Random musings on a writer's life & times, with occasional input from acquaintances


Monday, November 01, 2004

Hey! I'm writing a new novel! I don't have much time to blab right now because I signed up to participate in National Novel Writing Month, which began today, and I am already 1,667 words behind pace if I am going to meet the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by the end of November.

You've heard about NaNoWriMo, right? If not, go to www.nanowrimo.org and read all about it. There is still time to sign up. Be the next Danielle Steele. Be the next Fyodor Tolstoi. Or was his name Frank? Well, no matter. I have to hustle back to my files and find a suitable topic for novelizing. Some participants in NaNoWriMo have been drafting outlines and jotting notes for months to get ready for November's burst of high-quality writing, but I just learned of the whole deal yesterday and signed up last night. If I crank out my 50,000 words -- that's about 175 pages typewritten, double-spaced -- by the end of the month I receive a "winner" icon to place on my website. Hot dang!

I'm feverishly sorting through story ideas. Do I want to write a detective novel starring a gumshoe who is just like me except half a foot taller and a lot better-looking? Or how about that time-travel fantasy I always hoped to produce? I used to live in Bend, Ore-GAWN, so I have expertise for a cowboy novel. "Revenge of the Rim Rock Riders," or whatever. I could work in a porno-horror vein like Richard Laymon (sex-crazed vampires wind up being eviscerated with linoleum cutters by plucky, revenge-minded victims, etc.). The possibilities are limitless. And so -- to the salt mines! Wait, that's a cliche. But the NaNoWriMo organizer says cliches are okay if you're trying to write 175 pages in 30 days. Every word counts.


Sunday, October 31, 2004

For seven days hath Peoria Dave labored mightily without producing a post on Writeright. Yet, lo! Here beith one! The Sunday Seven, no less. How appropriate. Peoria Dave worketh in mysterious ways, my people.

1) What are you wearing?

Fleece sweatshirt splattered with blue paint from a fix-up project at the Little League ballpark years ago (my job was to paint the dugouts; I was told the paint was “washable;” that apparently meant the dugout walls could be washed after painting, not that the paint would wash out of my clothes). Pancho Villa T-shirt, souvenir of a trip to Cabo San Lucas. Blue jeans, sweat boots, white Nike sox, a two-and-a-half day growth of beard and a bad attitude.

2) What are you reading?

What makes you think I can read?

3) What’s for dinner?

My hat. The Boston Red Sox won the World Series.

4) What’s the best thing that happened this week?

I had five poems accepted for publication by a New Orleans-based internet magazine, the Spillway Review. The poems will appear on the magazine’s website beginning Nov. 1 in a special section dedicated to All Souls Day. They concern my daughter, Dawn, who died at 17. If you would like to see them, go to .www.spillwayreview.com/

5) What’s bugging you?

My back hurts. I screwed it up by getting involved in an insane cleaning project yesterday. I was looking for one of my books -- a compilation of Top Ten song lists beginning in 1955 or so -- and I couldn’t find it in my attic office, so I trudged down to the family room and poked around. While poking, I discovered the joint buried in dust. On every book shelf, in front of, behind and atop the books, spread a thick layer of dust. Across the fireplace mantle, behind, in front of, and atop the baseball trophies, lay a mixture of dust and what appeared to be gritty crematorium ashes (did someone spill the dog? his coffin sits across the room, on one of the book shelves). In the entertainment center, or whatever you call that shelved wall space where the kids cram dead VCRs, outdated video games, assorted unidentified wires, the random television that actually works and a few Dave Barry books, dust coated the wood like an Oklahoma farm field in the 1930s. I spent five hours cleaning. I didn’t find the book, and I finished with a back ache. Then my three sons and two friends stayed up all night down there playing video games and hooha-ing. This morning I’m afraid to even go look. Sigh.

6) Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Well, last week she was in Mashpee, Massachusetts. Since the presidential election Tuesday features one candidate from Massachusetts and another from Texas, Carmen is being fair and balanced. She is visiting Circle Back, Texas.

7) What’s it all about, Dave?

As my friend Bucky Katt says,

“You may think you’re not pretty enough for me, but I bet I’m pretty enough for the both of us.”

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