Not Inspired

I haven’t touched my latest book in over a week.

I get distracted easily. Between having to put my dog down yesterday (as of writing this), and the bullshit with American elections, I just have not been in the right headspace. I cannot even use current events in my writing.

Well, most current events, anyway.

It really does raise the question: how many words is enough? My ultimate goal is about one-hundred thousand. i am just over seventeen thousand right now, which is horrible seeing as I started writing a year ago. I have been kind of stuck on silly things. Things that I shouldn’t be stuck on, like fantastical concepts that have no place being based in reality.

For instance, my main character discovered a way of space-travel that is damn close to light speed. 99.9% to be exact. We only have reached speeds like that in theories, and we have not figured out a way to get a human to go anywhere near that. For some-fucking-reason, I am determined to have the science at least KIND OF work. I have been staring at the paragraphs (literal paragraphs. Like, maybe 4) determined to have the inspiration to figure this quandary out. Fuck the rest of the text, personal dilemmas faced by the main, or world building: I HAVE TO ANSWER THIS!

I don’t even know why I am allowing myself to be stuck on a point that I could gloss over. The point of the main character is that she is the only scientist alive who has even kind of solved the “dilemma” of overcoming the speed of light as a pace of travel. The crux of the text is actually a more philosophical aside from that idea.

With all of that said, I may be using that as an excuse to not write. Like I mentioned, I could gloss over the technical points. I have a tonne of writing that has to do with my main character getting to the point where her discovery even matters. I have little shame in admitting that the Presidential race of the USA, and subsequent lawsuits (regardless of barring on my immediate life), has been waying heavy on my everything.

Maybe, just maybe, next week will be better.

Assume the Fall

I made sweeping promises the other day. I would love to say that I will stay true to the schedule that I mapped out, but if I keep having days like today, I am going to promise that it will not pan out.

Yes, I have been working (pretty regularly) on my latest book. The issue I am having is that there are days, a lot of days, where I don’t feel receptive at all.

For example: today, I am very despondent. I just spent an hour looking at the wall, and was not bored for one second. I usually wouldn’t pay any attention to such an event, but I find myself finding it very hard to work on a project that I won’t get any feedback on for months, if not years.

Yes, even according to my rough “map” I set out, I have until November to produce a final version. I would like to pretend that 14000 words was an impressive point to be at. I have a large portion of events layed out in my mind, and putting them to words would be a quick event. Creating flourishes and riveting events would take a week, at most.

Knowing all of this, why do I not just do it already?

I don’t because I emotionally can’t. It’s not depression, it’s not anger, it’s not explicitly anxiety.

It’s apathy. It’s disdane. It’s hate.

I want to destroy something. I want everything to fall apart around me and drag me into an abyss. I am looking up at the world around me from a depth, and I cannot keep climbing to a ledge. I haven’t even gamed in a few weeks, because I cannot be bothered. I keep trying to listen to music to ease my mind, but I am constantly reminded of what I used to do.

I have even written the next few episodes of my PodCast to try to motivate me to do anything, my last episode only got five views however. It’s hard to keep caring when there is no pressure to do so.

Accept Your Voice

This is something I am horrible at.

Realize that in your writing, whether the written word or audio, you have a voice. Escaping that void is possible, but you should not be ashamed if you cannot.

It was my pleasure recording with the ~4 bands I did. I may have had a drumming “style”, but I was never boxed in by the constant repetition of one writer. That is not a bad thing, but from a drummers perspective, it can be a bit hard to grow as an artist. The coolest dichotomy that I saw was Livestalk v ACU. It was the same writer, but he was not constrained by the “punk/metal” sound we cultivated in ACU. He had taken down all constraints and, therefore, was able to flex his creative sound.

That is not even delving into his creative contribution to Slender Loris. They will probably remain one of my favourite punk bands for the rest of my life.

Voice is more personal when it comes to writing. I have read back most of my works recently. I was taken back by how similar they all felt initially. It was not until I looked at them from objectively that I noticed how different they are.

You can be too close to appreciate the things you have done. When your style is a certain way, it is easy to write-off projects as “the same”, resulting in spiraling and not producing any further.

Accept that you may have a tone or “voice” in everything you do. It doesn’t make anything new too similar to what you did prior. Look at the narrative. There is a difference between those two projects, and a successful tone should not dissuade you from doing something.

Yes, it is possible to leave your comfort zone. It is possible to create works leaving behind atribute that you have relied on forever. It could be neat! This does NOT mean your old works are shit.

Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t hate what you do if it brings you happiness today.

Fictional Time

I am having a hard time rationalizing time in relation to my next book.

It is supposed to take place over years. Decades, even. I am very comfortable with that concept.

HOWEVER.

I have a couple of events that happen back-to-back, narratively. However, I have made them take place years apart on a literal scale. That was kind of by accident, kind of not.

Let’s start with the not.
I intended for the events to happen with a large gap between them. Of course, by large gap, I ment a few months. I am dealing with hours, however, and made it 10,000 hrs (~416 days) and 100,000 hrs (~4166 days).

Now, I could narratively make that gap make sense. I could express how time has little meaning, or do little vignettes further explaining events over that time.

The other direction I could go is to shrink the time by a factor of 10. That would make it ~42 days and ~416 days. That makes a lot more sense, as this is dealing with space travel. I am trying to keep some sort of realism in the story, and oxygen alone would make 11 years difficult, at the best.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I am writing this more out of a selfish need to rationalize my decisions than I am writing this for a concrete answer. I have given myself a plethora of time to figure this out, and it really has little bearing on the grand scope of the narrative.

Just, trust me. It will all make sense in a bit.

…like a pee.

I was talking to a friend of mine about how I was at an impasse in my book. I have been struggling with the idea of my main character being credited with creating a scientific discovery which has been a torn in the side of science for centuries. The character creates a way to move at near lightspeed. According to the science available now, the speeds she grants humans the ability to travel at is impossible.

The impasse comes at whether or not I pretend to explain it, using a mcguffin, or just leave it as a fact that she discovered this new thing and never even try to explain it. They are both easy to do, but the first creates new avenues that I can explore in the work, but also generates more work for me to explain, in universe, how that works.

The second feels like me admitting that I do not know how it could work. Though true, I am not sure how I feel about it. Maybe my huberus is taking hold, but there is also the feeling of leaving the rhamifications of such a discovery up to the imagination of the reader. I am not totally opposed to the idea, but I fear that it might create more questions than the reader would have otherwise.

Either way, my friends recommendation of just letting the story flow “like a pee” is not quite addressing the block that I am stuck behind. I agree that, a more conventional story, needs to have a little more of a natural progression behind it. In that case, his helpful insight may have helped a little more.

I am not saying that there is no appreciation in his statement. He at least tried his best to give me the advice that he thought I may have needed. Unfortunately, for me, it does not accelerate my process.

Self-Impose

I have given myself until May 10th to have the rough copy of my next book completed. From that day, I have given myself another 6 months (November 10th) to have the second draft completed.

Some may be confused. If I am my own boss, for the moment; why impose restrictions on yourself? Why not just ‘go-with-the-flow’ and let things be done when they are done?

It’s a fair question with a simple answer: if left to my own devices, I would never complete a creative project.

I hear the questions already.
What about the All Cut Up albums?!
I played drums and mixed them. Yes, one could argue that I co-wrote them, but I was always convinced that it was Kevo’s project first. I wanted to release the best thing I could produce for him as fast as he would be happy about it.

What about the other projects you produced?
To reiterate, they were other people’s projects. As much as I would spend hours on mixing and leveling what I could, I just had to make it sound the best that it could. In a couple of cases, that mix was found very quickly. To continue to mix would risk ruining the end result.

What about the first book?
I am going to be doing a PodCast talking about that very soon actually, but I was aided in the fact that it was based in an event. I only had so much creative control when discussing reality.

So, yes: I will have a completed version of the book by November. You have until then to support me on Patreon to ensure that you get listed at the end. Just $1 a month is all I ask!

…and I’m back.

So that break was not as long or as dire as I thought it was going to be. I moved, yet again, and did not have my computer monitor for a very long time. My dad wanted me to use a TV as a monitor, but I explained to him that the brain damage I have is on my optic nerve and I cannot focus on a screen that big. He understood; and after almost a week of searching through boxes, as well as literally building parts of the house, we found it! Now I can regale you with tales from the parts of Ontario that people don’t even drive through!

I have been holding back a little bit: I still have to finalize some bits for health care, and I alluded to the fact that I have not written anything for the last week. The health care stuff I am in a bit of a holding pattern until tomorrow (the 20th of October) because I have a meeting with a social worker. I want to see if I can figure out some personal stuff before I start sweating the little things I.E. my health. I am greatly excited to see if I can do some sort of non-profit stuff out this way, as I might be the only 30 year old in a wheelchair who hasn’t lost a limb. My unease in saying that dictates how hidden that issue is, and I am very excited to explore and assist where I can.

As far as music and I go, I think we part ways for now. At least until I get a more reliable and faster internet connection. The fact that my upload speed is under 3mb/s is mildly embarrassing. Yes, download speeds are a bit better, but I have scripts and recorded dialogue and audio-fun that I want to share with the world! At least we have something here.

The Mistake…?

I was on fire the other day.

I got writing my next book, and had this strike of inspiration! I have been sitting around 5000 words for the last couple of months: I knew where I wanted to go, just not how to get there. I had figured it out the other day, though. My Glob, I had figured it out!

I had a very sterile ending, that works brilliantly. Jay sandard, which translates to “everything you just read was so much worse for the character than you originally believed”. I had this one event that I wanted to happen. I showed it to the beautiful Patrick, and he pointed out how there was no compassion on the side of the reader. Basically, I had this avatar get shot and no one should care.

Initially, I was a little indignant. I have always, and probably will always, believe a story should be more a snapshot of an event rather than a retrace of past events that have little bearing on said event. I got thinking about Pat’s comment in this context, though. I started to realize that he was more correct than I wanted.

After penciling ideas out for a month, I finally had an idea of where I wanted to go. So, on Monday, I put down 2000 or so words. Tuesday, I heard the sirens call and wrote another 1000ish words. Wednesday, I was on fire and wrote nearly 5000 words. Yesterday, being Thursday, October 1st, I read over the fruits of my labour. That day was the first day that I didn’t have new ideas, and I was happy to just reflect.

Imagine my horror when I read the same chapter (with variations, minor but there were some) three times. I spent the next few hours stunned into silence. I had not started my music before I started reading, and I was between YouTube videos. There I was, staring at the horrible mistake I had made.

I was floored. I was upset. Hours upon hours of work would have to be destroyed. They were too similar and time sensitive to use again in the narrative, which means I couldn’t even recycle them for “the next day” or something like that. They were useless.

IF ONLY MY STORY WAS ABOUT THE DELICATE NATURE OF TIME AND SUDJESTION!

Oh wait, it is!
Without giving too much away, I am going to try to make them work as recursion as a hint for the reader that everything is wrong. I started a plot-progression tree to try to keep track. It’s already intimidatingly large.

If this works the way I think it might, this will be amazing.

Now to drink all the coffee ever in celebration!

Oh: I’m moving on Wednesday. There may be a little hiccup in updates, and if you want to come by for a visit, do so now. I’m moving 5 hours away and though everyone is welcome to come over to visit, it will be a bit far.

Independent Book Sales

I have not talked much about my book in a while.

I assume that, if you are interested, you have already picked up a copy. After a conversation with a friend of mine on Twitter, I realized that I should really stop thinking that way.

So, I re-edited and re released my book back in March. I expanded it with several short stories, and moved it from 73 pages to 195 pages.

On the physical copies, I have made the cover art black with white writing, but the opposite is still true for the digital.

I have been pushing towards buying from Friessen Press for two reason: They pressed the book, so they are going to have the proper copy. AND I try to damndest to support private and independently run storefronts, whether digital or physical.

NOW, FOR SOMETHING MORE DOWER.

I know I expel the great parts about being independent often, but the bad parts are starting to become to big to handle.

Since the initial release of You’re Not Dead back in 2016, I have made a total of 832.89 in total sales. For one month, that would be decent, but we’re talking a period of over 4 years. Considering by outgoing was 4878.93, I have not even made a full quarter of my outgoing back. To top everything off, that payout doesn’t include things like web hosting, facebook ads, or physical copies to be reviewed on the international stage. The real number is closer to 6000.

Anyway, the point of this post is to ask that you at least consider looking over my book. There is a review posted on the linked page, and you all have a feeling for my writing style by now.

Lack of Inspiration

I haven’t written in days. I finally figured out how to save my latest work-in-progress and I just haven’t had a spark to write. Yes; I do see the irony in writing how I have no clue what to write but I feel like I need to do something.

That comes off wrong: I want to write something, and I have this blog figured out. Yet, when it comes to my next book, I have a tonne of ideas but no clue how to work them into a coherent plot. I am hoping that me writing this will allow me to look at what I have so far in a different light.

What am I writing?
It’s an investigative reporter for a paper talking to a man who thinks that he might be immortal. He thinks this because he has survived several no-way situations that he recounts. I have an ending figured out, I have written about 4000 words, not including the ending. I am just stuck on figuring out how to progress from where I am.

To be completely honest, it would make a great short story in the form it’s in right now. I actually started writing it as an ansP, but it snowballed and now I am determined to write it out fully. The best part about it is that I can be the investigative reporter and point out holes that I can see in my own story through the eyes of a person trying to get his article out of this man. I haven’t jumped into that idea yet, but I have already noticed at least one point that I can ride.

I know that I have championed the idea of writing everything that comes to mind down on something, and I do that (thus this post). One thing I have not written about, because I have never actually experienced it, is writers block.

To be totally honest, I am not sure if what I am currently experiencing constitues writers block. I have ideas for where I want the story to go, I am just not sure on how to make it go there.

With that said, I am only 4000 words deep. I could scrap it, but I don’t want to. I have given myself a year to complete this work, and I am going to give myself at least that long to try. I am going to go ahead and write something new if a new idea comes to mind.

I actually started flushing out Martha. not too long ago. I had an idea on how to flush out that world, and I like some backstory ideas that I had for that. The main issue that I found is that I know how I would want it to work out as a show, but a book I was having a hard time keeping it interesting without leaning on exposition and inane description.