Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year?

So the wife and I had the annual New Year's Eve sex. It was great, considering my age. We used to say that, if you have sex on New Year's Eve, you'll have sex all the next year. Now we just say that it means there's a chance we'll have sex again in the new year. Anyway, I thought the New Year was going to get welcomed in in style, but she revealed to me that there was a problem in our relationship. This came after the protag delivered the mail.

Teary eyed, she told me that I put her down. Now, I freely admit she is the fiscal rock that holds us together. She's an accountant, and I'd a financial fool. But, apparently, I've been combative lately, and I routinely correct her on her pronunciation and grammar, and that's got her annoyed. She said she thinks I'm frustrated with her "stupidity."

My own pronunciation and grammar aren't all that great, but she's from Oklahoma, which puts her at a decided disadvantage. Far from stupid, she's the smartest person I know, but she may also be the most insecure. It's a tight rope I walk.

But I've assessed what she said, and I think there may be merit to her accusation. I know that I am in a very combative stage in my WIP. My antag is jousting with my protag, and it's only going to get worse over the next fove or ten chapters. And my protag is in a constant verbal debate with his love interest, so the tone of the book is very combative at this point. I think I'm bringing this home. I think I'm treating the wife as the protag's love interest, expecting her to be just as hardened as the product of years of systematic abuse and corporate bullying, when she's not.

In short, I'm bringing the work home and taking it out on the wife. Now, for me, it was quite enjoyable. I got to taste her responses. I got some free debate, but I think I need to back off at home.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A half chapter assembled today

That's Ireland, one of my niece's oldest kids. She's got six of them, bless her heart. Great kids, all of them.A mom with six kids, that's what I call busy. I haven't been that busy, but today is the first day in a long time that I got a half day's worth of writing in. Home alone. The wife's company didn't give them the day off like mine did. Amazing what a half day can do to move a manuscript along.

But I told the wife I'd give her half a day of cleaning, so it's time to stop, damn it. Gotta clean the run in the family room My parents and my sister's family are coming over for Christmas Day, so for some reason the wife gets it her her head that the place has to be clean. I'll never understand women.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The writer's midnight blues


This obsession, this lust to finish a book is problematic. I'm not as good of an employee as I used to be. I now do the minimum required of me for the money. Heresy, I know. I'm an Ayn Rand lover. Atlas Shrugged. Philosophy, who needs it? The Fountainhead was the most authentic to what I saw in her in the filmed interviews, I thought. Anyway, my mind keeps flittering off. It's too much fun to write. It's no contest, I'd rather be be tapping the keys to the voice inside, and it's hard to hide.

Now, the people at work are some smart people, and they're friends. They know I'm doing the minimum required of me, no more late nights. No more working at midnight on a Saturday because something "very important" must be done by Monday morning. I cherish my time. My time. It's mine to do with, what I will. I took a $10,000 pay cut to come to this company, and I haven't had a raise since we opened this branch six years ago. I don't begrudge anyone keeping costs down in tough economic times. Besides, I've been preoccupied with my book, so I don't deserve any raises. That's fine, We're getting by nicely on what I make. But today, we sat down in a morning meeting and my branch manager told the others in the office that they were going to have to help me out. What they will in fact be doing, is something I was never supposed to do, but he made it sound like it was my responsibility all along. What I do, is I put a price on projects. I'm a numbers man. What they want me to do is to smooch the customer's ass. Take them out for lunch. Take them out after work and buy them drinks. Close the deal. I closed the deals long enough, I won't do it any more. It takes too much to look yourself in the eyes in the morning after blowing off your wife for a third time that week.

Did I just ramble?

He also said I could get my numbers tighter, and he's right about that. I can. And I will. But it won't make a bit of difference if nobody acts like they want the job in front of the people who are buying out these projects. So, my fellow employees will be schmoozing. They're the ones who run the projects and need the rapport. I retain my daydreaming time. Everybody wins.

If I did as I was told, when I get to work, or in the evening by the wife, I'd never get a moment of time to write. You have to fight like fucking hell for it. Don't let them steal it from you. It's your life, your one life. Be fair, but don't be a chump.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fishing

The last time my buddies Mark, Dan, Dave, and I went fishing in Canada, 9/11 happened. I didn't find out until 9/13, because four of us were up on a high lake that has only hiking access, no ride for your gear on the ATV. The place we used to go was close to the Arctic Circle. I don't think we'll be making quite that long of a train ride this time, but we'll be well north of Ontario.

I've had a lot of old friends dropping by lately, must be something in the air.

It feels like an elusive fish, that paragraph or two of the chapter you're working on that causes you to break through the roadblock, removes self-doubt. I've written a few fresh paragraphs in the last few days, a delightful break from the monotony of sequencing and polishing. Every writer loves fresh meat. It's where the next great idea lies. Unfortunately, there's polishing left to do, so I'll end this. But it doesn't mean I pull up the line and stop fishing. The next great line is out there.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Flowing again

An old friend, Mary Jane, stopped by to help me with the doldrums, and I'm rolling right along. Today I wrote what I think is the funniest line of the book so far. It doesn't fit in until about ten chapters farther along than I am now, but the last chapters should be the best, so I don't mind pushing it toward the end.

Comedy doesn't come easy to me, but I can't imagine writing a book without it. Even if it's not my strong suit, I have to make the attempt, if only to let the protag's nuts out of the bubbling oil for a spell.

I spiced up the chapter I'm working on. Really, all I did was to give it a theme. Add a little something right at the the start. I have two characters who have a lousy attitude at this point in the book, an all I did was to give one of the wenches an overt display of said attitude. This sets the chapter up, announces to the reader that someones pissed, and it gives those crucial few early sentences the right oomph. This is the first time I tied the theme of a chapter to the emotions of the characters.

Anyway, it was a fun day. Hope whoever reads this had a good day as well.