Friday, August 23, 2013

7 Quick Takes Vol. 16

1.       Today is the day! I’ve finally started posting The Chronicles of Hendricks!  Kind of nervous, but also excited to see what the initial reaction is going to be.

2.       My sickness continues to linger, but it’s getting better slowly. I might be ready to start running again soon.

3.       Meanwhile, I’m still working on buckling down, even as I take a brief break from writing (except some notes for future stories, of course). Violin everyday (right now I’m focusing on the Jurassic Park theme, which is good because it really works out my pinky finger), drawing most days (right now I’m trying to copy drawings from DeviantArt that interest me. My copies largely suck so far), and working on reading at least a chapter of the Bible every night (less successful, but maybe posting this will help me be more consistent).

4.       Last weekend, while helping my brother move down to Philadelphia, the two of us started listening to an audiobook. There were warning signs that it wasn’t going to be very good, including the fact that the mystery series it was a part of is named for the main character’s cat, and the fact that the author’s cat has a co-authorship credit (though some of the turns of phrase in the book led us to believe it). I tried to be optimistic, but about the time the description included a ‘large, polished, mahogany desk’ (because the composition and shine of the desk is so vital to the scene) I gave up and we riffed on it for the rest of the CD. The fact that the leads were all incredibly self-righteous abortion-supporters (as a plot point) certainly played a factor in my enjoyment of ripping the book apart, but even apart from that it was poorly-written, with lots of unnecessary descriptions (“they climbed into the squat golf-cart” as opposed to the roomy stretch golf-cart, I guess), bad turns of phrase, and, again, self-righteous leads (I’m not just saying that because they all support abortion; they’re the kind of people who are constantly talking about other people and usually about how ‘awful’ they are, very rarely with any kind of context. Seriously, that seemed to make up roughly half the dialogue, and from what I gather we were supposed to agree with them). The ‘large, polished, mahogany desk’ became a running gag, and we identified it as the chief suspect, along with the titular cat. It was a lot of fun.

5.       It also helped me note down some of the things not to do in writing, including “don’t give your pet co-authorship” and “make sure the descriptions are A). necessary for the scene and B). don’t involve adjectives already included in the very concept of the object described.” Calling a golf-cart ‘squat’ is basically the same as saying that’s it’s a golf-cart. A necessary description for a golf-cart would be “their tricked-out golf-car with the streamers and tie-dye color scheme.” That is, it’s something that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you say ‘golf-cart;’ something that separates this golf-cart from every other golf-cart in existence.

6.        I’m making plans for a long-weekend getaway at the end of September; to rent a cabin in the UP and just spend a few days alone; reading, writing, hiking, and what have you (probably bring the violin as well). I’ve felt the need to go off and be alone for a while now, and after spending a day or so in Philadelphia it’s become even more urgent. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I don’t really like cities, except perhaps to visit, and I felt stifled and constrained every minute we were there. I’m really looking forward to it! And during that time I plan to get a good start on my next book.

7.       The more I think about it, the more I want to put off pursuing my teaching degree. Not that I don’t intend to teach: I still do, but I find that I want to chase something else first, and I seem to be in the best position I’ll ever be to do so; I have no wife, children, or other dependents, I’ve got a job, money in the bank, and some free time. What I would really like to do is to save up some more, then leave my job and set out to write/study/practice full time for a few months or year. I’m going to keep thinking and praying about this and let you know what I decide.

1 comment:

  1. Aha, you're a fellow Seven-Quick-Takes-er. Cool. :D

    "Don’t give your pet co-authorship" is possibly my favorite writing rule EVER. Maia would never be anything but a destructive influence on the text.

    Best of luck with your writing and violin-playing and everything!