clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Winter is Coming

I've been hiding from my pen. Oh, I've written notes, snippets,little vignettes, and observations.

I haven't been finishing this year.

Not finishing has become almost a motto. I'm "the incomplete writer." Seems that writer is an oxymoron there.

This "desk clearing cycle" has me looking over drafts and re-writes that stand the test of time away. I'm pretty happy on the whole.

I need a reader I can trust -- and I have one. He isn't put off by my unfortunate sensibilities which are too like those of Raymond Carver, without the talent or the booze. I need to do my job and get material to him.

The picture above is from a wood delivery a couple years ago. That's Lou the foxhound giving the pile the once-over. He does about the same to my efforts though he urinates on my writing less than he does the woodpile.

I'm ashamed of "not finishing."  There. I said it. I'm ashamed.

Not finishing allows me to go along with my illusions unchallenged. I get to believe in a past which is without substance beyond "shows much promise." I can continue to be unjudged.

Which is a lie, of course.

Unfinished brings its own judgement and for whatever reason, unfinished is meaningless.

I will pick a project. I will work it to completion. I will send it off. I have no idea why I wait thinking something better will strike my imagination when in fact it is the act of writing that produces its own unsourced inspiration.

Winter is coming. There are few enough left. I shall work my next novel as a series of short stories. I know it is how I work best.

Another log in the stove. Another ten pages.

I have to stop hiding from my pen.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ink Before Sunrise

Inspiration from Paris at left. Image hosted on wikicommons as created by Tristan Nitot. Image of the day for wikicommons back on 11 January, 2005.

Before sunrise the ink does not flow quickly; but, it does flow.

Summer fills every available minute with competing interests.

Trout call to me. Vocational concerns weigh heavily. Recreation and family obligations scream in competing chori.

There are stories that must be told.

The still of early morning is the time when I can tell them as the house is at ease.

The dog grudgingly walks the garden with me then collapses at my feet. A cat comes in, sits on an upholstered tuft, and waits for attention.

I'm at the desk. I'm working on the draft. It is important enough I'll stumble out of bed for the effort.

Best gift for a summer writer? A coffee pot with a timer.

It's easier to write when the coffee is waiting hot.

What are your writing strategies this summer?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Entangled and Ensnared

At left, spiderweb as photographed by Albert Jankowski and made available copyright free as hosted on wikicommons.

The blog has languished. I've a couple non-fiction projects which have absorbed a great deal of time and energy. It seems disingenuous to write of non-fiction on the fiction blog so a quite period of inactivity ensued.

I'm back at the mayhem now. I've some new stories to come out. I've some old stories to recast again with the discipline to shorten, tighten, and present a more immediate flow of danger and deceit.

It is late spring here and summer looms with all the dark deeds that bright sunny days and cool water can host.

There's nothing like a meadow for a body. The juxtaposition is more than we can resist.

I've a confirmation to attend this weekend. I've a failed story of a killing where the bullet consisted of a large caliber slug formed of gold saints' medals pressed into a plug.

Let's put the body in a meadow on an early summer's day and see what flawed soul we can have search for killer, motive, meaning, and measure.

Let's have a murder: a web of mystery. Time to write a scene for the spider.

It's good to be back in fiction.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


At left, page image from Mary Shelly's draft of Frankenstein.

In my hands today, a draft.

Sure, there are enhancements to add, a punchlist of major corrections to detail, and then the inevitable line edits that result from just reading through the thing. But, it is in my hands: a draft.

Composition is complete and the revision and alteration phase begins.

It's non-fiction so the process is a little different from the tonal aspects of corrections in fiction where something "isn't quite right" or there is a tense lapse or dialogue needs condensing or ...

Nevertheless, there is the same thrill of having something that has moved forward after two-and-a-half months in the full composition bin which comes after three distinctive half-starts over the past two years.

Sound familiar?

Same thing with the novel.

Keep running at the wall. You will find a way through. You will find a way to say the things you wanted to say. You too will feel elated on the other side even though the remaining work is nearly as daunting as the piece just completed.

Draft. Say it proud. Say it loud.

Just don't say it to your friends: they only want to know when they can buy it.

You can say it here, however. I'll give you the slow clap of joy any day.