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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

The first time I read Ray Bradbury’s 1957 classic, Dandelion Wine, it was an assignment for school. I was a little older than Doug Spaulding, the novel’s 12-year old protagonist at the time, and to be frank, I didn’t really care for the book at all.

That was a crisis for me, as Bradbury was one of the three novelists who I really, really enjoyed (along with Roger Zelazny and C.J. Cherryh). I’d gobbled up Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and read every collection of his short stories that I could find. (more…)

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Feline Delay Syndrome

No writing was done this week because, Portia.

I know, I know, you’re sick of all these cat-related posts.

Well, tough.

Portia is a rescue from Seattle Area Feline Rescue (SAFR), a no-kill shelter down the street from me. My intention was to meet a little calico they had there, but when we arrived, there were so many great personalities among the cats available for adoption, we had to spend time with several. Portia—originally named “Porsche,” but there was no way that was going to stand; we quickly changed it to a properly Shakespearean homophone—was by far the one who clicked with us, and so she’s who we brought home.

And so, our 35-year streak of having only black or black/white cats remains intact.

She’s settling in. So are we.

Writing will recommence.

k

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Hope. Damnable hope.

For most of my life, this has been my Achilles Heel. I simply cannot stop hoping. For things to turn around. For things to get better. For luck to change.

Four years ago (!!) I wrote “The Book of Solomon,” a short story, and started sending it out to markets. After a year an a half of submit-reject-rewrite-resubmit, I called it a day and put the story in the trunk.

Except I didn’t. (more…)

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In the center of my front room is a table. On that table stands a single vase with a single stem on which is a single bloom.

A rose, the first rose of the summer that is yet to come.

From purple to cerise to pink, the outer petals open to reveal their brethren, rank upon rank, unfolding like Mandelbrot origami, endless, hypnotic to the eye.

A single rose, a flower that can fit in the palm of my hand, and yet it fills the room, side to side, top to bottom, three thousand cubic feet, with the scent of honeyed apricots, sweetened cream, dappled sunlight, and the longing of ancient empires.

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It happened.

To be honest, I expected it earlier.

Usually, The Crash first hits me at around 10,000 words. This time, it waited until I was at 25,000 words. Foolishly, I thought I’d avoided it.

But I hadn’t.

Sneaky old bastard waited in the dark corners, hiding in amongst the musty, cobwebbed bric-a-brac, watching me wander hallways I’ve not walk down for years, letting me chuckle with pleasure at my own confidence. It let me think that this time, things were different, and they really did feel different.

But they weren’t.

It was all the same, just delayed.

(more…)

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I breached the 20k-word mark on the current WIP, and everything was going fine, just fine, until things began to . . . happen.

No, it wasn’t the few days of fine weather that demanded a drive (or two) in Pepper, nor was it the completely frenetic week I had at work, where no sooner had I gotten a handle on Task 1 than management pulled me off and told me to work on Task 2 (I’m currently on Task 4, which is not only a black box I have to crack open and suss out, but it’s also on fire and has a digital readout that keeps counting down toward zero).

Nope. None of that was the problem. (more…)

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letter-handwriting-family-letters-written-51159.jpegWork on the new novel is moving along pretty well, now, and I’ve achieved what (for me) is a rather brisk pace. I’m not threatening to break my personal best, set back when I was under contract to deliver the Fallen Cloud Saga, and I’m nowhere near the blistering pace consistently set by some writers I know (cough cough Barb Hendee cough), but I’m not complaining. I’m about halfway through Chapter Three (regular readers may note that I’m now posting progress in chapter increments, not in scenes) and settling into a new groove.

Experience, however, has taught me that “settling into a new groove” is, by itself, insufficient for success. New behavior can easily be scuttled when faced with distractions or downturns, especially in early days, when anything shiny is a temptation to wander.

To keep things moving, I need something more. (more…)

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