1. Tomorrow early, I’m leaving on a vacation. I’m heading down to Johnstown, and then to New Jersey to visit a college friend I haven’t seen in years. I’m also taking Monday and Tuesday off work, so I might stop by Gettysburg or something on my way back. We’ll see. I mostly just felt the need to get away for a while.
2. Reading wise, I just finished The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton (delightful and highly recommended to Chesterton fans and non-fans alike) and started The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek. Shortly after beginning the latter, I remembered that I never finished Why the Church? By Luigi Giussanni, so now I’m reading both a very dense work of theology and a very dense work of political science. But I’m enjoying both of them, so it’s all good. Now I just need to decide which one is coming with me on my aimless wanderings. I’m thinking Road to Serfdom, because it’s a real page-turner. Not that Giussanni isn’t, but Hayek is more so.
3. I was also excited that I was even more ahead of schedule for this week’s Famous Catholic Friday post (Confederate General James Longstreet). I pretty much finished it yesterday and only did a few minor revisions this morning. Go me! The Catholic Nerd is starting to come back to life a little after a long period of very little activity; I’ve got some juicy posts waiting in the wings for when I get back from my trip.
4. So I’ve been working on improving my diet, and I think I may have seen the effect when I went for my run yesterday. A goodly distance, then a long walk through the suburbs (which I was deflected into by one of those annoying cars trying to turn into the last street I had planned to cross just as I was about to cross it, good Lord I hate when that happens!), which had me wandering sort-of-kind-of in the general direction of home, before I found myself in familiar territory and started running again, despite my legs being number, running all the way home! In short, I did a better and more strenuous work out than I have in a long time. Oh, and I did it all on an empty stomach.
5. That last bit was related to the fact that it was a very annoying day at work yesterday, including having to wait around for the computer tech to come “sometime between noon and four” (it ended up being about three, after I had missed lunch). Most of my frustrations (including that one) were related to the fact that we just transformed an old lab/conference room into a new office suite for the guys in a department that probably won’t even be in this building much longer! I swear, I never know what people are thinking.
6. On the writing front, Hendricks is reaching the point where I realize I’m going to have to go back and shore up some of the sagging bits. But there’ll be time for that later; for right now I just introduced a few of my all-time favorite characters and am loving finally getting to work with them. One of them (just as an example) is a very mad scientist whom I envision being played by Vincent Price and who pronounces “science” with a capital ‘S’ (don’t ask me how; it’s just the way he says it). So, things are good on that front.
7. Regarding the above, I often find it helps while writing to envision certain people ‘playing’ my characters. For one thing I’m a massive film geek, so mentally casting Donald Pleasance, Vincent Price, Rondo Hatton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and John Rhys-Davis in the same story helps me to get excited about the book (for those who will be reading it, keep this list handy and try to pick out who’s who). For another, I find it helps me keep characters consistent to give them a specific voice and appearance that I’m already familiar with. Just a free little writing tip.