Tuesday, October 27, 2020

My Sketch "Tell Me Once Again Who's Bad" on DoG

If you like my Star Wars fandom or my sketch comedy, you might like them both, in this month's "Star Wars: Delusions of Grandeur" podcast.  Marshal and I talk about the calm before the Mandalorian storm, then run my sketch about an Imperial officer answering his two children's questions about what he does for a living.  

It's called "Tell Me Once Again Who's Bad," and you can check it out HERE.

Monday, October 26, 2020

October Sweeps - Day 266

I slept like the dead last night, bundled up in an extra blanket, and not waking up a single time until my phone went off.

I got up, not hitting Snooze or Dismiss because it stopped playing its alarm before I could get to it.  Then I went and got a shower to start my day.  A few minutes later, I came in here, waiting for the alarm to go off again, but it didn't.  I didn't get it until I noticed that I had a missed phone call.  And then I saw the time.

Oh, it hadn't been my alarm waking me up, but somebody's wrong number, early in the morning, that was enough to get me out of bed.  Funny, I guess.  That means last week's record of getting up early on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday might get beaten this week.

Sit-ups Today: 150
Sit-ups In August: 3881

Push-ups Today: 79
Push-ups In August: 1743

Because it was Monday, which is usually pretty busy for me, I didn't leave a great deal of time for myself to hit the library before it closed (at least it closes at seven instead of six now, though that's not quite like last year, when it closed at nine), but I got it into my head to run over there and see what I could accomplish in an hour.

Last year, around December, I read an article on the internet about a woman who drank a gallon of water a day for a month, and she talked about how much it impacted her life.  I was so blown away by the article that, no, I didn't decide to drink a gallon of water a day, but to write a short story about it.  Mine would be a parody of what I had read, because the woman's account was so remarkable, that it felt like a slap in the face when she celebrated at the end of the thirty days, knowing she'd never have to drink water again.

So, my story would be about a guy--namely me--who drinks a gallon of water a day* and gains all sorts of spectacular benefits, such as losing weight, becoming more attractive, and gaining five inches of dong in just thirty days.

But I never wrote it.  I don't write even a third of the ideas I have, even when I've sketched them out or started them (though my stats have improved in the last couple of years . . . probably 50% now).

But Big Anklevich had been doing his 75 Hard bullshit lately, and had been blogging about it, and complaining not about the ninety minutes of exercise required a day, but about having to read, and worst of all, drink a gallon of water daily.  Poor guy.

So, when I noticed him complaining in his blog about it, I decided to go to the library, and write my idea into a little story, in epistolary format--ie, as a blog.  I thought I'd even go as far as write it from a female perspective, and get a female narrator to do it for my podcast, even though that meant the aforementioned dong-measuring scenes would have to go.**

I checked out a computer, feeling pretty confident I could do the whole darn story in an hour or less.  But I was not only wrong, I only made it to Day 7 (of thirty).  It was plenty of words, though, which leads me to believe that this might be a more substantive project than I gave it credit for.  

Still super fun to write, though.  I think it's because when I write in my blog, it's like a kid writing in his journal, and uses far less energy than the usual fiction writing does.  And doing a fake blog is almost as easy.  We'll see where this goes, especially since, had the library not closed, I'd have just kept going, maybe until the darn thing was done.

Words Today: 2232
Words In August:  24,549

I also did my evening run, and while it was not quite as miserably cold as the night before, it was still below freezing out.  I did my run as best I could, but decided to cut it just a little bit short, turning one block earlier than I usually turn, which my math told me would lower the run from 1.6 miles to 1.4.  I was able to hold my head up high, though, because I knew I hadn't made it that far the night before, and had turned back a couple of blocks earlier than tonight.

EXCEPT . . . I ended up running past the same lit-up Halloween decoration house in the middle of the block that I had passed the night before, telling me, no, I had turned back at the exact same moment the night before.  In other words, I'm not tougher today than I was yesterday.  I'm no better than you are, darn it.

*I have found, over the last 48 hours, that I cannot spell "gallon" to save my life.  I always--ALWAYS--spell it "galoon," and then have to change it.  ALWAYS.

**Can I just substitute Day 17's wiener extension with boobs?  Would that work?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October Sweeps - Day 265

So, it's day 265.  That's a hundred days short of a full year.  Not really a milestone, that, but a bit of mathly trivia.

Also, Today is winter.  It's miserable cold outside.  Too cold for me to think, let alone go for a run.

But hey, I've said in these pages that maybe the test of a writer (or an exerciser) is to write when he/she doesn't feel like writing, when he/she is tired, when she/he is uninspired, when she/he is fat and lazy and underendowed.  Maybe the test of whether I am serious about exercising is when it's twenty-seven degrees out with a wind and I haven't much desire to go out in it.

But I did, and it was really, really rough.  For the first time, I wore long sleeves on my run, and my hands were cold enough I stuffed them into the sleeves, and just forced myself to carry on.  Strangely, though, by the time I got home, I was pushing myself hard enough (trying to keep warm) that I was still a bit sweaty by the time I came up the stairs again.  That's kind of neat.

Runner's high?

Push-ups Today: 78
Push-ups In October: 1665

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In October: 3731 

Writing turned out to be even harder than my nightly run.  I sat down and did one more (mediocre) chapter of "My Friend of Misery," but that only got me 97 words.  I would've done another chapter, but I was no good to record anymore, and that's the lesson I learned this summer--if I record when sleepy, the audio will be unusable anyway, so I might as well stop.

But I was still supposed to write (Magic Spreadsheet doesn't even count it as writing if you produce fewer than 300 words).  I was so tired, I found myself falling asleep at the computer, my head dipping and my eyes closing for a minute or two.  But I made myself get up, walk into the other room, and type something on the computer there, away from my bed.  

I'm actually quite pleased with myself.  I now get to go to sleep knowing I worked hard and earned a good night's rest.

Words Today: 713
Words In October: 22,317

Saturday, October 24, 2020

February Sweeps - Day 264

Okay, Saturday.  As is a semi-tradition, I might hit the library today, once I finish my . . . what am I supposed to be doing today?

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In October: 3620

Push-ups Today: 77
Push-ups In October: 1587

Still wanting a project to work on, I emailed myself the full "Hatchling" document, and drove over to the library to work on it, format it, look it over, and see how close to the magical 40,000 words that ostensibly make up a novel.

Well, it was in pretty bad shape.  I assembled the daily writing sessions into a fair timeline, and went about making it all fit.  There were innumerable ____ (blank lines) where I was supposed to fix things or fill in the appropriate word, and that can sometimes be impossible without the context of "what was I thinking when I wrote this?"*  

There was one section where the main girl--Talia--was suddenly referred to as Katianna, who I believe was the main character in the Halloween decoration story I started writing around that time, and I was embarrassed about that.  Also, Talia's dad did indeed have a name in a scene I hadn't noticed before--Doug--and I had to decide whether to leave it as Bert (as I wrote on Thursday) or change it to Doug (as I wrote in August).  And there were parts where the hatchling was referred to as "it" instead of "him," so I tried to swap those out too.  

Even worse, there was one section that appeared twice in the book, and I thought I was losing my mind, because the wording was different from what I had just typed.  This is what an editor does for a living, I suspect.

To my surprise, they announced that the library would be closing in ten minutes--I had been formatting and working on this manuscript for nearly two hours, and had only gotten two-thirds through it.  So, I quickly went through the last chapters and at least formatted them to be the same as what had come earlier, and tried to fix any new typos I could find.  When I finally closed the document in case they killed my computer again, the document was sitting at 37,326 words.  

That's creeping closer to novel length, though not quite there yet.

And then I'll have to start planning the cover art.  Sigh.

Words Today: 1405
Words In October: 21,604

*I much prefer when I write something and then (BETTER WORD) after it, as I explained yesterday.

Friday, October 23, 2020

October Sweeps - Day 263

Guys, I imagine you're pretty sick of me by now.  I'm sick of me, sick of blogging each day, sick of saying the same thing over and over and then worried if I have said the same thing over and over.  Sick of push-ups, and sick of smelling my shirt after I've gone for a run and thinking, "Dude, this smells like Ian McNeice slept in it!"*

But I have to keep going, just in case we're not sick of it entirely.

Having finished another story yesterday, I have to decide what to do today (writing-wise).

I enjoyed looking over "Hatchling" yesterday and writing that new scene.  I feel like a big chunk of the story was missing, though.

I think the explanation is that for a stretch in the summer, I would create a new text file each day and do my writing in it, to make it easier to chart my word count.  Then I forgot to copy and paste the writing into the master file for the story.  We'll see if that's correct, though.

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In October: 3509

Push-ups Today: 76 (missed one again)
Push-ups In October: 1510 

I ended up sitting down and recording Chapters 9 through 13 of "My Friend of Misery."  It's certainly not getting any better, and I think the problem is, like "Hatchling," the story is ostensibly about something supernatural, but the mundane events keep getting in the way.  I think, truth be told, I'm more interested in the mundane events (like the blooming/fading love affair between Rick and Talia in "Hatchling," and Brielle's heartache over her first boyfriend and jealousy of her brother's career in MFOM).  

I don't know if that means the book(s) will suck, but my subconscious will inevitably use that as an excuse to delay releasing them.  But the work goes on.

Words Today: 700
Words In October: 20,199

Oh, following up on something I wrote yesterday: turns out that ABC sitcom with the piece of shit title "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place" was NOT unsuccessful after all.  It went four frigging seasons, from 1998 to 2001, and Nathan Fillion was a series regular, before appearing in the MUCH less-successful "Firefly."  Whoops.

*I originally had Louie Anderson as the fat guy in this joke . . . but decided to go more obscure, in a Dennis Miller SNL joke sort of way.  Then, I couldn't remember Ian McNeice's name, and that kind of ruined the whole gag.  Sorry.

Rish Outcast 185: The Night Clerk I

 It's almost Halloween, so I'm going to post this now (hey, it's only a year late!).

Originally planned for last year's Halloween show, I present the first half of the Dead & Breakfast story, "The Night Clerk."

You don't need to have listened to any of the other stories in the series to enjoy this one (presuming enjoyment is actually possible).

Hey, download the show directly by right-clicking HERE.

Or support me on Patreon by clicking HERE.  You may be glad you did.

Logo by Gino "The Night Jerk" Moretto.*

*This may seem unnecessarily harsh, but my first version was "The Shite Clerk."  

Thursday, October 22, 2020

October Sweeps - Day 262


I have accomplished so very little today.  My regular alarm just went off, and now it's after ten, and I'm sort of at a loss where all the hours went.  I woke up super early again, the sky still dark, and like last time, I only woke up long enough to make sure it wasn't freezing in here (the fire had gone out during the night, and there was still an unburned log in there--the fresh ones I stacked the other day are too fresh, and they even hiss when they start to burn, if I can get them to burn at all), then I went back to sleep.

Still, I woke up early, took this picture of the morning sky:

and started my day.  I ate two donuts, showered, finished editing chapter 5 of "My Friend of Misery," then I started looking at my Documents file to see if there was anything I wanted to write on, like an abandoned project or something.

I dug up my Little Caesar's Pizza story from earlier this year (which I did finish, but needs a polish, and none of the characters have last names (right now it's just Brandon ___ and Kenna ____ and Meeshelle ____ and Sanford ____ and Eli _____).  I just gave Kenna the last name Phillips, but the others are still blanks.  I ought to come up with something, but I'll probably never put the story out there, even though I read a couple of pages this morning and really liked the dissolution of the boys' friendship.  A bigger deal than the last names (which really could be anything) is that I don't have a title for the story.

Big called his--rather brilliantly--"Little Caesar's Ghost."  My working title was "Pizza! Pizza!" (which was--and may still be--the slogan to Little Caesars) but I ended up changing it from being a LCP to being Fat Ian's Pizza, the chain I refer to in a dozen of my stories, having named it after my friend in college, who was super offended by that detail.  But now that it's set in a fictional pizza place in a fictional town, the only thing that's coming to me is that it's about two guys, a girl, and a pizza place.  And I ain't going there.*

The family of deer that hang out next door are back again.  I don't know that I've seen them literally every time I've been here, but I practically have.  In fact, the two fawns are now double the size they were the first time I noticed them, and that's pretty amazing.  There are only three that I see now, though there are usually four.  

I got up to take a picture, but the click of the door lock unlatching was enough to send them running.  It is deer hunting season right now, but it's a very rare year when a hunter would shoot a doe or a fawn.  Although dude, I don't know.  Sometimes people just want to shoot things, regardless of the rules or whether they want a trophy or the meat.

I finished editing Chapter 5 of "My Friend of Misery," and then saw I had no more chapters recorded.  Nothing more to edit there.  I should've planned ahead and done a couple more chapters for this trip.  Now all I have to do is write or read.  Poor poor pitiful me, as the man said.

Darn, that remind me: I still haven't done my Zevon episode.  Okay, today I'll do it.  Maybe.

Everything is yellow and brown out here.  There was a mile or so stretch where everything had turned various shades of those two colors, even the mountain, and I thought about pulling over and trying to do a song in front of it.  But the sound would be terrible beside Highway 89, and I'd end up chickening out before I'd even gotten my tripod set up yet.**

It's cold outside, even though the sun is shining, and I figured I'd make a fire and finish reading my book sitting near it (I've got one chapter left).  But first, I decided to go outside and gather up as much kindling as I could, so I'd have plenty for the next visit, when it might be much, much colder than today (it's supposed to get down to well below freezing this weekend, with a low of eighteen degrees in the city, and I think that would put it in the single digits out here).  I filled the box (and even took a picture of it, because I'm stupid that way--like the Instagram girls that take pictures of what they had for lunch.  Don't they know we're there for half-naked selfies?), and tried to start a fire, but it promptly went out.

I don't look forward to next week, when my hands will be shaking hard enough to not be able to light a match.  But at least I'll have plenty of wood.

I finished reading my book, started on a new one, and fell asleep partway through the first chapter.  I slept hard enough that I dreamed, and it is pretty vivid to me now, even though they always fade, with me in some kind of condo or apartment, attempting to do a Storage Unit Serenade, but getting interrupted as more and more people showed up as I was trying.  Eventually, I broke something--it was in my mind a minute ago, a remote control train or helicopter--belonging to my nephew, and I took it upon myself to fix it, and it became a destructive farce like THE MONEY PIT, as I kept bumping things, scratching things, and breaking things in the apartment, while trying to repair the toy, and more and more kids (including my Uncle John's children) showed up to tell me I was doing it wrong.  Eventually, my Uncle Jerry, who can fix anything, took me aside and said, "You are not helping.  The repairs are going to be extensive.  Just buy a new train."  And I told him no, that I could fix this, that I could fix everything, and then backed into a china cabinet, just hard enough that one of the shelves gave way, and they started crashing down behind me.

So, I got up, and moaned because I knew I had wasted hours asleep, only to discover that it had been a half hour or less that I had been sleeping, and there was still plenty of day left.

I sat down here to start editing a short story or two (this is one I had written for a contest, and recorded, knowing I could use it in a collection, or an Outcast if it didn't win), and as I was waiting for it to open and noise reduce, I reflected on the fact that, just a month or two ago, I mused about the nature of love, and that, if Lara Demming ever found a boyfriend who seemed too good to be true, how could she ever trust that it was real, knowing that she had magical abilities, and lived with a witch so powerful, she could probably cause Mike Pence to fall in love with a leather-clad abortion doctor.

And here we are, the week before Halloween, and I've written it.  There's a third "Lara and the Witch" story, a fifth "Sidekick Chronicles" story, and a fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth "Dead & Breakfast" story, all written this year.  And now I've started a third Will Choner story . . . part of me never wants to stop doing this.*** Oh, and "Hatchling" is in the upper thirty thousand word range, which would make it a novel, if I felt like spending a couple of months turning it into an audiobook (and why wouldn't I?) . . . so that's pretty neat (did I honestly never do a word count before?  I should have--it feels good to see those numbers).

I also looked over "Never Let Him Go," the next-to-be-published story in the haunted bed and breakfast series.  It is the least consequential story I've written, dealing mostly with Mrs. Bice's decision to fire Mason Bradley, and the obstacles--almost supernatural-seeming--obstacles that keep preventing her from doing so.  In it, there's a female day clerk without a name that has to tell Bice that the man she was interviewing to replace Mason has canceled his appointment, and that sort of surprised me, as I had never established a female day clerk between the hot European twin (I think her name was Trudi) and Meeshelle, who is hired in the next story, "Meet the New Clerk."

After opening the "Hatchling" document, I was reminded that I always intended to write a scene where Rick, the teenaged protagonist, talks to his new girlfriend Talia's father.  That was the character I had based on me, rather than the rather studly, popular Rick (after all, his name is Rick.  Can you believe that?  I might have first named him that as a placeholder, the name is so cringe-worthy, but it just stuck, using it three hundred-plus times in the story [I know, the word counter told me]), and I tried to imagine what kind of father I would be, to a teenaged daughter, especially one that was just starting to go out on dates.

So I decided that Talia's dad would be the friendliest, most supportive father you could imagine, who wants his daughter to find joy and experience life, more than he wants her to stay a little girl forever.  And so he's totally welcoming to Rick and the relationship, and gives his daughter money so they can buy condoms, rather than give the whole "don't you ever look at my baby as anything other than a lady" speech that I think we've all heard, either in person or through the grapevine.

And I always meant to write a scene where the two of them talk, and Rick expects the hostile, almost threatening lecture, but instead gets warmth and compliments, which is exactly what he needs to hear, since his own dad is out of the picture.  If this were a novel instead of just a lengthy short story, I'd have him go to Mr. Giller for advice while the romance blooms, and then be unable to do so once he and Talia have broken up, and that's a double heartbreak.  It just seems like a neat little subplot, in a story that has one or two that don't really go anywhere.

So, I sat down and wrote that scene just now, and I'm tempted to put a later reference to it, or at least to the man's first name, which I had to invent for the scene, and will never be mentioned again.  It was Bert (short for Hubert, though I never reveal that).

Writing is fun, but it's also pretty nuanced.  I have criticized the Orson Scott Card book I just finished enough (or I will when the episode I talk about it airs--it's the show with my story "Gatekeeper" in it), but his unrealistic-as-fuck dialogue really took a toll on me in this one.  There was one sentence spoken by a fourteen year old girl that was so dense, I had to read it aloud, remarking that my buddy Jeff, a middle-aged man with a 190 IQ, would never manage something like that.

I was skimming through the manuscript (of "Hatchling"), trying to fill in all the blank lines that I found.  Sometimes, when I'm in the middle of writing, and I can't think of the perfect word, I'll write a word that is like the one I'm looking for, and in all-caps, will put (BETTER WORD) after it in parenthesis.  Or other times, I'll just put a blank line there and go on with the writing, because you can ruin your momentum looking for the perfect word or reaching for a thesaurus (although, cards on the table, I haven't need a thesaurus since college . . . not because I'm that smart, but because computers and the internet have made them obsolete).

In this case, Talia is telling Rick they can sell the hatchling to a museum, then she says, "Or, if you're too ____, you can just donate him."  Then she insults him, because all he is is a horny teenager.  Oh, this is when they're at the end of their relationship, so there should be some kind of cold judgement in her comment.  I wanted a word like "honorable" or "righteous," but didn't like either of those.

I realize that this may be supremely boring to you, but I'm blogging about something, every day for nearly a year, and I need the content.  So, I walked around the cabin, cleaning things up (there's always tons of ash coming out of the stove when I throw more wood or paper in, and I'm much more tidy here than anywhere else, even though no one's going to see it), trying to figure out the perfect word for Talia to say.  See, she is smart and Rick is less-than, so I wanted it to be a pretty good word.

I remember, back in 1998, when "Dawson's Creek" started up (at least I think that was the year--I didn't watch it when it started) that Kevin Williamson explained the way that he had his characters talk on that show.  He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "You know how you'll have an argument with someone, and afterward you say to yourself, 'I SHOULD have said this,' or 'I should have said that?'  Well, my characters actually say those things, in the spur of the moment, in the middle of their conversations."  I never forgot that, and I have to admit that it does affect my writing, from time to time.

Though, in my defense, I often try to purposely dumb down my characters' dialogue, putting in "you knows" and "likes" and having them get the references wrong.  The first time I did this was in "Round and Round," when I have the main character mistakenly refer to Stevie Nicks as a man.  I liked that so much, I've done it a hundred times since, with no signs of stopping.

Anyway, I was folding sheets when it came to me: principled.  It gave me a little thrill to run over to the laptop and fill in the blank, like I had found the answer to the last space in the crossword puzzle.  Despite it taking me two months to get there.

Well, the time has come to leave once again.  This has been pretty amazing--two trips to the cabin in a week (although it's no different, technically, than the weeks before, since I didn't come up on last Wednesday and Thursday), and lots of reading, writing, editing, and recording.  I can pack everything up with my head held high, knowing it was another productive visit, and I'll still have time to do my sit-ups and run tonight before it's time to record a Dunesteef with Big.

I hope you have productive days and weekends ahead, and that you can feel good about yourself, even if you accomplish less than I do, hard to believe as that sounds.

Push-ups Today: 76
Push-ups In October: 1434

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In October: 3398

Words Today: 1299 (now that's strange, I had 1299 words on Wednesday.  I'm tempted to add a single word just to make it different)
Words In October: 19,499

*You see, if your life has been better spent than mine, you wouldn't be aware that there was a sitcom on ABC in the late Nineties (maybe it was in 2000) called "A Girl, Two Guys, and a Pizza Place" or something brazenly similar to that.  It was not successful, though I do vaguely recall that one of the guys was a pre-fame Ryan Reynolds.  In a way, it would be clever to call it "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place," but I just can't make myself go there.

Gosh, I wonder what was on NBC Thursday nights at this time.

**And I'm reminded of people like Abigail Hilton, who always seemed to accomplish what they set out to do, or that Brandon Sanderson, writing another over-long Epic Fantasy novel I will never, ever touch, in just the period between it getting dark at seven but getting dark later and it getting dark at seven but getting dark earlier, and how jealous I was of that.  But now I see how they do it--they commit to it, and they do it every day.

***So, I got a new tripod the other day--it's much lighter aluminum than my big one, and has a slot in the top stand it which I figured would fit my phone (that's why I bought it, really, because last week, I had replaced the glass cover over my screen, making it look pretty good--except for the crack that's permanently on there from the day after I got the phone and dropped it getting out of the car--and when I was trying to do my song, it fell right off the tripod and landed on the one hard object on the ground: the corner of the dry-erase board I had written the lyrics to the Rembrandts song I was doing . . . and cracked the new glass).

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

October Sweeps - Day 261

I know I've said this before, but I keep talking to people who love the fall, and who love the winter, and one who loves all the seasons and everything in the world except me.  And I have tried, I've tried to have a better attitude about the changing of the seasons and the promise of winter.  My mom complains about it just as much if not more than I do, and I wonder if that irritated my dad.  Seems like it would have . . . but everything irritated my dad.

Maybe I shouldn't be so thrilled I haven't lost my hair yet.

The thing is, I hate to be cold.  And I hate to be reminded that soon, the snows will come and I won't be able to come up here--one of literally three things I look forward to each week (or four if you count my mad obsession with going running, which always sucks for the first half mile anyway, and doesn't become enjoyable until I've suffered through that)--and the roads will get dangerous, and I'll have to scrape my windshield before I go somewhere, and the bastards will start playing Christmas music again.

November is usually pretty grim, but at least we always had Thanksgiving and Black Friday to look forward to.  Now, it seems unlikely I'll participate in any floods of consumers waiting outside Target or Best Buy or Walmart (a couple of years ago, I went the day before Thanksgiving, and they had their Black Friday deals out, but you couldn't buy them, so I took two and hid them in the bicycle department, so I could come on Black Friday and there would still be two there for me to snag), and my mom just told me we're not doing a big get-together for Thanksgiving this year, but it'll just be like a regular Sunday dinner.

And that's too bad.  I always enjoy getting together with my cousin and his family, even though he has to alternate between his side and his wife's side of the family each year, but because of COVID fears, we're not doing that in 2020.  And who knows, maybe the prognosticators will be right, and the virus will be so bad this winter that nobody would want to get together.

Oh, so I was complaining about the onset of winter.  Yeah, I am trying to be more positive, and know that some of my sadness about the unpleasant half of the year is just psychological.  When it starts getting dark at four and you can't just take the trash out in your bare feet or there's that smoggy smell in the air when the clouds roll and we get what they call an inversion here . . . well, it's hard for me to see that as anything but a negative.  

But I'm going to try not to be sad about winter this year.  I'm going to try to keep the spirit of summer within my soul, and keep exercising, keep doing outdoors things, and make it through with the strength to bear whatever comes my way.  

This is the second time I'm writing this blog post, so forgive me if it's not all that eloquent.

At one point, I was finishing the "Delusions of Grandeur" episode for this month, saving it, but everything had gotten unforgivably sluggish.  Like you'd press the Save or Open button and nothing would happen, and you'd press it three more times, then all at once it would try to open four or five times and the laptop would make an angry sound.

The music I was listening to started to lag too, and my Task Manager said my disc usage was at 100% (whereas normally, it's between 1 and 3%, sometimes right at zero).  I tried closing a couple of open files, but they didn't want to close, and then suddenly, nothing happened at all.  The music stopped, the mouse wouldn't move, nothing.

And a minute later, the laptop made an error beep, and the beep just kept going.  And going.  And going.  It was a steady hum that I knew was bad, but I figured the CPU would catch up and fix, so I went upstairs to do sit-ups, hearing the beep continue as the seconds became minutes. 

I was super hesitant to restart my computer, because I didn't want to lose all the writing I had done today--not that it was a ton, but it was close enough to "the end" on the third Lara/Holcomb story that I could, if I continued for but ten minutes or so from that point, be done with it.

Well, after a few minutes of the laptop still frozen, still bugging, I went ahead and restarted.  Just like with human beings, restarting can solve a lot of problems.  And when everything booted back up, I re-opened my text file with baited breath . . .

. . . and found nothing missing whatsoever.  I must have saved it the last time I worked on it, about ninety minutes ago.

However, the blog post I was writing about coming to the cabin again, getting older, and wishing I could appreciate the changing of the seasons like certain people do was completely wiped out.

A bit irritating, but not that big a deal.

Sit-ups Today: 100
Sit-ups In October: 3287

Push-ups Today: 75
Push-ups In October: 1358

Before I left, I re-recorded Chapter 5 (maybe I blogged about this already).  The original file (with the crappy sound) was 20:33, and the new recording (with better sound) was 21:44.  I'll edit it now, and it'll be sad how much shorter the finished chapter will be.  But I'm trying to get in good, semi-professional shape, and that's what I have to do.  I did discover one reference to the main character as "Lara" once in Chapter 5, instead of Brielle, and I know I wouldn't have caught that mistake the first time through.

8:37, Chapter 5 ended up being, after the editing.  Hmm.

Words Today: 1299
Words In October: 18,200

*I checked, and it's about sixteen thousand words, which is fine.  I feel like I might have skipped writing the scene where Lara first meets cute with Scott, the boyfriend character, so I'm not technically finished (plus, I have to plug in the scenes from my gmail document that I work on at the library), but I imagine when it's done it's about twenty thousand words.  And that feels, if not too long, then just about right.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October Sweeps - Day 260

I meant to hit the library today, but I didn't.  It's Tuesday, and I got a full two hours more today th--no, even longer, I got nearly three hours more of consciousness today than I usually do, and . . . nothing.

I did get my push-ups done, at least.  That's something.

Push-ups Today: 73 (and not terribly hard.  Maybe the later in the day I do them, the harder they are?)
Push-ups In October: 1283

Marshal Latham ran the first chapter of a novella or novel-length writing project on his podcast recently, and I have to admit it was bold.  It was bold because it was all he had written on the book, and it was from before he even got married (I think he's been hitched for seventeen years).  So, running it on his show was only going to frustrate his listeners, knowing there was no more where that came from.  But even so, perhaps his listeners will pester him to complete it now, and he will . . . and he never would have had he not shared the work-in-progress with people.

It made me wonder about my own projects like that, and if I might dare share those on my podcast, to see if people will urge me to complete them.  Or is that just cruel?  And what if nobody says ANYTHING, what if they just don't give a crap, and I never end up finishing the story at all?  Well, food for thought.  I have so many in-progress stories that I could spend the rest of my life simply finishing old ones, not writing anything new.  

Would that make me happy?  Oh, hell na, but it's interesting to think about.

Sorry for using "hell na," folks.  But blogging two hundred and sixty-one days in a row has taken its toll on my vocabulary.

And my taint, sadly.

I found the animatronic The Child figure/doll at Walmart with my cousin tonight.  It was amazing, and both lifelike and impressively cute.  But it was damned expensive ($59), and I didn't know what to do about it.  Either it will be completely gone from stores a month from now, or it will be everywhere, with each Target or Walmart ordering a hundred of them.

But it was so cool that I think I'll take the chance.  I asked my cousin, "What if we never see these again?" which is a fair question, but pretty hard on my wallet.

Sit-ups Today: 111
Sit-ups In October: 3187

Push-ups Today: 73
Push-ups In October: 1283

I did sit down and write for a little while today--it felt like a lot more words than it apparently was--and am very, very close to finishing the third Lara and the Witch story, which I had a title for just last week, but have already forgotten.  I think that one of my goals for October was to finish it or figure out how to finish it, and during my run today, I decided to end the book with the section I was writing today, then to have an Epilogue which ties up the romantic plot, and sets up the next book.  In fact, if I didn't have to go to my cousin's house, I might've written that scene too today.

Fiddle-dee-dee, though, tomorrow is . . . you know.

Words Today: 1075
Words In October: 16,901

Storage Unit Serenade 32

The ones with two (or more) parts never quite work right.  I've got to figure out a way to do them better.  

Either that or make a friend.


Pre-Eighties Songs: 8
Eighties Songs: 10
Nineties Songs: 7
Aughts Songs: 1
Teens Songs: 6

 Next up is my favorite one ever.