Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Land of Laughs

I was hardly able to focus. The slow-slow start, oh the S-L-O-W start. It took until page 99 for anything to happen.

The question remains, why wait for page 99? Or why read to page 99 in a 250 page book without shelving it?

Land of Laughs was gifted to me. The book was gifted to me by a good friend and lifelong penpal, Freesia. She also reads a great deal and I trust her taste in books. So, I kept reading.

Once the kid eating the pistachio ice cream cone at eight in the morning walked out into the street and got run over, well, the story got interesting.

What became interesting was not the narrator who is a high school English teacher turned biographer. Nor s it the two girlfriends the narrator begins to juggle.

What I found interesting was how the psychosis develops. How the comical turned the surreal then turned to horror.

The story ultimately became eerie.

Carroll, Jonathan. The Land of Laughs. Tom Doherty Associates, New York: 1980.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The 2018 Process part three a few notes on scheduling

Like most people, I have a family and a job and obligations. Unlike most people, I don't have a job that takes up too much of my time or energy. I sometimes hate to tell people that I work about 25 hours a week and I have worked about 25 hours a week for most of my life. I don't like telling people this because I get one or two responses. The first is—good for you. This can be condescending, but more often it has the patina of envy. The second response is the where do you get off working so little when the rest of us... why do you do so little?

I figured out, long ago, it doesn't matter how much you work, you are always trading your time for money. My time has always been more important to me. I may not have much, but what I have is mine, I don't owe anyone anything, and I have plenty of time.

I realize that not everyone has the amount of time that I have. But the time that we all have can almost always be better spent. If you consider how many hours get wasted each week staring into a screen, it's staggering. If you have social media accounts and a TV believe me, you have the time for creative endeavors. It's just a matter of making them a priority.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The 2018 Process part two Setting goals and creating deadlines

This process of setting goals and creating deadlines is something that I visit again and again. I visit it at the onset of my chosen time limit, a year, and I analyze it quarterly, monthly and weekly.

A year is not a long period of time. I feel like it's just long enough to manage and to stay fresh. Quarterly, at least for me, is easily divided up not by seasons but by UFM issues (the 15th of March, June, September and December). I prefer to have quarterly goals more than anything because ninety days is a good sprint.

Weekly goals get a little more intense. I think a week can be planned well in a matter of minutes, and life's schedule is easy to juggle in seven day increments.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The 2018 Process: part one

As I look back over the last year, I'm very grateful for the work I did and those things I got to accomplish. It's a pleasant feeling knowing that a whole year's expectations were well exceeded. I don't get many years like that despite my best efforts.

I got to write a great deal last year. I completed two novels, manuscripts of novels really. They were two opposite processes which I find interesting. I completed Coppertown which took over four years to write. I also completed The Second Door that took 13 days during NANOWRIMO.

I wrote several short stories and several poems, these were all good studies for the larger works, but were healthy nonetheless. I got to complete weekly blogposts which hadn't happened for a few years.

I suppose the biggest feat of 2017 was the number of publications I got. There is no greater thrill for a creative writer than to see a publication with your name on it.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Winter Reading List

It's the start of a new year. If you needed me to say as much, oh brother, I feel terrible for saying as much. As new years go, it is the custom to make all sorts of resolutions; these things have always seemed like the same things that people say and do at Lent, if they're Catholic.

I don't make new year's resolutions. I never have. Statistically speaking, any resolution that gets made on January one is destined to fail. I've never been able to deal with such failure, such disaster.

Rather, I generally make a really big to do list. And my big to do list may officially kick off on January first, but I compose the list in November.