It’s funny how things come together sometimes, isn’t it?

January 17, 2015

I have a copy of almost everything I’ve written in my whole life. It’s very likely that what I don’t have, I can find in my parent’s basement. Some of it is just blather, some of it is very cringeworthy, and a few select nuggets I have do dig into the metadata to confirm it’s something that originated with me – because those are ones that I enjoyed reading as if they were fresh and new stories from an author I would otherwise consider following. These are the nuggets that give me hope for the future.

If I can do it once, I say to myself, I can do it again. If only I can remember how I did it in the first place.

This entry is not about that. This entry is about one of those nuggets I really enjoyed.

I spent an evening sifting through old story ideas, looking for a writing prompt. Then I stumbled upon an old story about codes. I will attach it Codes.Unfinished.

I liked how it flowed and I liked the development. And you can tell how old it is when you read about the sweet hardware setup my character had on is laptop. I put it on a list to be rewritten two different ways. As if it were written so many years ago and putting it in the modern era. I started to make notes but the old doubts crept in, telling me that no one would buy the premise and it would be garbage.

Then I read this article today with my morning tea and it made me feel better, because my story is still valid, and worse, because the idea of doing this has been around at last for this long.

Just strikes me as funny, is all.


My Reading List for next year, 2015

December 21, 2014

Alphabetized Reading List 2015

I made this list.
Some of them I’ve already read and I’m selecting to reading them again.
Some of them I’m not sure I want to read, and I won’t waste my time finishing them if I don’t like them. That’s why there are 115 items on the list.
Some of them are short stories and the like. Some of them are very, very long. I own all of them and the ones I haven’t read on the list are ones I haven’t just gotten around to reading.


Painting Windows For Tim Horton’s

December 14, 2014

“Did you know,” my wife asked. “That they pay people to paint the windows at Tim Horton’s. You should see the one over on Woodbine. You won’t believe it until you see it.”

Had something to do with a painful looking crouching position of one of Santa’s elves. I pictured a case of even constipation, a squinched up face, all red cheeked, with a point green hat staying on it’s head only by the grace of one pointy ear.

“I really thought they just got employees to do it.”

“Nope,” she said. “One person draws from a colouring book and the other is right behind, painting what she drew.”

The look on my wife’s face was incredulous. Like they should have been using an official Tim Horton’s rulebook of approved images. Frankly, I agreed. Tim Horton’s isn’t just a Canadian brand anymore. Canadians appreciate whimsy and originality. Tim Horton’s, the coffee juggernaut of the planet, allied now with the self titled king of burgers, is now in a good position to dominate the fast food market.

Them, suddenly, the scheduler and manager in me woke up and I started to think and when I started to think I did a little gigglesnort.

“What?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I said.

She’s been my friend and my wife long enough to not be fooled by that. So I proceeded to tell her what I would do.

First, I would find a book of approved images. Either by going through an image search online through Google and Bing or by seeing if I can find a list of top selling Christmas colouring books online. I would take twelve of those images from that book. My criteria would be the number of Christmas elements in the image (not more than say 5, but not less than 3) and the sum of the length of the lines would have to be more or less the same.

Then I would hire students of graphic design. Not to underpay them – I consider that morally reprehensible – but to give them some good Christmas cash and valuable experience as being a contractor. I’d make sure they got school credit, too.

I’d then create a ratio. Length of study in the curriculum and timing them on how long it took to do the drawing. The leas experienced would make a little less money, the more experienced would make more. It’s how the world works. Once I knew how long it took to draw the image, I’d do the same calculation for how long it took to paint the image. Based on that, and the wage I’d set, I could determine the cost for each image per Tim Horton’s.

The students would make the bulk of the cash. I would get a small auditor’s fee for checking up, taking high resolution photos and critiquing the work based on customer’s reactions in each of the stores, the students would then have a critiqued portfolio of their work in the bargain.

“You’re weird,” my wife said.

And she’s right. But I still think it’s a good idea.

Students make money, students get experience, Tim Horton’s gets good pictures, and I make a little bit of extra money, too.


I’ve got a monkey on my back and I’m jonesing bad

August 5, 2014

Two Scenes

A great deal of junk can collect in your head if you don’t stay focused on writing.

It’s why I have to stick to one piece at a time, otherwise you get distracted by all the wonderful possibilities going on around you.

Starting a story for me is like how I remember a cigarette tastes at just the right moment, or how it feels when you connect with the sweet spot on a golfball or a baseball, or losing your virginity, or having sex with the person you love. It jacks all those endorphins into my brain and conditions me to start all the stories I want and discourages me from finishing them because where’s the fun in that? So, I try to make it as fun as I can to keep me going so I can finish at least one thing.

I’ve got a portfolio of about twenty stories I like and wouldn’t be afraid to share with someone who wanted to read them. I’ve got a folder of 617 stories that I’ve started and haven’t finished. I’ve got one story that I want to finish by October 31st of this year and it’s not looking too good but it’s so, so easy to give up.

So, I gave myself a shot in the arm. After 5 days I let myself start and finish one small piece in order to get me excited again. I’ve had to resist the urge to start other stories that have promise, the monkey on my back trying to convince me that no one is going to read my current, longer story anyway. That’s is juvenile and laughable and no one will pick it up and if anyone is going to read it I am going to have to spend my own money to publish it and my own time to promote it and ultimately this current story is a waste of time. Why not try something new? Something fresh. No one else will mind at all if you do.

But no. I wrote this today. And I will post it today. And then tomorrow, back to schedule.

 


Yes, I judged someone on their looks

July 29, 2014

But he was wearing a ‘Tap Out’ T-shirt, had star tattoos on the back of both biceps, sipping from an extra large red bull, sucking on a e-cigarette, billowing pristine white plumes of smoke from his mouth and nose like he was announcing a new pope, standing in line at Tim Horton’s.

 I sensed he was giving me the stink eye as I stared at him, trying to soak him in and guess what kind of person he could be, but I couldn’t tell because of the dark, wraparound shades and glittery “Tap Out” hat – which is I guess is part of his whole image if he ever gets chosen to play Texas Hold ‘Em on TSN. I imagined him cursing me in his head as I stared at him, telling himself the most effective way to get back of me is to go online and start a practice round of Texas Hold ‘Em (where he’s in the top 10,000 in the free league, amateur status, but with all the emails he’s getting about free offers to play in other online leagues, he’s sure to move up a ranking in no time) and then once he’s there he’ll create a computer controlled avatar to play against and call him “Tim Horton’s Staring Guy” and give him a patchy six days growth of beard and a gut that tumbles over the waistline of his jeans.

But then, he could be a guy on disability with self image issues who volunteers at the local OSPCA, specializing in finding good homes for cats before they are euthanized and he just finished an allnighter at a suicide hotline where he was able to find help for a trans sexual tour guide after their breakup with what they were sure was their one true love.

Either way, I judged him and I feel both bad and good about it and I thought I would share.

via WordPress for Phone http://goo.gl/j6Fzhf


This is how I do it.

July 25, 2014

Progress as of 07252014

 

When in doubt as to where you stand, make a chart.

When I’m done, it will be 143 340 words. I mean, if my estimates are correct and all.

I expected to me 13% done at this point, but I am 10% done. So I am behind schedule, but I am sure I can catch up through next week and the week following.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New Approaches Creating Possiblities

July 20, 2014

I’ve elected to take a different approach to writing.

Style and creativity, mixed with planning and productivity.

It works for me. I will fill you in later how I came about it. Not rocket science, really, but I don’t want to jinx it by explaining it too much.

One step of my many steps is character details. Never did that before. I would rely on my instincts when writing and give up if I saw it taking too long. This creates unfinished stories.

So, I plan to write 250 words about a setting that my main character enjoys and actually write 0ver 870 words about all of the sights and sounds and smells of one of his favourite places, creating a bunch of other stuff in the bargain. All stuff that can be used in the story later.

This gets very exciting for me. It makes what I want to do seem so possible.