Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 28th & 29th

July 28th.

This is strange.  I think I went to the library again on this day, but now I'm confused.  Did I really go two days in a row?  I--

Yeah, yeah, I did.  The day before, I'd gone right before closing, sitting on the first floor, and the second day, I went a couple hours before it closed, and went to the Quiet Floor, where the only interruptions would be in my pants.*

I didn't get a ton of new words written, but I did get very close to having all of "Mark on the Sky" typed up.  Only one more session ought to do it.

Words Today: 433
Total Words: 15,079

July 29th.

Saturday was going to be a difficult writing day, because I had to get up very early and drive down to the family cabin with my mom and brother, where we were going to stain/varnish/paint the outside walls/paneling.  I'm not sure what the word is where you put on a coat or two of brown glossy stuff, and then a layer of clear-coat over it.  But that's what we did, and with three of us working, we managed to get quite a bit of it done with zero casualties.

Although, technically, my writing might count as a casualty.  I did bring my notebook with me, and sat down at the table while my brother was mixing up the clear-coat, and tried to get some words in.  My mom kept coming over and talking to me, mostly about the flowers outside or the amount of cobwebs inside, or the amount of people that could stay at one time or where did all the paper towels go?  I think she may have just been talking to herself some of that time, but because I was there, trying hard to focus, I appreciated it less than I should have.

Not a lot of words.  On the drive back, she asked me to tell her about what I was writing.  I basically told her the entire story, at least all that I have, and she asked a couple of questions I don't know the answer to, and seemed to think this was a book series instead of a single YA novel.  She may be right, but if I was intimidated at the idea of writing a novel, how much worse would writing a series of novels be?

There was a get-together of old high school friends that evening, so I had enough time to get home, get showered (I was very dirty from all the painting, and I still see brown varnish on my elbow and fingernails), run over to Walmart to buy "a side" for people to eat (I got chips and salsa; I don't know what a side dish is, let alone a side), and get there only a half hour late.  I hobnobbed with some of the guys I knew in high school, but I was literally the only person there without kids, and that made me a bit of a third wheel (if not fifth or seventh).  It was kind of an eye-opening get-together, a reminder of just how old I'm getting, and also of how much less grown-up I am than the people I went to high school with.  It was still good to see them, but I have a lot less in common with those guys than I did decades ago.

I got home and felt like I should try to write just a little more, but I was too tired.  And in counting up the words in that terrible notebook, I suppose I did get a lot more writing done than I thought I did.  Maybe I wrote some of it in my sleep.

Words Today: 769
Total Words: 15,848

*Sorry, that's a bit of an overshare, yeah, but I sat down, got my notebook and my craptop set up, and then suddenly, had to run to the bathroom, if you know what I mean.  In the past, I've been savvy enough to take all my belongings with me to the restroom, because you never know, but this one was indeed an emergency, and I didn't really decide to leave my stuff on the desk, but was rather forced to.  I made my way, as fast as I could without drawing attention to myself, to the nearest toilet, and thank Bossk there was no one already in there . . . things would have ended badly.  Or worse, anyway.
When I came back to the cubicle, everything was as it had been, except for the note on a 3x5 card that said, "I kNOw wHaT yOU dID," that was put there by a librarian.  That was unsettling.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July 26th & 27th

July 26.

I don't know where the hours go.  I had some time to myself today, and even though I posted two episodes of the Rish Outcast, mowed the lawn, and sat down to perform a Fake Sean Connery song, the hours of the day were not enough, and it was night by the time I checked what time afternoon it was.

I did manage a little bit of writing, during lunch, and hopefully tonight, but I'm just as undisciplined as one of James Cameron's Colonial Marines.

But as I've said (what, ninety times now), maybe July was just a jumping-off point, and August can be truly productive, at least by comparison.  I'm not in a race with you, I'm in a race with mys . . .

Oh, I just checked.  It IS you.  I'm sorry, I didn't realize.  I'm a race with you.  Sorry.

Words Today: 659
Total Words: 14,502

July 27.

Today, I decided it was time to head back to the library and force myself to write for an hour or two.  After all, it is the end of the month, and though I did well three or four days this past week, I'm still pretty far from where I wanted to be.  I thought I could write a whole novella this month, or a short story and part of a novel.

Well, I was on my way to the library when I ran into what I guess I have to consider the only friend I have left.  I chatted with him for a few minutes, figuring I'd hit the library immediately after.  But as the minutes became an hour, I started to wonder if I would miss my chance to hit the library and write*, and the bigger question occurred to me: is hanging out with my friend more or less important than going and getting my writing done?

I'm something of a recluse and a misanthrope, and living on my own in the big city showed me that I'm at least partially capable of being alone and just fine . . . but dude, it would be nice to have a friend or two, you dig?

So, I went to the library, and it was closing in just under an hour, and I sat at the first empty desk I came to and tried to make the most of it.  I had made the mistake of stepping into the audiobook section and catching the eye of a helpful young man who, despite not being a library employee, asked me what I was looking for.  I glanced to my left, saw the Veronica Roth books, and said, "Oh, there's a book by Patrick Rothfuss I've always meant to read.  Just checking to see if it's here."  The young man nodded.  "Is it The Name of the Wind?"  "That's right.  But it's never here."

I went and sat down, booted up the computer, and managed just a few words before the helpful young man walked up to me.  "Well," he said, "I looked it up in the computer, and there's no audio version."  "Excuse me?" I asked.  "The Name of the Wind.  The library does have eight copies of the paper version of the book, but they're all checked out."  Apparently, the chap had gone through the aisles looking for me to let me know.  "Well, thanks, man," I said, still puzzled as to what was happening here.  I suppose attractive young women get this kind of reception all the time, but for me, it's baffling.  "You can put a hold on it," he said, ever helpful, "and when the library gets a copy in, they'll set it aside for you."  I considered explaining that I never manage to read physical books, that I fall asleep, and that's why I wanted the audiobook, but instead, I just said, "I'll do that.  Thanks again."

He walked away, ostensibly looking for old ladies to help cross the street, and I resumed writing.  Or attempting to write, because despite having very little time before the building closed, the blind Japanese guy who seems to live there has some kind of device where you push a button and it screams, "THE TIME IS EIGHT TWENTY-ONE PM!!!!!!!!!" which, I suppose, is to help him know how much time he has left, but he just kept pushing it, and the machine announced it to everyone in a two-block radius.  It just bothered me, that he'd push it, and two minutes later he'd push it again.  And then the library did their actual announcement, and I guess their policy is, after they do the audio announcement, they flip the lights on and off, in case, I dunno, the Japanese blind guy has a Japanese deaf best pal with him.  The second time they toggled the lights on and off, I actually said, "Fuckers!" out loud.

It's okay, I wasn't on the Quiet Floor.

Words Today: 144
Total Words: 14,646

*At one point, I mentioned my library intentions to him and he said, "Why don't you just go to Starbucks and write, like the rest of the jagoffs?"  He may or may not have used the word "jagoff" (okay, he didn't; I just like the sound of it), but it was a good question.  Why does it HAVE to be the library?  Back before my laptop became, first a craptop, and now a gigantic piece of shit, I used to be able to take it to the park and write, or heck, just into the backyard for an hour or so, but now it constantly needs to be plugged in, so my options are limited.
Although I did take it to Arby's once, and that wasn't an unpleasant experience.  Maybe I will again (though I'll definitely have to start donating plasma to afford to eat at Arby's.  Either that or donate a kidney.  That ought to cover my meals there for a good month or so).

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 23rd, 24th, 25th

July 23rd.

Well, I be a back-slider.

After two days of really good, solid progress (no, not compared to YOU, Your Highness, but for me, Friday and Saturday kicked ass), I got very little writing done.  Guess I should've stayed another night at the cabin.

But in my defense, Your Honor, I was working a big chunk of the next two days, and that is kind of important, due to having a dollar sign attached to it.  Heck, I should be working right now instead of writing this.*

Just managed to jot down a paragraph or two in my notebook at lunchtime.

Words Today: 88
Total Words: 11,636

July 24th.

Another day just like the one before.  Except that, at the end of the day, I sat down and wrote a little bit, just so I didn't feel like the loser who only wrote eighty-eight words.

Which reminds me: I've been sort of revisiting a story I abandoned with a teen protagonist, and I keep struggling with how to expand it from a short story to a novel, and one of the additions I've made is to have a love interest in the story, someone who notices our guy, and because she's paying attention, sees that he has a secret nobody else can see.

Unfortunately, I already had a male character, a new best friend kind of thing, who served that purpose, and it makes me question the purpose of the love interest character.  Is she just there so that there's the potential for kissing?  Is she just there because I fear someone saying, "Why are there only male characters in this??"  Is she sort of tacked on and worthless, just because I'm not talented enough to do something with her?

Don't answer that last one.

Anyway, I was able to call Big Anklevich after work and talk to him about this quandary, and he gave me some suggestions.  Maybe there's something I can do with the love interest if I make it a quartet of teen characters instead of just a trio.

There's also a female antagonist that shows up on or about the midpoint of the story, and she sort of throws everything our main character knows into question.  I wondered, is it stronger if she's his long-lost sister, or just his cousin?**  And then I got the "brilliant" idea of, what if I combine this cousin/sister character with the love interest, and that way she's definitely got something important to do in the story?  Yay!

Of course, a lot of folks find incest slightly distasteful, them not having written a sequel to "The Calling."  And I dunno if I want to tackle that subject again . . . so soon, anyway.

Big told me not to worry about people thinking I'm repeating elements from previous stories, by asking if there's really anyone out there that's a big enough fan to have read everything I've written.  It's probably okay to have more than one story about a family with supernatural abilities, where some of them are good and some of them are evil.  Just talking through it out loud is helpful, as I have discovered when doing the Voice Recorder feature on phones and mp3 players (go ahead and look up what those were), and I think I'm in a better place having spoken to him.

So, while the conversation with Big doesn't count as writing (and neither do these blog posts), I think it might encourage me to write more tomorrow.  And the day after.

Words Today: 993
Total Words: 12,629

July 25.

I did work a little harder on this day, especially THINKING about writing the YA book.  I don't really know how to do it, but I keep coming up with scenes I want to put in the book, and I've been writing those.  That may end up being a disaster, but to me, it's kind of like I'm writing little connected short stories, and that may be what I have to do to get a novel written.

I sat up late tonight, meaning to jot down a few notes, and ended up typing quite a bit.  And those words add up.

Words Today: 1214
Total Words: 13,843

*That reminds me, there was this podcast (which shall remain nameless, but it's similar to a line in the attached sentence, which I kept trying to listen to, but had the most godawful theme song in the history of music (and I ought to put "music" in quotation marks, that theme was so unlistenable).  The content of the podcast was solid, and would have helped me, but every time I heard that theme song, I had to turn it off.  Sad.
Then one day, a friend of mine sent me an email with an episode of that podcast attached.  "You'll get a kick out of this, I bet," he wrote.  I listened to the attached episode (it was from months or years after the point I'd stopped listening to the show), and right at the beginning, the host comes on and says, "You may notice that, starting with this episode, we have a new theme tune for the podcast.  This was because of the endless complaints we would get here about it.  I personally thought the music was charming and it made me smile whenever I heard it, but due to the constant stream of angry comments, we have retired it.  Enjoy."
And I did.

**Originally she was going to be a cousin he had never heard about, but I thought, what if she's his sister, and like Luke and Leia, one was taken by one parent figure and one was taken by another?  But I don't know if that works as well as it just being the daughter of his mother's brother he didn't know existed, rather than the daughter of his mother he couldn't remember.  I still don't know.  Hmmm.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rish Outcast 78: Remember the Future

So, a year or so back, Rish went into the woods and recorded this episode in front of a campfire. He shares the story "Remember the Future," about a teenage girl who receives a rather unfortunate gift (with an appearance by a character or two from past Rish Outfield tales).
Warning: A bit of TMI.

Do you really want to download this episode?  Okay, just Right-Click HERE.

Do you really want to support Rish?

Do you really want to hurt me?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 21 & 22

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

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

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

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

July 21st.

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

I would've been fine to hang out at the cabin, but I did force myself to drive over (a real man would've walked, but what you gonna do?) to the lake and watched the sun go down.  Just me and my only friend.  Took a picture or three.

Words Today: 1332
Total Words: 8375

I take a lot of pictures, but I rarely share them.  It'll make me seem like I'm ninety years old, but it's just so much work to plug the camera into the computer, find the photo, transfer it over, and then find it again on my PC.  Where's my Geritol?

July 22nd.

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

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

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

Words Today: 3173
Total Words: 11548

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 19th & 20th

July 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Words Today: 192
Total Words: 6523

July 20th.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Words Today: 520
Total Words: 7043

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 16, 17, 18

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


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

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

Words Today: 1301
Total Words: 5855


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

Words Today: 389
Total Words: 6244


Nothing so far.

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

Glass is halfish empty-ish, I guess.

Words Today: 87
Total Words: 6331

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

R.I.P. George A. Romero

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

"Is that George Romero?" I asked.


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

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

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

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

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

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

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

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

He nodded. "Sure."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe I'll find out now.

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

Rish Outfield

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Podcast That Dares 19: The Big Goodbye

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

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

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


June 5-7th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Handjobs for everyone!

Rish Outfield

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

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

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 14th & 15th

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

July 14.

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

Maybe I can set a bigger goal for August.

Words Today: 128
Total Words: 4412

July 15.

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

Well, let's keep profanity out of this.

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

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

Words Today: 142
Total Words: 4554

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 12th & Unlucky 13th

July 12.

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

Words Today: 378
Total Words: 3990

July 13.

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

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

Words Today: 294
Total Words: 4284

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 10th & 11th

July 10.

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

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

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

Words Today: 600
Total Words: 2729

July 11.

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

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

Words Today: 883
Total Words: 3612

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 8th & 9th

July 8th.

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

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

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

Words Written: 196
Total Words: 1921

July 9th.

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

The world may never know.

Words Written: 208
Total Words: 2129

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

But . . .

I doubted my memory, and looked it up.


You're welcome.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Rish Outcast 77: Here Comes the Rain Again

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

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

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

Saturday, July 08, 2017

July 6th & 7th

Still going, though not at any breakneck speed.

July 6th.

The sixth of July is my brother's birthday (or it has been most years, not sure how Leap Years work), though I don't imagine we're close enough to wish each other a happy one anymore.  I saw him on the 4th, and gave him some cash for some comics from his childhood I sold.  That'll have to do.

It has been insanely hot the last few days.  I don't usually complain about the heat, because I like it and truly loathe the people who go on and on about it (it doesn't make it any cooler to hear you bitch, Auntie Gretchin), but that has helped give me the excuse not to write.  Heck, I can barely edit podcasts (though I spent Wednesday editing the next PTDNSIN, and the next day editing the Fake Sean song that follows it).

Here on my PC (that's Personal Computer, but it also means you're not supposed to use racial slurs or bigoted language around it), I've been putting the finishing touches on a project called "Journey Into Another Dimension Through A Portal Near a Truck Stop Restroom," a story I probably mentioned back in January of '16 when I started it.  I was quite enamored with that title through all of 2016 (even made a mock-up of a cover for it, which was an image about 80% covered with text) . . . but this year, I'm not so sure. 

I wracked my brains to come up with an alternate title, and decided on "Exotic Honeymoon," but it tells you much less than the original did.  And there's very little Punk Rock attitude with that title.  Anyway, I am at the end of that now, and after maybe one more day, I can put it behind me and start working on the other belated work.

I half-dread, half-look forward to it.

Words Written: 152
Total Words: 1165

July 7th.

Okay, today I actually got Some Writing done.*  It has been kinda pathetic, what I've accomplished so far, but it adds up, and it's more than I've been writing.  But today was the first day where I sat down and made myself do it, like I did in February, March, and April.  Unfortunately, it was all in my notebook, so I'll just have to type it again one day, and that won't count toward my writing goals.  Ah well, baby steps.

I took my notebook into a restaurant with me, wrote about three sentences before they called my name.  But then I forced myself to keep writing when I was done eating.  That's how it used to be, and how it needs to be again.  Basically, I wrote the opening of my YA nov--

Shudder.  I wrote the opening of my YA story.  Hopefully, that means there will be more.

Words Written: 560
Total Words: 1725

Rish "Writer" Outfield

*The capital letters tell you I mean business.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Celebrity D&D (Video Version)

In case you just can't get enough (all the things you do to me, and everything you said), here is the video version of "Celebrity Dungeons & Dragons," which should be exactly the same as the audio version. But is it?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

July 4th & 5th

July 4th.

On Independence Day, I drove down to my childhood home to mow the weeds and so my mom could water the lawn.  My niece went along and I asked her if she wanted to check a little stream down the road for tadpoles ("pollywogs," we called them when I was a kid).  She did, so we drove over and looked around.  Didn't see a one, whereas the last time we'd been by there, my nephews caught at least a dozen.

What we did see, however, were these little green leopard frogs hanging out on the bank, which would jump and hide in the moss when they'd see us.  As you may know, I become an eight year old whenever I see frogs (I often criticize Big Anklevich for devouring a Family-Sized bag of M&Ms at one sitting or eating every donut in the box, but I have my revolting, unhealthy obsessions too, don’t I?), so of course we spent fifteen minutes trying to catch them (they weren't very fast, but were extraordinarily slippery, and quite a challenge to grab).

We got two, stuck 'em in a container, and brought them home, where my niece and I made a lid for their enclosure out of mosquito netting and Legos.  That may sound stupid, but it was a fun activity for my niece and me, and it seemed to work pretty well.  They haven't jumped away yet.

Then we had a family barbecue (I cooked the meat), gorged ourselves, and I believe I fell asleep.  There were fireworks, and then my cousin invited me to go over to his place, despite me being tired.  I drove over around ten pm, impressed by dozens of fireworks displays as I drove.  At his house, we've begun watching that show "Legends of Tomorrow," and I've gotta say, there hasn't been an episode yet where I haven't mentioned, "Just have Sara kill them and this will all be solved."

Despite all this, I don't think I got any writing done.  I got home, and forced myself to type a few before I went to bed.  So, an anemic day/week, as far as word count goes.

Words Written: 114 
Total Words: 854

July 5th.

So, on the fifth I went to the library for the first time in, I dunno, fifty days.  I know that's where I get the most work done (besides the family cabin, where there's no internet, television, or even cellphone service), so I ought to go there more often, but it's hard to make myself do it.  I've even driven to the library, pulled in to the parking lot, then said, "Nahh, I think I'll go throw dirt-clods at red-headed children" instead.  That's on me.

Last Saturday, I went over, meaning to start the new month out right, but the bastards close early on Saturdays.  Who does that?*  That's on them.

Well, on the fifth, I finally manned up (or womanned up, if that's tougher) and went up to the Quiet Floor (where you just ignore the cellphones, despite all the signs that say to silence them).  I had intended to stay only an hour, but ended up being there nearly two. 

While not technically writing according to my July definition, I was typing up my novella "A Mark on the Sky" from my notebook.  I've now gotten it about two-thirds of the way typed, and when it's done . . . jeez, I dunno.  It'll probably sit on my hard drive, impotent and mute, while my beard gets whiter and whiter.  We'll see if I can break my usual cycle on that one.  As Aerosmith once told me, "Girl, you got to change your crazy ways.  You hear me?"

Despite the time spent in the library, I can't count that as writing, except what little writing I did do.  I'll do better next time.  Seriously, dude-looks-like-a-lady.

Words Written: 159 (which is crazy, but that's what it said)
Total Words: 1013

Rish Outfield, Writer (so far)

*It may be that all libraries do that.  But I don't have to like it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

July 2nd & 3rd

So, I was a little bit worried about how this month of July would go, with me pledging to write every single day, but almost missing the first day of the month.

And the second.  On July 2nd, which was my childhood friend Dennis's birthday (still is, I would assume) and always had significance to me, I had just as much motivation to write as the day before.  Namely, none.

I have a work-in-progress I've been puttering around with since the end of April or so.  I write on it a couple of days a week, and rarely very long.  It should really be a screenplay, I'm aware of the fact, and hence, there's very little incentive to work on something like that.  But at the end of the night, instead of working on that, I decided to jot down a paragraph or two on a story I wrote in 2016.  January of 2016.

And that was literally it: a paragraph or two.

So, here's my barely-not-failing-numbers for today:

Words Written: 191
Total Words: 476

July 3rd

The next day, however, I got an email from my pal Cameron, saying he was finally going to stand up to his father and/or kick the crap out of a Ferrari.  Oh wait, wrong pal.  This one emailed to let me know that he would be my surrogate writing coach, and would be happy to not only urge me on, but take the writing-everyday-for-a-month challenge alongside me. 

He also told me that he was my boyfriend now, Nancy.

Tonight, I went for a lengthy bike ride, rather than writing.  There were (are) tons of fireworks going off, so I used that as an excuse to pedal around for three-plus miles (although I guess you could use exercise as an excuse as well).  Sometimes I thought about where my life is going--never a good idea--and sometimes I thought about writing.

I did some work, sent some emails, and wrote just a tiny bit on (the end of) that story I mentioned from more than a year ago.  And by Thursday or so, it'll be time to start on something else.

I mentioned that idea I had for a YA novel in my last post*, and I really think I might have something with it.  But I am intimidated by the thought of trying to write a novel (we've been over this before, right?), and I just find that task too daunting.  I know, though, that if I just wrote a couple of hundred words every day . . . I could do it.  By December.

But I could still do it.  Guess I should increase my word count, huh?

Words Written: 264
Total Words: 740

Rish Outfield, Word Counter

*And also mentioned the nigh-unto-unbearable YA book I was slogging through, which I actually finished yesterday.  And the sad thing is, even though it amassed about thirty-one strikes during the ballgame, the book ended on a pretty strong note, so much so that I wondered how something like that happens--whether the author was building toward this final chapter the whole time, or had a theory (like mine about horror films) that the ending is the most important part and ended up working hardest on it, or whether it was editor-mandated.
And then, the author finished the book by bashing the Harry Potter series so shamelessly that I wish I had a time machine to use to go back to one of those times I was tempted to throw the book against a wall and give in to my inclination.  Let me know if you've got a DeLorean handy.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Rish Outcast 76: Miss Fortune

A year or two ago, I entered an audio drama in the "Masters of the Macabre" contest, the entry that would, sadly, be my last.  I wrote about it here.  It was brought to my attention that that episode was no longer available, but luckily, I still had the original production.

Featuring the voices of Renee Chambliss and my niece, "Miss Fortune" is a short piece written with awfully narrow specifications.  The location had to be a Festival, the monster it featured had to be Raw Head, and a specific tarot card had to appear (namely, The Hermit).


I recorded this episode after a particularly heavy snowstorm, and was going to save it until next winter, but listeners (well, ostensibly they were listeners) told me to go ahead and post it.  After all, it's winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Of course, you can always download the episode directly by Right-Clicking This Link.

And come support my Patreon.  Only the cool kids are doing it.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

July 1st . . . already?

So, earlier in the year, I made monthly goals and then reported on those goals, mostly writing-related.  It was actually pretty effective in getting me off my doughy behind and making me do things when I didn't really want to do them.  It didn't hurt that I had a friend who was working on his own (public) goals, and I could encourage myself by encouraging him.

Then, things changed.  I got a big audio assignment (and a nasty, smaller one), and decided to curtail my writing activities in favor of those.  May and June would be dedicated to finishing those obligations, and I told myself that then, in July, I would be a writer again.

And as Big said on several occasions this year, a writer is someone who . . . writes . . . every . . . day.

But today is July 1st, the start of a new month, the opportunity to be that thing again that does that thing again.  And I really don't want to.

I took my notebook to lunch with me, as I did during my prodigious writing days this past winter, and instead of toiling on my work in progress, I jotted down a couple of ideas for an abandoned short story from a year or two ago that I thought about turning into a novel.*

Now, the day is close to done, and I haven't done any more writing (not the kind where I can count up the words and boast about them, which was what I told myself I'd do every day in July).  In fact, I was tempted to watch television--a vice I almost never engage in--until the whole night was gone.

What's wrong with me?  Besides, the obvious, I mean.  When Big was here, he and I would delight in railing against that long-standing notion that doing something for x days in a row would make it an unbreakable habit, because we both discovered that that particular lie did not apply to writing.  But at least we had each other to complain to.

Now, though, I'm on my own, and I couldn't even manage to write one day in a row??  That's awfully pathetic, even by my own standards.

What should I do?  Publish this abortion of a blog post, then open Word and force myself to write a few words, so that I can say tomorrow, "Well, I wrote yesterday.  The least I can do is do it again."?

Shit, maybe I will.

Rish Outfield, Writer?

P.S.  Well, it isn't much, but I did write for a few minutes, and it wasn't nearly as painful as it could've been.  So, here we are:

Words Today: 285
Total Words: 285

*I am nearly finished reading a Young Adult novel by an esteemed, acclaimed, and prolific writer, and I'm absolutely hating it.  Time after time, I'd angrily tell the ether, "Okay, that's Strike Two.  One more strike and this sucker gets tossed across the room."  But I'd keep going, due to a martyr complex or something.  Because even though I loathe the book, I'm fully aware that its author is a better writer than I am.  If he is capable of such middling, cringe-worthy, sub-ordinary work . . . holy San Salieri, what does that make of my own writing?  Of me, who would rather clean a fishtank than put pen to paper?