Archive for April, 2013

Charlotte In the mean time

Posted in beer on April 21, 2013 by cueball

Just did a beer trip to Charlotte with Eightball. We visited Growlers Pourhuse and Soltice.  Alot of good beer and good laughs.  Sorry there were no pictures. I’ll do better next time.

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Day 15 and 16: Chopping through the wilderness with a machete

Posted in NANOWRIMO with tags , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2013 by cueball

I didn’t post yesterday because I just wanted to get up and jump in to the writing.  I had a little ground to make up and too many ideas flying around in my head.   I made up some of the ground and I’m going to pick up a little more today and tomorrow.

My work schedule has gotten me writing in the afternoon and evening today and tomorrow.

Currently, I am at a little over 26,000 words.  I am dead in the middle of it.  I feel like I’m on some journey through a rain forest and I’m just hacking my way through with a machete, hoping I’ve picked the right direction because I honestly have only the most minute sense of where the hell the clearing is.  I know it’s there and I have a notion of what it is, but I can’t give you definitive explanation of it.

Just finished listening to an interview Ron Rash did on WFAE in Charlotte this morning.  It was great to listen to even if Mike Collins’ and his enthusiasm sometimes gets in the way of the person he is interviewing.  The World Made Straight is one of my favorite novels and I am making my way through his newest short story collection Nothing Gold Can Stay.  The thing I like the most about Rash is that he is like Faulkner and Joyce in using one particular place to speak to the universal.

Enough procrastination.  Time to get to work.

Musings During a Mid-day Writing Break

Posted in life with tags , , , , on April 15, 2013 by cueball

As the human race entered the Industrial Revolution and modernity one of the interesting side effects has been how we have become distanced from our work.

In the beginning, people either farmed or hand-crafted things they could use.  There is something comforting about eating something you have grown or sitting in a chair you have made.  As people moved from farms to the city and the making of things became more and more industrialized with the assembly line, workers (and people in general) became more and more distanced from what they were actually doing.

We live in a first world today where it is a very rare and special thing to be able to call the work you do for money the thing that defines you.

If I have learned anything in this last month it is how stultifying (look it up!) my job can be.  This has been an idea that has crept into the foreground of my mind over the last few months.  On one hand I will be eternally grateful for this job.  It came at a time when I really needed a job.  It has helped me get back on my feet.  On the other hand, in a perverse way it also has helped me see how much I really gain nothing from it but money.

That dichotomy is something I struggle with every day as I try to honor the job by doing it to the best of my ability and not disrespect it by treating it as an inconvenience.  Yet, I get so little true satisfaction from it that I often feel angry towards it at the end of the day.

I think Thoreau is more right today then he was in his own time.  Most people do lead lives of quiet desperation.  Most don’t think of it that way, however.  Most people are just happy to have a job, a roof over their heads, and a table full of food.  They do not have the time or the inclination to navel gaze and ponder their existential lot in life.   They don’t care that their job isn’t emotionally or psychically rewarding.  They are too busy going to work and living their lives.  They have found a way to live with it and move on.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), I do have the time and inclination to navel gaze about such things, especially when I’m taking a break from the writing I should be doing.

Day 14: I Had A Better Day Than Jamie Lannister

Posted in NANOWRIMO with tags , , , , on April 15, 2013 by cueball

Yesterday was far from a good day of writing.  An untimely mid-shift at work disrupted me.  A mid-shift means I have very little time to write in the morning and no energy to write at night.  I did a little work first thing and tried to work at lunch, but that is a fool’s errand.

This is going to be short post, I need to get to work and make up for yesterday.

Day 13: Pushing Water Uphill With Your Hands

Posted in NANOWRIMO with tags , , , , on April 14, 2013 by cueball

Yesterday was a hard day.  I got a lot of work done but it was filled with starts and stops to figure out what was happening to the characters and where they were going.  It was hard, but it was also rewarding.  The days where the ideas and the words come flowing easily are the most fun days to write, but the days when it seems like pushing water up a hill with your hands are the most rewarding.

My work schedule is going to make writing difficult today.  I have to be in at an hour and leave at an odd hour.  Hopefully, I can get some work done at lunch and more later tonight.  I’ll definitely get some in tonight, it’ll just be a question of whether I can get space to work at lunch.

No big thoughts about process or the philosophy of writing today.  I’m just glad to have the opportunity to participate in Camp NANOWRIMO.  It is a wonderful project that is developing a community of writers.  Writing is at its core a solo artistic endeavor and it attracts a large number of individuals with reclusive predispositions.  However, all writers do crave the knowledge that there are others going through the same struggles and who are asking the same questions.

That community combined with the opportunity for you to prove something to yourself is an immeasurable gift NANOWRIMO is providing to all of us participating in it.

Day 12: The Wall and The Drug

Posted in NANOWRIMO with tags , , , , on April 13, 2013 by cueball

Yesterday was good day in front of the keyboard.  It could have been better.  I had to stop and go to work in the middle of couple of good thoughts.  That isn’t the bad part.  That comes from trying to serve two masters at the same time.  It is not impossible, but it is exhausting.  This must be what hitting a mental wall feels like.

Coming home after work is an almost impossible time to write.  My body is too tired and the day is too short to really get any worthwhile work done.   Lunch is the best option, but it is one hour and just as you are getting into a rhythm it is time to quit.

I will keep trying to write at lunch mostly working on ideas and not actual execution.  This will have to do until the situation resolves itself.

The thing I didn’t expect out of this is the thing that has affected me most.  I knew this would be an experience that would show me if I could write a book.  The answer to that is yes.  It may not be a good book, but I’ve proven to myself that I can sit and concentrate long enough to finish writing an actual book for people to read.  What I didn’t expect was how this experience would change how I view everything.

The idea that I was a writer was a dreamy notion I clung to for a very long time.  That idea has been given form in a novel that I am half way done writing a first draft for and enjoying the hell out of the experience.  With this corporeal thing sitting right here, that moves the idea from notion to somewhat reality.  I feel like I’ve walked through a door I cannot and do not want to go back through.  That means something(s) cannot stay the same when this month is over.

Circumstances and perhaps places will have to change soon.  This writing thing is like a drug.  I need to keep doing it for my own health and happiness.  It feels too good.

Day 11: Work Gets In Your Eyes

Posted in NANOWRIMO with tags , , , , on April 12, 2013 by cueball

Yesterday was another good day.  I am on the right pace and will probably move ahead of the expected pace in the next few days.  These will actually be the hardest three days coming up.  Not because of the writing, though I am a point in the story that the writing has gotten harder as the stakes for the characters has started to rise, but because of other occupational obligations.

Getting in the work before heading to the job makes things harder.  It is the added pressure of not only filling in your word quota for the day but doing in a certain time period.  Maybe the added pressure is good and gives the work urgency.  On the other hand, you could just start throwing words down without any regard to the ideas behind them and commit a lot of bad writing.  Or maybe the added pressure makes you resent the job that pays you so much you feel like calling in sick or you are thinking about this instead of what you should be thinking about during the eight hours someone is paying you to do a specific job.  (I really just wanted to see how long a sentence I could write.  48 words, nice.)

Anyway, time for breakfast and writing 1700-2000 words that make sense.