Garbage Day: Oh What Can I Do

Well, I’m back. I think it’s a good thing. In fact, I’m fairly certain it’s a good thing. But I can’t 100% say with every fiber of my being that it’s a good thing. I was ready to come raring back with a great post about how to recover from being on vacation, but in the end, I scrapped it because I’m not 100% certain how to do it. I mean, come back from vacation, not write the post. It’s been so long since I had one that I’m a bit clueless when it comes to getting back and pushing that stone up the hill again.

One thing I do know is that I have a stockpile of ideas bouncing around in my head. That’s a good thing, right? Sure, it’s going to be a real headache to get them organized, but it’s better than feeling that the well is dry, which was pretty much the case going into my trip. I was writing at a record pace for myself before I went, but I’m afraid I was doing so at the cost of my sanity on some days. I was coming home completely drained, unable to really come up with much of anything new beyond what I could dictate. In that respect, I’m incredibly grateful for the time off.

It also afforded me a chance to really get to know the new narrator of Entanglements. She’s such a distinct character, and I didn’t have much of a clue, really, of who she was outside of the bit that I had written in the original version of the novel. I took some time to have conversations with her in my head (yes, I know how crazy that sounds, but if it works, it works – call it “method” writing) and got her viewpoint on a number of things that likely won’t show up in the novel but inform her views and actions. That’s a net gain. Oh, and yes, that picture is what she looks like in my head at this point. The woman is Claudia Gordon, the first deaf African-American lawyer. Great story.

Of course, we’re now a little more than a month out from my original targeted publication date for Corridors of the Dead. I say “original” because I’m beginning to think that we may need to push it a couple of weeks (two weeks because the following week is Thanksgiving). We’re eyeing the 30th of November as a possible back-up date. The delay is due to a few factors; one is that I’m having trouble getting a solid date for when the new cover will be finished, or even any information from my graphic designer. The other is that my edits are taking a little longer to finish than anticipated, even going at them full-tilt.

With that in mind, I have set two goals for this week: one is to post a sample chapter based on my edited version by the end of the week, preferably by Thursday. This is very doable, and you can pretty much count on it. The second goal is to get my edits to my editor by the end of this week. That one…well, that one may have to slide after all. We’ll see. As I said, the edits are taking a little longer than I thought they would, but they are making the book a lot more streamlined, so I’d really rather not rush them unless I have to. I’m trying to see this as an overall positive, as having so many sets of eyes and edits upon the book can only make it better, and I’d rather have a delay upfront than damage the long-term prospects of the novel. I’m a little stressed about it, but what are you going to do?

Got a lesson in what it means to be a bit more high-profile as a writer on Saturday. For those who read regularly, you may have wondered why I didn’t have a post, or if you did see the post, why it got pulled. It was a guest post, and I had suspected it might cause a bit of a…well, ruckus? That might be the best word. It was my friend’s light-hearted take on Buddhism, a lot of it meant in jest, some of it mistaken and wrong. I posted it thinking that it might spur some conversation and an expansion of knowledge among those who weren’t familiar with the faith, as the faithful might provide counterpoints and corrections to some of that knowledge. I’m not a Buddhist, I just had a feeling that some of the points may have been a little off, so I thought some corrections might enlighten – use some of the expanded audience to educate.

In retrospect, it was a foolish idea, as, like I said, I didn’t have the best knowledge of the subject matter and probably should have vetted it more closely. It also strayed into religion, which I typically try to avoid. I didn’t anticipate that, while some would take the time to correct those errors, others didn’t appreciate the tone at all, and got very angry. Honestly, fair enough. I can see why it came off as disrespectful, especially knowingly posting some information that may have been incorrect. In the end, it just didn’t seem worth trying to spur that discussion if it was going to have that kind of visceral effect on people. It was completely counter to my goal, and I saw the error of my ways. I apologized and pulled the piece from my site – lesson learned, will not go down that road again. Crash has since posted the entire, unedited piece at his site (I had cut down on some of the swearing), so if you’re curious, you can go check it out.

So yes, busy week coming up all around. I’ve now dictated my Rule of Three entry for this week…we’ll see if I can cut it down to size, but I definitely have the feel for trying to fit these story pieces together in a fashion that makes sense in a short fiction context. Once the whole thing is done, I’m definitely going to add some more detail and release it as a cheap Kindle Single (is that redundant?), as the story and the world intrigue the hell out of me, but I’m having to make some compromises that wouldn’t be there with a looser word count. Still, no hate for the word count; it’s teaching me a lot and focusing me in on what truly matters in the story.

Keep an eye out for some analysis of things that we watched in New York…have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head about the two movies that we saw.

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  1. Editing / revising always takes longer than I anticipate. I get that. Glad you made it back and enjoyed your vacation.

  2. As I always say during the semester with my history classes….writing, writing, and yeah, more writing. 🙂

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