Friday, October 6, 2017

a good day and rescue

I spent the better part of six hours rewriting a scene that was basically legless. It finished out strong and then I did something dufuss with the laptop. When I went looking for the scene later I couldn't find it. Somehow it looked like Scrivener had eaten it whole.

I dug around and found the previous, shitty iteration and started jotting down what I could dredge from memory about the changes/improvements.

Then I started doing stupid stuff in Scrivener, like remove and then place chapter headings. Do people do that anymore. Were they too clever? Annoying to the reader?

...and there it was, the chapter I thought had evaporated. Intact, just not in the sequence I thought it had been. whew. I'm going to bed before I fuck something else up.

the slog

The wheels come off my cart with only the slightest provocation these days. I'd rather be driving my car, blasting music or fooling around with the much-neglected house and garden.

Ass in chair, fingers on the keyboard and chances are one in four that I'm spewing toxic invectives on FB about that carnival freak masquerading as our president.

I should sue him for all the anxiety he's caused me.

Then again, I've cooked up a few new inventive ways to dispose of bodies.

Revision is equal parts wading through molasses in January and opening your veins until you faint.

Friday, September 22, 2017

hold my beer

What are they going to do? Kill me?

Today I packed off the first draft of Prophet's Tango, book 1 to a couple of readers.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


         For the lucky living, the night was ripe with all the degrees and possibilities of true love or common lust; anything might happen. It was the year of the Tiger—Nixon was running scared, Ted Bundy was just getting started, and the tallest buildings in the world opened down on Wall Street. 
        All the doors of the Stateline bar were open wide to the night, and the place was packed. Everyone who was underage in Connecticut was welcome in New York. The smoke-laden air inside pulsed out into the heat and humidity of the fecund darkness and sucked back inside with a tinge of marijuana. There was a furtively urgent commotion in a dark corner of the parking lot. Fighting or fucking, it didn’t matter. April was in a hot hurry to be July. 
        The amplified sounds of a rock band complete with horns hushed all the night creatures around the ramshackle country bar for a hundred yards in every direction. The music held sway over all, from the worn, holey denim to the spandex and polyester crowd up from the city. Payoffs kept the cops busy elsewhere. The band, consummate crowd-pleasers, smoothly moved from rock to disco with occasional stops at country and doo-wop along the way. A jukebox loaded with the top forty was on standby and no one could resist the urge to move to the beat.
        Tonight, the revelers would include a woman with no heart and a man with no soul.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

the Tarot of events

I've been studying the Tarot for years. I'd love to make a living being the exotically draped crone telling and making fortunes on a vine-dripping, candlelit veranda somewhere. Terrified that it will come to pass. When I have been so bold as to give a reading (something about getting paid to do this is frightening) I tell people that the cards are just a way of shining a light on possible choices. Choices we all have, moment to moment. Pointing out options that one might not have considered. Signposts...cue the twilight zone music.

It's like this.

I'm deep into revising, rewriting actually, the novel I've been working on for three years. It's really two, possibly three, books and there's been a full-time job and a lot of life along the way so I don't feel bad about the time span.

I've come to a place in the story where I have to acknowledge Anna's profound loneliness, and as the dudes say, I am unmanned. Can't get it up. Can't go there. Have no map, no plan, no words or way to feel. Looking at a brick wall. Blind. Deaf and dumb.

Ahem. A well of personal issues is open in front of me and there is no remedy if I go there now.

So, like all writers, I've found a dozen ways to avoid the whole issue. The best would be to write around it. No, instead I'm doing all the stupid shit. Configuring a new-to-me laptop (bless you sister), driving a new-to-me car (with whom I am perversely in love), deep housework that hasn't been done in too long, starting with the studio.

Somehow in all the stuff shuffling, my notebook from WUUCON with a lot of notes from the WIP has been lost. I'm pretty sure it's here somewhere. It's been accusing me, Slacker, for a month, as I move it and a stack of revision notes, from one place to the next and now it's poof. The cloth on the cover was creation I hoarded until using it this way. Gorgeous, it is.

I did find my beloved storks that Jimmy gave me years ago. They were about to slip down into the innards of a chair that will probably be put out onto the curb before too long. I've been doing a lot of fiber stuff lately too, dyeing and the like, so finding these has significance.

More avoidance activity included setting up Kindle on the laptop and "The Emotional Craft of Fiction" by Donald Maass floated by and I snapped it up thinking I selected "free sample". Instead, somehow, saints preserve us, it's whole and my credit card was charged.

The spread has been dealt. It's time for the reading and for the reader to take heed and act.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

the wet office - process.

I walk in circles for a half hour, netting up the tree trash, setting up a gentle underwater cyclone to gather the wandering loose crap into the center. I made another circle with the brush all around the insides. Think of Death with his scythe.

By now the really small stuff has gravitated to the center and I net it up and dump it over the side. The pump is ancient and does little more than create a desultory current. The cleaning is up to me.

All the while, I've been back thinking about the Problem at Hand..whatever scene or situation in the MS that I'm working on, or working hard at avoiding.

Today was the first time this year that I've gotten into the water and put this routine in motion and it paid off handsomely.

While I was staring at my toes a real, juicy motivation came to light for one of the antagonists in my book. Before now, he was just a miserable bastard. Now he's a miserable bastard with a mission.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Is like shaving off prison tattoos a square inch at a time.

Maybe. So far it works like this. I'll read the last scene that WORKED and then the new victim, the next one and the one that follows it. If it fails on enough fronts - and I've had more than half do just that, I brood over the truth of it.
The five 'whys'.

Then I start the autopsy.
Print and then redact - just like in the movies- with the broad, black marker anything that's crap. Anything that's not a jewel.

Then I brood on it some more and find a different way to set some, not all of those jewels. A setting that not only makes the scene worthwhile but nods to the one before it and sets up the next. Dominos dipped in nitro.