Thursday, April 18, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 49 (4/18)

I’m at the library again today (first time this week), and our friendly neighborhood homeless man is in his usual seat, either sleeping and snoring . . . or breathing as Darth Vader would after taking a lightsaber to the junk.  It’s really quite disturbing, and reminds me of the Stephen King story “Gramma,” where a little boy is left alone with his dying grandmother and her raspy breaths terrify him and light his imagination on fire.  Apparently, one of King’s earliest memories was the sound his own grandmother made as she lay dying in her bed, and he mined it for that story (which, coincidentally, shares its ending with at least three of my own stories.  Coincidentally, did I say?).
Abbie Hilton posted on Facebook this week that she finished one of her novels, after a day of writing that produced over five thousand words.

Five thousand.  We could almost buy our own ship for that.
It would be impressive if I could manage five hundred today, but instead, I’m blogging away, like I actually make money from it.*

I'll have to compare the "Misery" file from yesterday to the one from today to decide how many words I wrote. 

Sigh.  I don't really want to do that.  Do I have to?

Words Today: 1317
Words Total: 34,194

Actually, that's quite good.  I think I'll do this again at least once a week.  Until I stop.

*I told Big yesterday about Abbie’s accomplishment, and I told him that I couldn’t produce 5000 words in a single day if I was paid ten dollars a word.  He, being a bit more pragmatic than me, thought that he could, and I wonder if he’s right.  It seems to me that, if you were capable of writing that much in a day, surely you would have done so by now, say, on a day back in 2013 when you were feeling super inspired.  If you haven’t ever done so before . . . I just don’t think you’re capable.  It would be like George R.R. Martin finishing a novel in less than a decade.  And they DO pay him ten dollars a word.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 48 (4/17)

Only 175 words today, but I'm fine with that.  I was very tired, and really only wrote a bridge scene between two chapters/sections in the Lara/Witch story, since I had, for some reason, finished one day's writing in the middle of a sentence, and picked up the next day's with a new chapter.

But hey, those 175 words are important, because I'm not quite talented enough of a writer to just end a chapter in the middle of a sentence, and have the reader just assume I was making some artistic statement by doing it that way.

For gits and shiggles, I created a YouTube page a couple of years back (or it might have been more recently, I honestly can't remember), and figured I'd put up a few Fake Sean Connery songs or sketches on there.  I had recorded a couple of Stephen King stories that I shared with a few people, and thought I'd post them on there too, since you can be a fan of him and not a fan of me, and I figured others might enjoy them.

And I've gotten a bunch of compliments, and some encouragement from folks to do more.  And while I'd LIKE to do more, there are other priorities, and recording fiction I do not own or have permission to do is way down the list.*  Having said that, I enjoy performing good stories, I am a fan, and (editing notwithstanding) I like being a narrator.

I've got a page on gmail that lets me know whenever there are new comments on my videos, and I check it every other day or so.  When I have comments, they're (nearly) always on the Stephen King stories, and while I'd be happier if "Tales of eBay Horror" were getting all the views, I'm good with strangers listening to my readings.

But having strangers check out my "videos" has its drawbacks too.  And today, I was surprised to find not one but two negative comments about my narrations.  One simply said the reading was weak, which I don't love to hear, but I could shrug off as being in reference to a story they didn't like.   The other, however, leaves no such wiggle room. 

This comment was directed at me, personally, and said that he just couldn't get though my narrations, that he hated my pacing and cadence, and--

You know what, why am I giving this a second thought, let alone writing a blog post about it?  Yeah, I'm a sensitive little flower, but who cares what one person (or two) thinks?  I happen to enjoy my narrations, they're not monetized, and if people don't like 'em, they can skip to something else. 

I need to not read the comments anymore.  Obviously.

Oh, and--

Yeah, that's supposed to be Mrs. Bates giving the finger.  Sorry for any confusion my editing skills may have created.

On the writing front, at the end of the night (again), I halfheartedly (again) spewed forth a few words, not feeling inspired or ambitious or that the work I was creating was particularly inspired (again).  But even so, writing every day makes those numbers go up and up, even on a supremely weak day like today.

Words Today: 175
Words Total: 32,877
Amount of Time Wasted On Finger Image: 46 minutes

*I did fear, initially, that the content would get flagged and I would, I dunno, have my YouTube page shut down, or that SS officers would appear at my door or something.  But I was encouraged when I saw there were actual, professionally-produced audiobooks just STUCK up on YouTube pages, and those were not being taken down.  So, my attitude has been, if these are stories that don't exist in Official audio form (old or obscure stories, for example), then I'd go ahead and post them, because the only other way to hear them would be to record them yourself.  Maybe not a legally-binding mindset, but the one I've chosen to live with.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April Madness - Day 47 (4/16)

The day is going to come (and unless I start a new project I'm really excited about, that day will be soon), when I look at this daily writing activity and declare it at an end.  Because I can't keep it up forever, and a huge part of me doesn't even want to.  For, I dunno, every day but one of 2019, I have worked on podcasts (or audiobooks, or audiodramas), and it can really be draining*, both physically, and to the creative muscles.

This blogging thing will have to end too, and I'm sure both of us will be happy about that.

But I can be proud of the words I have managed to put to paper (or pixels), and I'll probably give you a post-mortem where I talk about what I accomplished, and if you'll ever end up seeing any of it.**  And if I can finish "Balms and Sears" before this ends (spoiler alert: I won't), that would be a second novella completed, and more importantly, a second novella that probably would never have gone anywhere without this push.  And that'd be something.

No words today yet.  I did sit down with my notebook this afternoon, but before I even got a single word jotted (instead, I counted the words from the last two writing sessions, which is even less fun than it sounds!), it was time to go, so I'll have to make time for it later (if I can).

I mailed a package to a woman named Cassandra Scull today.  And wow, I think that name is cool.  It's "skull," but with a c, like that exoticizes it somehow.  I called Big up and suggested we write a story with her name in it, as we have in the past with a couple of names like that.  Then, to make matters worse, I got on Facebook, and said the same thing, encouraging people to post their pitches for a story or movie starring someone named Cassandra Scull.

This was the result:

Nobilis Reed wrote:
Undead prophetess has been hired by Hydra, now all the superhero attacks are coming up with nothing because the bad guys bug out before the heroes get there. Heroes lay a trap but the bad guys know about it beforehand.
The heroes have to recruit all the loose cannon unpredictable rogues to form a team to take her out.

Dave Wallace wrote:
Scion of a great family well known for a fortune made off a stolen paper towel patent, Cassandra turned her back on family politics and rituals. She longed to be a simple army cook slinging ground beef on toast, alas her seven-toed feet were too wide for boots. They were perfect natural snowshoes in her hunt for Yeti though.

Void Munashii wrote:
In a post-apocalyptic world, Cassandra Scull leads a biker gang called The Bone Runners on their continual quest for fuel, old tech, and survival. She has a lead on what may be the biggest cache of old tech the Runners have ever seen, but getting to it may prove that the undead are not the worst things roaming the corpse of the old world.

And Rish Outfield wrote:
Have you been wronged by a friend, spouse, parent, or boyfriend? Cassandra Scull can help. If you've experienced betrayal by someone you love, you can call upon her, and Cassandra Scull will seek that person out, wherever they are, and mete out her own kind of justice. But be warned, Cassandra Scull will come to whomever summons her . . . and of course, you might have wronged someone too.

Pretty fun, and maybe a story will come out of it one day.

As far as today goes, not much a story came out of it.  But still, there was something.  I worked, very briefly, on "Balms & Sears," and I still can't decide if the uncle is good or bad.  He was DESIGNED to be bad, I think, but I felt sorry for him when I first introduced him.  Maybe that's my own fault, my shortcomings as a writer.

But I can feel sorry for someone and still have them be a villain, right?

What would Cassandra Scull do?

Words Today: 182
Words Total: 32,702

*Like last night, where I realized I had been podcasting for three hours, and that, in that time, I had somehow lost track of my soul.

**One of them is a sketch I'll do on the Outcast soon, if I can find somebody to be the other voice.   It was written with a woman in mind, but I was leaning toward just having Marshal do it.  I dunno.

Monday, April 15, 2019

March Madness - Day 46 (4/15)

This may amuse you (I know it did Big).  I reached the end of today (Monday), and wanted, almost desperately, to go to sleep.  But I had to do my words, right?  Those cursed, horrible, millstone around my neck, words.  I told you I would do it, and I felt I ought to do it.

So, I forced my flabby, carp-white unathletic arse to grab this Boy Emperor sketch I started, and write a few (uninspired) lines on it.  The total number was eighty-five words, which is even more pathetic than it sounds.

And I went to sleep, not content of a job well done, but at least able to say I hadn't failed.  Much.

The next morning, I was taking my shower, when I realized that I had spent the morning before in the waiting room, writing in my magic notebook.  I had already gotten a full session of writing done that day, and the stupid 85 words at the end were utterly unnecessary!

That, my friends, sucks.  As will the sketch I'm writing.  But at least it's writing.

Words Today: 571
Words Total: 32,520

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 45 (4/14)

I'm keeping on keepin' on.  Over forty days gone on this thing.

Before I write about not writing for the day (or hey, maybe I actually will, I don't know), let me mention briefly that I had my world shaken today.  I went into a 7-11, and passed by the donuts (kudos!), but didn't pass by the sodas (kurses!) . . . and then I stopped.

Above the Slurpee machine, I saw this sign:

See anything shocking about it?

Look closer.

There comes a time in everyone's life, when they wake up in the morning, and realize they're in the wrong major, realize they can't live without heroin, realize there is no God, realize they're never going to get that promotion at work, realize they're over the hill, realize there are more years behind than ahead, or realize it was no accident Chad just happened to be at the house that day Marjorie called in sick.  It changes your world view, opens your eyes, makes you see the world in an entirely new way, and slaps you across the face with a truth that you've been wrong for so, so long.

Apparently, the plural for Slurpee . . . is Slurpee.

I may never write again.


P.S. I did end up forcing myself to write, just a bit, at the end of the day.  Just a few lines in another insufferable Star Wars sketch.  But hey, it counts.

Words Today:179
Words Total: 31,949

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Marpril Madness - Day 44 (4/13)

I went to Big's blog today, and discovered he too has been daily blogging on his daily writing.  And he has a fancy logo he created for each related post.  And, he's handsomer than me.  Not a good day for discovery.

As I try to do most Saturdays, I ran over to the library and sat down to do some writing.  Okay, I always sit down to surf the internet--there's the priority, boys and girls--but I usually try to get writing in there too.  Today, still without a new writing project in mind, I emailed myself two documents: a short story I wrote in 2017 called "Radio Ga Ga" (ugh), and my lil novella "My Friend of Misery."  The plan was to open one of them, go through patching holes, and see where that gets me.

I chose "Radio Ga Ga" (sorry), and went through it line by line, in an attempt to fix its mistakes and/or make it better.  I wrote that story for a Broken Mirror pseudocontest, but thought that maybe I'd run it on the Rish Outcast, since I currently have no story episodes to edit.  I discovered quite a few typos (no wonder I didn't win), and a story that may not be good enough to run on the Outcast.  But there's something to be learned, even from stories that turned out no-so-good*, so I'm pretty sure I'll still run it on the show, and probably soon.

Speaking of that, though, it was the only writing I did, and how do you count rewriting in a word count?  Well, I guess I will take the word count of the original version of "Radio Ga Ga" (yikes), and subtract that from the rewrite's wordcount (dunno how else to do it).  It ain't a lot, but I also created this logo for my daily bullcrap:
So that's something.

Words Today: 245
April Total: 8,595
Words Total: 31,949

*If we ever do another Dunesteef episode, it's gonna be about a sketch I produced last year that just plain didn't work.  Afterward, Big and I would ask the musical question, "What do you do if it just ain't funny?"  Even though I don't look forward to that episode (otherwise, we would've run it in August or so), I think it will be enlightening.

Friday, April 12, 2019

April Madness - Day 43 (4/12)

Today was Star Wars day in the world of any SW fan who doesn't suck.  Yeah, I mean that with absolutely no wiggle room.  It was the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, which I didn't attend, but a bunch of folks with cameras did. 

So a lot of my day was focused on watching convention footage, watching and rewatching the trailer, and then talking to my three Star Wars fan friends about what they thought.  Marshal and I will surely record a podcast about it, which no one will listen to . . . but somehow I still feel like it's worth doing.

Is that weird?  Is that madness, of a sort?

Regardless, I still have to write every day, even if there's Star Wars going on somewhere.*

This was another one of those days where I absolutely Did Not Want To Write.  I had opportunity, and chose to do something else (like watch that darn trailer a fourth and fifth time), and at the end of the day, I wrote an email to my friend Jeff, explaining why I wouldn't be writing today.

And he wrote me back.  You see, it was late enough (after three am) that he was up and had started his day, and got my emails at what for him was, like ten in the morning.  And he encouraged me to write something.

I mentioned previously that Big Anklevich has been doing the daily writing.  And Marshal Latham actually gave it a college try (which is admirable).  But my friend Jeff, who hasn't written anything in nearly the amount of time since I had gone out of the country, has been trying to write every day too (on a ghost story, he told me.  I'd like to imagine he's writing one where the ghost of Lassie bangs the ghost of Rin Tin Tin), and has been keeping me posted on his daily numbers.

You see what I have wrought, Father?  Are you proud of me now?!

So, at nearly four am, after bugging Jeff, and having him bug me, I forced myself to finish writing the sketch from yesterday.  And that counts, friends o' mine.  Counts as words for the day.  Laaaate in the day.

Words Today: 498
Words Total: 31,704

*I didn't get to go to this Star Wars Celebration, which I totally intended to (having missed all of them since 2005), but the tickets went on sale the ONE DAY I was out of the country.  The one day in over twenty years, and when we got off the boat and somewhere with internet access, the passes had sold out.  Oh sure, you may be saying, you could still have spent a thousand dollars to get some, if you had really wanted to.
To which I say, yeah.  I suppose you're right.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

April Madness - Day 42 (4/11)

So, I finished the book yesterday, and now I don't want to write.  At all.
It is 1:37am, and I am considering just turning off the light and going to sleep, and that would make two days in the last 42 that I haven't written.
I created a new character for the last bit of the story yesterday, and wondered if I should have.  For some reason, all the significant characters in "Like A Good Neighbor," and its sequel have been female (well, save one, I guess), and so, when I had to create a doctor, two bystanders, and a nurse, I purposely made all of them female too.
And then I had this bit in mind where Holcomb uses her boob power to addle the mind of somebody, and that somebody just HAD to be male.  So I created a second doctor soley for use in that scene.
And I know what you're going to say: women can become boob-crazy too.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.  Don't kid a kidder, kid.  That's like saying, "Oh hey, there are some great basketball players in the NBA that are at the very top of the game . . . that are white."  Uh huh.  Whatever gets you to sleep at night.  What other bullshit do you have to sell me?

So, I guess the point I was going to make is, should I go through the story, when I put it all together and do a re-write, and insert a couple of male characters, or worse, give wieners to a character here or there that I initially wrote as female?  Heck, I just remembered, Lara's teacher in the first one was Mister Forko, and I think I referred to him as a lady teacher in this one. 

Oh, why did I ever think I could be a writer?  Why would I think that I could put something out that people would want to read?  Why would I continue to write everyday when there's absolutely no point in it?  Why, if God is both all-good and all-powerful, would he allow the Star Wars Prequels?

Okay, moment of truth.  If I'm going to write something today, it has to be now.

I wrote 545 words.  Only 2:14am now.

Words Today: 545
Words Total: 31,206

Rish Outcast 136: Todd, Jenny, & the Ugly Doll (Part 1)

In this show from last year (drink every time you hear a dated reference!), I go for a walk around the lake, all by myself.  Or with you, depending on how you look at it.  I talk, encounter a dead/alive duck, and share my story "Todd, Jenny, and the Ugly Doll" . . . or half of it, anyway.

If you dare download the episode directly, Right-Click HERE.

If you dare support me on Facebook, Left-Click HERE.

If you like Jonathan Coulton's Creepy Doll song, Left-Click HERE.

But whatever you do, DON'T click here!

Cover art and logo by Gino "The Handsome Doll" Moretto.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Locura en Abril - Dia 41

I got a few words in in the notebook today, only 123.  Thought I'd try for more.  Double or nothing, baby!

In case my lil details about The Childe are disturbing to you, let me share one more bit: It was my mom's turn to babysit The Childe today, and she was doing the wash downstairs, when she suddenly lost sight of the boy.  She looked around, sure he had been there with her just a moment ago.  Then she heard a sound.

The baby had somehow climbed up and entered the dryer, and was inside the clothes dryer.  She freaked out at this a little, and when I asked her if she had considered turning it on, even for a second, she said, "But I was out of dryer sheets."*

So, I'm at the library, with the intention of finishing this book.  I spent more than an hour puttering around, eventually typing up yesterday's writing from the mini-notebook (and second-guessing every line and bit of direction, for some reason). 
But now I'm going to put my head down and finish this thing.  The homeless guy's in his usual space, making the most disturbing breathing noises (seriously, they sound like a Japanese ghost, or someone makes in a war movie when they've got a sucking chest wound), but I plan to carry on.
Got my writing in, and only 801 words.  But two of them were "the end," so that's something.  Oh, and wait, I also wrote in my notebook today.  I've got to count those and add them.

I don't know what I'll focus on tomorrow (maybe continue on with "Balms & Sears," maybe write another weird sketch about a dude who loses his mind when he hears a certain musician . . . perhaps Bryan Adams this time), but it's neat to be done with another book. 

Words Total: 1276
Words Total: 30,661

*Okay, she didn't say that.  She was upset he had gotten in there and did wonder what might have happened had it turned on.  One thing's for sure, though: there will be more stories like this in the days to come.