Good progress so far this week.
It’s a simple equation: do the work. It’s part of a phrase a co-worker and I came up with to keep spirits up on times of high stress, but it fits here–no matter what, do the work and things work out.
In my case, doing the work each morning has resulted in the following progress: “Ellipses…” is now finished, and I’ve made a great and very exciting jump to a new beginning for the novel I’ve been working on for a bit. A few posts back I noted that I knew it didn’t start in the right way, but it feels right now, and the basic structure of the story is fully formed in my mind.
I’ve noticed something else as I’ve gotten back to a more disciplined approach to managing my morning time: I’m watching visual entertainment with a strong eye to story construction again. At one point, I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t watch television or movies without deconstructing the plot. This is back in full force it seems. I really noticed it recently while watching Matt Damon in Informant!, though it’s been coming for some time.
I like this a lot.
It makes me feel closer to the work.
It was a banner morning in the Collins basement.
“Elipses …” is together, and through second draft. I really works for me, though I feel that the last two or three paragraphs need to be crafted a bit more. Yesterday I was also thinking the title might need to be reworked again, but this morning I see it carrying the freight quite well, thank you very much.
So cancel the order for Title 3.0.
I’ll run through it again for a little tightening and a rear-end alignment (yikes, that sounds like it could hurt), then it will take a trip through the US Postal service.
It’s fair enough to say that the first draft of “Holes in the Ground” is complete–though I’ve decided its new title is “Ellipses…” We’ll see how that works for a bit. I think I like it. As can happen, finishing this draft has caused me a little set-back because I learned a little more about the main character as the story ended. I’m planning to spend the morning tomorrow going back to through it to adjust the overall voice of the piece. I’ve also got to straighten out a few nits in the last scene.
So it’s fair to say the draft is done. But it’s a day or two away from calling it a real story.
On another front, I figure I’ve got to be about the only person in the world to have driven into work and back home every day the last week while listening to Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold as included on his Double Live Gonzo album.
Let’s not get caught up in his politics or his world opinions right now, mmm-k? The song is a total rock guitar animal, and it takes me back to the day. That’s all I need for now.
In addition to those reasons, I chose it Monday morning because I noticed it runs just over ten minutes on my i-Tunes screen, and I wondered if it would last that exact distance or not. So I loaded up the iPod and hit play as I got into my car. As luck would have it, the song finished exactly as I rolled into my parking slot. So I tried it on the way home. I had about thirty seconds left on the tune when I got home, which used on my way to the mail box.
Same thing happened Tuesday. Wednesday, was the same except the trip home was delayed by an accident, so it doesn’t count. Thursday and Friday were the same, too.
So I think it’s fair to say that time drags on when I’m going to work. Call it Collins’s Corporate Theory of Relativity. As if you needed proof.
… another thousand words. “Holes” is moving along well and may perhaps be done through first draft tomorrow–maybe Friday. It’s now a matter of time rather than raw creativity.
I’ve again found it works for me to write in the basement. I know, I know. I knew it before, why did I go away from it? I dunno. But it’s working again, so I’ll just chalk it up as a proof along the order of the scientific method and leave it at that.
I should say that I also took last weekend to clear off many of the games and other junk from my basement machine. I’ve considered removing my browser from it, too. That would causea few problems that I’ll avoid boring anyone with here, but maybe I’ll just go strip all my extraneous bookmarks from it.
We shall see.
Regardless, it’s all good.
I was at lunch yesterday and overheard a few snippets of conversation between four guys at the table next to me. They were talking about health care, and apparently having a great time swapping scenarios and complaining about various things. I admit I tried not to listen, focusing instead on the story I’m working on. But it was tough. What I heard was all wrong, of course. Or at least the thoughts I heard them voicing were just that–thoughts, incomplete snippets or viewpoints based on only one perspective.
But who am I to say, really? I don’t know what to do about health care.
I do know this, though: by working so hard to ignore the debate at the table beside me, I now know what to do with this story–this piece I’ve tentatively titled “Holes in the Ground,” but now obviously needs a new title. Walking back to work, I felt really excited by this piece. And as I think about what happened I realize this is what I need to be doing now. Discipline. Staying on task. Focusing on the moment. These are what I’m working on again. These are the things that matter.
There’s more to be said on the topic, of course.
But, then, tomorrow is another day.
Sep 14, 2009 Uncategorized
I’ve been going back and forth about how I should get back to managing my “web presence.” At one point I think I should can the WordPress thing and go back to the old stuff that I loved so much. Then I think that would be silly–the arrow of time points only one direction. At present, the modernist side is winning–hence the new look.
But I admit fully that this bothers me.
I like knowing how everything fits together. I liked coding the old site by hand. It felt like it was mine that way. I kinda miss the old days when many sites were a source of pure art. But such is life, as they say. I’ll tinker with this for a little while. But the keener-eyed of you might notice that I haven’t given up the ship totally…I decided I would leave a little link on the side-panel, that will always let me go back in time whenever the urge hits.
On the writing front, progress is moving on two fronts–one short story, one novel.
Onward and upward. One day at a time. Cherrio. Tally-ho, and all that.