"We are uncool. While women will always be a problem with guys like us, most great art in the world is about that very problem. Now, good-looking people, they got no spine. Their art never lasts. ... The only currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." --Almost Famous
"I don't think anyone knows what they really think--or perhaps even what they really know--until it's written down."
Ugh. Blogger has changed its format and way of publishing posts. That means every time I try to open one, I have to Unpublish it, and the date tries to screw me. Perhaps the gods want me to stop blogging every day.
I would be quite happy to oblige them, but how else would you find out about my butt crack problems and unrequited crushes?
Today was my early day, but when my alarm went off at 7:15, someone in the room said, "Eff this noise" and hit the Snooze button. Can't imagine who it was (honestly, do you know anybody else who would say "Eff this noise?"). But hey, it was still an early day for me.
I got some work done and went to Target--the greatest of the big box stores--and made myself some soup and drove over to the park to lay out my blanket and force myself to write. It was in the high nineties today, but not quite as hot as it has been. Out of self-destructive spite, I forced myself to take off my shirt and run up and down the stairs before I allowed myself to go home. And that was hard, not because of the stairs, but because of self-consciousness.
As far as the writing went, I thought I did pretty well (easily a thousand words), but when I did the word count just now, it was only 903. I also wrote two paragraphs of brainstorming how "Hatchling" could end,* but those don't count for word count.
Basically, the story is about two teenaged neighbors that discover an egg on a mountain and fall in love one Arizona summer. Yesterday, I started writing their first fight, and today I finished it, but it didn't go anywhere other than a brief moment where he was angry at her and she considered walking away, but decided to stick with him instead. Right now, I am thinking that they will break up once school starts, he will go through an endless procession of substitute girlfriends (he started out as a skinny thirteen year old and has somehow evolved into my Uncle John in less than a month), and she will go to the Homecoming dance with a backwards Rish Outfield-type boy in her Journalism class. Then a big fire on the mountain will happen (in October or so), and they put aside their break-up to go see if the hatchling is alright. And then . . . it just ends?
Like I said, that's just what I've been thinking about. Tuesdays are the days I go do my run while it's still daylight out, so I'll think about it while I suffer.
Wow, if anything, that was an understatement. It was rough today, but I did it, and that made me feel like a success. Got in a lot of sit-ups too. If only it was for some reason.
Sit-ups Today: 222 Sit-ups In August: 655
I went to my cousin's, and he had another of those energy drinks waiting for me, before I got sleepy. It was wise too, because we made it all the way through the evening, and then some, and when I got home (at 2:30), I wrote a little more, actually breaking up Rick and Talia, for the most spurious reason I can think of. No reason those two should be any happier than you or me, right?
Words Today: 1469 Words In August: 3157
*I think one of my goals for August is either to finish it or figure out its ending, I forget.
It should be against the Geneva convention to have to blog and write every single day. My alarm went off this morning with the sun just clearing the horizon, and my mom and I drove down to my aunt's new house, just a half-mile from my niece Cathexis's place, to unload their storage unit and put the stuff in the new place.
Luckily, my brother, my cousin, and eventually my uncle and other cousin all showed up to help lug stuff around, so it wasn't too exhausting. Too exhausting was the middle of the day, when I started to feel punchy and too tired/weak to pick up a watermelon that had rolled to the back of my mother's car's trunk.
Mondays are always the hardest days of work for me, and I just quit for the day (it's 11:13pm now) and am now facing this blank page of writing, hoping I can somehow manage to write something, but more so, hoping I can somehow care about it one way or another.
I tried. Only managed 280 words. I'm tempted to quit now, but I haven't done any sit-ups. Maybe that will fill me with energy or determination or something positive to get me through my tiredness.
Sit-ups Today: 222
Sit-ups In August: 433
I hope nobody saw me on my run tonight (doubtful, since it was past twelve-thirty when I went out), since I ran slower and stiffer today than I usually do. Sometimes I'll watch my shadow as I go, and wonder how dorky my running looks to the zero other people who might be watching. To me, it looks like Fat Bastard trying to run in the Forrest Gump leg braces, but your mileage may vary.
No, wait, I did get a cat-call a couple of weeks ago as a group of teenagers drove past. I'd claim it hurt my feelings, but it was the closest I've felt to a Generation Z since last noogie-ing my niece.
If you support me over on Patreon, you get an address every month, wherein I try to tell an interesting story and go over my goals for the month. Because each month (for me) is approximately four days long, I do these every week.
I'm going to list this month's goals here . . . because I hate you.
1. Write every day.
2. Do sit-ups every day. (easy) goal for August: 4000.
3. Publish "Three Time Visitor." (all I need is cover art)
4. Work on "Only Have Eyes For You" and figure out how it ends.
5. Put out Delusions of Grandeur "Star Wars Sequel" episode 1.
6. Put out FOUR Storage Unit Serenades. (I know you hate them, but they give me pleeeeeasure)
7. Finish "Hatchling."
I went into Walmart today, and actually saw one of those "Breaking News: I Don't Care" t-shirts I mentioned yesterday. It was on clearance and was even in a Medium. But I didn't buy it. Breaking news: the sentiment of that shirt sucks.
Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In August: 211
I may not make it. My aunt is moving into her new house tomorrow, and I'm supposed to be there at eight am to help with heavy-lifting. I just came back from my run, all sweaty and still wheezing when I breathe (not sure why I ever thought running was a good idea). I did some sit-ups, and I can't stop yawning, and even though I splashed water on my face, I'm still hot.*
I wrote a few words, but I am so very tired, I don't know if I can even get a hundred words.
I struggled for a half hour more, typing what I could, until finally, I deemed the fight fought, and embraced the (quite literal) pillow of resignation.
Words Today: 437 Words In August: 1090
*Oh, today was unBosskly hot out. I texted Big (who was at the beach) to tell him it was 105 degrees, and then had to text him an hour later when the thermometer read 108. Dude, it was so hot, that Rish Outfield turned on his air conditioning. And like his father, he would only use the air conditioner if the interior of his car were on fire.
Marshal Latham brought it to my attention that Drabblecast put out a Director's Cut version of 2014 episode "On A Clear Day, You Can See All The Way To Conspiracy" by Desmond Warzel.
There were twenty-two voice actors in the full-cast production, including me, and the astoundingly good Dave Robison as the main talk radio host, Mike Colavito.
I haven't words for how amazing this production is, my contribution notwithstanding.* Afterward, Mr. Warzel (please, call him Desmond--Mister Warzel is his father) talks about the story, and I found out I've been saying his name wrong all these years.
Yesterday my sister remarked to my mom that I am in the best shape she's ever seen me in (despite me being the complete opposite of fat when I was in my early twenties). That made me feel pretty good, but then she started in on how Tom Hanks is a murdering pedophile, and the good feelings took a sharp exit.
Today, everybody up and went to the park, which means I could write, I could blog, I could dance around wildly in my underwear (or less), or I could record some audio. Hmm. Think I'll actually do the audio thing for a while.
It's over a hundred out today, and I went for a drive, then stood in the sun talking to a guy on his porch about action figures (yes, my life is damned exotic sometimes). But now I'm sweaty and foul-smelling and uncomfortable, and the last thing I want to do is sit down and write. But perhaps that's when you need to write the most--when it's hard.
Well, it's 1:16am and I only have 408 words written. And it's glorious--I just don't care. Maybe, if I manage to scrape together two shits, I can make it to five hundred words today, but hey kids, like that shirt that my niece said everyone in her junior high wore announced:
Today, I posted both a Rish Outcast (on here) and a Patreon Address (on here) and recorded about seventy minutes of an audiobook. I'm gonna call that good enough.
It's the last day of July, and man, I wish I had something inspiring and profound to say. I wish I were a bigger person* and had one of those personalities that delights and encourages others. I wish I were somebody else . . . but since I can't be, I wish I could be the best me possible.
It's not that I'm particularly sad or anything right now. I'm just aware of my many shortcomings and the fact that, when it's all said and done, I've been unhappy more than I've been happy. If it all ended tomorrow, I doubt they'd kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me.
My three year old nephew insisted on "helping" me mow the lawn tonight, and then wanted to tell me goodnight just now, and honestly, that is something.
Two things, writing-wise: 1) I have to write just over 1400 words to make a thousand words a day average for July and 2) If I write today, it will have been fully half the year of writing every single day.
Well, it's ten pm, and I have only 334 words done. Quite a whimper to go out on.
Luckily, I stay up until two every night (and maybe later, if I have to). We'll see what I manage (Big said he's done twelve hundred words today, and that he won't die alone and unloved).
I talked to somebody today who revealed to me that they got COVID-19 back in March, and didn't tell anybody. "Yeah, my whole family got it." It was, anecdotally bad-ish, but not as bad as we've all been fearing ("My mom has asthma, and she was fine").** Now, every day since then is apparently Disneyland (but hey, between you and me, it already was--and I love Disneyland). "There was no throwing up. I'd rather have COVID again than the flu." The conversation was brief, but the point of it was that now that the disease is in the rear-view, it's a tremendous load off the mind, and having the antibodies are kind of like a superpower.
That conversation has echoed around in my head for the last nine hours. I cannot believe that I am jealous of somebody for having gotten sick.
I went on my evening run, and I decided not to stop or slow down, and though it made me a sweaty mess when I got back to the house, for those few minutes, I was the pilot of my own destiny.
Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In July: 4967
I considered sitting down and starting a new audio version of one of my stories tonight, but I made the mistake of looking at my word count for the month again, and thought I'd at least try to reach a thousand words today. I took a break at nearly two am, because I felt like everything I was writing (I somehow created a new potential lesbian love interest for Rick with absolutely no idea why or where it might be going--except as an excuse to break up Rick and Talia as a couple, which makes no sense because that's not what "Hatchling" was supposed to be about) was pointless and probably deserved to be cut out of the manuscript.
Writing can be hard, whether you plan out your stories or make them up as you go along like this one.
So I decided to write a scene that definitely WOULD be in the finished product, where Talia and Rick decide to let Kimono go, like the ending of every single boy-makes-wild-animal-his-pet movie you've ever seen. I wrote until two-thirty, pretty pleased with myself, and found I was only a hundred words away from making my goal. So, I wrote a couple more lines of dialogue, including the line "He agreed, deferring to her superior intellect," which sounds like I stole it from WRATH OF KHAN. And that took me over my thirty-thousand word goal.
So now, I can sleep.
Words Today: 1643 Words In July: 30,187
Oh, shit . . . there were thirty-one days in July. I still fail.
But only barely.
*Right, right, I'm eighteen pounds smaller than a year ago, but that's not what I mean.
**For some reason, I felt somehow slighted that I didn't know about this--since I could have had months of telling people someone I knew had contracted the virus, instead of waiting for my Cousin Jacob to get it in June and my Cousin Starlynn to get it in July.
I didn't get much accomplished here yesterday. I recorded my Patreon address, did some sit-ups, and drove to the top of the mountain where my Uncle Ali always claimed there was cellphone service. I'd never driven up there before myself, apparently. The road is a rocky, rutted, terribly un-level, un-stable winding thing, and I worried about my little car getting high-centered, or stuck in some of the grooves running water has made.
The road was so narrow that, had I encountered another vehicle coming down, there'd have been no room to scrape past each other, and when I finally found a cell signal, there was no place to pull off until I got to the top, where the road forked, and I just parked my car on the dirt road going still higher up the mountain (or to the other side, I'm not sure). There was indeed cell service, which is pretty amazing, and I exchanged texts with Big Anklevich, and sent one to my mom telling her the bad news.
I really do feel bad about this--not so much because this whole trip up here was for nothing (I did about twenty minutes of writing at about seven-thirty this morning that's more than I have in days), but because my mom will have to get new credit cards, a new ID, new checkbook, etc.. And you always wonder where the stuff actually is, if you'll stumble upon it at some point soon.
I went down the hill toward the sunset to take some pictures (didn't get much, just a couple of shots standing on a slope filled with yellow and purple wildflowers), and at one point a truck did come along, so I ran up to ask them if they were going where I had parked (they were going the other way). Up here is so remote, that no other vehicles did come along, though I could hear voices coming from somewhere, and I'm sure they heard me singing, and hopefully thought it was ghosts that happened to know Adele and Elton John songs.
As I often do, I thought it would've been pretty spectacular to come up here with a pretty girl, get some pictures of her with the golden light of sunset on her face and hair, maybe take a couple with the orange sky behind her. I wonder if that would ever get old, probably for her, but you never know. But alas.
I took four pictures from this angle, and all of them had the red swath down the left side. I'm going to chalk it up to forest spirits.
By the time I went back down the hill, going as slow as I possibly could over the rocks and bumps, it had gotten dark. Virtually all of the beauty of this place disappears in the dark (which is, ironically, the opposite of me), and I worried about popping a tire or damaging the undercarriage of my car (neither of which happened). When I got back, there was little to do but make a fire and cook some soup (I have about four fires' worth of cardboard packaging from Marvel Legends figures which I brought up here for the specific purpose of taking them out of their boxes and using the rest to warm my Campbell's with (although I think last night's fare was Progresso).
While I was typing this, three deer walked by the window--two adults and a fawn. I went out back to see if I could see any, considered sitting out and reading,* but it's still too cold this early in the day (I checked, and it's fifty-six degrees out right now). I think I'll have a donut and read on the couch for a few minutes--but I better not fall asleep again, or I'll have wasted the gift the early morning gave me.
Heh, heh, I DID fall asleep again, and not only once, but twice more throughout the day. That's the bad news. The good news was, I did find my mom's stuff, just not where she said it was, and at the end of the day when I was packing up my own things. So, silver lining, I think.
Sit-ups Today: 500
Sit-ups In July: 4867
I really did try today to do as many sit-ups as I could. Doesn't make a difference in the mirror, but hey, maybe they will make a difference in my mind.
Words Today: 1128 Words In July: 28,544
*I brought a big R.A. Salvatore book of his Icewind Dale Trilogy, and have been enjoying it, though it sure cribs a great deal from Tolkien. I suppose a lot of 20th Century Fantasy does, but I've not read much of it.
At the cabin again, though not really by design. Going to try to make the best of it--but coming here twice in five days is really excessive.
There's only three days left in July, and one of my goals was to publish "Three-Time Visitor." I know that, had I not come up here, I could've managed it. But would I have?
Probably not. Though I could have finished recording the audiobook, and focused on doing a cover before putting it out there. Tomorrow I'm going home, so I suppose I still could achieve that goal, if I really put my mind to it. If I did, then I'd have managed every goal I set for myself in July.
So, I looked all over as soon as I got here, and I couldn't find my mom's pocketbook and credit cards. I searched all over where she said she thought she'd left them, but no go. After typing this, I went up and lifted up mattresses, checking in drawers and in garbage cans, but they're simply not up there. That was the whole point of coming up here, and I feel surprisingly bad about it.
Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups in July: 4467
I was deleting old pictures off my phone this afternoon, and I came across this one I took a year back. It's a fairly-plain Toyota Camry I saw in a Walmart parking lot when I was driving to the cabin in July, except it had a large sticker across the rear bumper that said "One Less Lonely Girl" on it.
Unremarkable, except that I thought about it for a while, and before I left, I took a picture of it, because I wanted to imagine what it meant and who it might belong to. Maybe there's a story there--not that I ever wrote one--but I wish I could've asked her, because there's something Happily Ever After about it, probably because of the word "Less."
I wonder what I'd put on my own bumper (although I've had stickers over the years, including "You May Say I'm A Dreamer, But I'm Not The Only One," and "Hang Up And Drive," and one I made myself that said "Magneto Was Right." But I don't know how mysterious and touching those are, not compared to "One Less Lonely Girl."
Also, when I was in Vegas last week, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said "TRUMP 2020: Re-elect the mother-f**ker." Without the bleeps of course. I found it amusing, but the more that I thought about it, the more I thought it was a pro-Trump sticker rather than an anti- one, and probably the worst kind of his supporter: the type of personal that revels in his worst qualities, that takes his lies and childish behavior and bullying and profound lack of thoughtfulness and holds those up as reasons to like him. We all know the type.
I sort of wish I had taken a photo of that sticker. But I didn't.