novel

Resolutions – substitutions; Just say no to Resolutions

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions 

 

It’s that time of the year again, time for Resolutions. I have posted many times that I do not make resolutions; I just plan and do the deeds. However, I say this every year and I do make a list of things that I have to do to keep my sanity, especially in the realm of writing.

I have been writing, but only posting to my blog. Why you ask? I gotta stop drinking, procrastinating and going onto Facebook, and watching sports, and…but I digress.

I am not going to get caught up in the hype of resolutions, on the first day of January. Besides, I think all resolutions are a precursor to failure. However, I personally find that there really isn’t anything wrong with failure, failure means, you at least tried.

What I am going to do, try and maybe fail, and or, try and succeed, well, there are a bunch of things that I must do for the year of 2017 and beyond. I really have to finish all of the below because, I am tired of eating PB&J every day, with water. I really miss eating steak, salmon, caviar, champagne…even though I am a vegetarian, I still miss em all.

My goals for 2017:

Finish the novel I started for NaNoWriMo, by at least by the end February, or at least sometime this year, “Marooned”. I am into about 10k words (that took me six days to write 10k words), and would love to end with at least, 60k – 70k+ words. I have had a cover created, which has inspired me to write the story, all of which is glued to a tiny portion of my brain.

 I have finished two books in my “fictional autobiography” series. Now I need to edit them and find someone to read them, for clarity. There are four more in the series to write. The main thing is to find a publisher. I would love to have this series published the old-fashioned, traditional, way. Self-publishing is not out of the question.

In past couple of months, I have come up a few new story lines, Time Sleeper, Day Runner, Comic Con and Surf’s Up. My plate is getting full, and I am hungry.

I started writing a new book of poetry, Haikus. The Haiku’s are in regard to the seasons.  I was taking pictures of nature, in the spring, summer, fall and winter. I think I have all the pictures I need. Of course, a few more won’t hurt, and I have written over a hundred and fleshed out many more haiku’s. However, I have over 500 pictures, which is about the amount I would need to finish writing.

In addition, I have finished two screenplays. Now that I found out about Amazon Storywriter, it should help me focus on my story with features such as auto-formatting, import/export of my favorite file formats. They have also announced that they are now welcoming online submissions of drama series projects and are offering new expansions to their open-door submission policy.

 

A new Web site! I took the last one down three or so years ago. My goal is to get one up and running in the next couple of months.

On 3×5 cards, I have written out 42 stories. Most of them I wrote over 30 years or so ago. It’s time to outline those stories and get productive this years.

I have so many other goals to accomplish this year, and as of the first of January, I can’t think of any resolutions.

 

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The NaNoWriMo is over and I…

It’s now over. The NaNoWriMo is over. Thirty whole days of writing 50k words in 30 day…I pause as I wipe the sweat from my brow.

This is the second time, in five years, that I haven’t finished a story. I wasn’t even close, I quit with less than 1/3 of my story. I am glad I outlined seven pages of my story, though.

As of December 1st, I decided that I would take a break from writing in any of my novels, until January. During the month of November, I came up with two more story lines, and last night, as I was talking to a friend who came up with an awesome title, I decided that I would finish my “Tome” on internet dating.

Of course, all of this, novel writing, isn’t going to take place until January first or within that first week, part of my non-resolution for the year of 2017. In the meantime, I will still write in my blogs and other little bits and pieces on the internet.

As it is, now, I have so many items on my plate, things I should have finished, in the past couple of years. Life for me has been good, but I have to carry it over, that good stuff, into my writing. So much to do, and so much time…

Coffee, black and…cover your lady parts.

On my way to a café, the other day, in one of those towns where the uber hipsters hang out, I thought I’d park my car a little further away so I could get a little refreshing walk in. I crossed the street and made a quick left, heading to the café in the middle of the block.

Ahead of me were two young women. One of them had a head of bright blond hair with dark brown streaks in it, topped with a blue thingy wrapped around her hair ending in a long ponytail. She had on a colorful; I don’t know what you call it, a Halter top that exposed her belly button and a blue, short skirt that had frills on the ends near her knees. On her feet were beige-colored platform style shoes with straps that went up her ankles.

All of a sudden, she rolled her ankle, tripped and went down. She rolled over on her butt and as I walked to her to help her up, I noticed that she had no underwear on. It seemed like an eternity as I reached for her hand to help her up. She looked at me for a moment and said, “Did you like what you saw?”

I said, “No. You could use a trim or a Brazilian, maybe, or dye it the same as what’s on your head.” I smiled, and turned into the café. I then ordered a coffee, black, no sugar or cream. I wanted a brownie, but they didn’t have any that day, so I got one of those large, soft, chocolate chip cookie. I went and sat down on a vacant sofa and waited for my comrades to come. I was going to read some of my poetry, that day.

I was just about to get comfy when that young lady marched over to me. She stood there for a second then bent over to say something to me that only I could have heard.

“Are you some kind of pervert?” She said…her eyes wide, her face almost expressionless. I was shocked, but only for a second or two.

Looking dead into her eyes I said, “Youngster, I have seen, touch, tasted, and played with over xxx women in my lifetime. I am over xx years old and that,” pointing at her crotch, “doesn’t excite me as much as it did when I was your age.”

I looked up at her and smiled, then added, “Besides, a pervert would have had a camera and took plenty of pictures. My camera was in my pocket.”

She straightened up and put her hands on her hips. I noticed the corner of her lip started to erect into a tiny smile. I figured she wanted to burst out laughing, but she didn’t. She turned and started to walk out of the café. I noticed, as she walked away, her rear end was sashaying, a definite prominence that she didn’t have as she was walking down the street.

At that moment I realized, I had lied to her. Something I don’t do often, fibbing, not telling the truth. I did get excited, just a little, a tiny bit. Just enough to let me know, I’m still human.

Forty-five minutes later, as I sat listening to one of my friends read their poems, that youngster walked back onto the café, over to me and whispered into my ear, “can I get a ride home?”

 

 

My Writing Life…New beginnings

writerI wrote on Facebook, about four days ago, that I had submitted my screenplay to Amazon studios to be evaluated and hopefully accepted and possibly get paid. Being this was my first screenplay, based on a short story I wrote many years ago, (I have a second script finished but I need to work on it also), I figured it was about time to get this career of mine jump started, once more.

Being that this was the first time I had ever written a script of any kind, I knew it wasn’t the best, but I gave myself an “A” for the effort of at least trying something different. I had gotten a book on screenwriting, but only read about a third and what I mean by a third, I truly skimmed through the book and tried to only read the highlights.

I then went and purchased the screenwriting program, Final Draft, (which, for some reason won’t work on Windows 10 and a new version runs about $160!). I took my story and tried to re-create it, as the program showed me how, step by step.  My Seventy-five word story was finished as a fifty-nine page script. However, the script sat on my desk (and in my hard drive) for at least eight or so years, collecting dust.

A few years back my brother was in town and I let him read the script and of course he liked it, (everyone who as read any of my stories always tell me they like or love my stories, of course they don’t count, to a point), and he wanted to take it back with him, to California, and show it to one of his producer friends. He later called me and told how those “friends” like it, too. Of course I have never heard anything about my script again, no matter how many times I asked. (Twice).

Anyway, today, I received an email from Amazon Studios, in regard, to my submission. It was rejected. It stated that they had determined that my script did not meet the needs of their development slate at that time. script

Where have I heard that statement before? About twenty years or so ago I sent this same story to a Sci-Fi magazine. It was returned to me, rejected. I know that the reader read the entire story because my manuscript reeked of cigarette smoke on every page. Their rejection letter indicated, almost word for word, the statement above. So, I made a bunch of corrections, re-wrote a lot of the story and re-submitted it.

A week or so later I got another letter from that editor saying that they didn’t ask for me to send it back to her. Ouch! That put a damper on that story for many years.

Looking back over the many years, I have been trying to edit my own works, apparently to no real success. I’ve had the knack of editing other’s works but have been terrible at editing my own. I majored in Journalism. Creative writing came later in my life.

Anyway, Amazon Studios finished their note with; if you make significant revisions to your work, you are welcome to re-submit it in the future. Whatever that means. Well, I do know what it mean…I just have to keep working on it until I get it right or enough money to send to my stories to an editor/proofreader.

In the meantime, I have dusted off all of the books I purchased many years ago on how to screen write. The one I have to pay attention to, “Screenwriting for Dummies”. I know I have a couple more book, locked or lost downstairs in my fortress of books, I just have to make the effort to get up from this comfortable sofa and put on my shoes and go down there to that scary place and get more books. Just kidding… or was I?

Anyway, it looks like I have a lot more reading to do and I mean slow reading. (I can speed read, but I usually read fast only when I am reading a novel.)  And, of course, save a ton of money so I can get my stories read. Does anyone know of anyone who wants to be a beta reader?  I want to, need to get this done before this year is out.professional-writer-challenges

My only problem, right now, everyone I have asked, for help, tells me yes, but never come through. So, I have to read, read and do more reading, to get through this on my own. I will get it done…I have so much to do…I would like to say I have so little time, but that’s just a myth. I will work with one thing at a time and that time is now.

Finally I’m Finished!

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Today was a good day, as far as being a writer.

It took me 29 years to finish my first novel. That happened yesterday night. I almost broke down and cried, (don’t worry I played my man card). I felt that relieved, I felt that happy. Nevertheless, another feeling hit me just as hard. I felt hurt, not the painful whacked upside the head hurt, but emotionally hurt.

I find this troubling, because I am starting to doubt myself, fear is raising from the depths — what if I messed my story up, didn’t edit it well enough, what if it isn’t good enough. I really wish I had a professional editor go over it for me, but I don’t think I even have 100 pennies right now to get an editor.

Twenty-nine years. I totally lost that much time. About the time I started writing the novel my world was revolving around my children, home life, my job and I was going to school, studying journalism. I was writing for a few newsletters and a magazine, so I was busy.

I always had it in my mind as what I wanted to do and I had outlined, on a couple dozen 3×5 cards all the stories I wanted to write. In 1985, I started on my novel, SunRun. I ended up writing about 2/3 of it then life interfered. I then wrote an ending but couldn’t figure out how to bridge the gap between the front end and the ending of my story.

In the middle 90s, I took a couple of creative writing classes and figured out how to bridge that gap.  But, I put the book away because life got in the way. Moreover, my Credo, at the time was, “I’ve got a job and I am too busy.” And I had a lot of fun in the 90s, some of my best years were in the 90s!

But my writing begin to suffer, because I wasn’t writing enough. A long time ago, I use to write in a journal or on those 3×5 cards. I barely got anything done during those “fun” years. By 2006, I was given a buyout and the opportunity to retire and I took it.

About this was the time I had to find something to do or I would have to go and look for a job at Burger King or become a greeter at Walmart. None of those things were going to happen (they still might, I gotta eat, you know). So, I picked up pen and paper (really, I used a computer), and got to working on that novel.

I took some of the notes from that creative writing class and decided that I should revise my book and the title. As far as titles go, I am not that good in picking a title. So, I changed the name to Operation: SunRun. And of course I did more revising and editing.

In the meantime, I got more ideas and wrote three short stories and because my Mother had passed away, a little earlier, I wrote a book of poems in her memory. My writing then took a different course.

I was hooked on poetry, considering I took a couple semesters of poetry at the local college in the 90s. I finished My Mother’s Garden and had it published in 2010. Even that book of poetry took more time than I wanted to. Now that I think about it, I had about 70 poems already written, but when my mother passed away, I wrote a lot more for her.

Now is the time for me to jump on my writing, get it, and keep it going. I am still hurt and a little sad that it took so long. I know I shouldn’t say it but I am nearing the end of my life, okay, maybe not, if I am lucky I could get another 20 or more years to go. Longevity lives well in my family and I am looking forward to what they have achieved.

In the meantime, the printed version of my novel languishes over there on my desk. In fact, it’s still sitting there, on my desk, collecting dust, thank goodness for computers.