The Problem…

…with the dictum of “write drunk, edit sober” is finding the time.  To be sober.  Still, I’ve made the time and had three editing passes at CH.  The third and last – of mine – was tonight.  Just after, I sent it off to a copyeditor I hired from Upwork.com, recommended to me by someone I trust.  I wrote up a story summary, what I wanted, and what I was willing to pay.

A week later (sober!), I reviewed the list of about thirty applicants for my job.  Most of the replies were reasonable.  A few were laughable:  “While no editing experience, I’ve a Masters in English from [insert liberal arts college here] and plenty of time to work on your manuscript while working as a barrista!”  I’ve never grasped why we import Central Americans to mow our lawns when someone from Kenyon can do it; and they’re just up the road.

What’s one of my sig lines, kids?  That’s right:  there are no such things as coincidences.  One of the applicants – with lots of experience – also went to UC San Diego.  I didn’t ask if she was Catholic, but with a surname of San Nicolas, I bet she knows where the Neuman Center is, which looms so large in the lives of Cat and Chris.  After a brief exchange to make sure she was okay with sex and violence, I clicked “Hire.”

I look forward to her telling me how awful CH is.  And, how to fix it.

Now:  where to find designers for the cover…

Church mice

Coming to around 1000 at my day-job, I had a moment of clarity:  for the last seven months, all my waking moments had been filled with Chris, Cat, and Maya somewhere in my mind.

For the past 36 hours:  all quiet.

The mental moment was this:  I was in a darkened – but not dark – older church, alone. A place that was just recently host to a hundred, and soon will be again, but now preternatuary still.

At the end of T4L, I’d already seen the sequel.  The close of EFL was a ‘LOL’ moment, as kids would type.

Alone, looking at three graves of those that have been, not a part of me, but me… well… it’s very quiet, now.

Don’t like it.

Memorial

74,124 words.  Finished.  I’ve been living with these people in my head since November.  Now… well they’re still there, but not really ‘alive;’ their story is over, so now they’re just pieces on a chessboard that I move while editing Cursed Hearts for a commercial release.

I’ve done this twice before, so it keeps getting easier:  fix the story, format pages and chapters, convert to PDF.  I’m going to need cover art, so besides getting a quote from Createspace, I want to reach out to what little connexions I have in the ‘artist community.’  Friend Tracy made a sketch some months back; as I concept, I like it, but for marketing reasons I want photo-images rather than drawn-images, if that makes sense.

I’m sorry that there’s nothing under the fold, this time.  Giving away the ending is, well, giving away the ending.  I also tie up several plot threads I knew that I’d had dangling for the last few months.

I know I’ve yeoman’s work ahead of me, editing this, but… I’m really glad I got to know everyone:  Chris, Cat, Maya, Anton.  Seven months ago, we were all total strangers.  What a story they let me see!  Thank y’all so much!

Tertium

It’s my fault, really:  I cut my teeth on writing visual novels, so I expect multiple endings.  Of course, that’s a luxury that trad novels don’t have.  I am now embarking on the third attempt to kill everyone* in Cursed Hearts.  Given my track record, it will take at least two more attempts.  Look:  here’s “Bad End #1:”

He ran at her. Her horrid grin returned at she ran at him, her arms stupidly held out behind her. I cannot let her touch me! Must render her unconscious…! In less than two seconds they closed –

Maya jumped; he’d seen her flex just a moment too late: his right hand over his head closed on air just an inch below her foot. He skidded to a halt, knowing before turning about he’d lost: there was no way to get to Cat in time. He turned about.

Maya was holding the hands of a shaking and crying Cat, speaking to her softly. But not so soft that Chris could not pick out the word “…death!” Reacting at last, Corporal Cortez directed the team of men towards the wrecked car. The fire was spreading.

Chris began a steady walk towards the only two things that mattered to him. At three meters, Maya spoke up, without turning.

“No closer, brother! Or I eat her!”

“Let her go, sister. Take me in her place.”

Now her head moved just a little left; her eyes sliding to the corners. Red, but lessened, he thought.

“Why not the both of you? Two meals plus a dessert!”

Chris did not understand, but drew some comfort from the sound of another dozen soldiers coming out of the hangar. This group headed towards them.

Fade to black.  WTF!  Seriously, wtf!  That didn’t explain anything!  In a VN, I’d give you that for making poor choices throughout!  Well, I’d have killed you earlier if you’d tried to get an ending like that.

So, it’s 4k words later.  No parking garage, only Anton’s driver dead.  Tomorrow; I swear I’m ending this tomorrow.  Excerpt below.  And, the check’s in the mail, I love you, I  won’t come in your…

*Anton lives**.  There’s an Epilogue.

**I think.  Not finished. Continue reading “Tertium”

Parking Lot

I’m not in the ballpark when it comes to wrapping up CH, but I’m circling, looking for a parking spot.  The three pages of handwritten notes I jotted down whilst drunk Sunday night guide me.  The first half of part I is below the fold; the second half just now finished.  Part II (as my wife gives me the ‘all-clear’ for tomorrow night when it comes to shuttling our daughters about) will see the death of a main character (finally!) and part III is a tiny, funny, romantic interlude before I try to swing the wreaking ball.  We shall see.

I’m going to need a backhoe and a jackhammer to edit this thing.

Continue reading “Parking Lot”

Writer’s Fear

I’ve never had writer’s block.  Nope, not even once.  I sit down, usually at a computer, but still, occasionally with pen and paper, and write.

What I do have, is Writer’s Fear.  If several days go by without said ‘sitting down,’ I am afraid that once I do, nothing will happen, that I’ll just sit there.  So what do I do?  Everything else:  clean house, walk the dogs, run for food and booze, get drunk early and watch anime… anything to keep me from facing my fear.

I’d put off writing for five days this week.  I’d a great weekend of several thousand words, even into Monday and Tuesday, I’d figured out Maya’s time-lapse, inadvertently introduced Emma Miller… and did everything I could to not touch Nichole (the laptop I do 99% of my writing on) until this (Saturday) afternoon.  Finally, fearfully, with only one partial scene in mind, I began.  That was four and a half hours ago; 3k works ago.  Chris, Cat, and Anton are in a small armored column on their way to Miramar Air Station, and Maya finally killed someone in San Diego.  It was so easy!  I’m over 60k words, and not even to the Big End… which just makes the Fear worse.

Will I be able to do this tomorrow?  My family’s coming back from vacation, so I should wash our bedding.  The weather’s getting better, and I need to paint the trim of the entire front of the house.  After Mass tomorrow morning, I should stay for Adoration for at least an hour….  I should… I should…

Fear.  It’s a horrible, corrosive disease.

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

Continue reading “Writer’s Fear”