Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Houstan, we have a problem...ACHOO!!

Okay, this really sucks.
Suddenly, I'm a raging Sneezoid from the planet Dustalon. Ugh.
I spent another 2.5 hours last night dusting the office. It looks great! (and...I'm still not quite done..too...much...stuff...on...shelves!).

BUT, even though all that dusting has removed most of it, some of it (I guess) got airborne and is still around. Problem is, I can't keep the window open too long (-20 degrees!) and I have to keep the door closed when I'm not in there or the pesky cat (Basil) will be parkouring his little heart out! Little destructive bugger...

Sigh. All I can do is keep cleaning and KEEP it clean. Tomorrow night I'll dust some more. Also, I've started the long process of rearranging everything to reduced the clutter. Also, tomorrow, I'll be taking apart my computer and squirting some air into its guts - I'm sure that's the real reason I'm sneezing (the little fan keeps blowing it around).

But, despite the sneeze attack late this morning, I did get another two chapters edited and under my belt.

Tonight, Tanya and I get to see Walking With Dinosaurs at the MTS Center - HUGE dinosaur puppets! Cool! The tallest is like 5 stories!! Crazy.

Finished off Anita Daher's Two Foot Punch this morning. Crazy Cool!! Amazing, really.

Oh, and two webcomics from Pearls before Swine about blogging:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Death to Dust Bunnies!

I'm about at the 1/3 mark right now in the manuscript, and some of the big changes are REALLY occuring, which require a lot more rewriting, and whole lot of rethinking about the story. Changing of characterization in some parts (in regards to Wally and Katey), plot (in regards to Charlie and his bully problem), and storyline (in regards to the background of the old "haunted" Johnson house). But, all good.

Long, long ago I took a writing course with YA author Margret Buffie - one of her bits of advice was "never throw out/delete any draft!" Good advice, until you've got five files for Chapter 5, not that I do, but I guess it could come to that quite easily depending on how much you rewrite ideas and plots and shtuff like that.

I also spent about 2.5 hours last night CLEANING and dusting my office. Yuck. Let's just say it's a there. Lots of piles of paper and books and toys and stuff on the floor, and plenty of places for wild dust bunnies to hide and plot insidious plots against my poor alergic nose. Nasty dust bunnies! Now you die!

I figured it was time to give a major dusting when I had three alergy attacks in the last few days after sitting in the office for several hours on end, with the window closed (cuz it's cold outside now!).

I just own too much stuff - all of it cool, and completely necessary I assure my loving wife every day - but the problem is that I'm well organized, but lazy. I've got boxes and space in the basement or in my office for lots of things, but sometimes I just put in on "the pile" for "sorting later" and then three years go by and it's all like "where the hell did that thing go?" Duh. And now it's covered in dust. Like three inches of it.

So, tonight I will spend another 2.5 hours (good estimate) dusting the Spider-Man action figures, assorted do-dads, and books in the office. It was already better in there this morning. Tomorrow, it will be even better!

Die Dust Bunnies! Off with your fuzzy heads!

Oh, and poor Bombers. Sigh.

Friday, November 23, 2007

New ideas, new research, and new directions

wow. Things change a lot in the five years you take to make a story.
Five years ago kids were less likely to own a cell phone, and do you even SEE any 35mm cameras anymore?

My story is BASED on the use of 35mm cameras, so I had to update a few things (like making sure to mention that they need cameras that use FILM), and stuff like that.

Also, one or two websites and ghost hunting groups I had in the book don't even exist anymore on the web, or are totally different! Instead, I discoverd TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Two guys: plumbers by day, ghost hunters by night. Very cool website!! Lots of info. They have a tv show (on the scifi network, which I don't get), radio show, and a new book that just came out. Plus, there's the weird (but cool) kids show on YTV where two kids are trained in the art of ghost detection, and then sent into a reportedly "haunted" site to test their skills. Wow. Things do change.

And so does the manuscript. The good news is, my story is not so much about the accuracy of ghost detection, as it is about the inaccuracy of ghost detection and capturing (that's why it's funny...or at least I think it is).

Spent a good couple of hours reading on the TAPS website yesterday, got some good edits done, and also this morning. I'm bushed! But happy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

POV or no POV. There is no question, except WHICH POV.

It's amazing how differently you read your work when you haven't looked at it in over a year.

Some things stand out like sore thumbs (grammar, horrible cliches you missed, etc), but sometimes the POV hits you in the face and you still can't see it.

Yesterday I spent about an hour mulling over one chapter, KNOWING something was wrong with it. I experimented with a couple of different things until EUREKA! The POV was all screwed up. I fixed it up, and now it reads great!

I also spent a few hours yesterday reading Anita Daher's "Racing for Diamonds." Quite an exciting story!! Next up, "Two Foot Punch" which I just know will be great!

My day today was kinda screwed - I was expected at a "PD" day through the government Competitiveness, Training and Trade program. Ugh. 50% okay, a decent free lunch (the chicken was kinda overdone) and 50% "Let me outta here!!"

Well, back at home. I'm hoping to do some editing tonight, although I'm going to have to spend a couple of hours working on PrairieFire reports for a business meeting tomorrow. Ugh.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More reading and thinking...

Yup, editing is fun, but also a bit of a drag.

Should I keep such-and-such characters? What about the love triangle? Should he die or live? Maybe I should dump this whole part about the mirror-world??

All the questions which could result in 100+ drafts of the same work! Sigh.
(note: only one of the above questions actually pertains to the Ghostcatcher Club manuscript by-the-way; heh!)

Polished off Frieda Wishinsky's "Just Call Me Joe" this morning. It is great to read books in the age group I'm aiming for, and so important. It gives great insight into where my own story should be aiming for. I'm also working my way through Brian Henderson's "Nerve Language," a collection of poetry about Daniel Paul Schreber, a high ranking judge in Leipzig in 1894 who went insane. No, I'm not using it for my own writing research (egads!) but reading it for pleasure, as Brian was one of our visiting writers at THIN AIR 2007.
It's...quite good...and insane. Nuff said.

I've started into actually altering the manuscript of the Ghostcatcher Club. Scary. Heh.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day three - reading and more reading

Well, today I polished off Anita's "Flight from Bear Canyon" (very cool and exciting!) and got well into my manuscript.

I only made a few major notes on the sides - I really just want to read this thing once through as a story to see how it settles in my gut, and then go through again with minor changes, and then again with the major stuff (like I said, the ending is going to be TOTally different).

I also had another idea for taking out a chunk of the book about the bullying, which would alter a lot of stuff, and cut it down by about 20 -30 pages. I'm thinking I might write a separate draft to see how it flows, but right now it's kinda central to the main character of Charlie...

Sigh. The trials of the big edit. Writing the first draft really IS the easy part! Heh! But it's exciting to be reading it and working on it!

Tonight was also very exciting because I got to enjoy Anita Daher's launch of Two Foot Punch! She is such an inspiration for all aspiring writers - 2007 has been a GREAT year for her, and I'm so happy to see her soar to new heights! Next stop: her picture on the wall of McNally Robinson Booksellers! (It'll happen Anita, you wait and see). I can't wait to tear into the book.

I've also grabbed a book from the WIWF library (yet another perk of the job) - Frieda Wishinsky's "Just Call Me Joe," an Orca young reader book for ages 7-10, again around the age group I'm aiming for with my Ghostcatcher Club. Although I think right now it is more for ages 9-13, but who knows what it will look like at the end of the editing. My first job is just to create a good story!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In the Beginning...there was a lot of confusion??

Well, one might ask, what happens when you don't seriously write for over a year and then want to get back into it?

Answer: your office becomes a NIGHTMARE of confusion, of binders and piles of paper, of lost short stories and novellas and novel-length manuscripts. It's like a treasure hunt! Once, a long time ago, during a warehouse job far, far away, Perry had been quite into his writing. He had organized his stuff in binders and folders, with notes and blurbs, including all his research on submitting and suchwith, and on his computer he had everything neatly organized in folders.
Now, it's like finding a lost civilization - "Wow. Did Perry really write this? Cool. And look! Spreadsheets of where he sent stuff. Whoa, take a look at that binder of rejection letters!"

That's the funny part. The not so funny part is trying to find out where you left off.

Easily enough, thanks to my studious organization waaaay back in the past, I was able to find my manuscript of the Ghostcatcher Club. And, on the computer, there are the folders.

Now then. The manuscript papers are filled with scratchings and blurbs which (ostensibly) are notes for the next draft. Of course, I'm not sure if they had already been implemented or not. The last two days have been filled with some research and more organizing, and what I have now in my hot little hands is a clean copy of the latest draft! Yay!! Now to read! And then, on to edit!

I've also spent some time reading. I polished off Anita Daher's "Flight from Big Tangle" yesterday, and I'm about half-way through "Flight from Bear Canyon." Perfect books to read because the Ghostcatcher Club is geared for this age least that's the plan.

So, so far so good, and very exciting to be digging into all these lost short and long stories of mine! Now, to read the latest draft for the next hour before I head off to work, and then tomorrow, finish reading it and start making notes and changes. I already have BIG plans to change this story - the ending will basically be completely rewritten.

Okay, back at it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Writing Schedule BEGINS!!


So, I've basically finished all the major "to-do's" on my To-DO list at work, so starting Tuesday, November 13, my Writing Work Schedule kicks into HIGH GEAR!

Basically, I'll be working Mon - Fri at home (on writing) from 7:00 - 11:00 am. And then at the WIWF from noon- 5 or 6 pm.

Very exciting!

The time in the morning will be ME time, which means anything that encompasses writing which includes (but not limited to) reading, editing (my work or someone elses), working on my myriad of games, and WRITING (including, but not limited to, short stories, novellas, games, novels).
The time WILL NOT be used for: housekeeping, house reno, doing dishes, watching TV, playing video games, or any other "work" related stuff.

Did I also mention that ME time will include blogging? Yes, you lucky ducks (the few), I will be blogging nearly every day with short snippets of writing related shtuff.

Stay tuned!

Oh, and the reason I'm not writing Monday, is because I'm taking it as a holiday, and Tanya has it also as a holiday, so we're spending the day together.

Perry "8)