Saturday, October 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo is coming

Just a little over two weeks to go until National Novel Writing Month ( This will be my fifth time.

It looks like I'll be starting something completely different than I had been thinking. The start I got on my previous project proved that it really didn't have the legs it needed. So, I've got a related but different concept that I hope will get me through the month. Now I just have to get some sort of outline down so that I'm not firing blind, like I have in previous years.

read: Spook Country

Read two other books before finishing this one. 2 (& 1/2) stars It just didn't click with me: Shelfari review.

Next up: Vacation reading in some order. Saucer: The Conquest by Stephen Coonts; The Gold Coast by Kim Stanley Robinson (revisit); The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

read: Vanished

I gave this one 4 stars a few days ago: Shelfari review

Whipped right through it before returning to Spook Country.

Monday, October 5, 2009

read: Whiskey Sour

I gave it 4 stars, about a week ago: Shelfari review

What happened to Spook Country? I made it halfway and had to put it down. It was not connecting with me. A friend noted that he had to start it three times before finishing. I'm hoping I'll get back to it soon enough to not have to revisit the first 150 pages. We'll see.

Currently reading (and liking): Vanished by Joseph Finder

Added to the backlog: Saucer: The Conquest by Stephen Coonts

Learnings from the Weekend

This place is as good as any to catch up with myself and refocus. It's been a little over a month since my last post. What's changed and what will change? And what's a learning anyway?

Let's get that last bit out of the way first. A learning is an appalling nounification that I have repeatedly run into, am using here for the first time, and which I hope is now out of my system, never to be used again. It seems to mean something that has been learned from a class or an experience.

One thing that's been learned (earlier in the month) and changed is that I've decided not to spend any more time on screenwriting. I was not really getting any better at it. It was taking way more time and energy than can afford right now, with very little hope of ever paying off in any way whatsoever (other than a bit that I've learned about story structure). I'm going to focus on novels and short stories. I have managed to get a start on a novel, and some of the planning for it already got mentioned here in previous posts. I'm not as far as I'd like to be. But how unusual is that for anyone?

As a consequence of the shift away from screenplays, I'm no longer planning to post movie reviews of any sort here, unless of course, I feel compelled to. My previous motivation was to try to capture some of the screenwriting insights I found for future reference. Now it will probably be just because I found something particularly enthralling (or appalling).

Another thing that's been learned is that I'm still dissipating my time on watching way too much television, trying to follow too many blogs and other Internet beasties, and stimulating my mind with meaningless puzzles to be a writer. I thought I could control this, but it is out of control. These activities completely absorbed my weekend, other than a few household chores and some errands, leaving me feeling completely fruitless, despite having written several hundred words on Saturday morning.

So, thankfully Stargate: Universe appears to a be a non-starter and will not be added to my television menu. Likewise, I'm not feeling the buzz for NCIS: LA. Heroes is still feeling a little iffy, but I'll have to go with Jurgen Wolff on this one, where's the drama in a show where noone stays dead and time travel is possible?

Learnings? Less TV, more writing. Less blog reading, more real reading (and writing). And, given what the scale was telling me this morning, less dessert, more exercise. Not all at once, mind you. But I have removed SGU from the DVR and unsubscribed from at least 1/3 of the blogs. These are my commitments to myself.

For now, it's time to get to my day job and work on commitments for that place, too.