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Apologies

So, I took a week off. After two whole days of writing.

But, the basement’s clean, and my running mileage is where it should be. Nothing to be ashamed of.

Taillights

There are arguments which will end up in mutual reconciliation, arguments in which end with one party groveling, and some arguments for which there are no words applicable.

In the final case, the arguments fall into two polar cases. In the better of the two cases, there is one party who, in hindsight, was completely and totally correct, but, for the sake of the relationship, no apology is given, and none is expected.

The worse alternative is the case in which no actions, words, or sentiment that can possibly be expressed by human emotion will be able to bridge the gap in the relationship.

It was the final case into which Tom had fallen, and as he heaved his bag into his beaten Civic, he knew that he couldn’t stay around, even for goodbye.

Recoil

The swell broke over the heaving deck of the submarine. Reaching behind him, Seaman Martin took the five inch round from the feeder, cradling it in his left hand and steering it with his right, into the waiting breech of the cannon.

“Loaded” he called out over the reports from the small arms in the conning tower. He pulled his hands back quickly, as Petty Officer Third Class Beck slammed the breech shut, yelling “Locked. Gun Ready!”

The gun director, Lieutenant, Junior Grade Moretti, took one last look at the trajectory corrections he’d dialed in since the last round, and looked at the gunner. As the bow of the boat reached the top of the swell again, and paused for a moment before beginning to go down again, he slapped the gunner on the back, yelling “Fire!”

The five inch gun went off with a report that momentarily robbed the breath from everyone topside of the submarine. Heading away from the ship, the shell ripped through the air, sounding fainter. Seaman Beck jerked the breech open and the spent casing, now smoking, clanged to the deckplates and bounced overboard.

Three thousand yards downrange, the shell tore through the teak deck of the Kobyashi Maru, penetrating through the cargo hold and into the boiler room before detonating. As the shell exploded, it pierced the boiler of the now-doomed freighter, venting 1,200 PSI steam into the engine room.

NeYeWriMo 0.1 Beta

So, let’s expand on this a little more.

What’s my goal? My goal for this year is to successfully complete NaNoWriMo after last year’s miserable failure. After a little bit of soul searching, I determined that my failure was mostly based on the fact that I do not now, nor have ever, actually written fiction.

So, much like with running, I think that I need to start with “low mileage” and ramp up to marathon distance. NaNoWriMo is 50K words, or a schwackton per day (on the order of 1,000 words per day)

Here’s the general plan:
1. Start Small
2. Work Up
3. ???
4. Profit!

So, I’m trying to get through January at 100 words of fiction per day.

February, I’ll begin to ramp up quantity.

Sometime in the summer, I’ll start working on plot.

And by November, I’ll be ready to go.

How ’bout you?

Trainer (12 January 2007)

The surreal thing was watching the wheels spin below him, Feeling the exertion in his legs and lungs, but still having the sweat fall straight down from his nose and impact the floor.

Winter training was a lonely beast, he thought, clicking down a cog and really stomping on the pedals.

His trainer was in the living room in the modest villa he kept on Sardinia. As he listened to the chainring teeth click into the meticulously clean chain, he looked through the plate glass onto the pale grey limestone coast and the darker grey Mediterranean.

11 January 2007

The black book was nondescript, lying on the ground . Opening the cover revealed an inscription: If found, please return to : Bob Dickerson, Stonington, Ct.”. Inside was a diary, a record of a life.

Frankly, there wasn’t much there – meetings, vacations, small social events. Bob lead a mundane existence as a regional sales representative for a fruit and vegetable distributor. His claim to fame was negotiating an agreement with a string of New England convenience stores to carry a limited selection of fruit at the counter – mostly apples and bananas. However, he was working a deal to carry shrink-wrapped packages of grapes, which he hoped would get him promoted.

NeYeWriMo

New Year Write More

I suppose it’s pretty self-explainatory. I want to write fiction, but don’t.

The solution is to do it.

So, let’s strive for 100 words/day. No plot, no nothing. Just plain-old fiction.

10 January 2007

The mist had rolled in off of the sound, giving the impression f being in a room too small, in an unheated house. He pulled his jacket ighter around his chest, and continued the trudge to the bar.

Yellow light spilled out of the ancient doorway into the street, and the warmth of human bodies, and smell of spilled beer grabbed him a in a physical embrace. onight was Game Night, and the guys awaited.

The asphalt, strip malls, and endless acres of subdivided and covenanted houseing seemed another world.

NaNoWri Not at all

As you can see, I’ve completely failed at NaNoWriMo 2006.

Apologies.

Part of it is life, the larger part is that I have realized that I do not know how to write fiction.

At all.

Suggestions?

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Right On My Way Home

All right. Here’s the deal – Bob was in a good mood.

Wow – this novel thing is going to be a pain in the ass. I’m looking at the blank page and realizing that I don’t think I’ve got a handle on reality that can be shared with the masses. I’m colored by many things – fundamentalist upbringing, small town schooling, an unnatural affection for things Texas that made me miss the overtly racist overtones of “kicker” culture that isn’t easily brushed under the rug with my fondness for blaxploitation, funk, and beans and rice, and a decade in the Navy, which should be enough to color anyone’s perception.

Yet, I’m still drawn to the idea of writing the Great American Novel, the book that transcends social stature, education, and regional preferences to strike at the heart of both the academic literary establishment (Is there such a thing?) and the dollars inherent in the Best Seller list on Amazon and at the New York Times.

Why? What is it about the idea that’s so completely and totally tempting? Who am I to think that I’ve got anything rattling around in my skull that will interest the rest of civilization?

Yet, the feeling is there, however irrationally.

So – National Novel Writing Month. November. 30K words in 30 days. A huge goal. Likely impossible. And, likely (hopefully?) to have the same result that my first marathon attempts had – of putting the “great american novel” in a real context, and hopefully of curing me of the dream.

Here’s the deal – while I think I’m a compotent writer when it comes to tapping out cogent prose on both issues of the day (which I’ve concluded is pretty bad for my soul overall) and about personal experiences, fiction is another beast entirely. I’m not exactly worried about the story – spinning yarns tends to come pretty naturally to me – but the idea of creating characters frankly leaves me pretty spooked.

As a result, it’s the third of November, and I’m still staring at a white background and a blinking cursor. But, I’ve got between 6 and 10 hours in airports today, so let’s see what knocks loose.