One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twenty-One

We’re twenty-one days into my One Hundred Days of Fiction. This post, by blog-years, can legally buy alcohol. Or maybe it’s the post I should write while completely intoxicated. I won’t do that because I have work tomorrow, but imagine how awful this would be to read had I written it drunk.

It’d probably be as bad as it is now, except with more typos and expletives.

This post is brought to you in part by an entirely carnivorous dinner of leftover ribs and chicken. I’m catching up on Project Runway (don’t judge, it’s a guilty pleasure). Life is pretty good.

That all being said, I feel super-guilty for not doing more creative writing. Yes, I’m doing these Hundred Days of Blogging posts as I said, but I’ve noticed a sharp decline in writing other than this. And proofreading (though I’ve not had much sent my way lately, so that’s unfortunate as well).

Instead of focusing on a topic, I’m focusing on a challenge to myself. Another challenge, yes. Contain your feigned surprise, folks. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twenty

Today marks my conscious uncoupling with Monday, because Monday is a big bag of shit. Seriously. These past few Mondays have been riddled with all sorts of bad nonsense, and I’ll have no more of it.

However, this evening brought plenty of positive, too. Brianne and I are discussing a possible third cat, at which point we would be outnumbered by our soon-to-be feline overlords. Leftover smoked ribs from yesterday with this snazzy, semi-spicy barbeque sauce? Hell yes. Brianne and I finished building the desk I’ll be using as my work-station, too, and it’s good she helped me because I really managed to shit that up like a pro.

I’m polluting my brain with The Bachelorette right now, so I’m going to keep this as brief as I can so I can focus on writing a short story instead of this (this being the brain-garbage on my TV). Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Eighteen

Today’s been a nice day, and I have to admit it was spent mostly discovering just how gluttonous I can be. That wasn’t actually the plan when I woke up, by the way. There was no conscious thought process that went, “Wonder how much food I can stuff down my face-hole before I need to trundle off to some distant cave and go into a deep hibernation”.

There was, however, a very nice lunch outing with my sister, step-father, mother, and the Grandmooses (grandparents on my father’s side of the family).

I feel like I could sleep for a couple weeks, but my writing schedule doesn’t permit such snoozing.

Day Eighteen – Focusing too much and accomplishing too little

I can be pretty focused at times, believe it or not. It’s rare, and usually leaves me a little surprised. Such creative tunnel-vision is usually a pretty good thing, as it has gotten me through plenty of projects (for college or otherwise) on time. In the case of school-related things, oftentimes it happened the day before a paper was due.

There’s clear and definite downsides to this focus. I’ve been churning out daily posts for One Hundred Days of Blogging, but not letting myself get to any creative writing or other projects. One one hand: hooray, I’m blogging very regularly. On the other hand: boo, I’ve not been writing very much otherwise. It becomes a weird, frustrating balancing act with my day-job, other personal obligations, and other leisure activities. Since I don’t believe I’ve admitted it on here yet: I’ve resurrected my WoW account. I feel no shame in this fact (I will forever be Kazadiel, the shittiest Warlock to ever kill things in Azeroth).

I do not have a brain fit for multitasking. That’s not to say I’m dumb (although I can be a touch obtuse from time to time) so much as merely acknowledging I’m better off when my attention is devoted to one task. My biggest problem isn’t trying to multitask, though. It’s when I get distracted by another something that needs my attention. My cleaning process from this past week, for instance, is a good example of that. I would be working on cleaning out the cabinets, and then I’d notice a dirty spot on the counter. I’d start scrubbing down the counters and then notice something else. And so on. I’m quick to bounce between multiple things at once, which probably accounts for why my posts take a little longer when made from my computers (I’m on my family’s home PC presently, free of most distraction and wondering why there’s a piece of electrical tape over the webcam). The writing process on Aperture Surface involves Microsoft Word, the Twitter app, the Facebook app, Facebook’s messenger service, my e-mail app (which is connected to my three Gmail accounts), and the occasional glance at the television. Can’t forget my phone, either. Good lord.

What I think I’m getting at here, since I’m still admittedly feeling like a great beast who is thoroughly prepared for a long winter’s nap, is that I need to get back to writing short stories or working on my novel projects while getting this done. And maybe I should learn to juggle better, while I’m at it (I don’t mean that in the literal sense, although this sentence started out with that intention for the sake of snarkiness).

I dare say there’s not much else to say on the subject, as I’m far from an expert on finding the right balance of focus on one thing versus focus on side-projects. There’s also the small matter of company arriving, and me wanting to not be an entirely rude, anti-social computer-hermit while they’re here.

Eighty-two days remaining.

PS: Today’s post was sponsored in part by parenthetical asides, which are my second favorite kind of asides. First place goes to a liberal use of dash-separated appositive phrases.

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Twelve

Today’s the first time in a long time I’ve slept in on my day off. I mean actually, properly slept in. Woke up at 10a.m. and everything. As it turns out, my body no longer likes sleeping in, so it was less of a pleasant series of stretches as I woke from my peaceful slumber, and more like me slowly dragging my ass out of bed when I realized I’d definitely slept far too late for my own good.

I miss the days of staying up until 5a.m. for any number of reasons, followed by sleeping until noon. Except not really. I’m full of self-contradicting shit today because it’s almost 1p.m. and I chose writing and breakfast over showering, so I’m probably the most disgusting person alive right now.

As promised, I’m going to write at least twenty short stories for this blogging misadventure I’ve embarked on, and I’d hate to make myself a liar. Before I get too caught up in how happy I am with this story, overall, despite the high chances it still has a couple typos, I need to point out two things.

Thing One – The stories I’m posting here are, in all probability, first drafts with only some polishing from my editing efforts. I miss a lot of my own screw-ups, but this feels like my best option given the time restraints I have imposed upon myself.

Thing Two – In the event I miss a Day of Blogging, I will rest the counter back to Day One, and then sob uncontrollably for at least an hour for being such a complete and utter failure. And because starting over and doing anything for one hundred days sounds like a special kind of Sisyphusian Hell.

Speaking of Hell, here’s today’s post/story. Enjoy, and I apologize for my slightly-more-vulgar-than-usual language (only to my relatives who may be unaware I use such foul words). Continue reading

This Week in Misadventures

It’s been a mostly-exciting, somewhat headache-inducing week. Let’s just leap into the actual post. I’m entirely too tired for this early, which is embarrassing, but I want to finish this post before I fall asleep on my Surface 2.

Writing

Do tweets count here? They still don’t, do they? Damn. Ignoring that, there’s “The Maskmaker’s Apprentice”, “Another Starstruck Misfit”, the cannibal story I still haven’t officially named…something else. My brain’s gone a bit soft. I need to get back into setting goals for myself in terms of weekly writing, which sounds mildly suicidal since I’m working on my One Hundred Days of Blogging posts as well. “The Maskmaker’s Apprentice” doesn’t count towards the goal of twenty stories posted, by the way, because I’m apparently challenging myself to write and rewarding myself by making it as punishing as possible. On the plus side, I’ve received so many new commenting readers. Mostly spammers writing comments in Russian, but I’m not too picky when it comes to comments.

I’ve got no particular plans for writing in this coming week, but I might just be lying there. We’ll see.

Reading

So many books, so little time. I’m rereading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), and I picked up The Long Mars. You may be saying “Phil, you buy a lot of books and you should probably read them instead of buying even more books,” to which I say I will never stop buying books. I should, however, get working on reading them. I think a great starting point would be to start over on The Long Earth, move on to The Long War, and then get to The Long Mars. I’m impatiently waiting for Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new graphic novel, Seconds, which sounds like it’ll be a terrific fun read.

Important Miscellany

Car inspection happens this week, which is important for my planned Chicago adventure at the end of August. I’m anxious that something will go horribly wrong, but when am I not? Don’t answer that, anyone. It’ll be the longest road-trip I’ve ever taken, and I’m going solo so it’ll be something else. We’ll see, once all is said and done, what something else turns out to be (good or bad). I’m considering a travel journal to post on here, as there’s still enough time for me to actually plan it out. Or put off planning it and just haphazardly meandering through it like I do with many other things.

The plans for this week include writing, reading, and a little recovering from last week. I’m more excited, I’ll admit, for the week after this one, as I work three days (thanks to a couple leftover paid holidays). Making a trip home to see my family, and I’ll have plenty of time to work on getting some additional writing done. None of which will be spoiled here, of course.

Here’s to a pleasant, hopefully peaceful week for everyone, and remember to keep the Kaiju population under control by getting your Kaiju spayed or neutered.

PS: I’m sorry, but I refuse to see this post linger just beneath five hundred words. Nope. Had to fix that.

The Maskmaker’s Apprentice

This short story popped into my head a couple nights ago, and demanded attention when I was too tired to provide such thought-requiring things. I started working on it last night, and continued on it most of today. I’m very happy with the end product. I considered sending it out for publication consideration, but I’m instead opting to be a story-dragon and keep it in my hoard. That is to say that I wanted to share it with those of you who misadventure alongside me at Misadventures in Fiction. I really hope you all enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Without further rambling, I present “The Maskmaker’s Apprentice”.

Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Two

Day Two – Creating Stories from the Chaos of Ideas

It only seemed appropriate to focus on the topic of creating stories from the chaos of my ideas, which are all over the place, for the second day. Mostly because I’m still convinced my Hundred Days of Blogging will be more chaotic than ordered.

My process isn’t new or revolutionary, and I’m pretty sure I’ve covered as much before. I’d like to say I sit down with a concept. Some sort of message I want to get across, maybe, or an image so powerful that won’t leave my mind until I share it. Deep stuff, right? Continue reading

100 Days of blogging – The Misadventures in Fiction edition

Or “Phil had an idea for a short story, but its quite stuck in his head” with strong notes of “If this week were a person, I’d set that bastard on fire and throw him off a goddamn cliff”.

I’ve seen One Hundred Days of all sorts of things. One Hundred Happy Days. One Hundred Days of Self-Improvement. One Hundred Days of Exercise (which I admittedly misread as One Hundred Days of Exorcise, which left me wondering who is going to the trouble of finding so many possessed people). And so on, and so on, ad infinitum. I also know that this Hundred Days of Blogging has been done before, and so I want to set up some basic guidelines for myself. Guidelines that are being made up as I type this, because I am the antithesis to planning and organization. With all of that in mind, let’s kick this off. Continue reading

An unusually sentimental post

Or “Sometimes my little, frozen black heart does things that require being broadcast, especially since I write about ending the world a whole lot”.

A writer, I think, can only be as good as their support system. Like any other art-form, it’s a grueling, time-consuming labor of love, and there are days when I, like many, many others, would be all right with saying “Fuck it, I’m done,” (special apologies to my mother, grandmother, and any other relatives who maintain the belief I don’t use that word and its various conjugations)¬†and closing up the proverbial shop for good. Staring at a blank document, an idea in my mind, and being unable to produce anything of substance is extremely stressful.

Thank god for my iPod in those situations, or I’d probably have gone mad by now. Continue reading

A Remarkable Victory

This is an exciting moment for me, though I suspect that goes without saying. All of my typical thought processes are trying to cheapen this victory, and so I’m trying my damnedest to shut them up.

I submitted two short stories–“Death at Teatime” and “Rebooting Everything”–to Remarkable Doorways. And then I waited. I sent a story off to another publication, and then focused on other things so as to not go mad.

And then I got an e-mail containing words I wasn’t familiar with from my previous misadventures in attempted publishing – that one of my stories had been accepted (spoilers: it wasn’t “Death at Teatime”). I reread it a couple times, just to make sure I hadn’t confused a couple words. Or had been hallucinating.

“Rebooting Everything” can be found here, as part of their very first issue.

More importantly, Remarkable Doorways is always looking for submissions. Their submission page spells out the important details better than I can, so meander on over there, and then send something remarkable.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be lost in a state of excited disbelief for the next week or so.

PS: Let it be known I didn’t fail to realize this and my last post were my 150th and 151st posts, respectively, and that I should’ve posted something about Pokemon. I’m going to honor that with a belated something or other. Unless I forget, which is entirely plausible.