July 29th marked the end of the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. I participated, as you know, and sought to reach my goals while raising money for the CW workshops. I raised $10. Let’s recap what else I set out to do. This is my Write-a-Thon Wrap-Up.
Write a novel for real this time. Or, begin work (again) on longtime project Timeless Kid.
Keep up with weekly blogging right here at Ink’s My Thing.
Here I am, back from the beach, and with at least some progress on my Write-a-thon to report. I do not have any startling writing totals to share, but all told, I have been true to my stated goal, which was to begin. And, there is a lot of Write-a-thon left to go. As you may know, this has been week one.
Written: about 1,000 words of the novel Timeless Kid. One blog post.
Read: One graphic novel (Fantastic Four Foundation), three comics (Nightwing, Stray Sod, and old school Mister Miracle).
With that being said, I’m off to continue my Write-a-thon sans the beach distractions. Until the next update, I hope you’ll enjoy some photos!
The Texas floods, and flooding in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, have been covered by USA Today, Click2Houston, Weather.com, and other news organizations, and as I may have mentioned, my friends are out there.
Writing is a lonely occupation, they say, filled with shameless self-promoters bent on the get-rich-quick scheme. Oftentimes that’s true. But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you meet people along for the same ride as you.
The day I decided to write seriously, it seemed like a lot of other people made that same decision. Some had been lifelong writers seeking to take their hobby to the next level, others were new at it, with a lot to learn like me. I don’t see or hear from many of these peers anymore. They have gone into different careers, got busy in their personal lives, got tired of the dream, or just disappeared without a word.
I want to tell you about two women, from the vicinity of Southeast Texas, who welcomed me into this realm of writing and criticism. To this day, I know what they are up to, and they still know about me.
Nobody puts more effort into character development than Chy Burch, whose neighborhood resembles a lake at the moment. She has also judged and helped organize WYRM’s Gauntlet nearly every year since its inception, and anyone who knows her knows there is a popular fantasy series waiting to burst forth from her pen and into the mainstream. Some of us have been lucky enough to glimpse already.
Stephanie Cassey, who began the GoFundMe page “Deweyville Flood Victims” a few days ago, is also affected. When she and I began exchanging reviews, she made me consider vampire fiction in a whole new way, and I came to admire her use of bare bones dialogue, among other things.
Both helped me nail down the fundamentals, and urged me to tell the difficult stories, ones I was not always comfortable telling.
To anybody who can relate–fellow writers, readers, those who have lived through a natural disaster–if you are able to, please give. For my part, it is the least I can do. When I think of my friendships (my lasting friendships, of which there are too few) and my own development as a writer, there are no two people who’ve mattered more.
I’ve gone from active reader and passive-aggressive essayist to news addict currently wearing away the skin of his thumbs on the pages of Writer’s Market. The constant is genre fiction. But it isn’t right to come in and blow the dust off this thing every couple of months.
When you self-identify as ‘your own’ writer, when you belong to a group that has ‘always made up its own rules’ you don’t always know what the Hell’s going on in the rest of the world. When I wrote for independent comic people, and a not-so-independent newspaper blog, I felt more up to speed. To boot, I had so much fun getting into petty squabbles about local library funding, or the shenanigans of the Obama V McCain election.
The members of my writing group, ‘WYRMs,’ that is, are all wiser than I. They know how to focus, or retreat into the places that make them creatively great. I see them go on unimpressed or unassailed by the world outside. I’m the dim one. I’m the one fidgeting, interested in the rest of it, scratching at whatever’s beyond the glass.
When Gauntleteers come through your doors and remark, “Oh hey, that Quantum Physics Story Contest, Yo’ (direct quote) it makes you think. Actually, it makes you peer out the window again, and think, What else?
I know I hated being told I had to read a book. Now, I tell myself I have to write in this form or I may forget how. One thing to note of course is that I now love to read, and I’ve been absolutely consumed by the question of Commercial versus Talent. More recently, I’ve watched and admired those who advocate for free speech, and who write when it is flat-out dangerous to do so. See Raif Badawi.
This blog began as the obligatory ‘website presence’ every author is meant to have. But I don’t think I can stand that for much longer. I’m actually going to do what a writer is meant to, and put forth interesting content.
Or die trying, as the saying goes.
Or I could just rock a Live Journal like George R.R. Martin. You think?
Current Music: “At the Bottom of Everything” by Bright Eyes
Currently Reading: Radical by Maajid Nawaz