having a drunken conversation with a roommate who, just before going to bed, said something to me about "significant epiphanies." The rest of his sentence was muddied by out mutual drunkeness.

But the phrase "significant epiphanies" stood out to me.

I'd always liked the word "epiphany", specifically the third definition provided by

a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
And so the two-word phrase hung around in my head for awhile, mostly because I liked the word epiphany, and because the character in the novel would have a few, and because they would, occasionally, be significant.

But something about it bugged me too. Too many syllables. Too clunky. Too awkward. It needed something to help clean it up.

After a few days, my brain came up with something new -- one word the same, one word completely new: "Everyday Epiphanies"

Still a lot of syllables, sure, but it's made a little easier to swallow by the fine use of alliteration. Which I usually detest. Well, which I always detest. But for some reason, this one I could swallow. Because it worked. Because it wasn't the significant epiphanies that I cared about. The significant ones always stand out. That's what makes them significant. It's the everyday epiphanies, the ones we almost don't notice, the ones that you almost throw away, those are the extraordinary ones. And those are the ones that are the most important to my character.

So there it is -- a second title option, making two titles with two very opposite meanings. Both very appropriate for one novel.


Random book excerpt

My legs feel like jello. I wobble.

For just a moment.

Just a moment.

My hand shoots out, and it grips the edge of the closet doorway. It fumbles around. Fingers twitch like spider legs, looking for something solid, something to cling to. There’s a black hole swirling behind me, and it wants to devour me, and more than me, more than my flesh, it wants to devour my mind, my consciousness, my soul, my very reason to go on living.

The spider legs scrambling up the wall, my left leg disappears. Gone. The world turns sideways, and I’m reminded of call centre suddenly, of spinning, of losing direction, of losing focus, of losing track of who I am. And then the floor hits me on the side of the head and everything goes white.

Then grey.


Then black.

No, I think.

Fuck no.

Not black, I think.

I try to call for Jamie. My own mushmouth makes a bubbling noise. My throat is a sewage line, backed up with rotting, stinking death. I’m choking on a week of consciousness, I’m choking on desperation.

“Help me…” The words slip out on my breath, as light as a breeze. Intangible. I can feel them blowing away the moment they’re out, like smoke.

There’s a noise down the hall.

“What the fuck are you doing man?”

Jamie’s watching The Sopranos, I guess. Or pay-per-view. Or, I don’t know, uncensored episodes of Jerry Springer.

“I heard a crash. Is everything all right?”

I answer the television. I say “No, everything is not alright,” or I try to at any rate. But the only noise coming out of my mouth is some sort of grunting, wheezing hybrid. And besides, I was talking to the television.

And still, everything is black.

I try to open my eyes, but they’re sealed shut. There is not a force on this earth that could open these eyes.

Even in the darkness, the world spins. I feel it spinning around me, and then it’s more than the world. Suddenly I can feel every planet – Mercury and Mars and Venus and Neptune and…fuck, I don’t know, how many planets are there, anyway? Nine? Ten? Twelve? They keep finding new ones. Everytime you turn on the TV there’s a new planet. And I don’t know all their names, but they’re spinning around me, the sun is spinning around me, and all those planets we know of, all twelve or twenty, and all the ones we don’t, or twelve or twenty thousand or million or trillion, at this moment, every one of them is spinning around me as well. For just a fraction of an instant, I am in the center of the universe, and the universe is spinning a circle around me, staring at me, watching me. Every living thing on every planet with a living thing has its eyes on me, holding my breath, because this is my moment.

This is the most important moment of my life.

And I’m about to fall asleep and miss it.

And as soon as I do, as soon as I drift off into unconsciousness, then the laugh track will start. They’ll all have a good laugh at my expense, and I’ll be too deep into the darkness to notice or hear or really give a damn.

And there’s no escape.

I don’t even feel the floor anymore.

I’m floating.

I’m floating in this blackness, and this blackness wraps its arms around me, and it is so peaceful, it’s so amazingly warm and quiet and restful, and I’m so fucking happy to be here right now. I’ve wanted this moment for so long that it no longer matters what I’m giving up to be here. It’s worth it. Oh God, it’s worth it.

And then I’m gone.

And then I’m not.

Then there are hands.

Hands on my shoulder.

They’re picking me up.

And the world stops spinning and the black turns to ash, then grey, then white, and something dissolves whatever was gluing my eyes closed, and they open, and I’m blind it’s so bright in this room, and there hands sliding me backwards, and they’re setting me back against the bed, and then there’s a voice that sounds like what ever was on television, and it says: “What the fuck happened in here?”

And I realize it’s Jamie.

And I say, “I fell down.”

I say, “I think I almost fell asleep.”

And he laughs and he says, “Well, shit, if I’d known that I would have left you alone. But you made suck a fucking racket that I thought you’d hurt yourself.”

And I wonder if I have hurt myself.

I still can’t quite feel my legs.

I know my arms are there, because I can see them. But they seem disconnected. They seem to belong to someone else. I try to move my arm, to lift my arm straight up, and dose a crazy wobbling jig sideways and my smacks Jamie in the shin.

He looks at me.

“What?” he asks me.

He thinks I was trying to get his attention.

Maybe I was.

“Make me some coffee,” I say. “I’ve got to get dressed.”

Can't say if there's anything terribly good in this batch of text quoted from the novel-in-progress, but here it is anyway, just to verify that I am at least trying to maintain my new year's resolution to write on *something* each and every day this year. Although, sure, yeah, I could have written this in December and just posted it here until now, it's not like anyone would know.

But I would. And I'd feel bad about lying to you. And that just wouldn't cut it.

I'm about to try to push my way through an awkward portion of the book. I know sort of what has to happen in this next chunk of text, until the end of the current chapter, because I know exactly how the next chapter begins -- I know it so well, in fact, that I wrote it months ago, right after I started the novel. I knew that this next chapter was going to happen eventually. I just wasn't sure when.

I'm not sure, at last, that it's the next chapter. And I know, sort of, more or less, what I have to go through to get to that chapter. But the details...the details are hazy.

So I'm nervous. I'm not sure I want to just dive in and wing it because, as much as that has worked for me in the past, it also has sort of a tendency to steer off my original course. And while that can be fun sometimes too, getting steered off my original course might not be so good when I have a fantastic plan for exactly how the next chapter should start.

So I'll probably do what I usually do when I bump into trouble like this. Avoid the novel for a couple of days. After all, even though I've resolved to write every day, I still have at least three other things I can dump words on.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

So, here's the deal...

As hinted at in an earlier post, I have made one and only one new year's resolution this year (though I had considered making a resolution to be even angrier and bitterer than ever before, but I ultimately decided that went against the general notion of resolutions). And that resolution is somewhat related to this blog.

That resolution is this: Barring days when it is simply physically impossible, I'm going to write every day this year.

It doesn't matter what it is. As long as it's writing. Words. In english. One after the other, in a series that we often call "sentences" which then make up things we call "paragraphs".

At the moment, I have four projects to choose from in my daily writing. I have, of course, the blog you're currently reading. There is a new blog, started just a few days into January located here, which will be the new home for most if not all of my gaming-related blogging (stop by if you're so inclined). There is the novel about the insomniac. And there is the play about the guy with the knife in his stomach.

If I can't think of something write in at least *one* of this things on a given day, there's a problem.

There'll be breathing room, of course. I didn't actually write much of anything yesterday, as I'd been struck with a nasty case of insomnia the previous evening, leaving my brain a bit like porridge. Days like that will happen. Other days will have other things come up, making it impossible to write. I'm not going to beat myself up for missing a day here or there. Because shit happens. And if I do beat myself, I'll just end up even less inclined to actually get the writing done the next day, and the day after that.

As for SFDs (which, heh, uh, I should have known about all along, obviously) I'm delaying updates just a little bit, as I think I may be redesigning the whole Stick Figure Drama interface, now that I've found a spiffy little album-generating application with which I can make a proper sort of interface for the strips, instead of just having each jpg individually linked. No guarantees on when that'll happen, but it's unlikely to see completion until February.

Of course this post itself, this little entry bringing all you fans up to speed on my plans, in fact counts as my writing for the day. And so now I can go to bed tonight feeling good about myself, because I accomplished something, however little, however insignificant.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Swing by the Project

I'm sort of a loser sometimes, and I frequently neglect to update the linkage section in the right column, which is sort of a perfect place to drop not only blogs I enjoy, but blogs of friends as well.

Yes have them. Well, some. A few. Look, I don't want to talk about it, okay?

Anyway, linkage is now place for Project Tarantella -- a blog maintained by a buddy and former co-worker who somehow managed to escape the daily horror that is the newspaper industry before it devoured his soul. Drop by and say hi.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hello, 2007.


So, it's the start of a new year, and I'm still reeling over yesterdays Farking. I can't think of a stranger, more surreal way to start a whole new year, and I can't help but think it's a sign of something, though I don't have the foggiest idea what.

I'll confess, I haven't been the biggest fan of New Year's celebrations for the last few years, for a number of different reasons. One of the big ones is that New Year's tends to demand a reflection on the previous 365 days, and given my nature, I tend to focus on the negative while reflecting.

This is not to say that 2006 wasn't without its share of high points. It certainly was. Among them: starting (and getting a good way through) a surprisingly good novel during a month that wasn't November, taking Monkey House to the Zone Drama Festival and walking away with five awards, and potentially shredding my already shaky reputation by proposing a funny but startlingly vulgar play I wrote to be performed during stampede (a propsal which was ultimately, if unsurprisingly, rejected).

However, I've got to be honest and say that, when it comes to the lows, 2006 had some of the lowest I can remember in recent years. So instead of celebrating the end of one year, and the start of another -- as many were, I'm sure -- I spent a quiet New Year's Eve at home, bidding farewell to a year that I was glad to be done with. And trying to make promises to myself that the next wouldn't be anywhere near so bad.

Which, yeah, I know, stupid. Making promises like that is like begging for disappointment. Too many of the things that happen around us are ultimately out of our hands. But I suppose it doesn't hurt to try to improve the things that we *can* control.

Resolutions were made, though after past years failures, I'm keeping these ones fairly close to my chest at the moment. I will confess that the majority of them have something to do with writing, and this blog is included (as is a second blog I fired up yesterday, for no particularly good reason, which will I'll likely get around to linking here at some point in the near future, if I don't completely abandon it in the next few days).

So to those of you who are frequent visitors of this site, and for the few of you who still might be trickling in from Fark -- the brave, the bold, the lovers of Hot Mustard -- I wish you all the finest in this new year.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Good heavens, now I've been Farked.

Who'd have thought that one silly little post about the absence of Hot Mustard sauce from McDonald's would have resulted in so much, well, five-minutes-of-fameage...

After finding my silly little post at Digg about a month ago, I checked my Gmail account this evening to discover that there were almost a dozen comments on my Hot Mustard article. Figuring I'd picked up a bit more traffic from the month-old Digg posting, I popped by this site to see what sort of traffic had been going on in the last few days.

Well, it was more than a few more hits.

It was more like 2,500.

2,500 freaking pageviews. Today.

At this goofy little blog, where I write my goofy little ramblings, and occasionally post not-so-goofy little chunks of bits of writing I'm working on. 2,500 page views in one day.

Digging in my referral log, I see that they've all come from the wonder that is, after -- I assume -- someone posted a link on their main page to the afforementioned ramble about McDonald's Hot Mustard.

This is just too weird for words.

Hot-freaking-mustard = 2500 pageviews.

So, um, hi to all you Farksters! Sorry the updates have been sparse lately. Blogging a bit more is on my short list of new years resolutions to take under consideration, but never publicly admit to, because once you publicly admit to a resolution, you look like a wanker when you don't actually keep it. Which, heaven knows, is the case with most of us.

Anyway, I digress.

Thanks for the 2500 page loads. Who knows, with the power of Fark, I could break 10K by the end of the week. Huzzah.

Now it's time to start planning an expose on the Bull's Eye Barbecue Sauce conspiracy. Clearly the path to internet fame is paved in condiments.

Anyone wanting to check out the lengthy discussion of the loss of Hot Mustard over at Fark can find it here.

EDIT: It seems that my counter jumped by approximately 100, just in the time that I was writing this post. I don't think I've ever gotten 100 pageviews in a single day, let alone in the handful of minutes between starting a post and ending it. I'm feeling dizzy.