How To Get Out of Conversations With Cowokers

Short answer: Be a writer.

Longer answer: One of my coworkers asked me what I was doing this weekend. I told her the absolute truth. I told her that I was working on my novel again and then I went into fairly grim detail of how in my novel the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. I went on to explain how the fire caused the fictitious Chicago Steam Works to catch fire and explode along with the Central Chicago Gasworks to also meet the same fate, further expanding the destruction.  how the entire area of the manmade island between the North Branch Canal and the North Branch of the Chicago River were also consumed in my version of the fire. How because of these, more people were lost in the disaster and how I could really do justice to both what happened historically and what happened in my version of the Great Chicago Fire. How the fire jumped the north branch and continued!

Well, apparently, the fictitious imaginings of a novel writer, when explained with increasing excitement about a tragic event of huge proportions made worse by said imagination, produce horror in those that ask the simple question: What are you doing this weekend? The response I received was well, shocked at best, to be honest. My coworker, who’s eyes had grown quite wide, slowly backed away and never let her eyes leave mine. Although, I’m sure that my excitement over the imaginary happenings might not have helped.

I have come to the conclusion that the only people that would understand me, in this case, are fellow writers. What’s more and the added bonus is if I want to make my hasty escape from an unwanted conversation with anyone whom I really don’t want to be chatting with at that moment, is, to be honest about what in on my mind regarding my writing.

Why? Because only writers understand other writers because we are our own special breed of crazy.


When I Should Walk Along, or Over the Edge

I want to let you in on something, Y’all.

I’ve has a kind of a downer week where I work. But I don’t blame my job, or the managers there, or my coworkers; I blame myself. When I’ve told my coworkers that I want to be a writer and that I’m writing a novel, I’ve let their negativity make the decision for me that I am not a writer.

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made.

I’ve never been one to have much faith in myself, even when my English professor, Alayne Peterson assured me that I have talent and she liked my writing.

I always had my doubts: “Is she just being nice to me/ feeling sorry for me?”

But tonight, as I was plodding along in my writing through researching the Great Chicago Fire for a plot point, I realized that even though this is the most tedious work of a fiction writer, that I am loving what I am doing.

Christ, I hate looking at the surface of aluminum extrusions for surface imperfections, setting up a saw to run the same length of part for gods know how many cycles. Cut the metal, stack on a skid, repeat ad nauseam.

But after (my real?) work today: I was reading about the Great Chicago Fire, it impacts on the citizenry, And trying to fit in how the protagonist of my story finds his first steps into the chaos of his future. I was trying to incorporate concepts like Maxwell Street, South Branch Chicago River,  Monroe & Dearborn to make a realistic storyline.

My point is writing is hard, like really hard! I am glad that I am doing it. Damn glad, in fact. To do a good job at it I need to be on my best game, but I need to have my writing friends with me, because dammit, I’m with them!


Old New Old Beginnings

I have been working on this steampunk novel idea for about a year and a half now.

The only conclusion that I have been able to make is this:

“Great Idea; poor execution, Tom. Best try again.”

I love the characters, a good number of the plot points but there was something out of place. I decided that it was in the execution: I was going to shelve the idea of an alternative history and go balls-to-the-wall,  madcap, all-in, steampunk adventure; with some ideas taken from current events but for the most part out of my own little Attention Deficit Disorder brain. And why not? This is my own little world; Right?

So this whole issue stems from a mental/ creative log-jam that I’ve created for myself. Specifically, not giving myself permission to be imaginative ENOUGH. That is to say, Selling myself short in my creativity: “Would I REALLY be madcap enough to develop places no one will visit, people that will never be born, in places that don’t exist?”

Answer: “You’ll never know if you don’t try; Nothing ventured, nothing gained;…”

Aw, screw the cliches :


I want to tell a story and dammit, I want to tell my story. I think it’s a damn good story. I think there is a story here that a few people might read. Hell, maybe enjoy. But I can’t let myself be hemmed in by what a few people that haven’t even read ten words of it tell me. And that includes those that until this point, I’ve thought were closest to me.

I WILL NOT, let those who never venture anything of theirs decide for me what I can’t and, far more importantly, CAN venture of my own. From now on, it’s me and those that support me, and those elements that I create (because who in their right mind would not support their creator?) together, amiright?

Peace, all.

Day(s) 25/26 NaNoWriMo 15

So, yesterday, I didn’t do to well at the writing thing. I pecked out about 800 words and that was about all, for the writing thing.

But thanks again to some awesome advice from AetherHouse, yesterday I took the time to go step by step through the combat scene. something that she calls blocking the scene.

Maybe she should be a director?

Anywho… I scratched out a bunch of notes yesterday, wanting to create a scene that made an impact both in the writing and in the images the writing created.

So that brings me to today…

Wow, what a productive and very rewarding day. I managed to get the whole scene blocked yesterday and  today I wrote out about half of the climax scene and will finish that scene tomorrow.

So without giving away too much, this scene involves some aerial combat between two steam powered airships. This scene would be exceptionally difficult to write off the top of my head, especially in three dimensions . Like I was trying to do. But by blocking it through notes the process became hella easier.

So to wrap this up because I am a little tired.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American NaNo friends and have a happy and safe weekend all.

Words today: 3286

Words total: 45,107


Day 24 NaNoWriMo 15

Holy jumping party cats, what a difference a day makes!

I finally passed forty thousand words today!!

And the realization that I was getting bogged down by one scene.

So with that realization, I decided to skip the offending scene for the time being and jump right into the scene that will set up the climax.

In all actuality, it wasn’t that far of a jump.

But for myself, it was a huge breakthrough. tonight after fighting to get through the scene that transitions from the second act the third act was just what I needed. I fought this scene for what I realize now was far too long. once I made the jump to the third act, I found that I had written over fifteen hundred words in a little more than an hour.

And most importantly I like what I wrote. And that is the important part,

So the climax is going to be aerial combat between two steam-powered airships. And an ethically ambiguous decision by the protagonist’s captain that he has to react to.

Don’t judge me, this is steampunk at its finest!

Don’t we all love those times when things just seem to fall together in our writing.

I am really in the home stretch now.

Words today: 1533

Words total: 41,111



Day 22 NaNoWriMo 15

Does anyone else have problems transitioning into the third act?

The reasonI ask this is because I really am two-thirds of the way through my narrative and I seem to be having some trouble moving from my protagonist identifying his problem and taking the initiative of resolving it,

What am I supposed to do as a pantser, who is trying to come up with the evolution of my protagonist to the conclusion on the second act and moving into the third act?

Oh well, after all I fly my the seat of my pants.

Imsure it will all work out by the end of NaNoWriMo..

Day 21 NaNoWriMo 15

I only got out a thousand words today but…

I think I’ve found a way to close a major plot hole! Yea, me!

I introduced a character early in the novel.Then I set him aside.

OK, I forgot about him

At the same time I realized that I forgot about this character, I came to the realization that I would need a character to turn against the protagonist. Who better than the forgotten character who has a personal connection with the protagonist?

So the point is, as a pantser, there are times when things just seem to work out.

Words today: 1090

words total: 37,124