My other muse

Sometimes the process of writing is really frustrating. When I say ‘writing’, what I really mean is ‘editing’. Let’s say you’ve written a story and you love every word of it. Nothing can be changed because the particular phrasing in a certain section early in the story is absolutely necessary to explain why a character reacts in a particular way thousands of words later. You’ve read and re-read the story hundreds of times, and you are damn sure you can’t change that portion of it because doing so will destroy what you’ve so carefully built. Then, in the interest of making the best possible story, you leave the story on a shelf for a while to gain a bit of objectivity. When you pick the manuscript up (or open the file, as it were) after several weeks, you are still certain that the particular part in question must remain, but literally everything between those points must change for continuity and flow.

Such is the case with Brian’s Secret. I was supremely confident that I would be able to copy-edit the manuscript and have it in stores extremely quickly, but after distancing myself from the story a bit, too much needs to be edited to make that happen. I’ve been editing the story for a while now (longer than it took to write it, actually) and it pains me that I have to remove so much to get it to a printable form. By word count alone, I’ve removed just over 30,000 words during the editing process (that’s half the total length of the entire In the Shadow of Angels story). Major subplots and character building sections simply had to be removed to keep the story flowing and interesting (those parts still exist, and will eventually make it into print form as Ashwood’s vast and eclectic cast of characters unfolds in later stories). The process of removing so much of my masterpiece (subjectively, of course) pushed me to pick up an old habit to occupy some time and clear my mind. That habit: guitar. Continue reading My other muse

Bizarre dream

Does anyone out there have a history in analyzing the meaning of dreams? If so, I’m looking for some direction on a particularly bizarre dream.

I’ve had a dream before where I’m back in high school. We will be in the gymnasium (myself and all the students from my high school) and the coach will call a couple of captains. The captains will pick the teams and … surprise! … I get picked last.

I’m fairly certain that the dream mentioned above isn’t unique. At least I hope it isn’t. It is, however, a dream that I had frequently after leaving high school. I haven’t had a dream like that for decades.

Last night I had a dream in the same vein, but with new and interesting twists. It ran thusly:

My wife, myself, my brother-in-law, and my sister-in-law are on a cruise ship Continue reading Bizarre dream

The Bus Ride -an anecdote

As any author will tell you, the task of editing your own work is very difficult. Using the cursor to highlight several thousand words which perfectly capture a scene, then hitting the delete key, pains me deeply. I have already had to do that a number of time in the Brian’s Secret storyline, and continue having to do so. There is a wealth of information about the characters, various subplots, events, and locations which I simply have to delete. It went far too long and reads too slowly. While I’m in the process of doing that, I thought I’d drop in an anecdote about the time I rode a Greyhound from Oregon to Missouri. I’ve posted this elsewhere before, but it may be brand new to some of you. It’s only 4,000 words or so, recounted from my -then 14 or 15 year old- memories. Are you thinking of sending your kids on a Greyhound bus? Read on to see why you need to send them with more than twenty bucks. Continue reading The Bus Ride -an anecdote