Friday, March 27, 2009

Wouldn't ya know it?

I didn't make it to the GED classes. Life and health cancelled that out for this time. I guess just like eveything else, when the time is right the stars will all align, the lungs will function, the back-pain will be at a minimum, and I will stop writing in hugely blathering non-stop run-on sentences.

But for life to throw a curve ball is nothing new. The same thing happened when I was trying to quit drinking. I knew what I was doing was destroying me, but everything has to be right for it to work. And for me, writing falls in to the same thing. I can sit down and put words down a few at a time, while my back allows- maybe fifteen here, then thirty more twenty minutes later. That's why it's so hard for me to have a really good set time to write and routine to follow. This post alone has taken me more than fifteen minutes to type. But for some reason, I write well when I've been up for about twenty-four hours. Maybe it's because I loosen up, and stop worrying about making it perfect. At least with the first and second drafts, perfection isn't forefront in my mind. Just getting the idea and basic story line out is the important thing.

But for right now the important thing is getting the sinus operation that should help my lungs get better. That part won't help my back, but one thing at a time.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Breathing new life...

... into my first novel, A Birthday Suicide. It's been a slow-going effort, I finished the first draft a year ago, right around my birthday, which is fifteen days from now. (Well, sixteen- it's still the 21st for another twenty-one minutes.) Since then I've started the rewrite so many times I lost count. I got five chapters into it this time, and thought I had written some great stuff, but overall I still wasn't inspired. A friend of mine was gracious enough to read the first draft and give me good insights. She did that a while ago, and I just recently sent her the first three chapters of my rewrite, knowing she would tell me the truth about it. I figured that if I was on the right track I would just keep trudging on and hope the muse found me. While she agreed I was improving the writing of it, she gave me guidance on a different direction to take it. And I am grateful, because new life has been breathed into a project I was becoming afraid would end up "in the drawer," never to be finished.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Working on My Craft

I'm trying to be a better writer. I think I've come a long way for someone who has only been doing this three and a half years. But I'm having a hell of a time getting over the "show vs. tell" hurdle. I am a fairly intelligient guy, and I usually catch on to stuff pretty easily, but this one is tough. And it drives me crazy. It used to be more acceptable to tell a story, but now you have to show it. And my natural voice for storytelling is just that- storytelling. So what can I do but try to change the way I am?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Still Writing

Well, I'm still writing. Slower than I'd like, and it's this blog's fault. And MySpace. I blame everyone but me.

No, I need to buckle down. I know that. I am going to start GED classes with my Mom soon. I hope adding some structure to my life will help me to get my priorities straight. If I want to make a living as a writer I have to put in the work. Nobody is going to hand my dreams to me on a silver platter or give me a magic computer that will take what I think and write it out for me.

But speaking of computers, I have got to somehow get a laptop. Sitting at the desk kills my back. I got the results of my bone density test today. I was diagnosed with osteoperosis in 2005, I broke my neck and back in 1995, the surgery I had in 2007 seriously mangled my back. I'm a mess. If you want to see why my back is mangled, follow this link: insane, huh?! Anyway, my T-score is 2.1 now. That means I'm at high risk for fracture. It means my bones are weak, and sitting here can be torture. Thank God for Vicodin.

So it will be nice when I can get a laptop. Then, if I'm inspired, but in pain, I can recline on the couch and write. The good thing is I know my writing is drastically improving. It's something I can feel as I put it down into written word. The biggest problem I still have is too much "tell," not enough "show." But I'm finally developing my personal voice. I've only been doing this for three years and a half years, so I'm really still a newbie.

But I'm still writing, that's the greatest thing I can personally do for myself. Because I'm someone who always had trouble following through on stuff. It's like, when I drank, I had this switch that would shut me down whenever I got too close to success in anything. Like I felt I didn't deserve to have good things. I have a beautiful wife, a great son, a daughter on the way- now I want to have a career as an author. And I will have it.

And I'm still writing...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Self-Pity (a poem about the feelings of addiction)


I once had a dream
Awoke with a scream
The sweat still in my eyes.

Nothing was what it seemed
Life was fiction I deemed
As I heard the rabbit's cries.

Strong coffee and cream
To clear the fog, I mean
Is it true that everyone dies?

Then I awoke from my dream
The dream within a dream within a dream
And life goes on I despise.


That was written while I was in jail, at the start of my drying out time. Not my sobriety. I drank after I got out that time. I think that was why I worded the end "I despise." I knew I wasn't sober, even though I knew that was what I needed. Sobriety is a tricky, slippery thing. And you know if it's not there; even if you desperately want and need it to be. I look back and it depresses me a little that I wasn't there at the time. But I can't beat myself up over it, only realize it wasn't time yet. I had to be broken down even further to become fully accepting to a life of sobriety.
And it is a good damn life now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Creeping Myself Out

I'm sitting here listining to the Best of Iron Maiden, and taking a momentary break from the horror story I'm writing. It must be good so far, because it's creeping me out. And if that's the case, I really have high hopes for the finished product. Of course, I just finished my "outlining of where I think things will go," but any writer knows that things rarely go where we expect them to when we start the project. And my method of outlining is very crude, purposely done so for the leeway it provides. Some writer's map out everything in an outline. And that's what the first draft of my first novel essentially became- a 55,000 outline. So now I feel locked in to the path I created for the main character as I work on the second draft of that story. But for the ghost story I'm doing to release stress, I am held by no bonds- and maybe THAT'S what really creeps me out, that the antagonist in this one can truly be as depraved and evil as I want, or vice-versa if it fits the situation.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

3 years, 5 months

Well, yesterday marked three years five months sobriety. Just like with a birthday, the more you have the less you notice them. And that's a pretty good thing, because it would be very hard to remain sober if it was all you ever thought about. I know the date my anniversary will fall on, and I respect the accomlishment, but we never make a big deal out of it. Hell, it would feel weird to have an "I'm sober," party. Thanks to everyone who has believed in me, I couldn't do it without you, as cliched as that sounds.