Sunday, March 31, 2019

March Eliott Ness - Day 31

I didn't have much time to write tonight.  I had plenty of time during the day to do so (I edited a podcast, finished up two projects, and recorded my Patreon address during that time), but I left it for the end of the night, knowing I had to be up at six tomorrow for an appointment (it's 6:10, to be exact, but any time before the sun is crazy early to me)

But I forced myself to do it, and ended up the month with some productive work.  I really should've gotten more done (storywise, I'm seconds away from the Big Confrontation), but I didn't quite manage, and my gut tells me I'll have plenty of time to write tomorrow, despite it being the start of a new month.

Words Today: 662
Words Total (final): 23,354

So, there you have it.  Over twenty thousand words in March.  And I could have done better, yes.  But I could have (and have done) a lot worse.  So . . . I'll see you tomorrow.

Rish

Saturday, March 30, 2019

March Loch Ness - Day 30

I nearly didn't manage any today.  I awoke and went down to my childhood home again to work with my mother and brother.  Amazingly, both the front and back lawns already needed to be mowed (despite it snowing this week), and we had a metric ton of wood and garbage to haul to the town dump. 

However, before we could go, and I had only mowed one lawn, my brother got a phone call (he's boasted that he still gets cell service in that little town, and I've no choice but to believe him) that someone had knocked down a powerline in the city he works in (it's the town I will refer to as Wallaceville in my stories from now on), and he had to get there as fast as he could to fix it and restore power to the neighborhood (he's a lineman for the power company, and has chilled my blood describing a man he knew who lost his life to electrocution five or six years ago, and how it's always a dumb, easily-avoidable mistake that could cause his death--a fact I need to keep in mind any time I complain how hard it is to write fiction or edit audio), leaving me and my seventy-one year old mother at the house to do the work.

Well, I ended up calling my cousin (who lives two towns over--the one I call McKay in my stories) to see if he would come help ease the burden, and I went back to mowing while my mom gathered garbage from the twice-damned tin garage, which has consumed multiple hours to get in the state it's now in, namely somewhat close to being cleaned out after forty-two years.  I am fat and lazy and unused to physical labor (plus the damn injured ribs simply did not want me to start the lawnmower without frustrating pain), but I managed to get all the mowing done, and sat down to rest while I waited for my cousin.  As I sat, I heard the sound of tires on gravel, and there he was, pulling into the driveway, only five or six seconds after I'd sat my lumpy arse down.

Luckily, with my cousin's help, we managed to drive over to the dump, and unload all the old firewood there, leaving my mom at the house.  We talked about Star Wars the whole time, as we usually do, and then came back and made another trip to the dump, this time with piles and stacks and barrels full of garbage from said cursed tin garage.  This time, big shock, we talked about Star Wars the whole time.  Then we left to go have lunch, and ended up spending the whole day together, since my cousin's wife and daughters were out of town for the weekend. 

We talked about Star Wars for, I dunno, six more hours, but I think we spoke of music and Transformers for a couple of minutes in there.  It's good that I have one friend left that I can hang out with, especially since I am worse than mediocre at making new ones.

Oh, the whole reason I told you this was because . . . yes, I didn't want to write, and was looking for an excuse to do something else (in this case, blog).  But it's nearly the end of March, and by this time tomorrow, my month of writing will be (ostensibly) over, and surely I can manage a few words before I go to bed.

Okay, I jotted down a scene where the point-of-view shifts to that of the villain, and I wrote five hundred or so words in a scene that should lead directly to the big confrontation.  Like the one out-of-place chapter in "Into the Furnace," this is the first part of the book not from Lara's point of view (though I did write something earlier this week that detailed what happened when Lara left the room, though I don't know if that counts).  I think another writer would avoid leaving the protagonist's point-of-view, or write it in a way that works better, but this bit works for me, since Lara is technically in the scene, and I've never claimed to be a great writer anyway.
 
I am, though, somebody who wrote every day in March.  Mostly.
 
Words Today: 587
Words Total: 22,692

Friday, March 29, 2019

March Buntness - Day 29

Well, I got a pitiful amount of writing done yesterday, and it looks like today will be worse.  I COULD still go to the library, but if I was going to go . . . I'd have gone already.  That means I won't finish either project before the month is over.

But it would be amusing to me if I kept up my daily writing once March was over.  I know myself too well, of course, but it would be pretty neat if I was still doing these dumb posts a week from now.

I've got more stuff to edit--a podcast with Big, a podcast with Marshal, and a podcast with Big and Marshal, and then two videos that are shot and ready to go (one is 88% finished, but my computer started being a bastard again, and I just turned the damn thing off a couple days ago, hoping it would come back on when I turned it on again.  Amazingly, it did.*

Maybe I will go to the library. 

***

Well, I did run over, for the last time of the month, using my mom as an excuse.  She has surgery on Monday, and will be in bed for a while after, and mentioned that she'd like to see if Robin Cook has written anything lately, so I drove over and grabbed a big stack of his books (basically anything written in the 21st Century), and then sat down at the usual computer and typed away for a few minutes.

Because Gino has been there since I wrote this (he was the first person I shared "Like A Good Neighbor" with, I believe), I thought I'd name a character after him.  But I've already done that . .. several times.  So, I thought I'd name a character after his kid.  But I didn't know if he'd be cool with that or not (people are strangely protective of their children, in a way that I can't quite seem to understand), so I asked him, and he didn't care.

We'll see if that stands when he reads the book.

If he reads the book, I mean.  Don't wanna get too ahead of myself.

Words Today: 809
Words Total: 22,105

*Amazing to me, anyway.  And you may be wondering, "Well, did you at least save the fucking video you had been editing for days before?"  To which I say, hey, watch your language, and no, I didn't save it.  I couldn't save it.  The fucking computer was fucking frozen, so I couldn't save or exit anything.  My options were to turn it off and hope it restarted, or to throw it across the room.  And the latter option I like to keep open for my craptop.  Someday, Jennifer, someday.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

March Cadness - Day 28

Not sure what's wrong with me today.  I'm sleepy, after having edited That Gets My Goat for only ninety minutes.  I just can't keep my eyes open, and realize I haven't REALLY been listening for the last little bit.  I hate to say it but, I'm going to go to sleep early.  And hopefully, that means I'll wake up super early (or in the middle of the night), wanting to write, work, or edit.  We'll see.

I was talking to Big the other day and he asked me if my daily writing fell apart at the end of the month, because I hadn't updated my blog in a few days.  He also commented that often, the word count on my blogposts exceeded the word count of my daily writing.

And those two go hand in hand, I think.

You see, I not only resolved to write every day in March, but I resolved to blog about it, tallying my word count and posting it.

And that's a chore, kids.

But the writing itself was the priority, so I hope you can understand if several of these daily posts are late, as long as I did the writing on the day.

On this particular day, I didn't make it to the library, but instead, I wrote for a few minutes on my mom's computer (which tends to freeze up a lot less than mine does . . . which has happened twice in the ten minutes since I sat down to blog today).

In the witch story, I got to the parting of the ways scene, and I found it kind of sweet.  As evil as Holcomb is (and I have to keep reminding myself...That...She's...Evil because I deliberately wrote her to sound like my grandma in her word choices and diction*), she has a genuine affection for and even grudging admiration for Lara Demming, which I think should continue no matter what passes between them.

It's hard to say whether the scene works well as part of the story, but on the day, I was pretty proud of it.

Words Today: 332
Words Total:  21,296

*Because she's supposed to be about a hundred years old, and my grandma would be about 105 if she were alive today.  So, I might enjoy, if I write a bunch more of these, having Holcomb use ancient references and refer to somebody like Presidents Kennedy or Nixon as having been recently, but that would necessitate Lara staying modern and pop culture reference-y, which is difficult, since a decade has already passed (in real time) since I created her.  So, I did have Holcomb refer to Sailor Swift in this piece.  Whether that's cute or not is up to you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March Madness - Day 27

So, I actually took a day off from editing podcasts on Sunday (which is unusual), but I made up for it the next two days, where I finished two chapters of “Coffins,” and got partway through our next That Gets My Goat show.  The one after that is a trio episode we did with Marshal Latham, and I hope I can get that one done before AVENGERS 4 comes out.

As far as “10,000 Coffins” goes (the title is actually “Ten Thousand Coffins,” written out, but with the audio files I always abbreviate it, to save time), I only have one more chapter to edit, and then it’s done.  That means I can publish the audiobook in the near future.  Of course, the text is all the way done, and has been for over two weeks, and I haven’t done Bo Diddley, The Originator, to publish that.  Is it any wonder that I feel afraid, after all of the misery that I’ve made?

Hey, if a week goes by and I haven’t mentioned that I’ve put that out there, feel free to leave me a comment or an email calling me a dumbass, would you?

Beyond that, I went to the library again today, and wrote a bit of Lara and the Witch stuff. 

Yesterday, I jotted down a few notes (which I don't count as writing, any more than these blogposts), figuring out what has to happen to get to the end of the story.  Unless I've forgotten something from my initial brainstorm two years ago (and I know that I have, since I distinctly remember setting something up in the very first scene that is supposed to pay off at the climax, but I don't remember what it was, exactly), I'm much closer to being done than I would have guessed.  I think I'm over seventy percent finished with the story.

And I'm not really sure how that happened.  Normally, a project like this would take me months to get through (and it has, if you count the first two times I started and stalled on it), but writing everyday seems to have condensed that timeline considerably.

Which begs the question: why don't I write every day of every month, instead of just Februarys or Marches?  And that's a difficult question to answer.  Except that I felt uniquely motivated this year to do this, and there were days I didn't want to write, and (minus one) I forced myself to do it every one of those days, even if it was barely any words at all.

Once April hits, I might not have that resolution hanging over my head, and I will probably revert to my slovenly ways.

Or maybe not.  Maybe I'll just keep going, and this project will get finished, and "Balms & Sears" will get finished, and then I'll move on to finishing "My Friend of Misery (Part 2)" and "Sins of a Sidekick."  And then, who knows what I'll write?

Hmmm.  When you put it that way, it sounds pretty awesome, actually.

Rish

So, I only got a bit written in the notebook (139 words), but sat down for longer on the computer (802).  And I'm fine with that.

Words Today: 941
 Words Total: 20,964

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March Scadness - Day 26

So, I've been writing in two different locations this month: on the computer* , where I can have a machine tally up my word count and I can save it (eventually) into a larger document, and in my notebook.  Thusfar, the Lara and the Witch sequel has been the typed project, and "Balms & Sears" has been in the notebook.  I like it that way, since I'm technically working on two projects at the same time.

And it would have been a shame to abandon "Balms & Sears" entirely.  Again.

Here's a paragraph from today's writing, totally out of context:

Holcomb’s big old car was parked right there on the curb, in the emergency space for ambulances and police cars.  It was surprisingly she hadn’t gotten a ticket or had a tow truck called on her.  But of course she hadn’t.

Years ago, Gino "The Lizard King" Moretto was the first person to read "Like A Good Neighbor."  I still remember how it warmed my heart when he said, "Rish, this story didn't suck.  Except for the parts that sucked."  See?  Heart a little warmer already.  So, I thought it would be fun to send him little bits and pieces of this story as I write it.  I'll also tell him the title first, because if I told Abbie Hilton, she'd tell me I've learned nothing from my previous failures, and if I told Big Anklevich, he'd tell me to go eff myself.  If Gino thinks the title sucks . . . well, it probably does.

Writing Today: 479
Writing Total:  20,023

*The superior way, since I won't have to type it up again one day, and there's little chance of the writing getting lost.

**The traditional, but highly inferior way, especially since I have to manually count the words.  Unless I want to be ambitious and type them up afterward, so the machine can count them.

Monday, March 25, 2019

March Plaidness - Day 25

My nephew and I went for a fairly long drive yesterday, and the weather was nice and springlike.  However, the crack on my windshield seemed to be growing at a Tribble-like pace.  At one point, I grabbed a Sharpie from my notebook, and drew a little line on the glass where the crack had stopped, so we could see how fast it moved throughout the day.

And then . . . it just stopped.*

I don't imagine putting a marker line on a crack could cause it to stop growing, but I'll take what I can get. 

Marshal Latham and I got together (over the phone) tonight and recorded two podcasts we had been putting off lately.  It ate up a big chunk of my/our free time.

After we were done recording was one of those times where I didn't want to write, and I very nearly didn't.  But hey, I could at least manage a few words at the end of the day. 

Can't you?

Words Today: 223
Words Total: 19,544

*In fact, I looked again on the 28th, and the crack was still stuck in the exact same place. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

March Radness - Day 24

So, no excuses today.  I'm now sitting down, my work behind me, with plenty of time to write.

Will I do it?

Does Bob the Builder s**t in the woods?

I certainly intended to.  But what would I write?  What do you do when you're in the middle of a story and you don't know what happens next?

Well, if you're anything like me, you do something else, something that doesn't require deep concentration, and you think about it.  What MIGHT come next?
 
So, what I did was laundry.  I got super muddy yesterday in my childhood backyard and at the dump (we called it the junk yard, but no, that's being too generous.  I think "dump" is the more accurate term), so I threw two loads into the wash, then had to spend a good long time folding and hanging.  And during that time, I thought about Lara Demming (the child protagonist of the, what, five "Lara and the Witch" stories?), and what might be interesting to have happen next.  You see, I know how the story ENDS.*  But how do we get there?

One step at a time, I suppose. 

Anyhow, I got an idea for a scene that might be kind of fun, might be kind of scary.  I was putting that sheet thing that you lay on on my bed (you know, the one with gripping corners that you put on each corner of the mattress, but is always a monumental task for me because all four corners of my bed are covered with years of garbage, two or three feet of it.  Charming, yes), when I thought, "Okay, that's what I'll write next."  And like the worst part of being a writer, the times you most WANT to write . . . are when you can't.

So, I just left that sheet thing off the bed, and ran over here and sat down to start my writing.  I can make the bed later.  Or never.  Like the man said, she's just gonna throw it up again anyway.

Wait, that was no man, baby.  It was Sandra Bullock.

Like last Sunday, I did quite well tonight.

Words Today: 1,947
Words Total: 19,321


*And if you really wanna know, I'll tell you: Lara and Old Widow Holcomb go off together, into the great wide open, under the skies of blue.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

March Tadness - Day 23

So, today was my nephew's first soccer game of the season.  He has not had a single practice, and was given his uniform ten minutes before the game started.  There were only six players on his team, so they were a bit overmatched, and no one got rotated out.  Eventually, a seventh player joined in, so it was seven players to seven.  But that did not help.  The score was thirteen to zero.  My nephew's dad was there, but after halftime or so, he walked away in disgust, no longer able to handle the shame.  I believe he went out to the parking lot to look for a seppuku sword.

I did try to write at the game, but as the boy was never benched once, I got very little writing done.  After that, the whole family (except for my sister, who usually doesn't participate in such things) went to my father's house to try to clean out the tin garage, where he kept forty years' worth of junk.  And dust.  My brother works a great deal on the house and property, and he got it into his head to load up the old truck with the wet, rotting firewood that had been stacked up for decades behind the house.  I tried to help him with that, but as the hours went on, I became more and more useless to him* because of my aching ribs and natural flab.

It was muddy and dirty and pretty demanding physical labor (we'd fill the bed of the truck up as high as it would go with wood, then head off to the junk yard to unload it, then come back and start again.  Rinse and repeat), and now that I am home, I have already dozed off once while editing next week's That Gets My Goat.  I worry I will end up writing very little.  Again.

Words Today: 616
Words Total: 17,374

*More useless than the usual, is what I mean.  I'm sure you were thinking the same thing.

Friday, March 22, 2019

March Badness - Day 22

Didn't go to the library today.  Though I still could.*

So, let me give you a little update in how things are going. "Balms & Sears" has not altogether stalled, as I wrote on it a bit today at work (in my magic notebook, which sucks because I'll have to type it up or go through counting the words, which I hate), but is about 55% finished.

The crack on my windshield now covers about a third of the glass. It bums me out every time I see it. Guess I should start setting aside a few dollars each day to get it replaced.

"Ten Thousand Coffins" is all recorded, and I am currently editing Chapter 25 (of 27). If I focused solely on it instead of any podcasts, I could have the whole thing done editing this week. But I probably won't. I'll give myself next Friday as a deadline. Then, I'll start dealing with the cover art.

The sequel to "Like A Good Neighbor" (which does have a title, and boy howdy, if you didn't like the first one's title . . .) is about 58 or 60% finished. It is a shorter piece than "Balms & Sears," and the writing seems to really be flowing on that one. If it continues, I may have it finished this month.

My Rocky Mountain Horror story is done, but unfortunately more than 2000 words too long. I think I'll send it to somebody to give me notes on, and then try to cut here and there. As it's mostly dialogue (probably 75%), that should be easier than if it were something like "Journey Into Another Dimension" or "Into the Furnace" or "Newfound Fame," which all at least have SOME action in them. While I suspect the story will be less effective in a 5000 word form, I'm pretty sure five or six hundred of its current words SHOULD go, as I tried to keep everything I wrote on the different days, except the bits I had written twice.

My stupid scooter injury is better today, mostly because I've only sneezed a single time (I'm actually feeling grateful for the rain). I still have yet to see a bruise or any swelling, but you'll forgive me for not wanting to look to close at myself with my shirt off.

My podcasts are coming along alright. I've got four finished Rish Outcasts that are ready to go, and a That Gets My Goat that is about 40% edited. I knew it would be a tough one when we finished recording it, and I'm almost tempted to speed up the playback and edit it that way, like I did during one of our marathons, because I was running behind. I also edited a bit for Marshal Latham's Patreon supporters, and we keep meaning to get together and do a Delusions of Grandeur or two, but haven't managed it. Lastly, I have an edited story for our next Dunesteef show, but I want to send it to Big to listen to before we sit down and do the episode for it. And I dread that.


Anyway, I jotted down some writing in my notebook today, and meant to write some at night after I worked on podcast editing . . . but I fell asleep.  I'll have to count up the words in the book, and see if I can do better tomorrow (spoiler warning: I probably won't).

Words Today: 194
Words Total: 16,758

*I didn't.

Rish Outcast 134: Conference Squall

Rish talks (quite a bit) about the recent writing conference he went to, like he does every year. Was it miserable like last year, or did he talk for hours about it instead?  Oh, and Fake Sean's living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.*




Hey, go ahead and Right-Click HERE to download this episode.

Hey, feel free to click on THIS LINK to support me on Patreon.

Hey, check out my YouTube page RIGHT HERE.

Logo by Gino "White Squall" Moretto.

When's forever gonna start, by the way?

*Honestly, this is probably my favorite Fake Sean Connery song since he first agreed to do songs for me.  If Real Sean passes away . . . you'll probably hear this again.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

March Chadness - Day 21

So, a weird thing has been happening with my writing this week. On Tuesday, I sat down and wrote a pretty out of context scene from the second Lara and the Witch story. The next day, I went to the library again and wrote the Big Confrontation scene between those two characters . . . which takes place before the first day's scene. And then, today, I went to the library and wrote the scene that takes place immediately before the second day's scene. If I keep this up, I'll eventually be back to where I stopped writing the book.

And that's fine. It's certainly strange, but anything that gets the work done.


Something that Stephen King used to do in his writing, that annoys a bunch of people, is when he gives away something that will happen later in the story, a kind of wink to the reader, but in a pretty mean way ("If they had known that their happiness would turn out to be so short-lived, they would've made more use of the happy time between them.  But of course they didn't know it would all fall apart, so they didn't even notice how happy they were.").  He's done it a bunch of times, but the one that always comes to mind for me is toward the end of The Stand, where our heroes are about to go to Vegas to fight, and Stu has to stay behind, and King actually writes, right there and then, "And none of them ever saw Stu Redmane again."  It freaked me out when I read it, but unlike many readers (and perhaps you), I sort of love Unca Steve for it, and it thrilled me at the time, and thrills me to remember now.
 
So, the reason I bring it up is because, as I was nearing the end of my writing on this particular segment/chapter of the story, I was diabolically tempted to do the same sort of thing, with just a couple of words added to a sentence at the end.  It doesn't change any of the narrative, but it's a hint--a wink, like I said, but a cruel one--if people are paying attention, as to what's coming next.
I was hesitant to do it, though, so I called Big Anklevich at work (like I always do) to ask him if I should do it or not.  He said it didn't bother him so much when King does it (he likes it a lot less when one of King's characters is a writer), and, as long as it was not dishonest (if you know what I'm saying), to go right ahead.
 
So I did.
 
Sorry.

Words Today: 1,225
Words Total: 16,564

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

March Gladness - Day 20

Tuesdays are when the garbage trucks come, and I have to admit to doing myself some harm trying to get those barrels (four of them now that the green--grass/leaves/branches/etc.--barrel is being picked up again) to the curb.  Then, my nephews and I tried to rake up some of the spruce needles that litter the backyard, and I couldn't quite manage picking them up

In 1998, I broke my foot while screwing around trying to climb up a wall at an apartment building.  It hurt a little bit, but swelled up and turned purple the next day, and plagued me for more than a month after that, forcing me into crutches and a genuine Handicapped Placard on my mom's car (I had to borrow it during those weeks because mine was a manual transmission, and I could no longer manage that).  This pain is pretty comparable to that, though it honestly seems worse when I broke my foot (lifting my year old nephew out of his bed was surprisingly difficult today), but it may be because I was young then, and now I'm . . . something different.


But you didn't come here for none of that, didja?  You came for a writing update.

The troubles of two days ago seem to be behind me. As yesterday, I stopped off at the library this afternoon, and sat down in my usual spot to surf the internet and procrastinate writing.

But a weird thing happened: I started writing right away. It wasn't until I was finished and ready to save my work (which, on the library computers, means emailing it to myself) that I thought to waste time on the internet before it was time to get going.

And, as yesterday, I decided to write another scene from the Lara and the Witch sequel, this one the part where the two have their falling out (I talked about it in an Outcast episode, how Holcomb was going to seduce Lara's teenage would-be sweetheart . . . until I remembered that Lara is not seventeen, fifteen, or even thirteen--she's ten, so I had to rethink the seduction bit). And it was not only easy to write, it was a pleasure to write, maybe even more so than yesterday's bit.

I can't help, me being me, but feel like I'm abandoning "Balms & Sears," though, which is around twenty thousand words at this point. But hey, 70 to 80% of the stuff I write I abandon at one point or another. It's a rare beast I write through to the end, and many times I have picked up a work-in-progress after setting it down, and started writing on it again. Sometimes all the way through to the end.

Not that you'll ever see those, of course.*

Words Today: 1,022
Words Total: 15,339


*Do I use "of course" too much in my blog posts? I realize that everybody has their favorite go-to words or phrases that they lean on a bit too much (my buddy Algar's go-to is the racial slur that rhymes with Mike, but hey, don't hold that too much against him), but I honestly don't know what mine are. Sometimes I'm paranoid that I've had a character swallow too many times, or freeze, or stop dead in their tracks. Or poo their pants. But I don't know what I haven't noticed, and that could be worse.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

March Radness - Day 19

So, I didn’t write yesterday.  It wasn’t like I ran out of time (I sat at the computer after two am, staring at a blank screen), it wasn’t like I forgot (it occurred to me time and time again throughout the night that I still hadn’t written), and it wasn’t like I have any excuse (yeah, I’m still in pain in my ribs for some reason, and seasonal allergies have started up, so I’ve sneezed—excruciatingly—several times today and yesterday). 

I simply chose not to do it. 

I was not inspired.  There was nothing I wanted to write.  And I didn’t do it.

So, where does that put us?  Have I failed?  Am I a failure?  Should I stop now and say that all is lost?  Or should I simply shrug and write twice as much today?

I was reading about Stephen King in the 1980s yesterday (it’s where I got the quote in Saturday’s post) and how insanely productive he was during that decade (one year, he put out five books . . . FIVE).  But he was big into drugs and alcohol at that time, and he felt like the cocaine and booze helped fuel him creatively, giving him a drive to work more and more, even if he was aware they were vices to keep secret.  And when, at the end of the decade, he finally kicked those habits, and stopped drugging and drinking . . . what he was most afraid of* came true: he couldn’t write anymore.

He moped around and felt uninspired, and couldn’t quite give a damn about the work, and pretty much decided he was going to have to retire.

Well, I wasn’t that bad yesterday (or today), but I don’t want to write.  I have nothing burning inside of me, itching to break free onto the page, as I have a time or two in the past. **

I’m now sitting down in the library (the homeless guy has not shown up yet . . . but he will), and I have to decide if I’m going to be a Writer (capital W) or just a mere blogger, podcaster, and pervert.

I don’t have the answer yet (and it’s taken me 797 words to say this).

Am I broken?

Rish

*Indeed, it seems he was more afraid he wouldn’t be able to write than that he would lose his family for the binge drinking and gazillion dollar coke habit.  Which is interesting.

**For example, in the summer of 2016, I got this idea for a sequel to “Like A Good Neighbor,” wherein Lara Demming and Old Widow Holcomb’s story continues.  I was driving up to the family cabin, and the question came to me: What happens after Lara’s spell on the witch no longer works?  Does the witch just kill her?  Does she refuse to teach the girl more? 
And the answer that came was, No, she doesn’t kill her.  And no, she doesn’t stop the teachings. 
But why?  What possible reason could there be for continuing?  And then I thought, Maybe she doesn’t know herself.  Maybe she enjoys being a teacher.  Maybe she likes the neighbor girl.  Maybe she continues the training because she’s missed having a family . . . and keeps her ability to stop at any time in her back pocket, for when she might need it. 
On that summer day, I was so excited to tell this story, and I raced to the cabin, where I would (for the first time) have no one around and almost nothing to distract me as I worked my own brand of witchcraft. 
I delighted in writing scenes where the girl is forcing Holcomb to teach her something, but we know that the spell is broken, and Holcomb is not under her control, even if Lara doesn’t know it.  I wrote that, and dropped clues that Lara is slow to pick up on (you may have noticed that every child in my writing, unless they are villains, are average or below average in intelligence . . . and I don’t give a melting diarrhea popsicle if folks have a problem with that), and then got the idea for where the story could go. 
The fun of the LatW stories is that Holcomb is evil.  She may have her regrets from her past, she may have feelings for the cute little neighbor girl, but she’s still a creature of the night.  Abigail Hilton had put in my head that, if Holcomb had once given up her child for the first Pendant of Espindola, then what did she have to give up for the next one?  And the answer came to me (or perhaps Abbie originally put it out there): well, Lara, of course.
So, I knew where the story was headed.  And the point I’m trying to make is (beyond just not wanting to write and preferring to blog instead) that I felt afire with creativity and inspiration, and was happy to be a writer, and happy to be alive.
And I never finished that story.  I never got past the point where Lara is beginning to suspect, so she commands Holcomb to do something ridiculous, and Holcomb does it to throw her off the scent (which, obviously, was fun to write).  But I could finish it.
I should finish it.


Okay, if you’re still reading this, then I guess madness takes its toll.  So listen, not for very much longer, as I reveal that, as soon as I typed the little Lara and the Witch bit above, I opened up a new document and started typing a scene that would happen after the falling out between Lara and Holcomb.  I didn’t know where I was going with it, but it was fun, and it counts as writing.

And I guess I'm back in business, boys.  And girls.

Words Today: 1,517
Words Total: 14,317

Monday, March 18, 2019

March Sadness - Day 18

Today is Monday (actually, the day is behind me, with almost nothing left), and there's no writing so far.

I have been working a bit (oh, I wanted to mention that, despite whatever I set in yesterday's post for a goal for selling things last night, I ended up listing over a hundred items before I finally threw up my arms* and said, "Okay, time for some sweet, brain-rotting television!"), and I was editing audio tonight, and kept pausing to tell myself I needed to write, but I still don't feel like doing it.

I guess that's the problem: I don't really want to.

It was a mistake to start up on "Balms & Sears" when I didn't know where it was going.  It was inevitable I'd get stuck in creative mud. 

But what's the solution?  To sit down and plot out what has to happen next to get them where they need to be?  I suppose so, but I don't know what to do on that.  It's a lengthy story, probably novella neighborhood right now, but if I wanted to do justice to the friends Alec made when I started the book (he really hit it off with a handsome, popular student, and a pretty girl who I ended up sort of replacing with another girl who lives with his (again, evil?) uncle.  The story wasn't supposed to be about her; it was going to be about Alec bonding with new friends in high school, and at the end of the tale, they (the three of them) go on a road trip to see if they can make a difference in the world.

There was probably going to be some kissing along the way, but it doesn't seem likely now . . . unless it's in a Game of Thrones sort of way, and I've finished reading those for the next few years.

I feel pretty resigned to the fact that I'm not going to get any words today, even though I could probably type up SOMETHING, even if it's nonsense, like I've done on a couple days this month (where I just free-wrote something worthless and/or stupid).  But no, let me fall on my sword and head for bed.

Tomorrow will be better.

Words Today: Zero.  Hell, LESS than zero.
Words Total: Who cares?

*An activity that has been pretty darn uncomfortable today.  You should have seen me try to drag the garbage barrels to the curb, as the ribs on my right side hurt almost as much today as they did yesterday.  But I looked hard in the mirror (which I would not recommend, unless you post on Instagram a lot), and couldn't find any bruising or swelling, so I guess I'm fine . . . just a weakling.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

March Vladness - Day 17

Today is Sunday, and with the library closed and the traditional list-as-many-figures-as-I-can* activity in the evening, it's a bit harder day for me to write during. Sometimes I'll get my oil changed on a Sunday, and take my magic notebook into the waiting room with me. Sometimes I will take a chair out back, if it's a sunny day, and write or read in the shade of the Spruce there. Of course, my big escape is the family cabin, which is still unapproachable and snowed in at this time of year (I asked my brother about it today, as I did the last time I saw him--sadly, it's one of the few topics of conversation between us--and he said he thought it would have ten feet of snow around it even in May).

But I'm sitting on my bed, with the smell of Corn Nuts in my nostrils (I dropped a AA battery off the bed a minute ago, and reaching down there to find it, inadvertently tore open a bag of Corn Nuts, which are still scattered all over the carpet down there.**

I really want to be a writer. A successful writer, sure, but a good writer more than that. I read the work that really good writers create, and they stay with me (I keep thinking about Robert Sheckley's "The Store of Worlds" and how much that spoke to me, even though it was years ago that I heard it on Drabblecast, to the point where I wish I were a staff writer on Jordan Peele's "Twilight Zone," so I could see if we could adapt it for the show***), and I want my own work to do that for someone else. Then I think about how, even if I manage to write every day this month, and even if I manage to finish that abandoned book ("Balms & Sears"), I may never put it out there, where it can reach (or not reach) an audience.

Sigh.

So, this may entertain you (it may entertain me if I read it a year from now), but my nephew got a new scooter for Christmas, and today was a nice sunny day, so he took it out on the street to ride around on it. It's the kind of scooter you push with your foot, not the electric kind (or I might not be typing this now), and I was jealous to see him speeding along the sidewalk on it. So I borrowed it. I didn't even ask him if I could use it, I just picked it up after he was done with it and tried to get it going as fast as I could down the street, thinking, "See, I'm not so old after al--" I hit a pothole or a crack in the sidewalk, and the damn thing just stopped, tipping forward, and sending me plummeting onto the pavement. I caught myself with my hands before my face could hit, but my chest hit the handlebar as I went down, and I felt something Pop. Then, I just knelt there on the road, sort of absorbing my crash, and a passing car (undoubtedly coming home from church) decided to toot its horn, just to let me know they had seen my "stunt."

I've been in a kind of low-level pain all day since then, and when I sit, stand, or lean over to pick something up, I feel an unpleasant sensation in my chest not unlike singing I'm Just A Girl last night. I haven't been beaten up in a while (more than half my life, actually), but this was a nice reminder of what that used to feel like.

I did end up sitting down at the end of the night and jotting down a few words, including-- 

Alec decided he needed to talk to Ana, before he did anything else. If she was anything like he was (and he recognized that she sure didn't seem to be), she would carry her guilt around with her like a backpack filled with cinderblocks. He wanted her to know she wasn't alone, that now that they were in each others' lives again, that they could be in each others' corners. Stuff like that.

"Could I sit down somewhere?" he asked, indicating the house (which he had still not been invited inside). "A couch or a chair. Or a floor with carpet maybe?"

Perhaps he was laying it on too thick. He really did feel awful, but he was used to it, and was aware it would pass. He was like a guy who worked with wood shavings all the time and his fingers had toughed up to where, when he got a sliver or a cut, it barely drew blood.

"Yes, yes, of course," Matthias said, and he stepped up beside him, like he was going to take Alec's arm, but shied away at the last moment, merely pointing him in the direction of the house.


--but it wasn't a lot of writing, and it was rather obligatory, almost as if I was forcing myself to do it to meet some kind of resolution.

Tomorrow will be worse.

Words Tonight: 377
Words Total: 12,800


*I have discovered (or perhaps somebody else pointed it out, and I agree with it), that Sunday evening is when the most people are available to bid on items on eBay. Just like the heyday of network television, when millions of families gathered around the tube to watch, it seems that, it you want your eBay item in front of the most eyes possible, Sunday night is the time to do it. My goal tonight is to list between thirty and fifty figures. Last Sunday night, I only managed about ten.

**I did eat one, and found it soft and stale, which leads me to believe I didn't tear OPEN the bag, but merely spilled the contents of an already-opened bag I had forgotten about. Lovely, no?

***I also keep thinking, since there's a movie remake coming out, of King's "Pet Sematary," and how impactful it was for me. And still is. I think of Jud Crandall saying, "It's only a loon, Louis," when they hear the noises in the forest, and then Louis, all by himself, hearing something huge and ghastly out in the dark and Jud's words coming back, "It's only a loon." And it just gives me chills. At the same time, King hated that book, and regretted its release. "If I had my way about it, I still would not have published Pet Sematary. I don't like it. It's a terrible book, not in terms of the writing, but it just spirals down into darkness. It seems to be saying nothing works and nothing is worth it, and I don't really believe that." (USA Today interview, May 10, 1985).

 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

March Vladness - Day 16

As is my wont, I went to the library again today.  Same homeless guy, in same seat, making same terrible sounds (I guess he wasn't snoring, but just wheezing, and that makes me feel worse about it), so I sat on the other side of the Quiet Floor, trying to get me some words onto my total.

I typed up the stuff from my notebook from the auto shop yesterday, and then I proceeded to write something truly sick and effed up.  So effed up, I'm kind of eager to share it with you.

But do I dare?  How brave am I?  And should I have finished it?

I surfed the internet for a few minutes, then, just in case my third bit of offensive twisted writing of the month did not count toward my daily words, I wrote a bit more of the scene from "Balms & Sears" which I seem to have been puttering around with all week.  I honestly do not know if the uncle is a bad guy or not.  If he is, well, that points us toward where the finale should go.  But it was never my plan to have a bad guy in this story at all, just the stress of an old man and a teenage boy living together and secrets coming to light.

Ah well.  As long as I keep writing it, I suppose I'll find out where it's going.

So, because I wrote the naughty sketch and the addition to my novella, today marks (I'm confident) the most words yet for the month.

Tomorrow will be worse.

Words Today: 1,540
Words Total:  12,423

P.S.  Tonight I started editing a podcast, and decided to ask Fake Sean Connery to perform I'm Just A Girl by No Doubt for it.  Only I was appalled by how staggeringly shitty the song was, and I couldn't quite persuade Sean to finish it. I'd found that a lot of songs from the Nineties, which I'd not much cared for when they were new, have grown a veneer of nostalgia that makes them shine a little more, or feel a little fresher . . . but not this one.

Friday, March 15, 2019

March Vladness - Day 15

So, today, the sun was shining, which I quite appreciated, but the crack on my windshield had grown by half of a foot, which I didn't admire quite as much. By my math skills the other day, I predicted that by the first of May,the crack would have moved all the way across the windshield, drawing attention to itself to the point I could no longer ignore it. My math was even weaker than I'd thought, because now it looks like the crack will be at that point by either Monday or Tuesday.

Luckily, it looks as though I am finishing Abbie's book today, so that's at least some cash coming in. 

I also spent an hour or so editing "Ten Thousand Coffins." I believe I mentioned how slow-going this book is (even for me), but let me give you an example. I edited Chapter 23 this afternoon, which took so long I daren't even tell you . . . but the raw reading of the chapter was twenty-six minutes and fifty-eight seconds. Not too shabby, you may be saying, but when I finished editing the file, Chapter 23 is now 4:36. Yeah, a 27:00 recording for what turns out to be a four and a half minute final product. 


That's some Terrence Malick shite right there.

Regardless, I have vowed to write every day, so I kinda sorta gotta.

And therein lies the rub.  If I write everyday because of the obligation I have made, but I don't really want to, does it become less noble and Good?  Is it still an accomplishment, or does it become akin to the kid that doesn't shoplift because he's afraid of getting caught and punished, or the dude who doesn't cheat on his wife because nobody on earth would sleep with him?

I don't know, but I do know that I have continued to write every day, and on this day, I very nearly didn't, but typed for a few minutes in the wee hours of the next morning as the sun was coming up.*

This writing was on "Balms & Sears," and I wonder if I should use an "and" or an "&," and if there's even a difference.

Since I have made it a tradition to go to the library on Saturdays, I expect tomorrow will be better.

Words Today: 452
Words Total: 10,838

*You may say, "No, no, Rish, that doesn't count, because it was the NEXT DAY, so you failed."  But I'm not listening (especially since I went back to sleep after having written), any more than if you said, "No, no, Rish, many, many hot Asian and Russian babes are anxious to talk to you right now!  Just call this 900 number, with your credit card at the ready!"

Thursday, March 14, 2019

March Radness - Day 14

So, today, I don't feel like I got that much work done, not as far as writing goes. I recorded a short story (someone else's), finished another podcast, and I compiled the entire story I wrote for March, which has the tentative (and pretty lame) title "Who Can It Be Now?"* The good news is, it is complete, from start to finish. The bad news is, it clocks in at 7211 words, and the anthology I wrote it for requires stories that are 5000 words or less. So . . . that's vexing.

The deadline isn't for months, so I will probably put this story away, and then get it out in a few weeks, do a recording of it for my peeps, and then hack away at the tale until I get it down to speed. Honestly, it can only improve the piece to lose 1500 words of dialogue between the characters. It's that other pesky 700 words that I'm worried about.

After that, I opened up my notebook and typed up yesterday's bit of "Balms & Sears" writing, and then just continued on from there. I was making it up as I went along, which I am loathe to do, and I can't decide if the uncle is going to be a bad guy or a good guy.** He was certainly MEANT to be bad, but now I'm not sure which is better.

The homeless guy who always sits in the same booth at the library (and sometimes sits in his usual spot at the twenty-four hour Del Taco in town) had fallen asleep, and was snoring in a most disturbing, not-at-all-amusing sort of way. It kept distracting me from what I was supposed to be doing, like when you'd go to church and the young couple in the row behind you are dry-humping (I can't be the only one who experienced that, right?), and had to have bothered everyone else on that floor . . . and yet nobody walked over to wake the guy up or ask him to change his sleeping position.

I got in a few words on that project, and then left the library with a sense of satisfaction, even though the prospect of me finishing "Balms & Sears" does not seem likely. The Vegas odds are pretty embarrassing, actually.

But hey, never tell me the odds.

Words Today: 710
Words Total: 10,431


*Dang, I gotta come up with something better than that. Maybe I'll toss the story to a reader or two to see what they suggest.

**At last month's writers conference, one of the panels I went to detailed the Tropes of Sci-Fi & Fantasy. And one of the clich├ęs they pointed out was The Evil Uncle. That it was a trope didn't occur to me until that panel, and it didn't occur to me that I was using it until just now.

Rish Outcast 133: True Ghost Encounter

As threatened in my episode "What A Stupid Concept,"* here is my haunted bed and breakfast story, "True Ghost Encounter."  Judson writes on a blog about brushes with the supernatural, and stumbles upon the Old Faithful of Haunted Houses up in Idaho.



It's the first story in the proposed "Dead & Breakfast" anthology.  Let me know if you too have an Ghost Encounter to share.



If the spirits beseech you to download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE.

If the spirits inspire you to support me on Patreon, just Left-Click HERE.

If the spirits attack you . . . just sing a happy song?

Logo by Gino "The Spirit Is Willing" Moretto.

Music by the incomparable Kevin McLeod of Incompetech.com.

*You can listen to that episode if you want to know more about the background, frustration, and ultimate goals in writing this story.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

March Radness - Day 13

As I've said over and over (heck, maybe even on this blog, and recently), one of the best ways to motivate me to write is to put me someplace where I CAN'T write, like a meeting, a waiting room, a funeral, jury duty, a bar mitzvah, or a women's prison. Well, it was time to get the registration on my car done, and I noticed a little crack on my windshield that wasn't there last week (honestly, it wasn't, officer). I worried about it, but really started to worry when the crack began to expand, to lengthen, to move slowly across the glass, as inexorably as my very lonely death.

What the deuce was I going to do now? Aren't windshields, like, three hundred dollars to fix or replace? I'll take your silence for agreement here.

But then I realized that this particular area no longer requires the safety inspection of vehicles (for some presumably-deadly reason), so I was home free. I still had to take the car in to get the emissions test done, so I went on a Wednesday afternoon, and found, to my bewilderment, FIVE cars ahead of me in the line. The mechanic told me I could just come back another time, if I wanted to, otherwise it would be about an hour wait. But then I thought, "Hey, I could use that hour wait to write! I could be a real writer again! Oh, by my Auntie Gretchin would be so proud if she could see me!"*

So, I went in with my trusty notebook, and sat down in the little lobby, where fudgin' "Judge Judy" was on. I did what I could to ignore the television (but it was persistently shrill), and opened up my notebook. I was a little bummed out to see how little I've actually written in it. I started it in January 2018, and have only filled it about a third of the way through. But ah well.

So, I'm still between stories, so the first thing I wrote was a truly disturbing sketch for me and some poor female voice actress to do on the podcast. Truly disturbing in that my depraved mind would think anyone would find it funny (not unless somebody out there finds scrotums amusing). I finished that quite quickly, and then decided to go back to an abandoned project called "Balms & Sears," about a teenager named Alec and his grandfather moving to a new town in Colorado, but harboring a secret that Alec just can't keep secret no matter how hard he tries.

I started that one around 2016 or '17, and really tried my best to finish it last summer in between "A Sidekick To Miracles" and "Lara and the Witch 2." But I failed, having written The Big Reveal scene, and then just stopping.

So, I turned to a new page in the notebook and continued on from there, where Alec meets his uncle for the first time since he was a baby. And it wasn't too hard-going. In fact, it actually disappointed me when the mechanic came in to tell me that my car was done. He did mention the windshield, and pronounced it "unrepairable" (if that's an actual word), but also shrugged it off, since safety inspections are no longer required to keep cars on the road. Still, he told me to hound my generous fans for donations to fix it, and I told him I would do no such thing. I will play dead, but I will not beg.

So, not too shabby. Today, anyway.

Words Today: 979
Words Total: 9721
 

*She can't see me, however. Because she doesn't exist, no matter how often I refer to her.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March Badness - Day 12

So, today was a very good day for me as a writer, but not so good for me in my daily writing. 

What I actually managed to accomplish was finishing my recording of "Ten Thousand Coffins," the novella (or whatever they're called) I wrote in 2017, and planned to release last year.  I asked my friend Austin to do the cover for me, and told him I thought I wouldn't need it until August (of 2018).  It really vexed me, the production of this one, and I feel I may have worked longer on this one than any other audio project, and it makes me wonder if I worked on the project before it ("A Mark on the Sky") for longer than I did on the one before that ("Journey Into Another Dimension"). 

What if it just keeps getting worse with each passing project?  Perfectionism sucks.*

But still, I've finished the recording, and now have to finish the editing (I've got Chapters 23-26, the titles and the Author's Note to edit), and then comes the actual publishing bit.  It would be grand if Audible would accept my work the first time through.  For a change.

I can't remember what I wrote, when I actually did sit down to write, though.  It was a Tuesday, and I remember sitting down to write before I went to sleep, but what was it I was working on?  And why is there no record of it?  Maybe I should do my daily writing in each of these blog entries, so I could keep it all straight.

Words Today: 514
Words Total: 8742

*"10000 Coffins" was the first time I decided to eliminate every single mouth noise I heard on my recording.  It was super time-consuming, and slowed me down on Abbie Hilton's next project (which is, I assure you, mouth noise-free), and ruined me for professional audiobooks for a while, as I listened to a couple from the library and winced at all the mouth sounds I heard on it.  Madness isn't always glamorous, kids.

Monday, March 11, 2019

March Badness - Day 11

Whoops, today was the closest I've come to not writing.  Even the first day, when I didn't feel good and only wanted to go to sleep, I still sat up and typed for a couple of minutes.

Today, I let the whole day go by without writing, though I did email myself an abandoned story from years ago that I'd started, even created (poor) cover art for, and then never finished.  I figured, if I went to the library, I could grab this file, open it, and write it through to the end.  Heck, I should do that with every other work-in-progress still sitting on my desktop.

Big Anklevich called me from his drive home and we talked, then we podcasted until the battery ran out on his recorder.  Then he put a new battery in and we podcasted some more.  All in all, we'd been talking for over three hours before I let him go.  At this point, it was two am my time (which makes it three for him!), and I was about to retire for a long winter's nap.

But I had forgotten what month it was, hadn't I?  So, I grabbed the document, scooped up two paragraphs of it, and translated that into actual story writing.

I ended up with three hundred and fifty-nine words, which is not great.  But it's not nothing either.  And now I can go to sleep.

Words Today: 359
Words Total: 8228

Sunday, March 10, 2019

March Badness - Day 10

I had been doing so well, and then yesterday, I didn't have that great motivation to write anymore (because I had finished the story?  It has to be, right?), though I did jot down story ideas, and I think most people would count that as writing, if not toward their word count.

But I didn't, and today was Sunday, and I hadn't written anything.  I did a bit of podcast editing, but knew that once everyone had gone to sleep and all was quiet, that it would be my time to write.  I even dangled a carrot in front of myself--I could watch a TV show that had been waiting for me if I managed to write, even if it was only five hundred words.

But I didn't want to.  I had no ideas I was excited about, and I didn't want to pursue either of the ones I'd made notes for the day before.  I also had an audio drama I had started in February (that I figured I would enter into the DeathScribe competition in Chicago), but I didn't want to work on that at all, once I realized my work-in-progress was already twenty minutes long, and the cut-off was ten minutes.

But I remembered what people have said at writer's conferences and in books, that exercise gets your blood flowing and you start to have ideas and creative sparks.  It's certainly been the case for me when I'm mowing the lawn or raking up leaves,

The exercise was--big shock--no fun, and I spent the whole jog around the blocks thinking about the time I was podcasting out there and some guy pulled over and asked what I was doing there and that there had been suspicious activity in the neighborhood, so I went home and continued podcasting on my front lawn only to have him follow me there, still in his car, the police on his speed dial.

I came back in and sat myself down and typed.  I typed whatever came to mind, which was a little story so stupid and not-worth-mentioning that no one will ever read it, except perhaps at my funeral.

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.  But hey, perhaps it could be worse.

Words Today: 380
Words Total: 7869

Saturday, March 09, 2019

March Badness - Day 9

Well, I did run over to the library today, but I didn't get much done.  The problem was, I finished the story yesterday, and thought I would compile it all into one master file, but the first four days' work weren't online (I did those on my laptop with no internet access).  So, I tried to think of what to write instead.

I jotted down a couple of notes for possible stories (one a ghost story and one a longer Sci-Fi story I will never end up writing), but I don't count those as writing.  Maybe I should, though.

Words Today: 58
Words Total: 7489

Friday, March 08, 2019

March Radness - Day 8

So, I sort of dropped the ball today.  That's not to say that I DIDN'T write, but I came close.  I sat down at the end of the day and basically forced myself to type, sad that I'd squandered the momentum from yesterday and the days before.

But weirdly, that momentum came back to me, and I sat there and typed until I finished the story.  So, there I go, off on the right track.

I've been saving each day's work into its own little document, so that nothing runs together.  The funny thing is, the bits I've been writing don't really connect perfectly, so that when this sucker is done and I consolidate it all into one file . . . I'll probably lose a couple hundred words due to redundancy.  I wonder if that will count against my total word count.

Words Today: 1485
Words Total: 7431

Thursday, March 07, 2019

March Radness - Day 7

Is "March Madness" trademarked by the NCAA, like "Super Bowl" is?  If so, then basketball isn't as great as I thought it was.*

Wednesdays are the day I take care of my three nephews, so I knew I'd have no time to go to the library, but luckily, the two older ones are required to read for twenty minutes each day (before they are allowed to go forth and consume the lives of innocents), so I had the oldest one set the timer, and I wrote while they read in silence.

I ended up starting to really get into it by the time the timer went off, so I let them play video games while I wrote for a few minutes more. I think I might have actually finished the story had I had no distractions, but as it stands, I still got to the last scene in the tale, which means I could easily finish tomorrow, if I put my mind to it.

Words Today: 747
Words Total: 5946


*But sooooo much better than football, it's not even worth discussing.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

March Vladness - Day 6

Somehow, I managed to get to the library two days in a row this week, so of course, those have been my two most productive days so far.

I've spoken at length about the library, and even though I am distracted by the people who neglect to silence their phones on the second floor, or the homeless guy who has a place set aside every time I go over there, it's still a little bit like my designated writing spot, and my brain knows it's time to write whenever I go there.

I got less done today, because I had less free time (than the day before), but I still feel like I did alright with this sucker. Tomorrow may be harder, though.


Words Today: 1612
Words Total: 5199

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

March Vladness - Day 5

So, this is more like it.  Today I managed to sneak on over to the library for a little while, and I think I got more done in the one sitting than I did in the previous four days put together. 

I got more than halfway through the story, and while I feel like it's terrible so far, when I get to "the end" and put it all together, maybe I'll feel differently.  Also, the word limit for the anthology is only  five thousand words, and I worry that it's going to be close. 

We'll see.

Words Today: 2008
Words Total: 3587

P.S. I will try to do the library again tomorrow (though I'll have less time available to me).  It seems to be a productive place for my writing.

Monday, March 04, 2019

March Vladness - Day 4

So, it's been a slow start to the month, writing-wise, but in my defense, I've been out of town every day this week, and that affects my normal schedule.  We'll see if things change tomorrow, when I'm back to "normal" life (ie, the disgustingly slovenly routine I've become accustomed to).

Words Today: 556
Total Words: 1579

Rish Outcast 132: Friends In Paradise

Say it again now, children . . .


In this one, I share the very first story I wrote for the "Masters of the Macabre" contest, "Friends In Paradise." Poor Jessica is stuck going to Hawaii with her family, but perhaps she can see a friendly face while she's there.  Or faces.

So, I'm going to try to call these contest-losing story episodes "Pout of Competition" shows (if you think that's bad, you should see the names I rejected!).   Maybe I'll get Gino to make me a symbol to stick on 'em.



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

If you Left-Click HERE, you can support me on Patreon.

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Sunday, March 03, 2019

March Radness - Day 3

So, today I did just as badly in my write-every-day-in-March goal, and I don't even have the excuse of feeling sick like I did on Friday and Saturday.  I've been out of town, but I'm not letting that stop me.  Still, I could have done a lot more writing than I have (tonight I edited podcasts for four hours straight before remembering I needed to write).

This first story I'm working on is going to be for a Horror anthology, and it's turning out not very Horrory.  The maximum word length is only five thousand words, and I'm nearly through a fifth of that, without having written much of anything.  Uh oh.

Words Today: 219
Total Words: 1023

Saturday, March 02, 2019

March Radness - Day 2

I still don't have a good name for this thing.

But I vowed to write every day in the month of March, and so far, I've done so (so far being, the first of March).  I'll come on here and post my word count and total words, so you can mock me if the number is small.

Like today.

Words Today: 354
Total Words: 804

Friday, March 01, 2019

March Madness - Day 1

Oh wait, March Madness means something else, doesn't it?

Maybe I'll call it something else.

But I vowed to write every day in March this year. Today is March 1st, and I have gotten sick. So I didn't write much. But hey, I vowed to write every day in March, so, here's today's report.

Words Today: 450
Total Words: 450