Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kevin has flappy parts

There is a can opener in my bathroom. I do not know why. I am addicted to shooting my cat with a Nerf gun. I would think of it as cruel, but he seems to really like it. I do not know why we have a nerf gun at my house. I do not live with an eight year old. I just gave my cat a ride in an empty box that used to be filled with cans of beer. I probably should call him "my housemate's cat" rather than "my cat."

I recently started working on my novel again after a six month hiatus, during which I did very little writing. I have been in a funk. Very little has felt right. I started many things and abandoned many things during this time.

I recently sent in my laptop for service. It should take a week or two. This is really poor timing because that means that I cannot write at work, unless I train myself to be ok with freehand. But so far the novel has been written on a word processor, so I'm also afraid that the protag's voice would be off if I used that technique.

I've also been training myself to wake up earlier because I have a reading in a little over a week and it starts at a time when I am usually in bed sleeping (and it is a two hire drive). I sleep on a mattress on the floor. I am thirty and do not use a bed spring. This is the first mattress that I have bought myself. All the others were bought by my parents or were hand-me-downs from friends with spare mattresses. I also tend to move a lot, so having a bed spring would be slightly inconvenient.

It has been difficult for me to write when I wake up. My brain takes a few hours to function properly. Back when I was able to drink coffee, my favorite time to write was after I woke up. Because I was less critical of myself.

It's been taking a couple of hours for my eyes to focus so I can read the computer screen properly. Last night, I was very aggravated about not being able read a long email from a friend for a couple of hours. Short emails are fine.

Once I was able to read his email, I wrote a long email back. It concerned a screenplay that we are plotting together which I will be writing.

I also cannot write very well when I get home from work because I am tired and on the verge of going to sleep. It is too bad that I did not get used to this sleeping schedule earlier.

Last night, I also reread the twenty thousand words or so that I've written in my book and wrote the first paragraph. I was able to do this fairly quickly, except for the final sentence which I had to rewrite many times in order for it to sound right.

I don't understand rewriting things straight through without stopping. I trying to get it right the first time. The content and rhythm of one sentence will have influence over another sentence. It's really annoying when I change something major during a rewrite. Then I need to go over everything and make tons of changes. It's like the butterfly effect. I tend to just cut lots of stuff during my rewrites.

The difficult thing about editing the work of others is that you must rework sentences that are not written by you, but you are restricted. You must walk on eggshells. You cannot make substantial changes. The sentence must continue to appear to be written by the author rather than written by you. So instead of making major changes, you cut a word or two, move a word to another location, replace a word with another word that resembles it, or offer suggestions (which usually begin with "Do something like this:" and end with "but something better"). So instead of having unlimited options when you're rewriting your own sentence, some, the sentence of someone else is limited to the contents of their sentence and variations of the contents.

The Dragons with Cancer e-anthology is nearly done on my end. Mike Young is doing another version. An HTML version. I am making a PDF. I am waiting for the cover. My layout is finished. But I still need to proofread a few stories (my printer ran out of ink while I was printing it out and I am waiting for Amazon to send me a new cartridge).

I forgot to mention a new web journal: Micro 100. I have a story in it.

I will mention another journal that I am in. No Colony #2.

With stuff by:

Isadora Bey
Kristina Born
Aaron Burch
Blake Butler
Luca Dipierro
Scott Garson
Rachel B. Glaser
Chris Higgs
Brandon Hobson
Edward Kim
Matt Kirkpatrick
Rauan Klassnik
Lee Klein
Darby Larson
Evan Lavender-Smith
Patrick Leonard
Eugene Lim
Sean Lovelace
Anthony Luebbert
Conor Madigan
Gene Morgan
Bryson Newhart
Christian Peet
Jennifer Pieroni
Kathryn Regina
Joanna Ruocco
Bradley Sands
Ken Sparling
William Walsh
Corey Zeller

I like the cover.


Matt DeBenedictis said...

No Colony #2 looks to be a big bag of baby dragons. Once I get used to writing at a certain time (morning, night blah, blah) my mind plays a trick on me and kills the inspiration and comfort. So I have to adapt and keep moving my writing times because my brain is a fuckwad.

Jason Gusmann said...

it's interesting how difficult editing can be - i've never attempted it in a formal sense except on my own work, which obviously eliminates the consistency-of-voice issue.