Writing & Submitting:
I’m thinking about placing my fourth novel in the can and letting it rot. “The can” isn’t exactly the trash, but it is a trashy plastic bin I keep in the closet. So, let’s count: very first complete novel written before graduate school: The Cinnamon Girl: as awful as the title would suggest. Put it in the can. Second novel published. Third novel written: By The Still, Still Water: awful. Put it in the can. Fourth novel written: The Palace of Winds: thinking about putting it in the can. Fifth novel written: Far Nineteen: Verdict undecided, but I’m inching it toward the can.
Sixth novel is in progress and hovering around 49,000 words. Usually when progress slows like this it means I made a misstep somewhere. I either wasn’t listening to the characters, or I forced something to happen earlier than it should. One of the drawbacks to the way I go about things. I don’t outline because the I’ve “told the story” and there’s no reason to tell it again. Besides, I’d end up never following the outline anyway. The closest I ever came to an outline was The Palace of Winds because I was retelling the Jason and the Argonauts myth—and that doesn’t seem to have gone very well.
Finally got the last episode of the Bad Business series out of the door. That project took way too long and although it turned out to be pretty good, I’m not doing one that has me trying to Skype a third person in.
The second Outrider Live show is out, and I really like this one. First time reader Michelle Barrett battled through some nervous butterflies, but did a great job. There’s a spark there, and I think she’s got the spine and the smarts to keep doing the work and getting better. Shawn Craver’s reading from his as-yet unpublished first novel was excellent. His prose is strong and I think it’ll find a home soon. Our musical performer, Elleana, has an astonishingly beautiful voice and her song selection and arrangements are quirky and fun. I think you’ll like her.
I’ve been working on getting another live show scheduled, and plans are moving forward to do something with the poet Siobhan Scarry.
I’d planned on taking a break to plot my next move, but instead jumped right into another series. This one is Problematic Badass Female Tropes with my friend Jenn Zukowski. She wrote a seven part series for Writers HQ, and we thought it’d be fun to drink wine and discuss her essays. That should be ready for release in March or April.
My reading pace is floundering. I’m reading some books my therapist recommended. In fits and starts I’m reading John Berger’s novel King: A street story, and I’m still carting around Jeff Talarigo’s In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees. On my lunch breaks I’m still reading The Anti-Christ Handbook: The Horror and Hilarity of Left Behind by Fred Clark (The Slacktivists). He’s still going strong with the Left Behind Fridays and I’m slowly trying to catch up.
I have so many unread books on my shelves.
I need to do some work on my music discovery channels. I feel like I’ve not found anything new and good lately.
I think I’m going to shut down all my streaming services, take the TV and face it toward the wall. I understand the lure, and the vicious circle that TV and depression make. I’ll go back to reading during dinner, after my run, and before I have to clean up the apartment and go to bed. Or I’ll just sit and stare at the walls. Play with the cats. Surf the net.
I don’t have any random thoughts this month. They’re kind of all focused on something. So, nothing to rant about except the usual frustrations about time and obligation. See you next month.