Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quick Like Bunny!

Rampant insanity and no time for lunch at work the last few days - We're opening two new offices and I have a trainee in as well. Top it off with a lovely head cold and I'm one happy fella! Tonight is boy scouts & tomorrow I have to catch up on all the crap for the new offices I've been postponing because of the trainee. Yay.

Just a few minutes to post because I'm waiting for a conference call, followed by a quick planning meeting. I DID manage to get 3500 words done on "First" on Friday, but that was the last writing I did. Maybe some hope for tomorrow night (If I don't die from this frakkin cold!) Spent most of the weekend working on the house -Oh, and the TAXES (biiiiiiiigggggg fuuuuuun!) We're getting there I guess, but it's killing my outta shape ass!

Anyway, gotta run. Talk at you tomorrow, all!


Friday, February 24, 2006

No Nancy Boys Allowed!

So, I got two responses from yesterday's post about my "black mood" (as my mother always called them) One from my wife and one in an e-mail from an old friend who thinks all men should keep blogs so the women in their lives know what's going on inside them. The wife however, feels that I should be able to talk to her directly after 20 years or so of being together.

Let me pontificate for a few moments about the male of the species, if you would.

For starters, we do not share our emotions. Not with any one (unless we are well and truly drunk and even then we will deny everything we said once we sober up!) and it is no personal reflection on the significant other in our lives that we do not do so. Point of fact: we are physically incapable of doing so. Don't think so? Consider this: I was barely able to squeeze out three or four tears at my own father's funeral. Not because I didn't love the man, but because I don't know how to cry. I had the ability burned out of me as a child and it doesn't grow back. I -like all men- had it removed by years of brotherly abuse, mocking friends, laughing girls, disapproving fathers, and a culture that sees emotions in a man as a sure sign of weakness. Now, I know that every woman out there is saying something like, "Oh, that's not true! It's okay for a man to cry and be emotional!"


Women have almost no respect for an emotional man. I'm pretty sure it's a species survival thing: any caveman who starts to cry while the lions are attacking is probably not the one you wanna have cave-shildren with, ya' know? Women want a man with wide shoulders to take on big, emotional, problems without flinching. That's what men do . . . it's our function (that and cutting the lawn) We stand tall and fight against the nastiness of life without sniffling so that our women can handle the mothering, nurturing, and caring stuff. (yea, I know that's sounds sexist, but I'm only an ignorant male, so bear with.) Men are taught from our cradle that it is NOT acceptable to show emotions. We're taught by parents, siblings, and the world in general but you know who teaches us that lesson best?


Don't believe me? Who did you wanna date in high school: the captain of the football team, or the guy in the AV club who wrote poems for the school paper? Now, I understand that women mature past this point and that's a temporary condition but the lessons are learned. More, the lessons are valid. In truth, I don't think women ever want a "sensitive" man. They've just been told they're supposed to. There's a reason why the hero of damn near every romance novel ever written is a large, rugged, unruly barbarian. Does he love? Sure. Does he care about other folks feelings? Absolutely. Does he sit and discuss his emotional well being with the heroine? Nope. Never-ever-ever-ever-never!!!!!!!!!!!

Why not? Cuz he's a man. A man couldn't get a coherent sentence out in response to the question: "What are you feeling?" if his life depended on it. Part of being a man is NOT feeling. I know that's not considered an "acceptable" statement but it's the truth. Life kicks the shit out of everyone. As a woman, you're allowed to cry about it (hey, I didn't make the rules!) as a man, you have to grin and spit back in life's eye after it repeatedly kicked you in the nuts with its steel-toed boot. We survive in this world on our toughness and our ability to handle pain and hardship (yea, I know women can be just as tough, but this post is about men.) We do not, can not, and will not, discuss our "feelings" just because the woman we love wants us too. I don't know how. I don't even know where to begin. Yes, I know, you're saying: "But you can learn!" True, I suppose . . . but I could also learn to dance the Lambada in stilleto heels and TRUST ME that is not going to be good for my marriage either!

Men find their own ways to deal with their emotions and just because they're not (and never will be) the same ways you ladies choose, does not make them any less valid. Some of us express emotion through blogs, some of us through songs or music, while some of us depend completely on sex to communicate how we feel. None of us want to sit with a box of kleenex and a pint of Haagen Dazs and explore our feelings. We're not physically capable of it, so don't ask. Just be happy when we throw you the occasional hug and realize that the slap on the ass and asking if you "Wanna do it?" is the closest we can come to saying: we need you to be close right now.

Bear with us. We're really little more than hairless gorillas after all.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

I Don't Know

Sorry about the "Invisible Me" this week, kiddies. It's been crazy beyond words. For starters, work's had me too busy to even think about taking a lunch, or writing, and the general life stuff has been building at major league stress levels. I had a particularly bad patch of bleakness running through the last three days and I may have made a personal discovery.

Here's what happened:

Come Tuesday, I had no chance to get any writing done at all and I had Boy Scouts that night, so nothing there. Wednesday, work was even crazier and yet again: no writing. By the time I got home last night I was in a particularly vile mood, snapping at my wife and son, and generally pissed off at life. I went to bed early, depressed as hell, and could barely drag myself out of bed this morning. I plodded into work, hating my life, wondering what the hell I was doing and seriously thinking about giving up everything and moving to some retreat in the Himalayas where I might contemplate my misery in silence while little bald dudes in orange hummed all about me. The morning was a mad rush and I kept getting angrier and angrier. My jaw actually hurts from grinding my teeth all morning. I was seriously beginning to think something was wrong with me; some undetected brain tumor (It's not a Tooomah!) was affecting my brain chemistry, or I was heading full bore into a mid-life crisis or something. I was, quite frankly, in a very ugly place. Well, lunch finally came and I was able to try my hand at writing again today.

Believe me, I did not want to write at all today. I looked at the screen, wondering why the hell I was wasting my time. It was obvious that if I wasn't already published it was because I don't have what it takes to make it in this industry. I sat there, thinking about deleting all my files and just giving up this stupid dream of being a writer. What was it doing, other than making me frustrated and miserable anyway?

Then I figured: what the hell? I didn't have anything better to do over lunch anyway, so I just opened up "First" and read over the last 1/2 of the chapter I was working on. Then I started to type, not really expecting to write anything . . . I just wanted to finish the paragraph I left off with. Then I wrote another. And another. In all, it was just under 2,000 words today.

So here's the thing: once I closed the file, I took a deep breath and noticed I was smiling. I felt better. The depression was gone and it seems pretty damn silly, looking back at it.

Did the writing cure the depression? I don't know.

Did it just run its course and fade out? I don't know.

Do I need to write that badly that it affects my brain if I can't? I don't know.

Is it healthy to be that fixated on writing? I don't know.

Is this whole post just proof that I' m a friggin' nutjob? I don't know. (but I have my suspicions!)

What I do know is the very ugly thoughts went away as I wrote and I feel fine now. Could be coincidence, or it could be like the addictive high runners are supposed to get (writer's high?) I remember reading some where they're subject to fits of depression if they can't run for a few days in a row.

For all I know, I might have just eaten some bad Chinese or something. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm feeling like myself again, whatever the reason, and I'm glad I wrote today.


Monday, February 20, 2006

You Too?

Any U2 fans out there? Okay then, sing along with me . . .

Monday, Friggin, Mooooonday!
How Long, how long must this day go oooon?
How long, How looooOOOOOOooooonnng . . .

You get the idea.

I woke up sick as a dog and sore as hell from a very long weekend of working on the house. Of course, a ton of nightmare e-mails awaited my return to Corporate Happyland this a.m. and to top it all off, it's not only Monday, but it's another friggin' holiday I DON'T get off!!!!!

I vote we should get 360 holidays a year (but that's just me)

Well, at least I got some writing done at lunch: 2,200 words to be exact. I threw in (yet another!) side story into my already huge plot (why do I DO this to myself!) It just occured to me that I needed another viewpoint to lure the reader into the "coming of the bad guys". The problem is, my MC is gonna be totally surprised when they show up and I do NOT want to be accused of having the aliens show up in Chapter 14! (for those of you who catch the ref!) I now have three (and that's all, I swear!) viewpoint references that are foreshadowing their coming spaced throughout the book, one of which is the love interest who is on her way to meet with the MC as I speak (or type . . . or whatever!) Lord, but I do write me some long books. My total for today puts me just over 104,000 words on "First" and I'm really just hitting the mid-point of the story. OY! The numbers can be daunting some days, ya know?

The weekend was rough, but very productive on the home repair side. As of last night, we actually have a fully functional kitchen (with curtains, teapots, knick-knacks, and everything!) Of course, I still need to install the floor (next weekend's nightmare!) but then that room is DONE and I can move on to the next room. It was cool (in a mildly pathetic way) for the wife and I to stand in the kitchen last night staring lovingly at the curtains we had put up. It's been a room "Under Construction" for so long now, we'd given up hope of ever seeing it done. I was quite happy with how it turned out. It gives me hope that 'll have my house back again . . . one day.


Friday, February 17, 2006

A Peek At My Mania

Ahhhhhh . . . FRIDAY!! The best day of the work week.

My foray into the world of comics seems to have been beneficial, I cranked out another 2,400 words on "First" over lunch today. Good words with an unexpected bite that lead to a brand new sub-plot of revolt among the previously loyal officers of the Empire. Cool stuff! Maybe that was all I needed: a small change of (internal) scenery! I've been having much fun drawing the strip. I've completed four of them so far and the scary thing is, the more I do, the more ideas I have. It's just like writing a novel: if you're stupid enough to open the floodgates . . . all sorts of odd crap comes flying through! I figure if I get up to twenty or more of these strips. I'll start posting them. Any less than that and I'll just write it off as another temporary fad and let it go.

I'm famous for that (makes my poor wife nuts!) Something catches my imagination and I go completely over the top with it. Art, music, wood-carving, camping . . . you name it and I tend to run toward the extreme with it. Of course, the infatuation lasts for a few months, then my interest fizzles out as something else grabs my attention. This was a big problem when we were starting out together: I'd spend ridiculous amounts of money on la intereste du' jour and my wife would be supportive and understanding (boy, I miss those days!) Then she'd stroke out when I'd just set it all aside and never touch it again. Over the years, she learned to just kick me in the ass when I'd start going off the deep end and I learned to listen to her (sometimes). I try to never spend more than $100 on any passing interest and even that I limit to once or twice a year. The comic thing is good in that it's not costing me anything. I'm doing it all on the computer so I don't even need pencil or paper!

This weekend promises to be a royal bitch around my house. I will be working to complete the crap that my contractor never got to. I brought in a painter/spackler to take care of all the finish stuff for me but I need to remount some cabinets and do some plumbing & heating work to finish out the kitchen. There's a lot still to be done but (as my wife wisely pointed out!) if I take one room at a time and finish it completely, it'll go quicker and I'll feel like I've accomplished something. That's a good as plan as any, eh?


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Comical Things

The week is just buzzin' by! (Which is a GOOD thing). Left work early yesterday and took the boy to have his braces put on (uppers). He was a tad nervous but absolutely thrilled that it didn't hurt at all. No pain last night but (he claimed) he was sore this a.m. so he coullllllldn't go to school!!! Well, the wife was off today anyway so we let him bail. So, I'm at work while the rest of the family is home relaxing. Well, I couldn't let that happen . . . so I sent painters to work on the house today so they'd have no peace or quiet. BWA-HA-HA! (evil laugh of glee).

So, instead of writing today at lunch, I got hooked into something else creative that's been itching inside my brain for months now: a comic strip. Why? No clue, but the damn thing's been driving me buggy so I figured I'd better get it out of my head. I'm not much of an artist but I have to say it was a lot of fun to draw. I actually have the first two srips done. I'm not planning on shifting careers or anything but if I get a few of them put together I might just post them up here on the blog for your entertainment. I suppose it's a good thing. I've read a lot of writers who claim it's important for authorial type folks to have secondary outlets for their creative angst. Art, music, bear-wrestling . . . whatever floats your boat. This was a good change of pace. I'm hoping it'll clear the brain a bit and let me get back to a better flow on "First".

I actually have a pretty good list of web-comics that I read on a regular basis. I'm a big fan of the dark and/or irreverent views of life. If you're feeling adventurous today you might wanna check out:

The Devil's Panties

(Relax, neither is a porn comic! Though they do have adult humor so view at your own risk!)

I find them both to be "have the co-workers-stare-at-you-for-laughing-out-loud-for-no-apparent-reason" funny. Then again, I'm a pretty twisted little gimp myself (like you didn't already know that!)

I am sitting here sweating at the moment . . . I made the mistake of wearing a heavy sweater today and it is in the 60's outside right now! I swear: the entire state of NJ is going to die of pneumonia soon. We went from a record snowfall over the weekend to 60 degree temps yesterday & today, and the coming weekend is supposed to drop into single digits! It's frikkin' insane, folks! Ah well, work beckons . . . gotta run.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day (NOT!)

Ok, am I the only one who finds it amusing that the acronym for Valentines Day is VD? (Okay, I guess I am, but I'm sorta twisted that way.)

Valentines day is not a big favorite of mine. I find the whole day annoying. The concepts of love and appreciation are good things I guess but you might wanna consider working them into your life on a daily basis, ya' know? The very idea of the day offends me somehow. It strikes me as a day for needy women to demand their "entitlements" of sap, gifts, and servitude from their duly grateful male companions.

I will say that I am a particularly lucky guy in that my wife is the only woman on the planet with less liking for Valentines Day than I have. Our grand romantic gesture was a handshake and a "Happy Valentines Day to you". (No, I am NOT kidding!) We're not very romantic people in general. We both tend to appreciate the everyday things much more than the sappy sentiment. Want an example? Okay . . . on any given day, I can turn suddenly to the wife as I'm watching TV and say (and sadly, this is a quote.) "Why yes, dear, thank you! I'd love for you to go out and pick me up some ice cream for a snack!" She will go out and get it. Oh, there will be some grumbling about my being a lazy PITA, and an extended round of wrestling that usually ends with her biting me in some tender area or another, but after we finish laughing she actually gets up, gets in the car, and goes. THAT is real romance. You can keep your stinkin' roses!

From my side? Uh . . . well, to be honest, I don't know what I do, but I must do SOMETHING, since she's still hanging around me after all this time. Trust me, there's damn few roses that come through her door, and NEVER on Valentines Day. (I refuse to be robbed like that.)

Anyway, on to writing. I did another 2500 words on "First" . . . finished the storm scene, which turned out to be a completely unexpected way of introducing the MC to his love interest. That wasn't supposed to happen for another three chapters but I guess my subconscious like this way better. After looking over the outline, I have to agree. The original idea was just too . . . forced. The storm gave me a better intro and the chance to leave off the chapter on a cliff hanger, which is always fun!

Been watching a lot of Olympics this week. I LOVE the Olympics! There is something remarkable about watching these folks, who are not getting paid 15 Bazillion dollars a year, go out there and push past pain, doubt, and tribulation. It's inspiring. I watched the men's X-country "pursuit" the other day and saw the favorite to win go down in an accident in the first 5 seconds of the race and break a ski. The pack took off, leaving him so far behind the announcers counted him completely out of the race. This guy thought differently. He raced for a few hundred yards on a broken ski until his coach brought a replacement, then he pushed like wild and overtook damn near everyone to take home a silver medal. Last night, I caught the last Chinese couple in the "pairs" figure skating. The woman fell (nastily!) on one of her first moves and completely hammered her knee. Did she quit? Hell no! She continued on and they also won silver medals, despite the injury. I even had a blast watching the snowboarding halfpipe (male & female) Those are kids who are just having the time of their lives and loving every minute of the experience. Very Cool!

Maybe I'm corny, but I find that a lot more fun to watch than guys like Kobi, T.O. and Barry Bonds who make more money than god and have to take two months off for rehab every time they get a hangnail.

The folks in the Olympics are real athletes.


Friday, February 10, 2006


So, on a personal note (which is a stupid thing to say since the blog is completely personal, but bear with me, ok?) today is my 16th Wedding anniversary! Yes, the wife and I have both refrained from mutual homicide for an inordinate number of years. Sixteen years sound like a hell of a long time but it is damn scary how quickly it's gone by. Lots of ups and down, ungodly amounts of stress and all-in-all one hell of a great ride. I highly recommend it for anyone who has the chance.

Happy Anniversary, babe! I love you!

2,400 words on "First" today. Strangely, the section that was supposed to end with a small battle then pass back to the safety of the MC's home took quite a turn on me. For some reason, a monster dust storm capable of stripping flesh from bone showed up and is chasing their asses back home. It's a race to see if they can make the safety of solid walls before the storm hits. I don't know yet if they make it (better than half of them are wounded and the rest are exhausted) It was a fun, unexpected, twist and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Ah well, it's Friday & I'm tired so I'm cutting this short. Talk to you all on Monday.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Top Ten

SRH left the following comment on yesterday's post:

**I understand not seeing the essay, but maybe you could show us the list of books you came up with/are coming upo with.Authors and readers should always share book titles with each other :)**

Fair enough. The books that have most touched my life (in order of importance) are:

1. "Stranger in a Strange Land" Robert Heinlein
2. "Catcher in the Rye" J.D. Salinger
3. "Dune" Frank Herbert
4. "Starship Troopers" Robert Heinlein
5. "Lord of the Flies" William Golding
6. "Watership Down" Richard Adams
7. "Animal Farm" George Orwell
8. "The Grapes of Wrath" John Steinbeck
9. "Call of the Wild" Jack London
10. "Setting Free the Bears" John Irving

The list is actually much longer than that (like all writers, I read A LOT!) but the top ten should give you a hint of the oddities that run through my twisted little psyche. Now, I know the "thread" I saw that linked these books together in my own head but now that I have them written down here, I wonder what you folks make of them. Anyone care to throw out how they see these fitting together? Drop a comment.

So, I was back to work on "First" today. Got another 1,500 words . . . a bit slow for me but they were good words. I'm still struggling against the desire to set it aside and move onto the next project that fits better into the "theme" I talked about yesterday. I'm worrying that "First" is too formulaic a fantasy and I have this sudden need to write something more meaningful to me personally. I refuse to do it though. "First" is a solid story and I think it's well written. I won't just abandon it. What's the worst case here: I finish it and decide I don't like it? So what? I will be that much a better author for the effort. Best case: I'm worrying over nothing and I love the book when it's finished.

It's a win-win.

I added a few links to my sidebar (bottom of the list, over on the left) to sites I found that have generously linked to my little blog here. I'm a big fan of the courtesy link. I figger if somebody's willing to link to my ramblings I should return the favor. All the sites I have links to are well worth your time. They're (almost) all writing related and have a wide variety of perspectives. A lot of good stuff to be learned out in there in Blogland! If you haven't been to any of these site, stop in and see what other folks have going on . . .


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Author, Know Thyself!

So, my writing at lunch today took a decidedly unconventional (for me) turn. Instead of working on my novel, I typed up a short (3500 word) essay for myself. I thought about posting it here but there is a core to it that I need to keep to myself for now. I have a feeling it will be making a dramatic impact on my writing from here on. I read recently (on one of the blogs in my sidebar, though I can't for the life of me recall which one - so I apologize if I'm stealing someone else's thunder!) that it is important for a writer to know his own theme. To understand the principles that guide your view of the world and your need to write. It was suggested that every writer should pen out his theme so that he can understand it and use it better in his work. That wasn't really in the front of my mind when I started working today, in truth I only planned to type out a quick paragraph or two with some rough ideas I had last night toward my next novel. The writing got quickly away from me and I found myself following a thread of ideas that soundly presented my view of life in general. I was actually surprised by some of the concepts I laid out because they were not things I had ever openly articulated before and if you had told me yesterday that was what I thought I would have laughed at you. When I read them over though and considered carefully I was very surprised to find that what I thought I felt was not quite what I truly felt. This little exercise was shocking to me, in a surprisigly pleasant way. It is startling to look at your own true heart laid out in print like that in front of you.

Those words prompted me to follow up on another tip I'd recently read (again: apologies if I pulled it off your site without credit!) that said you should consider all the books you've ever read and name off the ones which are most important to you. We all have special books that mean a great deal to us. Books that altered something inside us and even years after we've read them we can still recall them with startling detail and even return to them regularly to review the lessons gleaned from their pages. I'm not speaking of the books we enjoyed the most but of the ones that affected you the most. The ones you had to walk away from when you'd finished and find a quiet spot to sit and absorb the amazing concepts you'd just read. The idea is to list them out then look for a common theme that runs through them all. This should be similar to the theme of your own life. They should resonate one to the other . . . I imagine you might even use the theme of those beloved novels as your start point for penning out your personal theme.

I'm not sure yet how much this will help in my writing but I think it will help keep me writing things that have meaning to me personally if nothing else. I am also bemused right now over how little I know about myself. I've always been an introspective person but writing out this small esay has opened up doors inside me that I wasn't even aware of until today. Strange isn't it? Just when you think you've got it all covered, you discover that there are levels to the game of life you didn't even know existed. Amazing.

I don't know if I'll ever post that essay here (it's still too personal at the moment) but I know for a fact that it will hang on the wall of my home office, where I can refer to it as I write. The concepts in it are large in scope, detailing my own beliefs about existence, duty, personal responsibility, and death. This is the part of me that needs to be in everything I write. It is what marks my voice as different from every other writer out there. When I first read about the "theme" exercise, I shrugged it off, not thinking it was anything I needed to do. Obviously, my subconscious thought differently. I suggest the exercise for anyone reading this. It may dramatically change your writing and, at the very least, it may give you an understanding of your own heart that you've never had before.

There's my $0.02 for the day . . .


Monday, February 06, 2006


There should be a law against adults coming down with childhood ailments. It's just . . . embarrasing when a 38 year old man comes down with "pink eye". I technically have "Viral Conjunctivitis" from an upper respiratory infection but I can't shake the impression I have from childhood that it comes from "being dirty" and not washing your hands.

It's just sorta . . . ICKY!

I wouldn't say I'm compulsive or anything but I am a big fan of the cleanliness and (especially) the hand washing. I'm good for 3-4 washings of the digits each day (outside the general showering wash they get) or more, if there happens to be illness running through the office. The Doc said it was strictly from the cold and not uncommon but the very idea creeps me out.

Anyway, that was why the silence on Friday; the wife and I both took the day off to visit the Doctor because the illness was not going away. My eyes were crusted shut Friday a.m. and the wife's coughing sounded like a flock of geese with throat cancer was flying overhead. In the end, the Doc said we just had viral infections and there wasn't a damn thing to do but ride it out. He offered to write prescriptions but told us they really wouldn't do anything. I liked that. He was honest. Too many Docs just shove meds at you to justify the cost of the visit. I'd rather not throw unecessary chemicals into my system, thanks. (Unless, ya' know: they're mind altering!)

The weekend was mostly us convalescing on the couch. Even the boy caught something and did a few choruses of "The Technicolor Yawn" at the porcelain microphone on Sunday. Not a particularly good weekend.

Today at work has been crazy (It's Monday, what else should I expect???) The e-mails and workload that are waiting for me after an unexpected abscence are just ridiculous. It's really sad how much stuff I deal with on a daily basis. Generally, I don't notice it because I'm taking each problem as it comes in but when you see it all in one big lump it leaves you thinking: "No way in hell do these people pay me enough!"

So, in the giant game of writing the score is:

World - 1
Jim - 0

For today anyway.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stubborn Characters

Another 2,500 words on "First" today at lunch. It was really tough getting into it today for some reason. I had this overpowering urge to just set the entire project aside and start something completely different. Now, I know better than to ever do that. That's a perfect recipe for how to never make it in this industry! All that does it end you up with a few dozen incomplete projects (personal experience talkin' here!) and nothing completed that you might have a possibility of selling. Still, despite my brain's awareness of this pitfall, my heart wanted to stroll right on into it. Once I forced myself to push through it though, the words came without any (major) problems. Actually, they took a bit of a turn on me. One of the characters, who I had meant to be a lead in convincing her people that the BAD THINGS are coming, decided that wasn't what she wanted to do. Instead, she's not only stubbornly refusing to accept the evidence, she's actively trying to convince everybody the BAD THINGS are most certainly NOT coming anywhere near their happy home. Now why would she do that? (Don't know yet, but I can't wait to find out!) It was just another added level of conflict that showed up out of nowhere. (More! Must have more conflict! Moremoremoremore. . . .!)

So, despite my misgivings, I parked my ass in the chair and wrote. Not on anything new and exciting but on the WIP. Funny thing is, once I started doing that, the excitement returned pretty quick. The old slogan of: "Just Do It" truly applies to writing, doesn't it? (Hmmm . . . wonder if I can use "Bo Knows" or "Where's the Beef?" in my daily life as well? Nah!)

Feeling better physically today (though I'm hacking up huge chunks of slimy green-ness here!) and I'm breathing easier. The cold seems to be fading, which is good because I don't know if my legs can take it anymore.

Wait . . . what? How does a cold affect your legs, Jim? (see, I knew you were wondering!)

Simple really: when I have a cold, I can't breathe well and when that happens I snore (or so I'm told. Not sure I believe it!) The wife equates it to the gentle tones of an 18-wheeler tearing through the room at 80 mph and smashing into the headboard. She's so sensitive!

Anyway, in an attempt to get my ponderous form to roll over and stop the snoring, my wife pokes, pushes, and prods at me. When that fails, she (naturally!) resorts to kicking me in the shins (HARD!) until I wake up and roll over. Hence . . . Jim's cold = sore legs. Simple logic, no? Doesn't do much for my night's sleep of course but hey, if the wife ain't sleepin' . . .

So, in keeping with my writing comments today, I have a question for my fellow scribblers out there . . .

What was the most unexpected turn a character took on you and how did you handle it?

Answer in comments, or on your own blog and leave a link. I'm worried that I'm the only nutcase whose characters do whatever they damn well please!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tired Ramblings

I am a tired camper today, folks. My cold is dragging me down for starters, plus the wife caught it so she kept me up half the night hacking away, and I just got back from four hours of travel for work today. UberHappyFunJoyGuy . . . that's me!

So, the partial is done, packaged, and ready to go. I just need to stop by the USPS tonight and mail it out. Man, did I ever keep that synopsis tight! Two pages (double spaced!) and out. I hope it conveys enough of the plot to catch the agent's interest. I'll let you know when I hear back. On the writing front, I did another 3,000 words on "First" yesterday. Good words too I think. Nice scene where the bad guys, who have been pretending to be good guys, reveal themselves to the reader (not to the MC of course, that comes much later, silly!) Also some nice foreshadowing of the REAL baddies lurking behind the two in the scene. Overall, a good day's work. No writing yet today . . . travelling instead. With luck I'll get some in tonight but I feel like dreck and will probably fall asleep on the couch after dinner . . .

Hey, here's a minor thing: I checked my stats today and I just crossed the 10,000 hits mark on this blog. That's pretty cool, huh? As far as I can tell, I have approx. 30 folks who visit me daily. That is VERY cool (to my sad little mind anyway!) so thanks to all you folks who hang about to listen to me ramble. (Thank GOD so few writers have actual lives! I'd hate to be here all by myself. ;-) )

Listening to Steve Miller doing "The Joker" on the radio right now (great tune!) You know something that truly pisses me off? When DJ's cut off the end of this song . . . you know: (fading softly out) " . . . you're the cutest thing that I ever did seeee. Really love your peaches wanna shake your treeeeee . . . ) It's the best part of the damn song and they always cut it off so they can get to commercials. I HATE that. TV has started doing the same thing with the final credits. I was watching "Ferris Beuller's Day Off" a few weeks back and they even did it to that (which has a lot of visual at the end!) They reduce it down to 1/4 of the screen and roll the credits by at high speed while they voice over with the "Up next on Dumb-Ass TV . . ." Doesn't that violate some type of legal agreement with the movie maker or something?


Well, it should!

Okay, that's enough rambling. It's late and I'm headed for home.