Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I Narrate "Angus MacBain and the Agate Eyeglass" on Audible

Not too long ago, I thought I'd try auditioning for a couple of new audiobooks.  I got the contract to do a . . . Middle Grade Fantasy book, I guess you'd call it.  Maybe it's even a Children's Book.  Angela Townsend has written a trilogy of these Angus MacBain adventures.  Somehow, I managed to narrate the middle one.

It tells the tale of young Angus, son of a human and a seal fairy, who goes on adventures in magical lands near Scotland.  In this story, his lass Vanora's father falls under a witch's spell, and the two friends set out to find a cure.  Danger ensues.

Will there be more?  Magic 8 Ball says "All signs point to yes."

If you feel like checking it out, here be yon linke

I'll update this if the first book falls into my lap.  After I put some ice on it, I mean.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Writing: February 25th & 26th

So, on this, the last Saturday of the month, I didn't have had a ton of time to write.  I took my sister to the airport, then spent a few hours in the city, picking up some stuff, but wanted to make it home in time to go to my nephew's last basketball game.

Words Written: 486
Total Words: 20,259

But I still managed to write during lunch, taking my notebook in with me.  And I took it to the ballgame (which they actually won), and managed a few words here and there.  I haven't made much progress on the story since Thursday (the info-dump day), but considering I think I started it just this week, I shouldn't feel too bad.

I also have a couple of other projects I've been working on.  I finished up the little sketch I wrote for me and Renee and Big to perform, but who knows how many listeners it would lose us, so perhaps I should do it for the Outcast, which hasn't got listeners to lose.  I also worked on an old project, an audio drama I wrote years ago that I thought I would translate into a story.  Big did the same with one earlier this month, and I thought we might do them as an episode (or two), just to see how things changed going from one format to the other.  I dunno.  At the very least, I'll put it in one of my audio collections.

Words Written: 613
Total Words: 20,872

A friend of mine was going through "Newfound Fame," giving me notes before I put out the audiobook, and made the gruesome discovery that one of the characters changes names partway through.  I did a search on the document, and there were dozens of uses of the wrong name.  Guess I was too hard on Dean Wesley Smith.

But I thought I'd sit down and try to re-record every single one of those sections, and see if I couldn't get it all edited in and done in one afternoon.  So, I sat down and went through the whole story, fixing the names one at a time.  But enough time had passed since I wrote it that now I found little parts I didn't like the phrasing of, or places where I thought it needed clarification.  I ended up adding between six and eight hundred words to the piece.  The reason I'm not so sure is that, as I was reaching the end, I discovered my microphone wasn't plugged into my recorder . . . which happens about one in five recording sessions.  Arggh.

The only thing I could think to do was a) save the revised document, and b) undo everything I had changed and start again, simply hitting Redo as I went.  It actually took a lot less time the second go-through, and I still found lines that were fixable or words I thought could be changed.  It was a frustrating, stupid mistake (getting the name wrong, I mean), but it was a blessing in disguise, since it gave me the chance to do another draft, at least in those sections.  If I had screwed up the main character's name, imagine where it might have gotten me.

Regardless, I had no way of calculating the word count on my revision (okay, there is a way, and it would be fairly easy), so those words won't count for the day.  But I did fine anyway, since I took my notebook with me when I was getting my oil changed and got a couple pages written there.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bill Paxton R.I.P. (Game Over, Man)

I saw on the news section of Facebook that Bill Paxton had died at sixty-one, I gasped, then clicked on the link, in case it was those lying click-bait bastards who "advertised" the deaths of Sly Stallone and Chuck Norris last year so you'd go to their soulless garbage website.

But no, the man actually did pass away after complications from surgery.  Should've been you, Gordie.

I first became enamored with Bill in 1986 when my mom rented ALIENS for me (on the recommendation of the video store clerk, when I really wanted her to check out RUTHLESS PEOPLE).  His Private Hudson was the breakout star in that flick, stealing every scene and providing perhaps the most quotable character in cinema history.* 

Paxton was famous for playing characters who are blowhards or douchebags, as opposed to the many people you and I know who play those in real life.  I saw him in various movies over the years, like TERMINATOR, PREDATOR 2, TRUE LIES, TWISTER, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, WEIRD SCIENCE (the character I voice in "Newfound Fame," Chet, is named after his character), APOLLO 13, TITANIC, and the recent EDGE OF TOMORROW.  But he'd always be Hudson to me.

Private Hudson should have been the most annoying, grating, cowardly, loud character in the film (I remember Paxton saying he was worried that audiences would hate him, that he was going to ruin the movie for everyone), but for some reason, he's the guy who I most related to, who never stopped running his mouth, whether he was excited or terrified.  I love Private Hudson, and there have been times I've seen lesser filmmakers than Cameron try a Hudson-type character in their movies . . . and it almost never works.

I met Paxton only once, during the first season of "Big Love," and got him to sign a TWISTER DVD for my sister.  Not sure if she still has it.

I've been told that my "Calling" story series was ripped-off from Paxton's own FRAILTY . . . so you know he really made an impact on me.

Heck, I even listened to Martini Ranch's song Reach (an obscure song from an obscure band, headlined by Paxton), and maybe I should again.

I've been told that, as I get older, more and more famous people who meant something to me will die.  That's too bad.  But what would be worse would be not having heroes and role models to begin with.

Rish Outfield, That Wasn't Funny, Man.

*Whenever my friend Dennis allowed his girlfriend to change his mind in high school, I'd say, "Why don't you put her in chaaaarge?" in my best Bill Paxton voice.  Dennis did not appreciate it.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Writing: February 23rd & 24th

Words Written: 906
Total Words: 19,411

I had a choice to make today.  I didn't have anywhere I had to be after three pm, and I couldn't decide whether to go to the library again and write for a couple of hours, or go try to make some money out of town, which would eat up the rest of my day.  I edited for a few minutes, then decided, "Screw it, let me pursue the almighty buck."  I ended up doing alright, but not exceptionally well, and I did record a podcast on the drive.*

Afterward, it started snowing pretty hard and visibility got pretty gross, so I pulled over at the Lord's restaurant, Del Taco, and grabbed a burrito (or ten) and wrote in my notebook while I was there.  I stayed nearly an hour, working on TTC, and started putting in backstory and world-building, all right here at the beginning of the story.  It is, what Abbie non-affectionately calls info-dump.

So, I had to/have to ask myself, 1. How much of this information is necessary to the story?

Answer: All of it, don't be an asshole.

Question 2: How much of the information do I need right here, in the first chapter?

Answer: Well, that one's harder.  I want to explain to the reader what's going on, and why there are only three characters at this point in the story, but hey, I'd hate to be referred to as the info dumper.**  I tried to start the story in medias res, as late as I possibly could, with the discovery that something is wrong (and that revelation occurs about 350 words in, which feels pretty early, especially if this sucker turns out long, which it might), but I could be mistaken.

The neat thing about storytelling is, there are a dozen ways to tell the same tale, and all dozen can be effective.  I have to just trust my gut and keep on going, and if I think it's too exposition-heavy later, I can fix it later.  Self-doubt at this point would be damning, and I've accrued enough damnation, at least for today.

Words Written: 362
Total Words: 19,773

I didn't want to write today.  Oh, I still did it, getting down a paragraph or two in my notebook early in the afternoon, and then heading to the library around three, with my laptop in tow.  But once I sat down, I didn't want to do any writing.  I wanted to edit audio, which I couldn't do at one of the cubicles (though I could just use headphones, couldn't I?), and I felt like reading (which I did manage), but that familiar sense of apathy reigned, and I would not write as planned.

So, sorry.  I blogged, I wrote a couple of emails, made a new post for my Patreon pals, and before the call of Facebook took hold of me, I opened my notebook and started typing up a story I wrote in October, telling myself that it was the next best thing to my daily writing, and discovered a bit of that to be missing too.  So, I wrote up that section, which counts as about 269 words according to my counter, and then went back to typing.  A page or two later, I found the missing section, which I must have, I dunno, gone back to write after the scene that had come into my mind earlier (several days earlier, knowing me, and the different colored pens used).  Ah well.

Tomorrow will be better.

*It's an incentive episode I'll just share with the Patreon supporters.  Hey, those person deserves it.

**As opposed to the Phantom Dumper, which I welcome.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Writing: February 21st & 22nd

Words Written: 985
Total Words: 18,027

I finally made it to the library again today.  I had a bunch of overdue books, but the place was closed on both Sunday and Monday and I couldn't return them . . . though they still charged me for those two days, didn't they?  Anyhoo, I had forgotten my laptop and had to write in my notebook (which is fine, just less-efficient), and I thought I'd force myself to either write to "The End" or for a full hour, whichever came first.

But I found it difficult to concentrate.  I went to the second floor again, which is The Quiet Floor, you recall, where there are signs that say not to use your cellphone, not even to say, "Hey, I'm on the second floor of the library and people are giving me the stink-eye; can I call you back?"  I sat down, set my phone to Vibrate, and set the timer to go off in sixty minutes. 

I opened my notebook and tried to get the words flowing, but it just wasn't working.  There was a crying child somewhere on the floor (maybe in the vents or a trash can), and somebody's phone started to ring a couple cubicles away from mine.  They got to it after a couple rings, and were at least decent enough to head for the stairs when they took their call, but my concentration was broken.

A moment later, I tried to get back into the story, but boy, I got the feeling it was sucking and I'd be better off abandoning it and moving on to my next big project, which I believe I will be calling "Ten Thousand Coffins."*  But I forced myself to go on, figurin--

Nearby, somebody else's phone started to ring, and it took them five or six rings to get to it.  Angry heads were popping out of cubicles, and this guy at least apologized for the interruption.

I knew I only had a page or so more to go on the story, and my theory is that the worst completed story is better than the best forever-unfinished story, so I delved into it once again.  I had intended for the sucker to be a flash piece, and now it was getting to regular short story length, and it's just sad that I couldn't find a way to--

ANOTHER cellphone began to ring.  This was the third one in less than an hour, and it had some kind of Rock song as the ringtone (think it might have been Cradle of Filth's "Born in a Burial Gown," a favorite of my mother's).  Well, people made disgusted sounds, the guy answered it and said he couldn't talk right now, but the librarian had already slammed closed her copy of Mein Kampf to glare at him.

Now it was almost a Herculean task to get to the end of the story.  The constant interruptions were one thing, but my own apathy and laziness were neck and neck with them in an attempt to derail my productivity.  Suddenly, I wanted to look things up on Wikipedia, I wanted to check my email, I wanted to look around and see if any of the library patrons had brought breasts with them.  It was as if the powers that be did not want that awful short story to be finished.

But I put my head down, soldiering through despite the lack of inspiration, and got to the end of the story.  I was trying to decide whether to end it with dialogue or a line of description, when a horrendous beeping slapped me out of my daze, startling me and everyone around me.

It was the timer I'd set, blaring like a fire alarm, despite me having set my phone on Vibrate.  Well, I deserved the signs of the Evil Eye being sent my way, turned it off, and got the heck out of there.

After I wrote "The End," that is.

Words Written: 478
Total Words: 18,505

I didn't get much written on this day either.  I spent a bit of my writing time coming up with character names for my novella, deciding on Brooklyn Lisst, Karl Valencia, and Anton Supov, figuring that I'd try to have a bit of diversity in my Science Fiction.  I also wasted time doing math, trying to figure out how long it would take the ship to reach its destination (as long as something unforeseen doesn't happen, though here's a spoiler: it does), and how much the crew would age compared to the passengers (about twelve years).

I'm excited about the new project, and while that will inevitably fade, it's nice while it lasts.


*My Dog, that's a good title.  Even if the story turns out to be rubbish, at least I got the title right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rish Outcast 66: Expecto Patreon!

Wow, I created a Patreon account wherein my pals and/or supporters and pledge a dollar (or more!) for every episode of my podcast I release.  I should have done it years ago, when people first urged me to do so . . . but I guess it was too hard.
Listen on and find out why.

I thought it would be amusing to continually include the Spanish version of Exile's (Santino's) I Wanna Love You All Over all over this episode.  Not sure if it was the right call.

So, if you'd like to support me, and prove that negative review correct, head over to THIS LINK and pledge something.  Do it for Fake Sean.

Of course, if you want to download the show, feel free to Right-Click HERE.

Writing: February 19th & 20th

Sadly, February is almost over, and this little experiment will pass into history.  I have another novella idea in me that has been itching to come out, and if I had a developed sense of ambition, I'd do my best to get the whole thing written before March begins. 

Unfortunately, even though I am rather amped to work after the writers conference, both Sunday and Monday the library was closed, and I couldn't run over there and force myself to write with no distractions.

Words Written: 275
Total Words: 16,441

My numbers are going to be quite pathetic these two days, because I spent a lot of my writing time finishing up a Dunesteef story recorded back in June, reading a children's book I'm going to be producing in audio soon, and I also made some revisions to my most recent short story . . . which doesn't really count as written words (though it could, if I was really good about tracking it).

That reminds me, I spend a little time each day writing on this blog, and couldn't I technically count that too?  Or is that just accounting, like counting up the numbers, or adding them to the ones before?

Words Written: 601
Total Words: 17,042

One of the speakers at one of the panels at one of the days at one of the writers conferences I've been to said that one of the things that he does with one of his writer friends (okay, I'll stop now) is that when they get together to hang out/eat/talk, they go to a Starbucks and sit down and force themselves to write for an hour before they say anything.  It seemed like such a crazy idea I suggested Big and I try it tonight when we got together, but as there are no Starbucks, a lot of places were closed due to hour and holiday, and the local librarian was a vocal anti-Semite . . . we decided to try it at the local Wendy's. 

We tried to get our talking out of the way, then for thirty minutes, only silence and only writing.

Well, it worked and it didn't work.  Just like telling someone not to think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or when you take your fiancĂ©e to your parents place and they tell you absolutely cannot engage in any cunnilingus . . . well, that's the only thing you want to do.  I wasn't entirely productive, and I didn't finish my story as I intended to (in fact, I think I added six hundred words to it that got me no closer to the end), but hey, we both got our writing in.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Writing: February 17th & 18th

Well, it happened today: those blessed two words, perhaps the loveliest two words in the English language (besides "divorce finalized").  I finished my story "A Mark on the Sky," which may not end up the final title, but I'd bet dollars to donuts on it.

I'm at the writers conference, and darned if it hasn't been mostly stuff I've heard before (and before that, and before that), but perhaps its the ritual that's important.  Perhaps it's being around other like-minded folks, with similar priorities and desires and struggles, and that's what's beneficial.  Does it remind you of going to church in any way?  Well, it's supposed to.

Words Written: 857
Total Words: 15,818

So, I got very little sleep last night.  I still have to make money, even if I'm in a writers conference all day, so I didn't get to sleep until very late (around three), and when I set my alarm last night, I fully expected to turn it off and go back to bed, sleeping through the first couple of panels.  But when it went off, I remembered thinking I ought to go to them (or I wouldn't have set the alarm in the first place), so I just got up and went.

It did catch up to me around two pm, though, when I started being unable to focus on what the panelists were saying, and started to wonder if I shouldn't just duck out for a little while and get some soda and or crack into me, since I'm not really paying attention.  But I was recording the panels for Biggie, so I hung in there, knowing I could always listen to them later.

Now, though, it's hours later, and I can barely keep my head up.  Gonna call it a night, I guess.

At one of the panels was a guy who, upon losing a bet with the Devil, wrote a short story (a "flash" story) every day in 2016.  When he was done, his fingers had been worn down to the nubs, his buttocks were completely flat, and he had THREE short story collections filled with them to sell at conventions.  That kind of inspired me, but not enough to do anything about it.

Words Written: 348
Total Words: 16,166

Seems today might have been the lightest day so far this month.  But I was in the convention from morning till night, had my niece with me, and then got together with Big Ank to go to dinner after.  And then I was pretty darn sleepy when I made it home, but having been encouraged by stuff I heard on panels, decided to see if I couldn't punch up the most important scene in a 2011 story I was going to publish, which would piss off good ole Dean Wesley Smith, but bad ole Rish Benjamin Outfield likes it just fine . . . even if the voice of the narrator no longer matches during that scene.  Whoops.

Having finished that novella, I immediately started work on a short story that I came up with in 2010 or so on one of my patented "Come Up With A Story Idea On The Fly That's Never Going To Go Anywhere" activities I sometimes do while driving.  I intended to write it all in one sitting, but see-sawed between panels that totally grabbed my attention and boring ones I practically slept through.  Ah well, maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

DoG: Marshal, Renee, Big, and I Talk About Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher

The same group* that got together to talk about ROGUE ONE on my Star Wars: Delusions of Grandeur podcast did the same to remember Carrie Fisher and the role that made her famous.

I didn't edit this particular episode, so there are probably way more examples of me talking over the other participants, like a big orange political bully.  Even so, I hope the show was heartfelt and you get a sense of how big a deal Leia Organa was to our generation's children.

Check out the show at THIS LINK, wouldja?

*Marshal Latham, Rish Outfield, Renee Chambliss, and Biggie Anklevich.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Writing: February 15th & 16th

Words Written: 255
Total Words: 14,028

Not a great deal of writing on this day either.  I recorded the first Fake Sean Connery song for my Patreon supporters, and if there's a Zardoz in the heavens, it won't be the last.  I have gotten quite close to reaching the end of the novella, and if I had just forced myself to go to the library one more time (think I went on Tuesday, though I don't know if I blogged about it*), those blessed words woulda come and gone, and who knows what story I'd now be moving onto?

Words Written: 933
Total Words: 14,961

Today was the first day of the yearly writers conference that I've enjoyed going to since 2015 (the year I decided I'd write a novel), and I managed to get a few words in either before or during every panel.  Being around so many creative and/or passionate people has a positive effect on me, and I did wish a time or two that I could just sit down somewhere and write, especially in the couple of panels I got nothing out of.
But it's the first of three days, and if today was any indication, I will get close to eighteen grand or so by the end of this weekend.  That's pretty exciting, at least to me, even if half the people around me at the panels wrote that much THIS WEEK (or more).


*I sat down, mildly aware I had to use the restroom, and started typing (which is way easier, word count-wise than how I have been doing it), telling myself I'd write until I couldn't NOT go anymore, and then I'd hit the bathroom.
I always go up to the second floor now (ever since that day when the dude was screaming, "Stop fucking looking at me!" or whatever he was shouting), which is the Quiet Level, where people are told not to have conversations, not to talk on their phones (or even have them ring), and not to think about the Beastie Boys.  There are these little cubicles you can study in (or whatever else people do in libraries) and the guy next to me had headphones in, but they were turned up so loud, I not only could hear what songs he was listening to, but actually make out the lyrics.  Well, I found this extremely distracting, since the asshole listened to Lady Gaga, in addition to the more library acceptable Adele and Sia, and when I finally decided to bug out of there . . . I left him a parting gift in the form of a extremely nasty fart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Writing: February 13th & 14th

Hey, kids . . . it's the worst day of the year.  How is it treating you?

I saw this joke online yesterday:

It's sad when even your food has a Valentine's Day date and you don't.

It's funny 'cause it's true, right?

Eff Valentine's day.

Words Written: 1433
Total Words: 13,363

I went to the library today.  Really only spent an hour or so (and could have stayed longer, but I chose to take my sister's stepson to work instead).  I'm actually very close to the end on this.  Like, if I really wanted to, I could finish the story tomorrow.

I probably won't, though.

Words Written: 410
Total Words: 13,773

Didn't write much on this day, sort of out of protest.  Instead, I worked on my podcast, finished up the audio for a novelette I wrote (and will probably put on the Outcast sometime in summer), and recorded (and did a revision) of a short story that's already been podcast, but I figured could go in my next collection.  I briefly went out to the car and wrote a page in the notebook, just to say I did.

But under duress, you understand.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Writing: February 11th & 12th

Amazingly, I saw that Big is up over six thousand words this month, which has to double his productivity in the whole YEAR of 2016.  That's an accomplishment, one much more significant than my own nine thousand words.

Words Written: 1087
Total Words:10,309

Went to another basketball game today (which pales compared to last Saturday's three games), and got a couple of pages written there, then a bit more at lunch.  Getting close here.

Words Written: 1621
Total Words: 11,930

I spent most of my free time on this day editing the podcast, and finishing up the audio for "Varcolac."  I did duck out to the car to write for twenty minutes or so while waiting for dinnertime.  Then, instead of what I intended to do late that night, I wrote for a while on a "comedic" sketch I thought we'd do on the show, maybe get Renee to voice the wife.  I don't know if it's funny in the slightest, but it's certain to piss someone off.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rish Outcast 65: Dead Letter

I'm no fan of Valentine's Day, so let's not call this my V.D. episode.  But, please get your junk checked out anyhow.

So, today I'm presenting the last story by Rish Outfield Big Anklevich's wife ever heard (and maybe it was the first too), and if I'm not lucky, it'll be the last episode you ever listen to either.  It's called "Dead Letter," and you know exactly what I'm gonna say about it.

Still, I try.

NOTE: When I originally shared this episode, there was a problem with the file, and a third or so of the story got cut out.  Feel free to like it now . . . if you can.

Wanna download the episode?  Just Right-Click THIS LINK HERE and save it to your dee-vice.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rish Narrates "Awake" by Abigail Hilton

The first book I performed for Abbie Hilton was "Hunters Unlucky," a sprawling Epic Fantasy novel about the warring species of sentient animals on an island and their history.

I was happy to hear she had written a follow-up, "Awake," for her Patreon followers (did I mention I have a Patreon account now?  Oh . . . well, I will).  It takes place a year after "Hunters" ends and picks up with several of the characters' lives.

I must admit that I found it quite a challenge to a) remember the voices I gave to each of these characters and b) keep them straight in my narration, especially when they were speaking to one another.*  There were two new characters, so those voices were easy.

What's kind of remarkable about this story--actually, there's two things. The first is, that the main character of "Hunters Unlucky" doesn't appear in "Awake." He's referenced, but it focuses on other characters. The remarkable thing I wanted to mention, though, is that it deals, in bold terms, with lifelong enemies somehow not only becoming allies . . . but friends. The characters I initially took to be The Bad Guys when I first read "Hunters Unlucky" all have their own morality, their own positive qualities . . . their own heroic qualities, and this is on clear display here, where the main character of "Awake" is one of those beings I found most unknowable and alien in the larger book.

Hilton manages all this--as well as giving little updates as to what's going on with the other characters from the book--in very few words, and what seems to me to be effortlessness.

If that is a word.

Anyway, check it out, if ye like, at this link.

Or you can pick it up here on Audible . . . but it does cost a little more.  Or nothing, if you've got one of those subscription things.

Plus, here's my Patreon link.

Rish "I Dunno, I'm Just The Narrator" Outfield

*Abbie must have anticipated this, because along with the manuscript, she sent along portions of the audiobook where I voiced those characters, so I wouldn't have to guess what they sounded like (or worse, try and find my original notes somewhere on my hellishly cluttered desk).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Writing: February 9th and 10th (sigh)

The hardest part about writing everyday isn't finding the time, making myself do it, or the writing itself . . . it's counting up the darn words.

Words Written: 489
Total Words: 8545

Getting fairly close to the big climax of my story now.  I don't know how it's going to end after the confrontation between good and evil, but I'm eager to find out.

Words Written: 677
Total Words: 9222

I had to force myself to write today.  I was pulling the car up to the curb, eager to get inside and . . . I dunno, sit there staring at the wall, drooling slowly, Carlos and Elkind's SHINING score humming in my head.  But I stopped myself, grabbed my notebook, and made myself write a page and a half before I went in.  Every little bit helps, right?

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Writing: February 7th & 8th

You remember my post the other day about painting a cheap Iron Man toy?  Well, my nephew loved it and wanted me to do one for him, so I went to the store and, whoa, they were even on cheaper clearance . . . so I bought them all.  Yeah.

I paint for ten or twenty minutes every day, and it's both relaxing and . . . creatively fulfilling.  Uh oh.  I can get the same sense of satisfaction I do from writing or podcasting just by putting blue paint on a red Iron Man.  So, I dunno.

Words Written: 3096
Total Words: 7650

Wow, kids, I really did it this time.  I had an hour or so free, so I drove to the library, sat down, and started writing.  Then I switched projects (I had found a plothole in a finished story and thought I might switch out a paragraph before it's too late), and wrote for a minute or so there.  But then I figured I'd jot down my notes for a third story, since it had been in my head and that sort of thing is fleeting...

But I didn't stop with the notes.  I just went ahead and wrote the beginning.  I still had ten minutes or so, so I figured I'd jump to the end and get that typed up.  But I realized that the ending would be better if I went back and set one thing up, so I jumped back to the beginning . . . and somehow typed the rest of the dang thing until it was done.  I realized I had gone way over my time, and well, I just shrugged and kept typing till I reached the end. 

So, another story done in 2017.  That's not saying it's any good, but let's deal with one challenge at a time.

Words Written: 406
Total Words: 8056

Not much here.  I could have gone back to the library, if I was feeling up to it (I could've ridden my bicycle too, if I was feeling up to that), and didn't do it.  Just a little bit in the notebook, and editing of podcasts.  Hey, at least I didn't do any painting.  Although it's not that late yet . . .

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Writing: February 5th and 6th

Words Written: 707
Total Words: 4045

For some crazy reason, Sunday was beautiful weather-wise.  I had the option of cooping myself indoors to write (or edit podcasts and audiobooks), or go outside and enjoy the decidedly un-winter weather.  I did both, riding my bike for the first time in months but thinking about writing the whole time, then typing up what I came up with as soon as I got home.

I meant to get back to it later, but I was editing and ran out of time.  At least I had typed my writing, so I didn't have to go down the page counting words, which is even less fun than it sounds.

But I have said it before--having the extra step of typing up a story written in my notebook can be beneficial, since it's automatically a second draft.  There has never been a piece I've typed up that I transcribed exactly as it was in the notebook, there's always expansions, clarifications, and rephrasing as I go.  Not sure it's WORTH all the additional work, but there is that benefit.

Words Written: 509
Total Words: 4554

Today was the day when I go to all the parties down on my street.  I wash my hair and kid myself I look real smooth.  Because of that, I didn't have much time to write, so I sat down at that awful program Write Or Die and typed in 500 words in ten minutes.  Yeah, the damn thing did make the awful screeching noise two or three times, but I got through my words in record time, with two or three minutes left to sit here and think about how good Mister Pibb is.  Maybe more words tomorrow.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Dad Would Be Proud (/sarcasm)

So, I went to Big's the other day, and he had bought one of those cheap plastic Hasbro "Titan Hero" Hulkbuster Iron Man figures I see in the toy aisle all the time.  I've never considered getting one . . . they're just too shitty.  A big hunk of cheap plastic with a couple half-assed paint applications, and boom, Bob's your uncle, buy it.

But Big was talking about wanting to paint his kid's Iron Man so it didn't look quite so bad, and it reminded me of the custom paintjobs I used to do for fun in the days before starting that great time eater that rhymes with "poon-thief."  It seemed fun back then, so I thought I'd try it myself.  So I hit the store on the way home from Big's house and picked one up (they were on clearance, otherwise I might never have this "fun" story to tell).  I bought some cheap paints and gave it a go.*

Stage 2:

Anyway, whenever I listened to a podcast, or tried to get through a show on Netflix (usually takes me two or three sittings), I put a little paint on.  And not only did I find it tremendously relaxing (not that I have any reason to need relaxation), but I thought it came together really well.

Stage 3:

I discovered that, embedded in ultra-low-quality plastic was a really solid, and extraordinarily detailed sculpt.  All it needed was a little paint to make the texture come alive.


So, yeah, if my father had seen me do it, he would not have been pleased with the way I wasted my time.  But I could put this on a shelf and, I think, impress anybody with a Y-chromosome that came along and happened to notice it.

Unless they were a sports guy.  Then, no go.

Rish Outfield, Artist

*Big had also talked about people online that take the cheap figures (or not so cheap versions) and do detailed paintjobs, gold or white or black or just a better-looking red.  And the black one that sort of matches the "Marvel Now" Iron Man look from a year or two back really looked good, so that's what I picked.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Writing: February 3rd and 4th

So, I've pledged to write every day in February.  Furthermore, I'm gonna try to keep track of y writing here . . . which, frankly, is more trouble than actually doing the writing.  I'm a lazy, lazy sod, kids.

Words Written: 1119
Total Words: 2063

I've been working on a story/novella I'm calling "A Mark on the Sky," and it's coming along pretty well.  Something like this would normally take me two or three months to write, but I'm hoping I can have it all done by March.  I've also got another tale in my head that I hope to get to before it flees completely--a Sci-Fi/Horror tale with a female protagonist.

Would be nice if I could just drive over to the library, go up to the second floor (which is the "quiet" floor where you're supposed to not use your cellphones [though unfortunately, people still do]) and force myself to write through to the end.  Maybe give the meanest-looking librarian my car keys and say, "Don't give these back to me until I show you the words The End in my manuscript."

Words Written: 1275
Total Words: 3338

Went to my nephew's basketball game this morning.  I often take my notebook with me and write in it when he's not playing (or if I get tired of watching his team fall behind), and today I got a couple pages in.  However, it can be a double-edged blessing, since I can get distracted by my notebook and miss the boy's ball-playing, or vice-versa.


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Chilly January

So, the month of January came and went, and it's time to see how I did with my goals.

1.  Write that "Sidekick" story.

Wow, I actually accomplished something.  I wrote it mostly in one sitting while working on a commercial (being an extra is great in that way, the one day I worked on a project in 2016 I wrote two-thirds of my story for Marshal's contest . . . which reminds me, I need to type that up.  A goal for February?).

I did write the currently-untitled Ben Parks story.  It is a prequel, set at San Domingo orphanage.  It will not be necessary to read in order to follow the main series (you know that movie ROGUE ONE?  Same thing), though it does introduce the villain who's going to bother Ben in the future.  We'll see.

2.  Record, edit, and re-record Abbie Hilton's new short story collection "When We Were Young." 

Done and done.

And done.  The re-recording always sucks because my voice quality changes from one day to another.  Right before typing this, I forced myself to narrate a story through to the end--even though my voice was getting raspy--because I knew that if I picked up the tale tomorrow it would not sound remotely the same.

But what's the alternative?  Getting it right the first time?  (middle-finger-emoticon)

3.  Publish the audiobook for "New Year's Day."

Damn.  That one I failed at.  I have the whole book uploaded.  All I had to do was select the five minute sample bit, but I forgot about it.  I'm super-close, though.

4.  Publish "Remember the Future."

Yep, that happened.  It's out there, remember . . . watching, waiting for its chance to strike.

5.  Record and edit the audio for "Remember the Future."

Recorded.  I thought about doing it as my Valentine's Day episode of the Rish Outcast.

But felt it would be too much work to get it all done in time.

Then I slapped myself for thinking of having a Valentine's Day episode.

Wow, if I ever meet someone who hates that holiday more than I do . . . I promise to give them a Valentine's card.

6.  Finally publish "Newfound Fame."

I don't know if I managed that or not.  I'm leaning toward . . . yes?

So, five goals out of six.  That's pretty good, even for a normal person.


Unfortunately, I set the goal of writing every day for February, so I don't dare set too many other goals.

1.  Write every day.
2.  Keep track of the words I write (and occasionally post them here).
3.  Record and edit AH's "Awake."
4.  Publish "Varcolac."

Except for the first one, I think those are pretty doable.

Rish "We Are The Champions" Outfield

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Writing: February 1st and 2nd

Okay, the first two days of the month have passed, and I've been fine with my goal of writing everyday.  The first was a little less productive than the second, but since I actually started writing everyday a week ago (to get myself going), it shouldn't be impossible to keep this up.

Words Written: 173
Total Words: 173

Tracking this stuff is hard because I've gone back to my trusty old notebook, and I have to physically count the words on the page.*

The second day was much better.  I took my notebook to lunch with me after dropping my nephew at his school, and found Taco Bell absolutely crawling with high school students.  Crawling, as in "Oh my dear god, Edith, we HAVE to call an exterminator right now!  Yes, I know it's one in the morning."  So, instead of standing in a line for half an hour with a bunch of snorting, texting, laughing, grab-assing teenagers, I went to a table in the corner (the only not-filthy one), and sat down to write until all of them ordered, ate, and went back to school.**

Words Written: 771
Total Words: 944

Well, that was fewer than I would've guessed.  But I'm still going.


*Writing on the laptop is much more efficient, since I can just drop each day's work into a Word Counter, but the laptop is a) insanely heavy (approximately the size of Kanye West's ego) and b) the total battery charge length has gone down from seven to nine minutes in the summer to . . . wait for it . . . between three and four minutes a charge.  Yeah, in the time it takes the laptop to power on, the charge drops down to fifty percent.
Oh, the many times I have considered throwing it across the room and/or kicking it into oblivion (yes, just like I did my last laptop).  But I always stop myself, knowing that a great deal of my writing, audiobooks, and podcasting only exist on that hard drive and would be gone forever if I were to give in to my rage (just like the stuff that was lost on my last laptop).  If only there were some way I could back up all that data . . . oh, the fun I'd have.

**Funny thing is, when I finally stood up to order my own food, someone spied my somewhat-clean table, and immediately took it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Rish Outcast 64: It's Astounding, Time Is Fleeting

Hey kids, it's a double episode!  Madness, apparently, takes its toll.

So, what you get here is a lost episode from 2015 (one I discovered in my folder of Dunesteef marathon episodes), plus another one from 2016 where I talk about a Broken Mirror premise, and the story I almost wrote for it.

I gotta warn you, though: this is mostly about writing.  You're gonna get that two out of three episodes of this show, though.  Gee, maybe I should've mentioned that from the beginning.

Go ahead and download this sucka by Right-Clicking DIS LINK.

Note: Please disregard my request for a list of Fake Sean Connery song recordings (a generous listener wrote 'em all down for me) . . . but feel free to make requests.