Friday, July 31, 2009

Hiss Pop

I have a recurring dream (partially based on real-life events) where I abandon my apartment, and then feel too detached from it to return; when I eventually do, the refrigerator is full of moldy food and the plants are spindly, dead things. Unpaid bills are stacked on the table. Insects and rodents have moved into the cupboards. Etc etc.

In reality, I have just felt too overwhelmed by information and work and life to log in and post anything to this blog. I will try to do better, honest. I like doing it, but sometimes it seems more like work than fun, and I needed a break. Also, and I think this is a big part of it, I don't think I have as much to say as most of you do; my goal is to finish a novel-length MS this year, and to discuss that on a blog is boring as all I don't, but I quickly run out of things to say. Unfortunately, that kind of led to not reading other people's blogs either, and that's really what I missed the most. So, I'm going to renew my efforts to keep in touch.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that.
I hit the 50k mark on Aquarium, but it got too dark, so I put it aside. No, not dark: just depressing. Kind of mopey. The characters were all in a bad way, and everything was going to shit, and I didn't have a good direction to take it except more suffering and whining. With everything going on in my life this year, I don't need depressing.

I have spent the last couple of weeks outlining a new story that I hope will be more light and fun to write, and I knocked out the first 1k last night. I hope it goes better. I will probably revisit Aquarium, but I needed to get my head out of that space for a while.

I did take a break and knock out a 4k short for an Esquire magazine contest. That was fun. My odds are probably better winning a progressive jackpot with one pull than winning this one, but, what the hey...if writers paid any kind of attention to those kinds of things, there wouldn't be any of us.
As a few of you know, I have been outed as a Facebooker and Twitterling. Despite my protests and bashing, I kind of get Twitter now. Kind of. I'm still pretty averse to talking about my goings-on randomly (because, in my mind, that assumes that someone gives a rat's ass what I'm doing, which may not be the case). Twitter is a great stalking machine, though. I know more about Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer's lovefest than I care to, I know where Adam Savage is at all times, In know when Zoe Keating is mixing tracks for her new album, and I know Peter Straub is kind of an old goofball, but in a good, funny way.

But on the other hand, it also helps me keep up with some good folks I know from the blogosphere, like Cate, Robert, Nat, and Mercedes. So, there you go. If you are in those clubs, friend/follow me, and I'll stalk you, too.
Since my last post, I finished King's Cell on audiobook, which was OK, started Elmore Leonard's Mr Paradise on audiobook, which is kind of funny because the narrator sounds like Dennis Farina and uses the same NYC gangster voice for all of the characters, even the cheerleader/prostitutes.

Also, I read and did kind of a critique for Barry Napier's Darklights, a published ebook that he is looking to re-write and re-release. If you haven't done a critical read of a book like that, I would recommend that you do, at least once. It was very insightful to read my own notes about the things I kind of stumbled on in the story, or points that seemed to be missing or scenes that weren't believable (not to publicly trash Barry's work...but that's what you have to do in a critical review...nitpick), and then apply that same criticism against my own work. Very insightful and useful. I had the opportunity to do the same on Cate Gardner's Poison Apple last winter, but I blew it...I think I was too afraid of being critical of someone else's work when I had no confidence in my own. But, I sucked it up for Darklights, and it was worth it.