Archive for May, 2008

on & off topic

Ok, ok. It’s been a full week with no post. I am a bad monkey. Ook, ook.

Tucker: I’ve gotten nearly no writing done since last week. In my defense, it has been a very busy week – an out-of-town graduation, a bbq, a weekend (never get work done on the weekend anyway), and coming back to work on a Tuesday which tosses my rigid schedule into the blender. Fingers crossed, hopefully some writing today.

Word of the Day: schadenfreude – a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others

I love this word. I always have. It’s fun to say and I’ll even cop to having experienced it myself on occasion. Today while signing in WordPress presented me with a “hawt post” that discusses schadenfreude. Now while I suspect that the author of The Angry Black Woman and I have precious little in common (I am exasperated and white), I applaud her for calling attention to the singular malicious act of one blogger and the larger issue that she is unfortunately not alone out there. It makes me sad and sick that there isn’t enough drama in day to day living that people feel the need to be asshats and pick on anyone different from them.

Politics: Scott McClellan’s hot news right now because instead of penning a soft, rosy memoir of good times at the White House with his buddy Dubya, he wrote a playbook for the Dems come the general election this fall.

The current administration is jumping up fast to say that McClellan wasn’t involved in high level decisions – um, duh? Press Secretary anyone? His job is to parrot what his Commander in Chief tells him to. Shocking, isn’t it, that he might not be given all the information on something so that he can present the best face for the administration? So why didn’t he leave earlier if these were his true feelings? Maybe because over time he had a change of heart. He’s been gone for two years, he isn’t still there.

That’s actually one of the things that bugs me most about Obama. He’s constantly reminding everyone that he’s been against the Iraq War since the beginning. That would hold weight for me but for the fact the he was not a member of the Senate at the time that decision was made. He’s always on Hillary’s case because she a) voted for war (as did the overwhelming majority of the Senate at the time) and b) she hasn’t apologized for voting for war.

So we are no longer allowed to believe something, go for it and change our minds later without apologizing to someone for it? Huh. Guess anyone who’s ever gotten a divorce needs to step up and say they’re sorry for having fallen in and out of love. Guess any politician who campaigned under a certain banner of change and then got schooled by his advisers or simple reality when he hit office should step up, too.

Seriously.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a short post to wave a hand and say “I’m still out here.” Oops.

wip: Tucker @ 24,229

Another scene down. Big, big happenings, too. Onto the next one now.

KMF…

off topic: political quickie

I’ve been wanting to post a thoughtful, well argued, possibly footnoted entry about the current political scene here in the United States – most specifically the Presidential Primary season we’ve been weathering for the last umpteen months.

This ain’t the time for that.

However, something keeps popping up that’s bothering me: Hillary keeps mentioning America’s “moral authority”.

WTF???

Am I the only one wondering a) wtf that means in the first place, b) who are we, as Americans, to brandish such a sword to the world at large, and c) how does a Clinton get away with bringing up morality in the first place?

Please don’t misunderstand me; I am very interested in Senator Clinton’s progress and I personally think she should stick this out to the end. Seriously, when was the last time most of these states got to vote past Super Tuesday anyway? (note: I’ve been checking the net and haven’t found that little nugget. Anyone? Bueller?)

I’ve actually considered voting for her. And them’s fightin’ words in my family. My folks are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. Conservative doesn’t begin to cover it. They think McCain is far too liberal. So even thinking about going against that kind of early childhood training doesn’t come easily.

That being said, I like a lot, a lot of the things both Clinton and Obama have said. I like more that Clinton is a known quantity. I also liked McCain back in 2000 and wow, I don’t think I’m the only one to wonder what woulda happened if he’d gotten the nom instead of Dubya.

At any rate, this is a bit of a ramble. But she said it again last night after her Kentucky win. Srsly… wtf?

wip: Tucker @ 22,252

So just shy of 1,000 words today. Didn’t finish the scene so will have to get back to it. With any luck it will fight me less tomorrow. It’s pretty pivotal and I find (strangely enough) those are the hardest.

I’ve been trying to bully my writing partner – let’s just call her “JB” – into doing her own blog. She’s actually published, erudite, and struggling with her own work in progress; she’s got more business being here than I do. Alas, she resists me. Something about no time due to raising her baby or some such nonsense.

So I’ve decided to do it for her.

To the right you’ll see a new box tracking the stats on her WIP. As I don’t actually have her permission to do this, I’m just using her initials now.

She’ll thank me later. Someday. Maybe…

wip: Tucker @ 21,272

I have now crested over the 1/3 mark. I would do the Snoopy dance but I’m exhausted. The scene I just finished is pretty intense and got my adrenaline up. Stick a fork in me – I’m done.

 

Good thing my day job is nearly over.

wip: Tucker @ 18,946

Another day, another scene. Not too shabby, all things considered.

 

I had an epiphany while struggling to start this scene. Changed several key points that had been law up to this point. But the changes are going to make the plot much tighter and gives a real reason for the hero and heroine to have a falling out instead of the classic ‘misunderstanding-that-could-be-solved-easily-if-someone-would-just-man-up-and-pull-their-head-out-of-their-ass-and-ask-the-right-question’ scenario so popular in many romance novels.

 

Now more than ever I am fighting the urge to go back and rewrite the beginning. I mean if I’m this far in and finding new good stuff, I might as well make it to the end and see where I land so I only have to go back and fix it once.

 

Ugh.

 

Keep moving forward…

wip: Tucker @ 16,488

Whew. I beat that last scene into submission. Well… not really. It was going pretty well before but I had to wait a day before I could go back in and finish it. But it’s done. Moving forward…

 

I’m not sure if this process is harder than I thought it would be or not. The “seat of the pants” or “don’t look down” method. On the one hand, I did do up a quick sketch of the beginning, middle and very murky end – about six pages – back before I started this. Heavy notes on the front section and then ending with, “they kiss & make up… they live happily ever after”. Hardly a detailed roadmap. More like, “Hey, let’s go east and see where we end up.” But so far I feel better with this project than any of the ones before and I’m making progress.

 

Except for the fact that my prose is flat as a pancake.

 

My writing partner tells me it really isn’t that bad and to keep in mind this is the underpainting. Once I get the story blocked in I will be going back and editing and layering adding the color and texture. But see, that’s the fun part and I want to do it now.

 

Must stick to the plan.

 

I figured out about 2,400 words ago that my hero was a useless wad; he was a plot device. So I finally figured out how to get him into the story in a way that makes sense and enriches it instead of having him be there merely for the heroine to go, “Hey you’re kinda cute. Let’s live HEA.” I desperately want to go back and rip off the front section and rewrite. More than I can adequately express in words. But that’s one of my usual traps. I “skim” over what I wrote before and end up editing as I’m reading. This method, my friends, does not get you very far.

 

I just checked and it appears I sent out the sketch to my writing partner on April 17th. Today is May 16th. 30 days. 16,488 words. I appear to be averaging 550 words a day. Hrm. That’s discouraging. But then again, I’m only writing a scene every couple of days. I need to really try and get a scene a day. I really want this thing done.