Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 21 & 22

Alright, I really did it with these two.  Sigh.

I packed up a bag, got some lunch and my laptop, and drove down to the family cabin.  I'd never gone down there by myself before, and except for a run-in with a ginormous woodchuck (and perhaps a ghost*), it wasn't particularly terrifying.

Could've been, though.  I kept imagining people standing outside the windows (or inside the room with me), and there were noises I sort of had to convince myself to ignore (including one that sounded remarkably like some fingers tapping on the window behind where I sat reading).

I intended to go rowing, get some exercise that way, as well as podcast, edit audio, watch a video, and write.  I managed all but the first one.

July 21st.

After talking to Abigail Hilton, I started a new project, sitting down and sort of forcing myself to write an entire prologue before I would allow myself to watch the DVD I'd brought along.  That made me feel pretty good.

Words Today: 1332
Total Words: 8375

July 22nd.

Then, amazingly, I awoke nearly two hours earlier than I normally do, and more than a half hour before the alarm I'd set went off.  I wrote for a while before breakfast, made myself some sandwiches, went outside and recorded a Rish Outcast, then came back in and sort of forced myself again, this time writing until the end of a chapter of the YA novel I called "Balms & Sears" back when it was going to be a short story.

I'm pretty proud of all I accomplished, though of course, I could've done more.  If I had planned Friday better, I might've gotten an extra hour or more in at the cabin (instead, I drove a half hour out of my way so I could buy sandwich makings and a couple peaches that cost what a watermelon should), but Saturday was pretty productive.  I even had time to sit among the deer, hummingbirds, and squirrel-tarantula hybrids and read my book, which was nice.

I think I should do this again in August, just head down on a Friday, and come back sometime on Saturday.  In fact, I might have simply stayed the night tonight, had I brought another change of clothes and another DVD.   We'll have to see.

Words Today: 3173
Total Words: 11548

*I never did figure out what closed the door when I first arrived.  Let's just put it out of our minds.

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 19th & 20th

July 19.

I wrote close to nothing, choosing to write a blog post during my lunch hour, which the judges have decreed, does not count as word writing.

Guys, this is really hard.  I can't even say why.  Maybe it's the project I'm working on, maybe it's having taken a couple of months off, maybe it's the 100 degree weather outside (and in my pants). but I just can't motivate myself to REALLY buckle down and write.

I dunno.  July is, crazily, nearly done, and it looks like I won't even have ten thousand words accomplished this month.  Which, again, is better than five thousand or no thousand, but it just doesn't feel like it did in February and March, where my novellas practically wrote themselves, and I had the strength to throw in short stories between them.  It may be that "A Mark on the Sky" and "10,000 Coffins" were better stories than "Taste the Blood" and "Balms & Sears," both of which are stalling on me.

I dunno, a real writer would just finish both of them and do better next time.*

I heard my nephew screaming outside today, and went out to see what was the matter with him.  He had fallen down and his brother said there was something wrong with his arm.  Turns out the child had broken his collarbone.  That was pretty awful.  He's a good kid; should've happened to me instead.

Just think how much writing I'd get done then.

Words Today: 192
Total Words: 6523

July 20th.

Okay, we're hitting the last third of the month now.  I do hate counting words, so the last few "writing" sessions have all been on computer. 

Today, I went to the library again, and made myself sit and try to work out the logic/time flaw I found in "Mark on the Sky."  It MAY have been as easy as just having one conversation happen on Thursday and the other conversation happen on Friday.  I imagine I'll have to do one more revision, once it's all done, but for now, I think that solves most of the problem.

Due to that, I did get quite a few words in today.  Happy about that.

All day today I was thinking about my dad's cabin in the woods, and how I always wanted to go there, by myself, and write and edit audiobooks and maybe podcast.  At this moment, I'm about 60% determined that I will do that tomorrow afternoon: just drive down, spend the night, and come back at some point on Saturday.

I think, if I were a real, dedicated writer (what I keep hitting on this whole damned post), I would do that.  It won't cost much more than a half tank of gas, and I'd probably also get a hundred pages of reading done.

Alright, I'm now 65% sure I'll go.

Words Today: 520
Total Words: 7043

*I was editing the interview I did with Abigail Hilton tonight (instead of writing) and I got to the part where she mentions, pretty casually, that she wrote a 80-90 thousand word novel in three weeks recently.  And I seem unlikely to reach a tenth of that.  It makes me pretty disgusted with myself. 
I had a conversation once with someone about the future, where he was talking about how much money there was to be made selling on eBay, and that one day he would quit his job and just do that, instead of just selling things in his spare time.  I was impressed.  "How many items do you have on eBay right now?" I asked, thinking the number would blow me away. 
And it did: he had zero items up for sale at that time.  He just never got around to it, he told me.
Who's the real monster here, I have to ask myself.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 16, 17, 18

Sigh.  I'm getting tired of this whole blogging thing.  Yeah, I've been writing every day.  No, I haven't been writing a lot. 

16th.

I wrote a tiny bit in my notebook during the day, and that's all I managed.

But . . . this was another case of insomnia being my friend.  I woke up around five am, and couldn't go back to sleep.  I was just laying there, like a beached whale, thinking about how I ought to be writing but I was too lazy, and finally, I forced myself to get up and grab the first thing handy (an envelope), and wrote on it until it was filled.  By then, the sky was going from black to blue, so I went to sleep, happy I'd done more than just be a beached whale.

Words Today: 1301
Total Words: 5855

17th.

I sat and typed for a little while today.  Not a lot.

Words Today: 389
Total Words: 6244

18th.

Nothing so far.

Got a rejection letter from a magazine for a story (one I wrote specifically for them, so that's either supremely sad, or a supreme waste of my time).  It hasn't totally bummed me out, just a little.  If I were a tougher, more balanced human being, I'd be thinking, "Well, now I can self-publish the story, and make a buck or two on it."

Glass is halfish empty-ish, I guess.

Words Today: 87
Total Words: 6331

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

R.I.P. George A. Romero

I went to the Beverly Center mall in 2004 with my friend Matthew after work one afternoon. We weren't going to buy anything--we had no money--but wandering around the mall was a good way to kill a couple of hours, look at girls, and talk. Up on the third floor was a movie theater--a fairly crappy one I think I only ever saw one film at in all the years I lived in Los Angeles. But eventually we went up there, and I saw a familiar face walking around.

"Is that George Romero?" I asked.

"Who?"

"George A. Romero. He's the director of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD."

"Uh, how the heck would I know?" (Matthew tended not to use profanity)

I watched the old guy a moment. The same super-thick glasses, the same tan vest, longish grey hair. Yeah, I was pretty sure it was him.

The man basically had a costume that made him recognizable.
So I went up. "Mr. Romero?"

He turned. He didn't acknowledge that that was him.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

"Just visiting. Seeing a movie." He had an assistant with him, standing impotently by (after all, Romero towered over a skinny-fat kid like me), jarred that someone knew who his boss was.

"I wondered if you saw the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD."

He nodded. "Sure."

"And what did you think?" I was genuinely curious. It was a pretty good film, but it was no 1978 version.

He paused, shrugged, and said, "Why would you care what I think?"

I don't know if that meant he hated it and didn't wish to say so, or had been asked that question too many times, or what. But that's my big George Romero memroy--actually running into him in a mall.

Romero is the creator of the modern zombie mythos--now a billion dollar industry. Director of CREEPSHOW, THE CRAZIES, NOTLD, DAWN, and DAY OF THE DEAD (all remade in the past decade or so?), I saw Romero speak once, on Fantasy in a series of lectures at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Hollywood, where he spoke about his career and influences.  And you know, he stayed afterward and signed autographs for everyone who wanted one.

 He'd always sign "Stay scared, George Romero."  I've got it on a couple DVDs and a poster, and saw him recently at a San Diego show where he was promoting a comic book series about, you guessed it, the living dead.


As recently as this year, I went to a comic-con panel and asked if Romero would be ever recognized, (during his lifetime or after) as the creator of the modern zombie.  The panelist said, "Fuck yeah!  He totally is!" which was exuberant, but didn't answer my question.
Well, now the man is gone, and it's hard not to make some kind of comment about that fact and his greatest creation.

There was not much media coverage of his death (at least to me)--he was seventy-seven, died of lung cancer, and it's too bad. If not for the unfortunate snafu causing NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to be declared in the public domain, he might have had some kind of recognition (and dollar signs) as the father of the ghoul/flesh-eater zombie, and I always wondered if he'd be one of those guys only appreciated after he was gone.

Maybe I'll find out now.

Here's George signing my CREEPSHOW poster.  He laughed when I told him I was too young to see it, but my mom rented it because it looked like a comic book movie.
Stay cool, George.  We'll stay scared.

Rish Outfield

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Podcast That Dares 19: The Big Goodbye

This is my essay about the parting of the ways between Big Anklevich and me, in podcast form.  Also, Fake Sean both helps and hinders.



As always, Right-Click here to download the sound file.

What follows is the text/blog post version of the above podcast, which should be close to word-for-word.


***

June 5-7th, 2017

So, there may be a bit of T.M.I in this one, but probably not a great deal.  I may have to ask Sir Fake Sean to assist me on a couple of points, but then, he may not be necessary.  Is he ever necessary?  Tee hee, now he knows how it feels.

So, this has been an interesting year for me, 2017.  I was a real writer (ie, I wrote every day) for a couple of months, and was blown away by how much I accomplished.  I've been making weekly trips to my childhood home to work and maintain it, which has been kind of surreal, though sometimes enjoyable.  My friend Jeff went away to Germany, then came back to attend his son's high school graduation, left again, came back to attend his other son's college graduation, went away, then came back, collected his wife and daughter, and actually left for good (though the yo-yoing had had the effect of making it never seem particularly real any of those times).

And now, Big Anklevich, my podcasting partner and cohort, has loaded up the truck and moved to Bever--Houston, moved to Houston.  And that's a bit more abrupt, since he quit his job on Friday, on Monday I helped him move boxes, and on Wednesday, he was driving into the sunset.  Although the sun sets in the west, according to my Travis Tritt collection, so he was driving away from the sunset when he went.  I dunno, maybe he took the scenic route.

It's strange to lose two friends like that in so short a time.  Jeff, I imagine, I'll still see from time to time, since he left his parents and two sons here, and we never did finish watching "Supernatural."  Big's wife got a job at the Houston-based wing of her company (a promotion, I do believe, which is nice), and while Big was worried about not having a job in Texas, he did apply for a Houston TV editing job, and I hope that he gets it.*

Big was here when I moved here, my tail not only between my legs, but partially run over and hanging by messy tendons, my attempt to make it in Hollywood not only a failure, but a cautionary tale told in every institution with a film program and held up as the anti-La La Land when young people dare to dream beyond their little backwoods upbringing and middle-class origins.

While Big and I met in college, we didn't really become friends until after (he was one of those guys who would corner me in the hall, and slap me with my own flailing arms, going, "Don't hit yourself, don't hit yourself!" until I proclaimed him king (or queen) of the school.  You know, I don't know that I ever got an apology about that.  Through emails we achieved some sort of weird friendship, and when I became persona non grata in Los Angeles, he told me he could get me a job at his TV station.

Of course, when I became persona ditto non grata there, he was the one who told me I could either quit or possibly serve jail time for inserting a shot of raw meat during a story about Jared Leto.  But after that, we stayed close, started a podcast together, and aired an average of three episodes a year ever since.  It became a tradition to go over to his house on Sunday nights to hang out and record, and then when his wife got a crazy night job, it became Monday nights, which continued up until this week.

This Monday, I went down to my ancestral home (I like saying that even though it was built in 1977) to mow the weeds, then I hopped in my dad's old pickup truck and drove to Big's house, volunteering to fill it with trash I'd take to the dump for him, and ending up staying a while to help him move furniture (including a massive, unwieldy treadmill that not only refused to go where we wanted it to, but dug a huge divot in the wall of the stairwell as we were trying to get it from the basement to the moving van--unsuccessfully, despite the destruction, I might add).**  Big had four piles of items from his house: stuff to give to his sister, stuff to take to Houston, stuff to donate to the thrift store an hour away, and stuff to throw out.  All of the latter stuff we loaded into the bed of my dad's truck, including all the food Big's wife emptied out of their freezer, and covered it with a big mattress so it wouldn't blow away.

We were sweaty and dirty, and my back hurt just from the couple of hours I helped Big carry and load stuff . . . I can't imagine how bad his hurt, since he had been doing that all day, and the day before.  I meant to get back to my hometown right away, to make it to the junkyard before it closed (I texted my brother asking what time it closed and he still hasn't gotten back to me), but knowing this was the last time I'd be seeing Big Anklevich, I hung around longer, until the buyers of Big's house were coming over to look at the place (I wonder what their reaction was to discovering a huge hole in the wall of the stairs that hadn't been there before), and his family had to vacate it.  So Big and I went over and got dinner, talking a little more, before I finally decided I needed to head home, realizing it was too late to go to the dump and I'd have to another day.

The old country road I took to get to his house I hadn't driven in more than a decade, during the visit to his house when there was the terrible snowstorm that inspired my story "Stormy Weather, and it is basically a forty mile stretch of road alongside farmland and empty rolling hills on one side, and a lake on the other.  There is Big's town (now ex-town) and then nothing until you get to the village next to the village where I grew up.  About a third of the way through the drive, there was an insanely loud boom under the truck, and not having experienced that before, I guessed it had either been an aerosol can exploding or one of the big garbage bags from the freezer popping.  It freaked me out, but there was no change in the truck, so I shook it off and kept driving. 

About ten minutes later, there was a bit of seizing in the truck's engine, and then a second loud boom, this one only turning half my hair white, since I was a bit more prepared for it than the first.  It felt like it came from underneath the truck, not from the engine or the bed of the truck.  My dad's Ford is a 1971, and he had it my whole life, changing out virtually every single part of it over the years, but I was getting nervous now.  That sound could not be normal, could not be right.  I decided to slow down a little, just in case I was overworking the truck, but the temperature gauge (which was a new addition in the last five years) claimed the overheating was not the problem.

I was halfway home now, and while I was nervous about it, I kept on driving, worried that I might not make it back.  Of course, the fact that the truck kept lurching every minute or so, as though there was no gas in the tanks (which there was, I was pretty sure), kept me from enjoying the no-radio, no-air conditioning, no-scenery drive through no-man's land.  The jerking of the truck increased in frequency, and I started shifting it into Neutral any time there was a downhill slope, hoping that it wasn't the transmission trying to go out.  I slowed down even further now, having discovered that the lurching only occurred in fourth gear . . . but soon it happened in third gear too.

And second.  Every minute or so, there would come the loud boom under the truck (though none were as startling as the first two were now), and once I could only go about twenty miles per hour, I decided I should pull the truck over and let it sit a while, just in case I had overtaxed the old Ford.  I had entered mosquito country, and what can only be described as a swarm of them filled the vehicle and I was forced to roll up the windows and spend my breaktime smashing them.

By now, the sun was setting and I should have made it back, even going under the speed limit.  The back road was fairly untraveled, with, I believe, only two vehicles passing me in all the time I was driving/coasting so slowly.  My dad's truck has two gas tanks, so I did switch from one to the other, just in case that was the problem (doubtful as that seemed, though I thought that kind of seizing of the vehicle could be due to air bubbles in the gas line, that guess based on nothing and no experience).

I got the truck started just fine, pulled out of the little entrance to a ranch where I had parked it, and got back on the road.  I got it up to about fifteen miles per hour before it began seizing and booming, reminding me of a non-charming version of the noises a Model T made when it was starting up in old TV shows.  Now there was no chance of getting it up into fourth gear.  Unlike the times before, the engine actually started to die on me as I was driving.  I'd shift into Neutral, turn the key again, and get it started, only to have it die on me again a block or two down the road. 

I pulled it over into the soft-shoulder, probably a mile or less from where I'd last pulled it over.  I didn't know what I would do, because there is no cellphone service in my little town, let alone out in the boonies where I was currently stranded.  But I flipped on my phone and . . . weird, there was a signal.  Maybe like the singer of "You Sexy Thing," I too believed in miracles.  I called my brother, asking his advice about the truck.  He didn't know (which vexed me, as I had assumed my brother inherited my father's knowledge of all things mechanical), and suggested I call my aunt (who lives less than a block from where I grew up) and see if she would come and pick me up.

As I hung up, my phone began to ring.  You see, my sister had driven down to the ancestral home to steal gas*** and seeing my car there, had wondered what became of me.  She had left and driven to where there was cellphone service, and called me, worried that maybe Dad's truck had broken down on me.  You see, she told me, that truck used to break down on my dad all the time, and he'd either have to walk or hitch a ride back to town (the man did not believe in cellphones, unlike the singers of "You Sexy Thing," not that there was service in our part of the county).

Well, I tried the truck again, got it to drive a hundred feet or so, seizing and booming, until I pulled it off onto the soft shoulder in a place where I thought a tow truck could fit (not that I had much choice).  My sister was turning around, going back to where there was no cell service, and would call me again once she reached that back road where, amazingly, she would be able to call and look for me.  It was full dark now, and I sat in the truck with the hazard lights on, swatting mosquitoes and pondering what I would have done had there been no cellphone service.  Guess I would have walked, hoping someone would come along, being sucked dry by a zillion bloodthirsty insects, or if nobody picked me up, knocked on the first house I found, hoping they'd let me use their telephone.

My sister found me eventually, and we called a tow truck, choosing to have them come the following day instead of at night when the rates were higher.  My sister drove me to the ancestral home, where I was a bit too exhausted to do much more than edit Abbie's book before falling asleep on the couch, but setting my alarm to wake me up after half an hour.

I woke and got in my car and drove home, arriving a little after two am, when I had intended to be home by seven pm or so. 

I told my mom about the truck, and she was worried about how much it would cost to fix it (and really, at this point, is any amount low enough to fix a 1971 Ford pickup truck?), I was worried about all the garbage in the back.  My worry increased when the temperature rose to 98 degrees the next day, and to 100 degrees the day after.   Yikes, to say the least.

Big was having car troubles of his own--he'd had a van in the shop pretty constantly over the last two weeks--and the most recent problem didn't look like it would be fixed in time for them to leave for Texas with it.  He talked to the mechanic--the same one he'd been paying to fix his vehicles for what seemed like a month--and that guy told him he was too busy to work on the van . . . but he still expected to be paid for taking a look at it.

Big told me that, because they couldn't very well leave without one of their primary vehicles, we might get together again, just to go to a movie or eat something good and greasy (in another life, we'll open a restaurant together called Good 'n Greasy, and get the same kind of glares from the tofu crowd that I give that creepy business called Fetal Fotos.  Shudder.

Ultimately, though, the new mechanic wanted so much to fix the van that Big and his wife decided to just abandon the thing and look for something better when they got to Houston.  So he drove off, family in tow, and sent me a text to let me know he was on his way.

Oh, and he also sent me a text a day later to mention that their other vehicle broke down and they were stuck in Albuquerque trying to get it fixed.  Seems like neither of us has a way with our four-wheeled friends.

This has been a bit of a ramble (this particular blog is the place for it, though, wouldn't you say?). I don't know what will happen with Big living in Texas and me . . . well, does what I currently do count as living?

Big has assured me that the podcasts (Dunesteef and That Gets My Goat) will continue, and that we will re-commence our traditional Monday night get-togethers, except now via Skype.  I'm not sure how that will work, since we always met somewhere convenient after he got off work, ate some food, and talked before even considering recording anything.  And we had, for the last few weeks, forced ourselves to write, side-by-side, which was practically the only writing either of us got done on some weeks.  I doubt we'll do that via Skype.

It will be interesting, I guess.  Big is sure to make new friends and me, well, that's pretty unlikely for me, but I may focus on my writing or get loads of new audiobook assignments.  Either one might be nice.  Regardless, this is the end of an era, that point where things are changing and you romanticize what came before, regardless of how bright the future is.

So, there you go.  A bit of a ramble, I realize, but like I said, this is a place for ramblings.  And, like I said, who knows what's around the corner?

Handjobs for everyone!

Rish Outfield

*Aside One.  So, I've talked about the pseudo-term I've named "Fradenscheude," where you are displeased by the success of your friends, and applied it to my one-time roommate Chris writing two widely-released movies in two weeks last August.  But I can apply it to Big as well.  I thought he was not appreciated and/or treated well by his job here in non-Texas, and I think anybody would agree with me, considering he put thirteen years of his life into it and never got a promotion or an award or a single handjob, but if he went off to the Lone Star State and suddenly, people recognized his talent and hard work, and he became a huge success . . . I suppose I would resent him for it. 
I dunno.  I like to think I'm bigger than that (no pun intended), but I've talked about my work friend Austin, and his immense talent as an artist before, right?  Well, almost from the moment I discovered he could paint, I encouraged him to put his stuff out there, to get a booth at a comic-con and sell copies of his work, or at least make a few prints and sell them on eBay, and it was hard enough to get him to finish a painting, let alone put it out there for people to buy and/or judge.  But finally, as of this week, Austin is doing it.  One of the little cities around here has an annual art festival (which, aside number two, once showcased a drawing I did of a sasquatch molesting my Great Auntie Gretchin, but my artwork was so bad, they just thought it was a hunter shotgunning a grizzly bear [true story]), and Austin bit the bullet and got a booth to sell prints of his mostly Lego-related paintings.
Aside Number Three.  I hate it when people refer to "Lego" as the plural form of lego rather than "Legos."  It's just one of my pet peeves, and I don't care if that's the way it works in Danish or Swedish or Romulan or whatever language-speaking people invented the Lego.  Oh, and before, when I said "true story," that totally wasn't a true story.  I did a drawing of my dad shooting a deer, not a sasquatch, and I never had a Great Auntie Gretchin, though I refer to her often.  Sorry.
So, Austin set up his booth and I was proud of him, and told him to mark my words, he'd sell so many prints he'd have to send his wife to make more copies while he manned the booth, signing prints and making change and fending off handjob offers.  Oh, that's my second handjob reference in this essay.  By comedy rules, one more will be coming, though I'll have to switch it up.
I took my nephews to the carnival and celebration yesterday, partially so I could excitedly try to get them to ride the Zipper with me, the world's greatest carnival ride (if my summer 1992 memory is correct, that is)--which they refused to do, by the way, sigh twice and shame the devil--but also so we could check out Austin's booth and give him a little moral support.
And the poor guy had only sold one print that whole day . . . to a guy from work who only did it out of pity.  How terrible, especially since I had been the one to push Austin on, practically begging him to take the plunge of selling his work.  Oh, and another lie I just told, I know Ben, the guy who bought the print from Austin, and he is literally incapable of pity (or any positive emotion, unless self-righteous pride counts), so I don't know why he bought the print.  Regardless, Austin may or may not make enough on his art to pay for the booth, let alone end up knee-deep in twenty dollar bills and teen girls' phone numbers.
Which is a roundabout way of me saying that I want Austin--and my buddy Big Anklevich--to be successful, I just don't know how I would feel if it happened.  One more aside: I went to a panel at the last writers conference where a woman talked about mentoring a young writer with their first book, giving tons of notes, introducing the writer to an agent, only to have that first book scooped up and bought by a major publisher for a six figure pricetag.  The woman told the story with a smile on her face but not in her eyes, expressing that that sort of thing will happen, and you have to be tough enough to keep on keepin' on even if it's not you that gets the book contracts and/or handjobs.
Boy, I really like using and/or, don't I?

**Aside, what, eleven now?  Somehow Big and I were able to carry this gargantuan thing down his stairs when he first moved into the house, only gouging the walls twice.  This time, however, we simply could not get it up those stairs, either hitting the railing, or smashing fingers, or actually embedding it in the aforementioned hole in the drywall.  I once wrote a story ("Don't Tread On Me?" I may have called it, though that title sucks . . . let me go check.  [Okay, Aside Twelve: it was called "Run Into The Ground," which is a much better title.  I'm proud of you, boy]), about a woman who buys a second-hand treadmill, only to become possessed by the spirit of the previous owner.  That evil treadmill was only slightly more malevolent than Big's own.  Heck, I was probably inspired by the Anklevich treadmill to write the damn story in the first place.

***Okay, last Aside.  This probably sounds mean to say, especially since she's my sister and she rescued me.  But my dad had these big tanks of Unleaded gasoline in the backyard just waiting for the day when Barack Obama came to take everyone's guns away, and my mom had decreed that they could only be used for when people came down to do work on the house.  My brother announced that, if my sister drove down with the sole purpose of filling up her gas tank for free, that that would be considered stealing the gas, hence my use of the term.  My apologies.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 14th & 15th

I hate to say it, but we're halfway through the month.  And that means . . . ah heck, I don't know what it means.  I'm a step closer to death is all.

July 14.

I held on to a bit of my sickness from the day before today, so I slept and read more than I wrote (though I did grab my notebook and force myself to scratch out a paragraph before getting to work on my blog [which was five days behind], adding up the numbers and still being a bit distressed that all my writing this month [including an Author's Note that might not technically even count as writing] barely equal a short story).*

Maybe I can set a bigger goal for August.

Words Today: 128
Total Words: 4412

July 15.

A "friend" of mine on Facebook reported their writing achievement for today, and it was more than I have managed all month.  To that I say . . .

Well, let's keep profanity out of this.

I went to the library for a few minutes before it closed, and typed a couple more pages on my novella from earlier in the year.  Last time I typed up an additional scene I had jotted down in the margins, then today I reached the point where I put a little box with INSERT SCENE in it.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really work with the narrative as a whole, and it either comes too early in the relationship, or it is the same scene a later conversation covers.  I will have to figure out a way to make it work, which is a part of writing I don't particularly enjoy.

Oh yeah, and in the library, there was an attractive young woman walking by with a tight grey t-shirt on that said, "Taco Tuesday!" on it. I admit that her boyfriend/husband caught me staring at her chest and gave me the stink-eye. But the thing is, on her shirt, under "Taco Tuesday!" there was a picture of a slice of pizza.



Words Today: 142
Total Words: 4554

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 12th & Unlucky 13th

July 12.

So, I forced myself to write to the end of my "Journey Into..." story, which clocks in at around 18,000 words.  I suppose it will be the next thing I publish, if I ever get/make cover art for it.

Words Today: 378
Total Words: 3990

July 13.

Today is probably as evil a day as Arbor Day (though not as bad as Febrary 14th), but it also gave us the birth of both Harrison "Get Off My Plane" Ford and Patrick "Poop Emoji" Stewart.  I mostly did what I wanted on that day (including, sadly, drinking three Pepsis instead of my usual one), including watching CIVIL WAR with my nephews (probably gonna take them to see SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING this weekend), but I did drive over to the library and work for an hour.

Unfortunately, I got mildly sick later (maybe three Pepsis is too much for anyone), and ended up laying down for the evening, and falling asleep hours earlier than I usually do (which had the positive effect of me waking up two hours before my alarm the next morning, and getting work done before I would have normally woke up).

Words Today: 294
Total Words: 4284

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 10th & 11th

July 10.

In case you're just joining me . . . well, you've missed nothing.

I'm writing every day in July, and keeping a record of my word count.  So far, my output has been slightly better than shameful.

Still, today wasn't so bad.  I took my notebook with me to lunch, and stayed an extra couple of minutes to finish a paragraph (this is on my YA story), and at the end of the day, I sat and wrote on the other project.

Words Today: 600
Total Words: 2729

July 11.

I had to drive down south and work today.  I didn't get much done, but I did sit and write for a few minutes.  Not a lot, but . . .

Oh wait, what's this?  I couldn't sleep at night, so I decided to write a bit more between three and four am.  Maybe it's all gibberish, but it's still gonna count as words.

Words Today: 883
Total Words: 3612

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 8th & 9th

July 8th.

So, I went to the library again today.  I was going to be a real writer!  But seven or eight minutes after I sat down, a voice announced that the library would be closing in fifteen minutes, and the lights went on and off.  I tried hard to write for the next ten, but then they announced it would be closing in five minutes, and they actually sent employees around to harass anyone who was still on the second floor. 

Darn.  Kinda makes me wish I hadn't spent the first fifteen minutes at the library on the toilet.

I finished editing another Outcast episode, this one due to hit toward the end of August.  When I got to the end, I realized it was going to be about ninety minutes long, so I decided to split it in two.  Maybe that's crass of me, but I walked around the block and recorded about twenty more minutes for it so the two episodes will be about an hour each.  Hopefully somebody feels that's extra content, instead of being ripped off.

Words Written: 196
Total Words: 1921

July 9th.

Nothing to report here. Yeah, I wrote, a little. All it would've taken was a teensy bit of extra effort, and I would've been finished with JIADVAPNATSR (that's "Journey Into Another Dimension..." for you sane folks). Then who knows what I could go on to achieve?

The world may never know.

Words Written: 208
Total Words: 2129

P.S. I thought about Dan Hedaya today, just before posting this, thinking about him (specifically, how Alicia Silverstone was supposed to have been the fruit of his loins in CLUELESS), and a bit sad he died, remembering seeing him in a "Person of Interest" shortly before . . . his passing?

But . . .

I doubted my memory, and looked it up.


DAN HEDAYA IS ALIVE!

You're welcome.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Rish Outcast 77: Here Comes the Rain Again

Rish decides to podcast during a rainstorm.  When that fails, he talks about narrating Abigail Hilton's new book.  Also, Fake Sean discovers that being's believing (whatever that means).




Don't know why you'd wanna, but you can download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.

Want episodes early, and various bonus content? Support Rish via his Patreon. Hey, it's better than genocide.