I don’t wanna…

Sometimes, when I sit down to write, I want to do anything but.  I can’t focus; I can’t get my head into any of the story ideas that are swirling around.

More often than not, it’s not that I don’t want to write or that I’ve hit a block, it’s that I’ve gone too long without writing.

I’m at this stage now.

I have plenty of ideas-tons of ideas-in fact, I just figured out a small bit of my novel last night.   But when I sit down with the pen and paper in front of me, I stare.  Doesn’t matter if it’s blank or if I’ve written something-anything-on it.  I stare.

In part, this is because Rob and I went to Boskone over the weekend. I never get anything written at cons, no matter how much I might try.  Also a part of it is that I’ve been trying to outline and plot some short stories.  I usually don’t do that.  Hell, I almost never do that.

My process tends to be more that I write through the first quarter, or less, of a story and then start in on the world building and planning.  Because I’ve only written shorts in college, I’ve been trying to plan and outline before writing.

This sometimes ends up killing the story for me because I know how it’ll end.  I know what happens beginning to end, and I have no interest in finding out how I got there.  At least for a little while.  Then the ideas and seeds start to grow, and I’ve regained my interest in finding out what’s actually happened in the story.

Maybe that’s what’s happened here.  But I’m supposed to be writing, because I didn’t exercise today.  That I blame entirely on the frikkin construction crew working on the road in front of the house until 5:30.

…Now I only have about a half hour until dinner.  And wth does the timestamp on this read an hour later than it is?

Posted in Randomness, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Boskone 49

Rob and I spent the weekend in Boston at the Westin Waterfront for Boskone.  Small convention, though my experience is tiny, small, and OMG huge.  The guest of honor was John Scalzi, and the artist guest of honor was Daniel Dos Santos.  We got several chances to talk to lots of the authors there–quite a few at koffeeklatches(yeah, pretty sure I misspelled that.)

Mostly non-linear bits and pieces I remember–

Myke Cole on getting published–win Writers of the Future, “der der der,” get shorts published, “der der der,” get an agent, “der der der,” and get a book deal.

Myke Cole on Peter V. Brett on getting published–“Fuck that”–Peter wrote a book, got an agent in two weeks, and got a book deal in two weeks.

Peter V. Brett plugged Myke’s book-Control Point-and said the second book is even better than the first.  He also explained why there was such a length of time between his books–he overestimated how much he could write full time and didn’t take into consideration all the stuff you do in writing that’s not writing.

Scalzi’s first con was Torcon, after he sold a book.  He was scheduled for a reading with nothing to read, so read the first chapter of The Android’s Dream.  It’s dedicated to the 5 people who showed up.

I met Joshua Bilmes, agent for Peter V. Brett, Myke Cole, Charlaine Harris, Jim C. Hines, and more, and he gave me his card.

Daniel Dos Santos paints with physical media; he’ll spend lots of time making effects look digital even when they’re not.  He has a model he can call at 2AM and say “I need to take photos of your legs.”

A few of my friends from college were there.  They recognized me by my hair.

Myke wants people to play Warhammer 40k with, and he likes cons because he can pretend he has friends.  Or something like that.

The little bit of Boston’s transit system I saw was better than New York City.

I met the President (Scalzi) and Treasurer (Bud Sparhawk) of SFWA.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a moderator for Tor.com, and created a wikia–Onlinemanship–which should be useful for forum moderators.

Describing what I do at work is easier when I have a puzzle book with me.

I know there’s more that I’m not remembering right now, but in all, fun weekend.  And back to work tomorrow.

Posted in Conventions | Tagged , | 1 Comment


No writing for you.

I try to get writing done when I have free time.  Most of the time.  This doesn’t always work as well as I’d like.

Not because I don’t write.  The opposite.  I start to write so much and get so into it that I want to scream and have a hissyfit when I run out of time.  Lunch ends; dinner is ready; I have to go to sleep.  I can be writing at an incredible rate, my hand smudging the ink sometimes.  Not an easy thing to do with a ballpoint pen.

And then full stop.

My mind keeps going, but I can’t keep writing.  And then it slows down and refocuses on whatever I was doing.  Usually working on puzzles.  When I get home, I have to exercise right away, or that doesn’t get done.

By the time I sit back down to my words, a minimum of 3 1/2 hours has passed.

And I have no clue what needs to happen next.

Especially if I’m in the middle of a scene, or even worse, the middle of a sentence.  I can go back and reread what I’d been writing, but that rarely helps.

Often, this makes me reluctant to write in those small snippets of time, preferring long stretches where I can really dig in.  But at the same time, I have more snippets than chunks to work with.

This might make the work inconsistent and jumpy, but I haven’t read back through it yet.  Nor has anyone else.

And if more comes after this and sounds like there’s been a bad transition? Yeah, it’s 2:30.  Lunch is over.

There are also issues with the cats.  They have a habit of pushing my door open.  At first a little bit, and then they push it all the way open.  When they do that, there’s a rush of cold or hot air, depending on the time of year, followed by insistent meowing.  Kinda difficult to keep writing with that.

Interrupted by sleep.

Posted in Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Rob started back to work today, after almost exactly 3 months out.  So far, he’s on light duty.

I spent most of the weekend forgetting there was a football game on Sunday.  Friday was our usual trip to Barnes and Noble–we picked up a copy of Myke Cole’s debut, Control Point.  We also saw Saladin Ahmed’s debut, Throne of the Crescent Moon, but we’ll wait until after the release date to pick it up.  Everything I’ve read and been told is that the numbers don’t count until after that date.

Saturday started with a trip to the grocery store.  I planned on spending the day writing, so I wanted Dr Pepper and snacks.  Best combination, in my opinion, Dr Pepper and Better Cheddars.  Love those crackers.  But I eat them by box, so I don’t have them often.

I got quite a bit written/revised.  Maybe around 3500-4k.  I could’ve gotten more, but had a few problems.

One was the revisions themselves.  I was rewriting scenes, and the dialogue needed to be ripped out and started new.  This meant taking some time to figure out what needed to be kept and what didn’t, and what needed to be added in.  So I ended up getting through only about 4 scenes.

The other problem was the computer.  I was trying to export pictures from iPhoto to an external drives(redundant backups and all, since I’ve lost stuff in the past), and I kept getting an error.  And when I tried to clean up the hard drive, I got an error that the drive needed to be repaired.  So getting that all sorted took away from writing.

Especially when I tend to keep the file open for reference.  Although that was a short-lived delay, I have a copy on my iPad.  Then I stopped because the house got too cold to write.  But that does tend to happen at 3am in winter.

Sundays tend to be pretty routine.  Laundry, spend the day playing games with Rob.  It’s the only day I play games.  Unless friends come to visit, but that’s rare.  And we watched a lot of shows to clear off the DVR.  The thing has issues, so we want to exchange it.

Now, I have about 14 handwritten pages to get typed up.  This will take a few nights.

Posted in Randomness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Writing longhand

I think I’m a rare type when it comes to writing.  I write longhand.

Writing the blog post

I have a 5 subject, college lined spiral notebook that I use for my rewrites and novel writing.  A single subject notebook for trying to write short stories and brainstorming, and several small moleskins for writing out blog posts.

My writing pens are Pilot EasyTouch pens.  A black one for home and a blue one at work.  Makes it easier to differentiate what I’ve written when. I’ve tried using other pens; for a while I used the blue pen at work, but that gave me a hand cramp from using so much pressure to get the ink out.  These pens, the ink flows.

What I’ve found with writing longhand is that the words almost fly out of the pen.  But I have trouble getting words to hit the screen when I’m typing.

Pretty sure it’s a combination of things.  My writing computer is a laptop, and it’s really not that comfortable to use.  My desk is too high, or my chair too low, to be able to sit and type for a prolonged length of time.

Plus I spend most of my day with a pencil in hand instead of typing on a computer.  May be related, may not.

I have an odd habit of just watching the letters and words form, watching the pointed shadow of the pen on the paper and the words appearing on the page.

I don’t get any of that with writing on a computer.

And I think it shows.  In the past, Rob has pointed out passages in my writing that work, and some that don’t.  More often than not, what worked well was written by hand, and what came across as stilted was written on the computer.

I know a lot of people prefer writing on a computer because they say it’s faster.  For them, I’m sure it is.  Not so much for me.  Like I’ve said before, I can get 250 to 500 words written at lunch.  Depending on how long it takes me to eat and how much reading I’m doing, that’s usually about 15 to 30 minutes.  Hell, I’ve managed about 1000 to 1500 in that time period.

The absolute best I’ve done in the past were a few 8-10,000 days–I think it totaled about 40,000 that week.

Another reason lots of people prefer computer is legibility.  Which, yeah, can be a problem.  I’m worse when I wrote only in cursive (as were the wrist cramps), but since I’ve started using something of a print/script hybrid, not so much.  And I’m more aware of the problems I do have.  I leave out some letters–almost without fail I’m dropping the n in -ing.  O and a can sometimes look alike.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of writing so quickly that the letters get a bit flattened, though that’s definitely more of a problem with cursive.

But overall–I much, much prefer writing longhand.  And one big, huge reason why-if I ever lose my file, my back up, anything like that-I still have my notebook.

Posted in Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment