Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blood On Bluegrass

I finally broke the writer's block, and it isn't on a story. Not exactly.

I'm working on a story about a true suicide that happened here in Kentucky, at least they thought it was a suicide, and it may have actually been. I want to play it close to the vest right now, but it has homosexuality, a love triangle, felonies, embezzlement, a coverup...all the makings of sensational psuedo-news.


I realized I should post some more.

Alright, so here goes. Work has picked up, and as a result I have four 1/4 finished stories sitting on my hard drive. It isn't about substance right now, just getting the starts down on paper. If I can muscle through that, and get a flow going, I can always go back to rewrite the beginning.

In other news, the whole family got sick last week, babies and all. This meant my 7-day vacation from work for writing purposes turned into 7 days of sniffling and sneezing, turning into a couple of days handlingt he babies myself as my poor wife passed out and had to be hospitalized. She's alright now, but with her condition (MS), both her M.D. and I are in agreement that she has to take better care of herself.

As for the stories...well...

"Norton Is Watching" has been rebirthed, and "The Parting Glass" has come into development stages for the basic idea, clocking in at 958 words for an intro and atmosphere. "Deep Dark Hellhole" is starting to bud into the real meat of a short, short piece, and I've started outlining the NANOWRIMO idea.

I swear I'm going to try and finish that this year.

As for everything else...well, I have no excuse. See, I know I can write, and I know I do a decent enough job, but I'm seeing a serious lacking quality to my recent work. Chalk it up to stress, time constraints, family...whatever. It's no real excuse. I've got to get my feet under me, in a literary sense. I started out this year piss and vinegar and went strong up until July. After that...well. We only have to look back at my blog to see what happened.

So here's the plan...get one story finished prior to NANOWRIMO. Complete a draft of a novel, even if it does turn out to be as rancid as my son's last diaper, during November. Do two more stories in December. Rest for half of January, then kick my big rear back into gear. Luckily, I now have three days off a week, working 4 days a week, 10 hours a day. My wife and I have agreed the extra day is a no-kids, no-distractions writing day, 8 hours from rising to resting in front of the P.C., 4,000 words a day. That...well, honestly shouldn't be a problem for me. My normal daily limit for 2-3 hours is 1,000 words, and that's counting distractions.

I'm counting on you fine folks, then, to harass me every Wednesday on whether I've finished my work or not. Beat him, harangue me, cajole me. Hell, get my phone number and call me incessantly to ask if I'm at the computer.

As for the project above...right now it's research and trying to secure interviews. I have to get the family, coworkers, cops, and journalists to talk to me, secure 15 year old case files, get audit reports, find friends/witnesses willing to talk to me, and secure a photographer. I also have to turn my coal room into a kid-proof lair where I can tack up crime scene photos in all their gory details. It isn't horror, but damned if what I have (just in two interviews and news clippings) doesn't lead me to believe there's a story there.

For now, though, I have to help train a class of new hires tomorrow, so off to bed I go.

J.C. Tabler

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ay yi yi

So, I've been away a bit again. This time I have a good reason. Recently I was struck with what has been a recent blog topic: writer's block. Yes, the block. It isn't that I don't have ideas. I do. The problem is that I every time I sit down to work on these ideas I get my nightly limit (1,000 words) out, then read over what I wrote the next day. After making retching noises, I promptly do the electronic version of balling up the sheet of paper and tossing it in a wastebin.

When something is flowing well, however, there are interruptions. Work, family, a squalling child with enough chemical weaponry stockpiled in their Huggies to elicit UN sanctions...take your pick. After dealing with these minor crises, I end up sitting back down to realize I no longer have any clue where to go with the story, and once again the highlight and delete functions are employed.

So, procrastination or block? Not sure really. I have an outline for my NANOWRIMO project, and look forward to writing for the sheer joy of it. In the meantime, I'm abstaining from anything distracting that isn't absolutely necessary until I get at least one of these ideas crowding my head onto paper in some form. This means no television, no bars, no internet surfing, no good books...just typing reading, walking the block, and more typing. Nothing's flowing easily right now.

So, there we stand a storyless month in September, well below my goal of four stories, and it's shaping up to be a pretty barren October. Through willpower and coffee alone will I force November into being productive for 50,000 words. I can assure that much. Until then, I will be the invisible author attempting to finish a story with a baby in one arm and a coffee cup in the other.

J.C. Tabler

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pushing my stuff

Yes, it's been a while. Explanations are coming, I promise. Best I can say is the twins decided not to sleep through the night, a Dia de los Muertos submission is whipping my rear, and I'm trying to get back on a sleep schedule since it was thrown off by a doctor's appointment this week. So why am I here when I should be shaving? Why, to pimp my work.

"Poppa Bear" went up over on Underground Voices. The direct link is here. Of course, I'd love for everyone to give it a read, but hell. If you can't, you can't.

Now, to take care of the Three S morning routine.

J.C. Tabler