23 Jun

The Writing Muscle

I was listening to the most recent Adventures in Sci Fl Publishing podcast, featuring an interview with Kris Rusch, and she said something that I really already knew. She said that writing is a muscle, and that to write fast you just need to practice writing fast.

Well, duh.

But, you see, I’ve been off work this week, and it’s suddenly hit me again just how true this statement is. I’ve been having a great time of it this week. My daily process is: (1) Get up about 8:00 AM, (2) write until noon, (3) lunch, (4) do something good around the house/yard, (5) walk to the gym and work out, then walk home, (6) go to dinner with my lovely wife, (7) do whatever in the evening with her, (8) go to bed. Simple. Great. Much fun.

But then, I need to say that the 3-4 hours of writing has not always been particularly fruitful. I’m not used to having that kind of time anymore. I’m more used to 30 minutes or an hour. It’s actually a little annoying. But yesterday I actually loosened up a bit, and got a lot done, and then…all of a sudden…in the middle of the book I was working on, I wrote a strange paragraph. It ddn’t fit, you see. So I pulled it out, and looked at it.

It belonged in a different story.

So today I decided to stop working on the book and explore this story. That was the plan, anyway.

For a couple reasons, I decided that today I would do the cliche-kinda thing, and go to Starbucks to write. I settled in with my Mocah, and I started to write. But oddly, I didn’t start with the paragraph I had intended to. Instead, I started with something completely different. Decidinng to trust my instinct, I just went with it. I powered on. Two mochas and nearly four hours later, I had a complete short story. Beginning, middle, end. Do you know how long it’s been since I wrote an entire short story in a single sitting? I honestly can’t remmeber the last time that happened.

All I can say is that I feel really solid about it, and I like the story, too. Sure, it needs work–it’s a first draft, afterall. But the story is there.

Very cool.

I was thinking about this when I went to the gym this afternoon. I’m spending time there nearly every day, working on my muscles, working on my endurance. I’m feeling good about that. But, for the obvious reson, I’m feeling better today. I’ve missed that feeling, the sense of confidence that I can finish a story in a day. It’s a swagger thing. And it’s good to get it back.

Yeah, I hear ya…

“Well, duh.”

21 Jun

Born of Hope

Yeah, I know this has been around for awhile, but I just today got around to actually watching it. If you enjoyed Lord of the Rings at all, Born of Hope is a pretty neat little piece that was done by an small, independent group of (essentially) volunteers. It looks, outstanding. Very slick. And the story is good, too. Something you can take in over about an hour.

What’s to lose, eh?

15 Jun

“Operation Hercules” to On Spec, and Other Little Bits

So, yeah, it’s been awhile. What can I say?


I won’t even begin to attempt to catch up on a month and a half of life. Instead, I’ll just say that time flies and leave it at that. On the other hand, during that time I’ve been to Chicago to send my daughter to Japan, and I’ve been to Lafayette to leave a car off, and I’ve been to Australia for a over a week on a business trip.

There’s always something to do, eh?

In the meantime, I’ve gotten a little writing done, and I get to report that On Spec has now expressed interest in publishing my short story “Operation Hercules.” Still working on the arrangements, so nothing’s final, I suppose.  But I’m very excited about that one. It’s a favorite story of mine, and I’m very happy to see it find such a fine home.


While I’ve been a bit silent around here, you can get a more routine dose of Collins activity by following Brigid’s adventures in Japan. She’s been far better about keeping, you know, up to date. [grin]