Writing goals, I need some.
Yeah, I've set a pretty leisurely pace for The Conscience of Abe's Turn. I've posted the Prologue. And BTW, I've formally licensed the RSS feed under the CC BY-ND License (though I haven't set up the RSS feed itself to note this), what after I got pissed at big-media-minded bloggers, who just don't get it. Note that the series itself is "All rights reserved," and I plan to print it up in novels and sell them and make money. (Or give up on the project. We'll see how it's received.)

Anyhow, back to my point: I've set a pretty leisure pace for writing this series. It basically boils down to a short-story-length episode every 5 weeks, with a dozen weeks of vacation during the year. That will give me a novel-length season of episodes each year. On top of that, I've planned out all the major characters, and the major plot points for the next 3 years. So that should make writing episodes pretty easy.

Indeed, it is easy. That's part of the problem. I'm a third of the way through writing chapter 3 (i.e., week 3), and I feel no pressure to finish the scene I was writing when I last got interrupted. So much for 3 pages a day, or whatever I thought I was going to write. BTW, by "page," I mean 12 pt proportional serif font, 29 lines--or 30 lines in my case--on a 6x9" page, patterned off of several recent novels I've bought. When did novels start getting published in large-print, easy-read type? Not all of them are, but the most popular all seem to be. So that's like 200-260 words per page, 2,000-2,500 words per chapter, 11,000-12,000 words per episode. So, on the long side for a short story, but shorter than a novella.

That's about 90,000 words per season, in a 360-400 page novel. This is about the length of a recent Nora Roberts novel. It's gotta be. I mean, I didn't count the words, but I'm using the same type style, size, and density... Except that I'm actually fitting one more line per page, and the margins are a little smaller, and her novel was only 330-something pages long.

So... Novels are 200,000 words now? Where did I hear that? Did I do my math wrong?

And as a reward for reading through the foregoing blather, here's a sneak-peek at chapter 1. I reserve the right to rearrange the episode after I complete it, but I don't think I'm going to. And this preview may have typos in it or other stupid mistakes. I haven't edited it yet.Read more...Collapse )

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I turn 38. Interestingly, it occurs 6 months from the December holiday season. Most of my family also has birthdays during this time of year. So I tend to divide the year into two seasons: the Holiday season and the Birthday season.

Every year around this time, I look back at the past year and wonder what I've accomplished. And in 2 more years, I'll probably look back at the previous decade. Most years, I feel disappointed. And when I turned 30, I almost got depressed at how little I felt I had accomplished. But this year, not so much.

Now I'd like to:


P.S. Here are a bunch of celebrities who were also born today. And here's the long list, from IMDb.

My First Video, in My Messy Basement Studio
I've been wanting to play with video for some time now. So I did a short video commentary on the latest episode of Gilmore Girls and posted it on YouTube. I just set up my relatively new MacBook in my basement, next to all the sound equipment I use for podcasting. Because I really wanted decent sound on the video. That means you can see in the background all the boxes of stuff that needs to be spring-cleaned.


A New Gilmore Girls Fansite
So, I know I haven't posted in a long, long time. What I've been up to... I started my own business. And I've been spending a lot of time building a fansite for one of my passions, my all-time favorite TV show, Gilmore Girls. The site is Gilmore-ism.com. Originally, it was only a database of Gilmore Girls quotes. And it still has an abundance of quotes, with more being added. But now it's a full-fledged fansite, with many cool features and more being added. And a steady stream of exclusive content.

So if you're a Gilmore Girls fan, check out Gilmore-ism.com.


Blog Boost: The Artsy Asylum
I like Susan Reynold's blog, but I don't know why. Maybe it's the literary writing, though that doesn't usually do anything for me by itself. Maybe it's the photos. Maybe it's just the color scheme. Hmm...

Full disclosure: I discovered her blog because I'm a member of the Linkedin Bloggers group. Linkedin Bloggers has a thing they do called a "blog boost," where they pick a random member of the group and pick one of his blogs to Boost. Then any group member who wants to participate can post a link to the Boosted blog.

So that could also be why I like her blog. I'll have to see if it's still in my blogroll after a month.


Children and Toilets
This is a story I recently wrote for Mur Lafferty's ISBW crit contest. It was odd (for me) in that it has a female protagonist. So I wrote and submitted it under the pseudonym Joanna T. Knight, which is an anagram of "Jonathan T. King." I did not win, but I was not expecting to, either. There were a number of great entries, and at that point, as with any other market, it becomes more a matter of taste and networking. I'm more interested to learn what Mur and the others at ISBW think of the story and to read the other stories entered in the contest. And I'm interesting in hearing what you think I could do to improve it. I already know 3 improvements, which I didn't have time to implement before the contest deadline. What are your suggestions? Read more...Collapse )

Over the past week...

I finished Character & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. Near the end he gives an example of the "in his mind-in her mind" thing, an example that actually works and did not disorient me. I have a theory as to why it worked.

I also read The Minister's Daughter by Julie Hearn.

I finally finished the classic story game Day of the Tentacle by Tim Schafer. Full Throttle is still my favorite.

I played The Goat in the Grey Fedora by Mark Darin, the second in the Nick Bounty detective series of games. I also played Brain Hotel and the first Nick Bounty game, A Case of the Crabs. Of these three, Goat was my favorite.

I watched Annie Hall and found that I identified more with her than with him.

I watched Tom Sawyer, the 1973 musical starring a young Jodie Foster in the role of Becky Thatcher, which was a fine movie as long as they weren't singing. I still like the book better, though.

Now I'm reading Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card with Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech next on the stack. Next on my Netflix queue are Nosferatu, Because of Winn-Dixie, and The Notebook. And I've downloaded Narcolepsy by Adam Cadre and plan to rent or buy Indigo Prophesy. And I think my brain's going to explode.


Lately, I've read Spellbound by Nora Roberts. It wasn't my favorite.

I've also read Heartbeat by Sharon Creech for my daughter.

I've started watching Stunt Junkies, which is ripe with characterization ideas.

I watched The Baxter as well as Must Love Dogs and Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, the latter which will be the subject of tomorrow's "be the story Spotlight" episode.

I also finished reading Sin and Vengeance, which was okay but not so much so that I want to read it ever again.

Now, I'm finishing Orson Scott Card's Characters and Viewpoint, which I've been meaning to finish for about a month now.


Stories I've been reading...

... or watching or playing or listening to.

I reread The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, or at least portions of it, for the latest episode of be the story.

I read Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop by Kate Wilhelm and loved it so much I made it the subject of last week’s be the story Spotlight.

Before that, I watched March of the Penguins, which I was going to spotlight, but I agree with Mary Lynn Mercer’s comments, almost to the letter. Actually, she agrees with me, since I came to my conclusion before reading her analysis. Funny that we came to the same conclusion independently. It makes me feel less alone in the world.

Now, I'm reading Spellbound by Nora Roberts, a novella I picked up just to get a taste of her writing.


Are you a story geek?
I'm trying out dPolls.com. Are you a story geek? What do you think? (The dPolls live HTML unfortunately doesn't work with LJ.)



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