I’m Not Good Enough

Despairing businessman with his head down resting on his arms on his desk as he contemplates the hopelessness of his position

How many times in your life have you said these words?  I hear it all the time with writers, “I’m not good enough to write a novel/short story/poem/book/screenplay/etc.” Many writers have this fear. Everyone has had this fear. If you read bios of Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, some of their greatest classics would have never made to the publisher if they fell to this distortion of themselves.  There is the classic story of Steven King, after going through so many drafts of Carrie, throwing the manuscript into the trash, only to be rescued by his wife. Not good enough. I’m not saying writing is easy, it’s not, even for the most masterful. There will be times when you will want to throw things, goof off, check your Facebook status, but one thing you can’t do is quit.

I’m reminded of a time when I really wanted to learn how to play piano out of high school. I struggled for years. I didn’t have money for lessons, but I got myself a keyboard.  I knew chords from playing my grandfather’s electric organ, I thought how hard could it be. Playing chords is easy. Keeping the baseline with my left hand was like learning brain surgery. I practiced and started making up songs when I could play. A chance evening of boredom had me watching an infomercial on playing piano changed my life. I sat back down the next day, and things changed. I picked up playing rhythm guitar after.  I played for many years, afraid to go anywhere and afraid to play with anyone. I wrote songs. I wrote a musical. I tried my hand at just about everything except playing in front of people or with others. Cut to age 36. I started a band. Was I good enough? I was about to find out. The first person I interviewed was a lead guitarist, Ron.  Ron was much older than me and he had been playing in bars since he was thirteen and lied about his age. I picked up a lot of what he did, just by watching, hearing. We played together for some years as others in the band dropped out or moved on. I had a ball. Was I good enough? I got the greatest compliment from him when he said I wasn’t, “that bad.”  I tried. I learned. I was good enough.

The moral of the story is if you don’t try, you will never know. What if you had said that as a child learning to walk? We’ve all witnessed children learning to walk and know their first steps are tenuous at best. With repetition, we learn to walk. Learning to talk is the same way. It’s when we interact with others we begin our fears. That’s when we create our doubts that we are, “not good enough.” What is your definition of good enough?  New York Times best seller good enough?  Article in the New Yorker good enough? How about you’re worthy of your own praise good enough? Isn’t that what we are all looking for?

If you write, you are already good enough. You just have to have some faith in yourself, learn all you can, and don’t stop. Someday you will realize that you’ve always been good enough.

A Month Without a Bloggie-cause

tropical beach nature landscape with white sand at summer
tropical beach nature landscape with white sand at summer

There are few things in my life that I like better than not working. One of them I’m sure you can guess, but I won’t be that obvious. I spend a month without feeding you on any of my bullshit and I see that you’ve taken the hint. The fact that no one is checking in on my website proves that don’t love me anymore and I’m OK with that. My voice comes out in for everyone out there, not just for you elitists. On the other hand, you know I love you all, within reason, after all I do have a girlfriend, you know. Back as far as 600 B.C., in the writings of Sappho, a Greek poet, there is an expression, “Never bite the hand that feeds you.” And so it goes I must feed on your love and not bite.

I spent the month editing my book Mariline trying to get it out my developmental editor, which I did before I went on ‘vacation’ on the 22nd. I put vacation in quotes, as I didn’t really go anywhere. Some might even say, ‘staycation.’ I had some fun, eating at my favorite restaurants, singing karaoke, and sleeping till 7:30 am or sometimes in the afternoon. If I were on a beach somewhere, I would be doing the same things. I guess the only difference is I’m missing the hammerhead sharks, used syringe needles and sand, which I could get anywhere. It was a freedom. Mostly it was a freedom of work which had grown into a six-headed hydra. It kept me from my love of writing over my lunch breaks and causing my blood pressure to rise like a Fourth of July rocket.

I also had the pleasure of aging a year. Forty-seven is not for the faint of heart, I’m telling you from experience. I really didn’t expect my back to feel so crazy all at once after I gained a year. I feel it was lying in wait, just for the clock to tick past 12 AM EST on the Twenty-third. Genetics is a bitch.   I can’t see my parents in the same light now. They have done this to me (and my brother too), and now I must get back at them anyway I know how. “What was that you need help with your walker? Sorry, work keeps me chained to my desk. So sad!” I’m not that bad really. But in my heart of hearts I’d like to be.

So did you miss me? I’d like to think you did. I’m readying my ego for the developmental editor’s report. I need to bank up all the positive things I can so I’m not too devastated. Getting rejections is the life of a writer. I look at other authors and wonder if I could go through so much rejection without being discouraged. I know my first musical, No One Give a Damn, was prostituted out to some places, all of which said no. The only positive from that was one that kept the pilot light burning. The letter and I paraphrase because it was twenty years ago, said that he liked it, but it would be too hard to produce.  I guess that keeps me trying. I never thought I would have written a book, but after two I continue.

I started working on Trinkets, a screenplay I wrote that I’m changing to a book. It’s a serial killer who uses geocaching locations for hiding body parts. I thought about this years ago when a friend of mine was going to one of these locations and almost fell down a well trying to get to the geocache box. That started the brain moving. And the rest, they say is history.

I’ll try to keep up more with these little posts. I know how you like to read them. There are a lot of topics I’d like to cover, but I don’t want to alienate any more of you. Yes, I am a chicken.

Talk to you soon.

Spring!

downtown street in springSpring is here! I know that because there is still frost on the grass in the morning, and it is wicked hot in the afternoons.  Flowers are have poked their colorful heads out of the moist and fertile ground along with every worm that had ever lived when the rains come down. It seemed to happen overnight. The trees and grass were once just barren, yellow and caustic and then the next morning, green! The Earth, overnight, had repainted itself.   Colors, now wild and free, sprung to life like a Mother Nature on a twelve hour makeover show.

 

I love the spring. There is so much promise in the spring! Of the seasons, spring is the best. Fall is good also, but spring, pound for pound, has much more to offer. OK, summer has beaches, and that is awesome also, but spring! Spring folks! You cannot do better than spring. Fall has some cool leaves, but it also has a darkness. Winter is just behind that door and could be knocking at any time. If you live in the North, you know how quickly the snow can arrive. Pretty leaves with the chance of a horrible snow or the ability to see colorful flowers blooming and getting to go to the beach? With spring, you can have it all!

Spring is growth. Spring is hope. Spring can be a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Spring can be a torrent of rain. Spring can be tornados. Spring can be hail. Spring can be violent one minute, and gentle and tender the next. Spring is a slap in the face. Spring can be a glass of water tossed at you. Spring can be an ex-lover that teases and leaves you in a parking lot to watch her go off with another guy. Spring can be a dominatrix that is both cruel and kind. Well, you get the picture.

 

I am so looking forward to enjoying this spring. I look forward to the windows down in my car, riding along on the long and lonesome highway. Wind blowing in my hair! Oh, and PENDOT fixing all the potholes left over from winter. Lane closures. Traffic backups. A giant flashing arrow pointing to the lane that I was in, and I moved, thinking I had to get into the other. Cars honking. The stink of asphalt as they start laying down the new roadway. Oh, did I mention allergies? Yeah, spring is a wonder.

What Have I Been Doing?

girlfriend coverIf you’ve been keeping up with my Twitter feed, you know I’ve been working on a new novel, Girl, Friend for NaNoWriMo.   The story is Thriller/Suspense about a down and out musician hiding out in the Keys, befriends a local woman, who turns out to be more than he bargained for.

Here is a little taste of what I’ve been working on.  As you might know that in 2011 I started Mariline  for NaNoWriMo.

This is the first draft and I’ve not done any editing.  ENJOY!

CHAPTER ONE

It was a fine autumn day, the day my family lost their fortune. I wondered around the island that day, wondering what I was going to do, being already three weeks behind in the rent. I watched the sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico; the reds, yellows and blues all mixing together into a deep purple. The street bands would play on the pier and there would be celebrations until late in the evening as the sun disappeared on the horizon. The ocean smelled like urine as the wind blew in from west. When it had died down, the sand became more palatable to my worn pitted feet.

I had come to Key West to run away from everything, and did. I was not an angel; there were years of alcohol and drugs, and fathering kids around the world. Back in the day I was on top of the world, but after years of touring with my band, we had hit a stumbling block, the tour went bankrupt in Stockholm. We left our equipment there, and flew back to the states with the little money we had left. We scattered, being sick of being around each other for thirty years, and only having one, top hot 100 one-hit wonder song. I’m sure you’ve heard our song, it’s called “Mix Tape”, and we even had MTV do a “Where are they now?” on us. Now I’m stuck singing it in karaoke to a poor backup tape, and people looking at me like I have five arms coming out of my head. “Isn’t that?” No. I tell them. I don’t want them to remember me as a shrinking, fifty year old, gray haired old man, with fifty-cents in his pocket, and his sole possessions can be held in a duffel bag.

On the beach, the lapping water lulled me into a drowsy state, and I lied back and looked up at the stars, some stagnate, others seemed to float across the sky in a criss cross pattern. The moon was only half in the violet, and partially lit up the water, and sand. Occasionally, a runner would pass by, and wave to me in the darkness. They had gotten to know me, and I them. We looked out for each other, and it was comforting to see them out there. “Off the beach, Mr. Akins.” Jack was on night patrol, in his black shorts and polo; his badge flickered against the moon’s reflection in the ocean. He was twenty-six, about five-foot, six, and wore white sneakers. He looked down at me.

“Do you see the stars?” I looked past his big head. He glanced up quickly and then back down at me.

“Don’t have the time.”

“That is what is wrong with this world, Jack.”

“Maybe so, but you can’t stay here, Mr Akins.” His face frowned into his skull. I reached up to him.

“Give an old man a hand.” Jack pulled me to my feet.

“Thanks. You are not my son, are you?” He smiled.

“You ask that every night. Don’t you remember?”

“Yes, I remember, but things change so fast. Anything is possible.”

“I don’t have a musical bone in my body.”

“Oh, you don’t have to be musical. It’s has to be your mother that had a musical bone in hers.” Jack smirked and grabbed my arm.

“We should leave.”

“That’s what I thought.” He walked me to the Duval Street, said goodbye, and let me go. There was a lull in the tourists visiting, and just before winter traffic set in. Duval Street was getting back to the normal; I could almost see my friends without having to bust through a chorus line of drunken out-of-towners singing the Margaretville song. There was honesty in the air; the smell of food, sex, alcohol, pot, and tobacco. As the people passed me they was no judgment. I fit in with everyone, and they were all excepting of me. I didn’t always feel that way out on the road. Early on the paparazzi would follow us around the world and report on everything from bowel movements to zit outbreaks. As the band got older, it was pictures of arrests, and the drug and alcohol abuse. Here I felt insulated. They were all my friends, and they smiled, drunk or not, and the all knew. Some call it paradise, I began to call it home, up until the point all the money was gone. Now, I didn’t know what to call it.

Grass

Water and Water Drop on LeafI never really thought about grass.  I never really had to since I moved into my apartment, and I just assumed all that will be taken care of.  I could smell it when it was cut.  I used to cut my grandfather’s grass when I was a kid; used to get $20 bucks to trim his yard.  When I had a home I was inclined to chop my grass, do the weed wacker thing,  etc.  But, something has changed at my apartment complex.  They are repaving the parking lot and also they are digging out the concrete sidewalks as well.  So, in my dress shoes on the way to work, I am forced to trudge across a grass filled hill.  Now, I think about grass every day, having to navigate this bumpy, overgrown, dew ridden field.  Now I have wet shoes and socks in the morning as I hover around my 55 barrel drum of coffee, soaking feet under my desk.  Grass has been come the evil in everything.

I stepped from the field this morning, my shoes shinier than they’ve ever looked; grass and dirt hugging to the tops and sides, like it was trying to escape some prison of their own doing.  I find myself having to bend over and wipe them off with my fingers, trying at least to pretend that the tie, and dress pants are part of the ensemble.    I’m trying to look nice.  I’m trying to look decent.  But it’s the grass.  It has a long history of being bad.

My parents would complain about grass stains on my jeans as a kid.  Mom, they are jeans!  I’m a kid!  What do you want from me?   Grass as an adult, “Aren’t you going to cut your grass?”  And this I could never get; what is the perfect timing for grass cutting?  I was never able to achieve it.  It was either too much or too little; not to mention when it rains.  WTF!  Suddenly, it grows four inches overnight, and seeds pop out.    Anyone that knows about grass, that is not a good thing.  It means you will be spending your weekends putting down new seed or sod down until you are exhausted, and with a broken back.

The field I cross is not level.   It’s part of a hill that slopes from the main road.  It’s great to think that if it rains, I won’t be washed away, but because of that, there are all these drainage holes that you could step in and twist your ankle.  Oh, they aren’t marked.  It’s a crap shoot walking across.  You have to be a psychic in order to navigate these forests of grass.  Most of the troughs are over grown, so you never know how deep they go.  Sending out sonar might not reach back to you before you step.  I’ve noticed not even animals will cross this place without assistance;  crossing the Les Miserables barricade would be easier with the French troops firing upon you would be easier.

When I was in Hungary, they didn’t cut their grass.  This was a revelation.  Not that there was a lot of it, but it was foreign for them to even think about the trim.  Grass there wasn’t lush and green, it was just another weed that lived in a yard, and you need to machete through to get to your overpriced, Communist made car that had no air conditioning.

Now some have their minds in another place when I talk of grass.  With the advent of many states making “grass” legal so smoke has created a whole new culture out there.  Well, it’s been there, but it’s been underground.  Now, like others, they can smoke the stuff out in the open.  I have to say, when I was a child, I knew the difference between that and a tobacco cigarette.  When I was at Great Adventure in the seventies, waiting in line for the log flume, I smelled it.  When I was at a late showing of Pulp Fiction, there were two guys in the front of the theatre smoking.  I really think the management waited for them to get over the munchies before they called the cops to have them taken out.   Business first!

Well, hopefully the parking lot gets finished soon, the sidewalks get poured, and things get back to normal again.  My shoes will appreciate that.

Goodreads’ Questions

wpid-img_20140724_122751_425.jpgBeing a Goodreads author, they’ve invited me to answer questions of my fans and dissidents. To start the ball rolling they’ve provided me with the following to shake the cobwebs:

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I try to avoid it as much as I can. I keep to my scheduled time of writing and if I’m not working on my book, I blog, I work on short stories, or plot out something I’m already working on. I have lots of ideas. Just because I’m not putting them down on paper doesn’t mean I’m working. Playing out scenarios in my head helps later when I sit down at the keyboard. Steven King says something like just suck it up and do it. You want to be professional? You have to act professional. “Sorry, boss, I don’t feel like doing that today,” will get you where? I go to a number of writing circles, and they offer that you pick a number of words you could write in a day, say 200 words. You ask yourself with the worst day you could image (dog dying, cat eats the fish, kid breaks leg, flat tire, etc.) could you write 200 words? 200?   Sure? Set that as a goal and stick to it. It exercise for the mind, and like other exercises for it to have an effect, you need to keep at it.  Write? RIGHT!

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

I was dating a nanny I met on Match.com in 2009.  One day, we were lying in bed, and the idea came to me; what if she was working as a nanny for my estranged ex-wife, didn’t know it, and the child went missing?  I played out a number of scenarios in my head and in 2010 (she abruptly dumped me in March, and was doing the single thing at the time) I wrote in the NaMo thing and wrote a version of the book.  It’s changed many times since then (5+ drafts), but it still follows the themes about personal security on the internet, giving second chances, and everyone has baggage.

How do you get inspired to write?

I find my relationships are what inspire me to write.   Not that I write directly about them, but they sometimes provide genesis for ideas.  I try to keep a schedule to write at work over my lunch time.  I put on Mozart and let the music take me.  I can usually bang out ~1000 words in an hour, but I plan out and think about what I’m going to write before I do.

What are you currently working on?

The book is called Mariline.  I like to call it a paranormal thriller.  It’s a tri-angle between two brothers and a nanny.   The one brother, Kevin, is an ex-cop, ex-heroin addict.  The other brother, Aiden, is trying to rehabilitate Kevin.  Carol, the nanny, is dating Aiden, not knowing she’s working for Kevin’s estranged ex-wife.   Mariline is the ghost of the drowned daughter of Kevin that appears when Kevin gets out of rehab, and sets things into motion.

 What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Read and write often.  Believe in your work.   Every day is full of learning and living experiences, use them wisely.  If the work is personal to you, it will be to the reader.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

All the frequent flyer miles you rack up in your brain.  I’m out of my body so much, being other people and seeing other places, all in my mind, sometimes it feels like a vacation.   It’s fun to go away, with old friends (my characters) and make their lives miserable.  My problems don’t seem so bad after that.

What Do I Know About Writing?

Samuel Taylor texture through glassesI’ve been asked before what I know about writing and I have the same answer for everyone that cares to listen; NOTHING! It’s not that I’m a hard ass, wanting the questioner to struggle through the same bullshit learning that I had to do. It’s not that I’m a pious in individual thinking that I’m better than you, and can’t be bothered by such mundane questions. Writing, like a life, is a personal learning process that begins with experiences and continues throughout your life. Yes, I have written two books (Spoon Girl and Malaise, published by AuthorHouse), but to me that means nothing; every day there is more to learn, more to experience. The meager things I can tell you about writing, is that it’s about putting words on a page that somehow make sense to you (if it doesn’t, that can be fixed in editing.) If you ask me about advertising, and get the word out about your novel, short story, etc., I might just be able to give you some pointers. Writing? It’s a thing you do with the voices in your head. The more you write, the better you could get. The how to write though, it’s within the individual.

The process of writing is typically lonely. You and a computer are unseparated for finite amount of time. Most of the time you are looking at each other, wondering if either of you is going to fill up the white space. I spend my 15 minutes driving to work thinking about what I might write about that day. Other down times are filled about thinking about my novel. If I’m writing a specific chapter, I’ll map it out in my mind for later regurgitation. I don’t have a problem remembering the plan (so far), but you might want to have something to record ideas you might come up with.
Many famous writers have blocked out their schedules to write at the same time of the day. Setting a routine does help. I try to write over lunch at work. It’s the only time, I find when my mind is already working, and can tap into vein to get down a few words down on the blank page. Writing is not a race. Writing is a destination, so plotting out the story is helpful, whether it’s the entire idea or breaking things down so you can get from A to B.
Many people recommend writing down as much as you can. You need to stop that little person in your ear that makes you want to edit every word, change every sentence as you move through writing. It is a given that the first draft is crap. Except it! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if you can write completed full novels without it have to be edited, then you are in a different class all together. While Mozart might have been able to write original orchestrations for his musical works in ink and pen without making mistakes, most people are not in that league. Again, life is a learning experience. As you grow with your knowledge, you will learn how to make your writing better. Tweaking will become second nature to you as you continue to write.

READ READ READ. If you are writing, you should read. There is nothing better to keep the creative juices flowing than reading other things in you genre. Not to plagiarize them but to learn. I think it was John Updike, when he was young and just starting out, that used to keep a book of phases from other novelists that spoke to him. You never know when you’ll need a turn of phrase that could be simplified, and oh, look, this writing said it best, then by taking one of these sentences you’ve written down, modifying them, and making them your own. If you believe in the 10,000-hour rule (Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell), you too can be an expert, by just putting in the time, reading and writing.
A lot of these things you’ve probably already heard, but they bear repeating. I’m not an expert. Actual mileage may vary. That’s all I know, and it’s what I’ve learned from other writers. I think writing is like starting a self-exercise program. You use what you got, then you see what others do, modify it to suit what you like or can do, and eventually you make it your own. It might hurt you. It might make you stronger. You might try to get a coach to help you, but they can’t do the exercise for you. You need to make the effort and you can’t blame others for not having the time. MAKE THE TIME!

Besides my own Facebook page, I run an online writers support group writers at http://www.facebook.com/onlinecommunitywriters There you have a group of 500+ strong if you have a question, comment, or you can take advantage of the knowledge drawn from other writing websites. It has a blog site too http://www.onlinecommunitywriters.com . There you can download presentations, and other writing information.

WRITE? RIGHT! EJE

SUN!

little girl outdoorsThe day is beautiful.  There must be something redeeming in that statement but I’m afraid that means nothing while I’m sitting here inside.  I did a bunch of bitching when the weather was no so great.  Last winter was either ice or snow for the most part.  Technically we are still in spring, but it’s a lot more like summer out there and I’m here at home, only stepping outside to have a smoke.  The weather is beautiful.  No rain.  No hail.  The few clouds in the sky are afraid to even show themselves on a day like today.  Only the most brave and puffy are lingering in the spring fresh air.

Most of you are probably screaming through the monitor to get my butt from this house and get some sun.  I have the option of going to a pool for Chrissakes, but I’m still here typing.   Don’t get me wrong, I love the beautiful weather.  There something so simple as to get into my car and not have to worry about whether I will have to have a cover on my skin, or even have to trudge through feet of snow, dig out my car, and pray I don’t become the a tree’s worst nightmare, sliding out of control on ice.  Maybe it’s too beautiful.  Yeah, I’ve set it.  With a week of rain coming up in the forecast, I need to take advantage of this perfect day, or living with the Noah effect will make it all the more precious.

I’ve thought about it.  I really need to get out of here.  But here is my dilemma, what am I going to do?  With all these options what could I do? What would I want to do?  If I lived in Key West, I know what to do, go to the beach.  What else would you do?  Here in mostly landlocked Pennsylvania there really isn’t much to do.  I don’t want to spend money, for what?  Sun?  Most of the time it’s free, assuming there is enough sunscreen on you that you don’t wind up paying for it in the end.   I know that is just my negativity talking, but there is something to be said for stage 3 melanoma to ruin a guy’s day.

Sun has always been a component of my family; picnics, outside parties, etc.  It was the great gatherer; start the grill and they will come.  Hot and sweaty sizzling under the great orange ball in the sky was part of every childhood summer.  There was always a weekend holiday party to be present at.  Meeting the relatives.  Chowing down on food, going home, and lying in bed realizing kind of what it was like to feel like a lobster in a pot of boiling water.   I look back fondly, although at the time I was wonder what the fuck did I do to deserve all this itchy peeling skin in places I didn’t know I had.   If I wanted peeling skin, I could have avoided the sun and put rubber cement or Elmer’s glue on, wait for it to dry and then peel it off.   NO PAIN!

Cars are whizzing by, I can see though my window.   Trees are all green and smiling, are caressing the gentle breeze.  Joggers run up and down the hill next to me.  Squirrels jump and frolic in the high dandelioned grass, playing tag.  A bird just bumped my window.  Mosquitos are even on the job, sucking blood from unsuspecting naked arms and legs.  This could be a great memory.  I could be lying in bed later in the week, unable to get up because of the drearies brought on by the copious amounts of rain thinking of this time, when once I decided to step from the safety of my apartment, to bask in the rays of the great life giver in the sky.  I could, or I could just watch more television.

Spaghetti with Ketchup

english  handwritingI’m so frustrated, I could make spaghetti with ketchup.  Anyone that knows me that is like fighting words, vomit, or like finding out that McDonald’s is dropping the seasonal McRib sandwich again; there is anger, dismay,  a feeling of being out of control.  I’m all about the San Marzano tomatoes, a can of paste, and a cup of wine when I make spaghetti sauce.  Mangled pork, in any configuration, with plenty of barbeque sauce, onions, pickles, etc. should be on the menu all the time. The McRib is like the McDonald’s version of White Castle Hamburgers; I buy them by the sack!   Writing sometimes frustrates me to the point where I feel like I’m writing ‘spaghetti with ketchup’ instead of taking the time to make the good stuff.  It’s a challenge sitting at the computer, setting the focus of my mind, turning on the music, and go into another world for a while.  Writing is one of those things that can be described as agony and ecstasy. Guess what I’m feeling now?  It’s been a whole week since I’ve had the chance since I’ve put the preverbal ‘pen to paper’ but today I had some free time over lunch to go into my special world.  Most real writers have the cavalier attitude of ‘just do it’ and when I’m in that zone, I can crank out words as much as anyone.  Well, not anyone, but at least as good as average literate person.   I can spin a phrase or two and soon I’m looking at the bottom of the page ready to go on to the next.

I guess I’m a little concerned.  I’ve been revising my new novel Mariline, and I’ve been making some major changes.  Yes, it worked fine the way it was, but ‘fine’ is just not enough.  I want people to ask questions, wonder, want to rip off all their clothes, punch their neighbors, and scratch their head.  I threw out the last 10 chapters and rendered an entirely new ending.  I think it’s really come together.   I’ve cut scenes.  I’ve edited down others to make it streamline, accessible, and clean.   It gets right to the story, it doesn’t wait around for things to happen.  It has morphed from a scattered NANOWRIMO novel of three years ago, into some monster of a thing.   I think will make a statement, and that statement has an explanation point at the end of it, along with some choice verbs and nouns.   I have to say that because what kind of writer would I be without some braggadocio?

So between having to go the distance like a bloody and beaten prize fighter, and adding more pertinent scenes, I’m staring at a chapter trying to eke out some content. The flickering computer screen is filled with swirling words; some that make sense and others that are merely there as placeholders for others.  Like a sculptor or a painter, I see the medium before me, ready to get my fingernails dirty and my hands all full with slop, hoping not to pull or paint over the beauty and thus make it ugly, losing the meaning, the purpose, the value.

There is a tight rope a writer travels over when revising.  You need to keep fidelity to the story.  You need to keep it tight and clean.  But you also have to know when your poetic bullshit is too much, no matter how much you and the Gods have told you they love it.    Bring back McRIBS!!