Well, I got some writing in today--about 800 words. Good words too.
Words I had to look up in the dictionary. I'm starting to wonder
if maybe the reason I've slowed down is because of the bad experience I
had when I finished Naejin. I was so proud to have actually written
a novel, and mailed it out to a few publishers that said they accepted
Of course, being a newbie I had no idea what a query letter or synopsis
was. After waiting several months for replies from each publisher,
and getting standard form letter rejections back which led me to believe
that my work hadn't even been read, I was depressed, to say the least.
Here I had spent all this time, creativity and energy on my novel, and
had dared to pin dreams on it, and I couldn't even get it read. That
was two years ago, and I set it aside and haven't sent it out since.
I know that's a big mistake, and a real no-no from a professional writing
POV, but I can't help it. It didn't stop me from writing another
though, and I know that I have to conquer my fears about writing queries
and synopsis and just do it, especially with my new novel. Still,
rejection is one thing. Being considered such a non-entity that your
work isn't even looked at before it's rejected is another.
Oh yeah, I also got my haircut-- just short enought that the Chief might
think I'm actually in the military, and just long enough that he'd still
have to ask.
The last few days have been exhausting. The band played Thursday
night to a small but enthusiastic crowd. I got home at about 2:15
AM, had a bite to eat, and got to bed about 3:00. Of course, I had
to be to work by 7:30 the next morning. As I've mentioned, I haven't
been too energetic recently to start with. Now I'd gone from
being a walking zombie to a sitting zombie.
Pen rescued me, as usual. Our hot water heater has been acting up,
so she arranged to have the plumber come Friday afternoon to fix it.
That meant I got to go home. I managed to get a few hours sleep in
during the afternoon.
Of course we had to play again Friday night. It was a larger crowd,
and a rowdier one. There were at least three fights--or one protracted
one, depending on how you look at it. The same guy got thrown out
three times. Yep, we only play the classiest places. Of course
I got home about 3:30 Saturday morning by the time we tore down the gear.
And what was my share of the take for two nights of playing? About
$76 total (Canadian.) It's a good thing I'm not in it for the money.
The amazing thing is, even after all that I found myself wishing that we
were playing Saturday night, or tonight. I just love to play, that's
all. The worst part is that the band seems to be experiencing personnel
problems. Our bass player may be moving away, and there's been a
little tension between a couple of the members. I can only
hope that everything works itself out.
The band is one of the few things I enjoy, that make life worth waking
up in the morning for. I'd hate for it to self-destruct. I
can always find another band, but I like this one, and the people in it.
In a lot of ways I guess I'm the stereotypical struggling writer/musician.
Financial hardship, depression, cyclic ups and downs--I share these traits
in common with most of the "creative" community. Thankfully, I don't
have to struggle alone. I've never met anyone more supportive than
Pen. She's always there to encourage me, unselfishly allows me the
time to pursuit my writing/music/martial arts/anything else that catches
my eye, shows up in the seediest bars to watch me play, leaves me alone
or orders me to write if need be, and somehow manages to find the money
to send me to that Con, or buy that drum skin or cymbal that I need.
Someday, I hope all her hard work pays off.
Absolutely nothing of note happened in my life today. Nor have I
thought of anything particularily witty to say. What a waste of time.
Today wasn't much better, though I did get to work with the OPP.
Any day you get to rough up a bunch of cops can't be all bad. The
book is coming slowly but surely, but tomorrow I have to spend a mind numbing
day working in the squadron library. If I'm lucky I might get some
writing done in the afternoon. I'll talk to you all tomorrow night
if I don't go postal in the meantime.
Sorry, but I can't help feeling down. Maybe it's the fact that this
novel is coming to an end, and I feel like I'm just setting myself up for
another big dissapointment. Let's face it; if I had written War and
Peace nobody would have ever heard of it. If it had been my name
on The English Patient or Memoirs of a Geisah the manuscript would still
be sitting in the slush pile somewhere, or lining someone's birdcage.
You may say I'm being negative or pessimistic, but unfortunately that's
the hand life has dealt me so far.
Sometimes I feel like the invisible man, or Nicholas Tesla. The man
was probably one of the greatest creative geniuses of our time, but have
you ever heard of him? Nope. Everyone knows who Thomas Edison
is though. He had better PR.
I'm back! Well, okay. I never really went anywhere. I
was just too bumed out to update my web page. Chatting with my fellow
Sock Monkeys over the weekend on IM helped draw me out of my funk
though. Well, mostly out. Pen says my feet still smell funky.
I'm almost finished Darkside. I know, I know. I said that days
ago. I've been writing my thousand words a day--heck, I even wrote
two thousand on Sunday--but the damn story has a life of it's own.
I swear it's teasing me. "Just one more page, Steve. One more."
Then five pages later: "Sucker!"
This morning when I started up my computer, instead of playing that annoying
Microsoft jingle the damn thing laughed at me. Honest. I got
even with it though. I downloaded the Macarina, turned the volume
down so I couldn't hear it, and played it over and over again in a continuous
loop. The computer surrendered unconditonally about an hour ago.
Don't mess with me. I'm evil.
I haven't been neglecting my web page--honest. I fell off the face
of the Earth for a couple of days. Apparently I tripped over the
nose, tumbled down past the ear, and landed somewhere in the armpit.
It took me a while to climb back up and reposition myself on the face again,
and then I couldn't remember my place. I settled on right between
the eyes, but I came this close to picking the nose.
Anyway, I still haven't finished Darkside yet. I spent a whole day
obsessing over one paragraph. Karin suggested I just skip ahead,
but there's bugger all room to skip to when you're on the last page or
two. (Some help you were, Karin!) I decided a while back that
Darkside was going to be twenty-two chapters long (don't ask why) with
the last chapter being a short epilogue, so if chapter twenty-two turns
out to be 350 pages long, you'll know why.
From now on, I promise to update my webpage daily. Of course if nothing
interesting happens, or my wit is duller than usual, you may be subjected
to a few paragraphs on why Aunt Marie's moustache is better than Aunt Karen's.
(Hint--Aunt Marie has a matching goatee.) Or why Uncle Bill isn't
allowed at the playland at MacDonald's anymore. Well, you asked for
Aaargghhh!!! I'm just about finished. I'm down to the last
few paragraphs--maybe a page tops. I managed to get some writing
time in at work, but then it was time to go home. Hey, I don't care
if they're just about to write me a check for a million dollars,
when it's time to go home I'm outta there! Anyway, I packed up my
stuff and ran a few errands Pen asked me to do. She's working late
tonight, so I figured I'd finish the book at home. At long last,
I'd finally be finished. I forgot the freak'n disk at work!!!!!
Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll finish it for sure.
I did it!!! I'm done, finished, complete, the eagle has landed. Darkside
is finally finished. Of course, now I have to edit it. On the
bright side, I managed to edit the first twelve chapters already today.
I figure I should be finished editing the rest by tomorrow, then it's off
to a few friends of mine who act as readers. If all goes well, I
should have the finished-finished product in a week or so. Of course,
then I have to write the dreaded query letter/synopsis. And mail
it out. I've decided when that's all done with, though, that I'm
going to take a few weeks off from writing and just read. I mean
read for pleasure--stuff I don't have to critique. It's been
a while since I've done that. Anyway, to reiterate--I'M DONE.
Happy happy, joy joy!!!!
I finished editing Darkside today. I went through all the critiques
my fellow Sock Monkeys provided, as well as the ones from the Del Rey Online
Writing Workshop, and edited to the best of my ablility. I actually
even followed some of their advice--especially from the people who seem
to think I'm brilliant. If they're smart enought to realise that
then I guess I can give them a listen to. :-) I had the day off work
today, my last official day of leave for this year. Luckily I get
another 25 days as of April 1. (Whoever thought of having the military
fiscal year start on April Fool's day had real insight.)
Pen's gone into the city tonight to celebrate her birthday with her mom.
Her birthday's not until March 25, but her mom wanted to do it this weekend.
So, I'm on my own for another weekend. I spent all day formatting
Publishers and editors are very picky about manuscript formatting.
It has to be double-spaced, at least one inch margins all around, proportional
font, underlines instead of italics--that sort of thing. But the
people who read for me want it to be in as close to a real book format
as possible. So that means I have to format the entire book twice.
Anyway, I spent the whole day doing that and I'm finally finished.
You know, most guys would go out and party their faces off when the wife's
away, but not me...noooooo.
Today was the first day in ages that I didn't have to write, and I took
full advantage of it. I finally had the time to load some software
I've been wanting to, like Cakewalk--it turns your computer into a multi-track
recording studio, plus a couple of games I've been wanting to try (Pod
Racer and Homeworld.) So that's what I did--I wasted a day.
I actually composed a stupid little song--six drum tracks, bass, piano,
saxaphone, and tubular bells. Then spent the rest of the time playing
the other two games. Of course tomorrow I have to get to work on
my query letter and synopsis, and I owe Charlie and Jan crits. So
much for self-indulgence.
Today sucked. Not only that, it was weird too. It started this
morning just as I was about to go to work. A bird decided our dryer
vent would be a great place to nest. Unfortunately the stupid critter
fell in and couldn't get back out again. I tried disconnecting the
vent, but the idiot just retreated into the dryer. I had to totally
disassemble the dryer (top, back, drum, everything) to get the bird out.
Then I had to chase the dopey bird around the basement. I finally
caught him and released him back into the great outdoors. The least
he could have done is taken all that dryer lint with him.
Anyway, then I had to sit around all afternoon waiting for the guy to come
and place a screen over the vent. It's a good thing I got the dryer
put back together too, because by this time my uniform was a mess and I
had to clean it again. Needless to say I never did make it into work.
(The guy at the office laughed his fool head off when I told him what I
Then our bass player called a band meeting. It seems he has the possiblitiy
of work in Montreal. If he takes the job, we're looking for a new
bass player. The worst part is, he's decided that even if he doesn't
take the job, he's still going to quit the band. Our guitar player,
who is a good friend of his, has said that he'll probably quit too so that
he can play with the bass player. And even if the guitar player doesn't
quit, there's a 50-50 chance he's posted to Winnipeg. I'd say
that's pretty much it for this band. Sometimes life really sucks.
By the way, it's Pen's birthday tomorrow. I can't tell you how old
she'll be (cause she'll kill me) and besides, you'd never believe me anyway.
You know guys, when you get older you don't have to marry a much younger
woman--just find one who looks the part. :-)
Pen had a pretty good birthday, if I do say so myself. The girls
where she works spoiled her rotten, and then it was my turn. I brought
her flowers, then took her out to dinner at a nice restaurant. I
even made her a nice card and sent her one by email too! For a present,
I gave her money to go to a spa. I think I covered all my bases here.
I was going to take her to a movie, but we were both pretty wiped so we
decided to stay home and watch TV and do the movie thing tomorrow.
Everyone and their dog called to wish her happy birthday, which made watching
TV difficult, but what the hey. All in all I think it went pretty
well, with no major screwups on my part, so I'm out of the doghouse for
at least another year.
Pen and I went to the movies tonight and saw Final Destination, which is
a pretty fair horror pic. We both enjoyed it, but it's a good thing
I didn't take her to see that on her birthday yesterday. While it
was a fun movie, it's definately not birthday celebration material.
That would have put me in the doghouse for sure!