The idea that got away

I recently did something I have, on a fairly regular basis, told myself not to do. No, I’m not talking about eating spicy food and then rubbing my eyes (because I still do that more often than I care to admit).

So there was this story idea, right? A basic framework of an idea, with tangible if not fully-realized characters, right there in front of me. It could have had big, neon signs saying “Write me, Philip, you lazy, well-intentioned bastard.” It practically did.

Tonight has been spent being cranky because that idea has gone, having very fragmented thoughts that I’m fairly sure are just the flotsam and jetsam of me rereading Dreams and Shadows trying to manifest as something more, and eating ice cream. Halo Top is really hit or miss, I’ve decided, but there are a few flavors I’ll need to stock up on.

My question is this: what next? Should I revisit a novel project I already started on but abandoned? Should I really put my nose to the proverbial grindstone and get to the serious proofreading and editing for Dissonance in Harmony? Should I force myself to stop being so damn serious and just try writing stuff? Thoughts?

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I am not my heroes

Hello, Wor(l)dPress.

In typical fashion, I’ve taken an extended time between posting. In typical fashion, I have been mad at myself for doing so and wondering why, oh why, do I still maintain this. That last part is a bit exaggerated, though. I covet my domain on here like a dragon with gold.

Today, while driving home from work and alternating between the current CD in my car and NPR (Kai Ryssdal hosting Market Place and PRI’s The World make my soul happy), I had a thought. It hit me hard, square between the eyes, and with all of the abrupt unapologeticness (that is a word, damn it) of such in-transit revelations.

I am not my heroes. I will never write like Neil Gaiman. I will never be the next Terry Pratchett. My works won’t be on the same level as Douglas Adams or Christopher Moore.

And those aren’t the things that I should want. I’m none of those people. My writing is my own, with influences from the writers I enjoy but also years of me finding and refining my own voice. There is some humor, some dark fantasy, and a whole lot of whatever the Hell I’ve turned into in terms of narrative voice and creativity. I am way more okay with that than I ever realized. At the end of the day, what is most important to me is continuing to write, continuing to strive towards publication, and (to a lesser degree) dreaming of somehow, someday becoming a well-known writer.

And so I continue.

This post brought to you courtesy of Sia’s “The Greatest”, which I have had on repeat as some sort of anthem to fend off any stress from recent weeks (I couldn’t say why if I tried, but I enjoy that song entirely and unapologetically), and the glass of Laphraoig Quarter Cask I’ve been nursing for over an hour now.

Writing, and gloom-induced gloom

I love rainy days, but only so long as I can spend them at home. I realize that’s a bit of a tall order as I have to be at work on most-such days. That said: I love laying on the couch in the back room of my mom’s house and listen to the rain fall against the two skylights. Really dislodges the bullshit from my brain.

That said, I’m tired of the sky being a joyless gray as of late. I could easily attribute that to the dark days of a Trump Presidency (and, Hell, I am really, because he’s a thin-skinned, orange-faced puppet with a bad habit of taking to Twitter). They’re bringing me down.

Something more cheerful, however: I completed the first draft of Babel, Restored – the sequel to Dissonance in Harmony and what I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I’ve returned to working on Dissonance. It’s fun, but I can’t help but smile at the realization I’m probably unintentionally shitting up continuity without realizing it. The editing process should be…interesting.  Continue reading

My world is slightly askew

I had to Google “askew” because my brain kept telling me it’s pretty sure there’s an i in there somewhere, to which I (and Google) called bullshit. Joke’s on you, brain.

Today is an appropriately dreary day, as I just got back from vacation in the Outer Banks yesterday and my impending return to business-as-usual tomorrow has me feeling gloomy and out-of-sorts. It’s like waking up to discover everything shifted ever-so-slightly to the left with no explanation as to why, and I feel like I’m bouncing into every single wall there is to be bounced into. Something like that. If you’re reading this expecting poetic nuances, you’ll want to navigate elsewhere. The most thinking I’m doing at the moment is the standard focus on  writing (and my lack of discipline in regards to writing)…and if I should finally get off of my ass and either start unpacking or go to the store to pick up some of the essentials. The milk in my fridge isn’t technically expired, but the aroma it gives off when opened suggests otherwise.  Continue reading

(Pity) Party’s Over

Real talk, brought to you in part thanks to having a serious, much-needed discussion with the lovely lady in my life.

One day, I dream of being a moderately well-known published author, with at least one work available for sale at Barnes & Noble. I’m aware that this may seem, or in fact may be, shallow. The big, shiny, and seemingly-unattainable goal: to write for a living, or at least make some of my living from writing.

Here’s the real talk: I need to stop being so down and out about making a living from my writing, convincing myself it’s never going to happen, and double up my efforts on making it happen. That means I need to stop comparing myself to established authors. I need to stop looking at my peers and feeling like a failure by comparison. (You guys keep doing you, though; awesome work all around.)

I need to stop whining and making excuses. I am most certainly far too guilty of doing both of those things.

Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King happened at a breakneck pace not because of the job I worked providing me with time to write nor the fact that I had a specific publishing goal in mind. It happened because I said I was going to write, and then I wrote. Constantly, and without concerns for what I would one day do with that book.

And so I will write.

Challenging myself

Or, really, admitting that I’m a bit challenged. I haven’t decided yet.

I have a headache. It has been a trying, busy sort of day. I’m drinking a glass of scotch that was aged in bourbon barrels because I wanted scotch, I wanted bourbon, but I also couldn’t justify that kind of drinking on a Tuesday. Did I mention I have a headache?

This weekend provided a sort of fine point to a murky, nebulous series of thoughts I’ve had lately in regards to my writing. They have been mean, loud, and generally unpleasant thoughts. This point is actually more of a thought-out, nicely worded middle finger to those thoughts because I’m tired of being my own punching bag, tearing myself down, and fixating on the difficulties of writing instead of the actual craft and the joy I derive from it. Case in point: I’m really enjoying writing this, even though it’s largely unplanned, because I am applying no pressure to myself to get it done. There is no arbitrary deadline, nor is there some comparison to other writers and their work. When I hit Publish, it will appear on my site (with all typos that sneaked past my lazy editorial eyes tonight; you may live this once, typos).  Continue reading

A novel conundrum

Oh, hey. It’s six days into 2016 and I’ve managed to not continue writing the date with a 15 at the end. I’ll chalk that up as a pretty solid victory. Hopefully you’ve all had victories of your own, both creative and otherwise. (Really, though; can we take a moment to appreciate how easy it is to slip up and put the previous year on something? Because if you think otherwise, you clearly have your shit far more together than I do.)

With a new year, I find myself with new ideas. This shouldn’t be mistaken for me having new ideas and knowing what I want to do with them, of course, given that the new year also brought me being relocated to a new store at work. At least the ideas are there?  Continue reading