Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I've reached a point with storytelling that's sort of like the best part of being a jazz improvisor. It's not just listening/hearing the last line, and saying "hey, where do I go now?"

That's the first part, the instinctual madness beneath that drives everything else. Trusting the words, loving the words the phrases and the way they knit together.

The second part is where I say, usually when I sit down to yesterday's work, and go "Hey, I'm not sure that's what I wanted to happen."

I've seen DWSmith say that he'd happily toss a few thousand words, whatever, and go back and start writing from the cut point. The urge is the same, the recognition of the way the mind sort of wandered off into space and the fingers followed along after.

I'm only occasionally up to that. I can see the path not taken; I'm enjoying saying to myself, "Ok, fine, the thing twisted. What are you going to do about it?" In other words, ok now it's a challenge. How do I take where the story went, regardless of what I might have thought about it, and take off from there. A writer's prompt, in other words, writ large and in charge. Here's the current, boyo, jump in and swim.

That's the other part of jazz, not just what's you've played that's led you here, but what the band is playing, the currents, the chords hidden away and driving you to... Where? The choice is always there, can you wrest it free and play along? It's always the conversation.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Random observation in an airport. Depending on timing, there's always a few people hanging around the Starbucks in any given airport terminal. The number of good places to eat has really jumped up, though. It's a good bet that there'll be something to find on the crawl to the next gate. But even with a good selection, there's always one or more other places with a line, no matter the time of day.

In the airport I'm hanging in today, it's the Whataburger. Every time I've passed them recently, they're the ones with a good line. It's different in other parts of the country, local variations in taste and so on. In the northeast, the deli counters are a good bet.

I don't know yet whether that falls into the category of "follow the locals". It's an airport, we're all just trying to cadge a last snack or whatever before getting on the next ride, so the rules are subtly different. Still, it is a good way to sort of gauge the way the river runs in any give part of the world.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

a disappearing weekend, look how it flies away like a raven with a lizard. I.e., how to lose time and get away with doing a whole hell of a lot of nothing.

Not really nothing. We did this, and that, and the other thing. In bits and drabs. It's the last free time the daughter unit has before the Trump of Doom, aka the first day of the fall semester. So her Monday is spoken for, and I've a bit of traveling for the day gig tomorrow. So our brains weigh heavy on us in these parts, there is fate awaiting and the heart says Nay!

Or is that Nee? I occasionally get these things mixed up, i confess. Does anyone need a shrubbery? Asking for a friend...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Started another story today. Caught a Leon Russell tune on the way home yesterday, caught a line in my head, then sat down this afternoon, typed it in, and now I find myself returning to a world I've brushed against a couple times before.

It's a tomorrow world, a might-be place and time. And I didn't expect at all that I'd be setting foot there on this story. It's called To A Thief. I can't wait to see what it has to tell me.
And Lady Soul departs us. Goodbye, Aretha, and know that your music touched me, will do so always, in more ways than I can ever say.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

And Soldiering On, my latest story, is complete at about 5800 words. As all of them are, I had a ball writing it.

This twisty little thing, though. I'm not sure yet what my publication schedule will look like over the next few months, so I can't say when/where it'll end up in the wider world, but I'm looking forward to when you get the opportunity to read it.

It's science fiction, darker, not quite a horror tale; yet it is a horror tale. Very much so, if you're of a mind that inclines in the right direction. Quiet.

Whispers in the Dark sort of thing, rather than screams of terror. The kind where I hope, when you get a chance to read it, that you'll think on it, two or three nights later, when you're staring at the ceiling wondering why you're awake inthe wee small hours...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Yesterday I had an interesting accidental writing exercise. I've done something similar before; basically, we had an extra hour to kill between dropping our daughter off for marching band practice, and then the volunteer shift where the parents come in to hand out the bits and pieces of gear necessary to the marching band's season. The way it worked out, we sat in the parking lot listening to them warm up and go through their initial setup.

And I dug out the laptop to get in another few words on the current story. It's a pleasant way to wile away an hour. I didn't have a book handy, I could have called up a few on my phone but digging back into the story sounded more immediate to the needs of the day. So I dove in and gave it a whirl.

It's a lot of fun, especially if you can get the angle of the sun right, compared to the screen. Though it is still August...