I lost a couple days writing again last week. One of them was down to the middle seedling turning 4, so that can’t be considered a loss. Spending yesterday curled up in my pit with a case of gut bloat (a kind of reverse birthday gift from the seedlings) could have been missed.

Never mind.
Things are looking good with Tin Man (working title). Our hero has just completed the 3 three phase process required to get his “okay powers” (like 2nd-rate superpowers) and, when he realises what’s going on, he’s going to jump on a revenge wagon that will eventually reveal he’s not the only altered human in town. 
Anyway, my mutant ability is kicking in so I’m super sleepy and off to bed. It being Tuesday tomorrow, I’ll have an uninterrupted day of scrawling.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Oh, on an unrelated note, there’s pretty magical about buying a 4-year-old her very own gourami to put in the aquarium.


Jellied Eels

So I lost five days solid of cranking out the post-apoc tale. Nothing could be done about it, life just swaggered in through the door and got in my way. My thousand words a day minimum dried up into a festering ball of fish crap and lay on the counter, choking me with its stink. Still, this isn’t a mournful post where I curse the restraints on my time. Quite the contrary, in fact.

See, Eel Town is about as organic as it comes. I sit at my desk, pop open the word processing app and start slamming keys. Sure, it works at around the tune of 1k words per day (did I just say that?) Sometimes things go a little higher. For the better part of a week, they went a whole lot lower (I definitely just said that). Luckily, I’m a filthy little word cheat who likes to keep a project or two on the side.

While smashing out my second post-apoc western, I’ve been scribbling notes for an idea based on the old superhero jive. No, I haven’t read a comic in the better part of 30 years (Elf Quest, if you’re interested), but I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies (Orchid loves them).

Part of the reason I’ve been twitching on an outline is I noticed that although going in blind is one big bucket of crispy fried fun, it’s also damned slow. When I started this blog, I set myself a challenge of writing a 17.5k novella in 24 hours. With only 5 hours of plotting to hand, I managed to crash out that word count in less than 12. That’s a big difference in productivity (although it is kinda offset by the amount of ideas I trash at the planning stage), so I wondered if I had a kinda project-on-the-side, I’d pay less attention to the inner critic as I wasn’t working on my ‘proper’ story.

Turns out, as ideas go, it wasn’t so bad. Although I’m miles behind my previous record of 17.5k (commitments, who’d have ’em?), I have punched out 4k words since sitting down to write this morning. Since this little romp into vigilante justice is set to be about 20k long, I’ve completed 20% of the project in on sweat-soaked sitting.

What does all this waffling mean? Not a lot really, but also maybe something important. See, Tin Man (working title, obviously) is now my main project. Since my crystal ball is a little cracked, I can estimate completion by the end of the month. ‘Course, life’s a bit crazy this year, so maybe I’ll get it done by the time the kids really start chatting about Santa. If I get a lot more days like today though, I’ll be hitting that publish button a whole lot sooner.

In case you care about Eel Town, I’ve not abandoned it completely. Visser’s crouched in the mud, staring into the barrel of a sawed-off and wondering how the hell he got there. It’s an interesting position, but I’ll have to wait before I find out where it’s going. I’m enjoying both the setting and characters, so I’ll definitely return, but since it’s looking to be a (possibly) novel-length work, I’ll pick it up when Tin Man’s done. Chances are though, I’ll work on another bit on the side while I’m at it. Writing blind and plotting on the side seem to be an excellent productivity tool.

Transmission Delayed

I’m thinking of retitling the blog.

Back in August, I had reached the last stages of editing a collection of sci fi shorts. I’d also started work on a longer space opera piece that involved swaggering through distant galaxies trying to not get shot up by bloodthirsty pirates. I probably gave working titles and expected publication dates to any who come here. As usual, when the appointed hour arrived, I was nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, I find myself on the sidelines of a legal dispute. Orchid’s ex is not only an idiot, but also the lowest form of scum. His constant imput into our lives is becoming more than a little troublesome. 

Luckily (?), due the current economic uncertainty in this fair, triangular isle to the west of Gaul, I’ve had very little work since my last post and have had plenty of time to engage in a battle that I don’t particularly want and, with Twain’s famous words in mind, probably can’t win.
Hopefully, the above will be explanation enough as to why my output dropped below my customary ‘not very much’. 
As with everything in life, there are peaks to counteract the troughs. A few days ago, I read an article on Dean Wesley Smith’s website (search pulp speed to find it). It’s a brief look at the jaw-dropping output of the ‘old timey’ masters who lived well (enough) on a cent a word. After reading it, I opened my kindle and devoured DWS’s book Writing into the Dark.
As ever, Mr Smith’s book filled me with the urge to get down the words that had been lurking at the edges of my brain fog. With every page I finished, I remembered why I started writing over 3 decades ago, how much I get from it and how stupid I’d been to worry myself into mental paralysis. 
I doubt Mr Smith’s section on overcoming the inner critic was written with the intention of reminding a hack across the Atlantic that the only way to overcome obstacles is roll up one’s sleeves and imitate Dr. David Banner’s less socially aware alter-ego, but there you have it.
For a little under a week, I’ve been working on a project set in the same universe as Scavenger Hunt. It’s not a sequel, but I’ve managed to grind my teeth and churn out around 1000 words. Admittedly that’s not a touch on Smith’s Pulp Speed 1, but it’s an improvement on recent tallies and something I damned well intend to continue.
Again, of course, troughs dwell behind the peaks and today I had to bury my poor cat.
Maybe I should retitle the blog after all.