Archive for May, 2007

The lunch break

May 29, 2007

Trying something new for lunch: Writing. Better said: writing without looking like I’m writing. A sad commentary that springs directly from my high school days; the need to appear tragically hip at all times. Sadder still that I’ve been out of high school for nearly two decades.

Typically I eat my lunch at my desk. My wife’s cooking is the best I know. It’s like we live in a restaurant. Really, in eight years, there have been two dinners that we didn’t like. She’s amazing. Lunch today? Four cheese Mac-n-Cheese with grilled garlic chicken. I am a lucky man.

The result of this experiment? Of the hour (and it was really weird to not work for that hour) I managed to write approximately 15 minutes before I had to answer client questions. The rest of the time I spent on an Agent research. Cart before the horse. Terrible use of time.

Trying to track down a rough indication of the industry vacation schedule, but I couldn’t remember where I saw reference to it. It’s from one of the more than thirty RSS feeds I have pinging around my desktop.

Quality of the Written Work: Fair to good. The idea that germinated is engaging.

Today’s Overall Distractions: Yard work, family time, and spouse time

Way over my 15 minute post time limit. Now it’s bed time.

124 days remaining.

The ground rules

May 27, 2007

Goal: Complete compelling, transportive story. Protect against suckiness though editing. Bake humble pie. Serve with generous portion of ice cream.

  1. Original Milestone: 100,000 words by July 4, 2007 (while I still think of this as the deadline, it’s simply not realistic. I’ve a high school reunion in Columbus on July 7, so if by some stretch of time and space I’m able to complete the first draft, then I’ll book a flight.)
  2. Milestone: 100,000 words by September 30, 2007. (595 words per day, 126 days).
  3. Milestone: Second draft, October 31, 2007.
  4. Milestone: Agent queries, November 30, 2007.
  5. Milestone: Sign with Agent, April 2008 – I realize that this blows my original time line, but you never know.
  6. Milestone: Sign book contract, August 2008. [NOTE: Seems to me I read somewhere that everyone is on vacation – and rightfully so – in August. If I find more concrete source than “I think I remember reading somewhere” I’ll post it.]

Yup, ambitious. But certainly possible. Anything is possible. I know I can hit the manuscript and second draft marks. The rest is out of my control.

Goal for this journal: To start a conversation. To be honest, it’s the marketer in me. The odds against a book becoming a success are demoralizing. Therefore, any work I can do in advance to better my odds is, in my estimation, nearly as important as the story itself.

With that in mind, after the initial launch of this little ol’ documentary, I’ll limit myself to 15-minutes per entry. Really, I have an egg timer and the stones to use it.

Why start this documentation now? Because I wanted to see if I had the wherewithal to complete the manuscript. I didn’t want to leave another piece of debris floating around the matrix. After 30,000 words, I’m confident I can finish.

So, tomorrow, we’ll start with the 15-minute rule.

Cool.

126 days remaining.

Hello, my name is Peter

May 27, 2007

Hello, my name is Peter. Currently, I’m the senior writer and content strategist for an internet marketing agency. I enjoy the work, because I’m good at it. But, I’ve got more to do. I’m writing a book. Fiction. It’s a good story.

That’s right, no creative brief, no supporting material, just me and the collective consciousness frequency tuner that’s called imagination. I’ve managed to push out and save a what would amount to the equivalent of a third of a manuscript. I’ve been working on it steadily for almost two years, chipping away as time permits.

I have a family, a wife, daughter and son, whom I love more than I ever thought capable. They are cool, excellent, and extremely patient and demanding. Working on the story is tricky. I prefer to work when the time spent is not in conflict with spending time with them. To clarify, my daughter is nearly four and my son is just shy of two. To them, the computer is a fascinating way to watch Disney trailers and press buttons. I succumb to guilt if and when I segregate myself to the computer room to write during waking hours. So, I’m left with carving out time after they’ve, wife included, fallen asleep.

126 days remaining.

Thanks, Mr. Lawn Mowing Bald Man

May 27, 2007

Twenty nine years ago, Mr. Bald Man, you were mowing a lawn at the corner of Reed and Fishinger roads in Columbus, Ohio. It was the summer of ’78; I was melting in the back seat of our family’s red ’76 VW Rabbit. You were shoving a lawnmower across a yard that was a week overgrown. The lawnmower struggled against the dense lawn; forward progress rhythmic, the plunging baritone as the motor nearly stalled and ascending scale as it recovered. While we waited for the light, you wrestled the lawnmower parallel to our car. Then the lawnmower finally quit. You straighted, pulled a white towel from the back pocket of your dark blue coveralls, and mopped off your bald pate. The amount of mopping was remarkable. You went at it forever. I remember thinking, he’s going to need another towel. It also occurred to me I’d never considered what a bald man might do when his head is dripping with perspiration. Heck, I was nine; I’d never considered perspiration.

I reported the incident to my mother. She glanced into the review mirror and said, “you should write that down.”

126 days remaining.