Friday, January 24, 2014

Step back and breathe

My class is done. Three days early, even. My essay was actually pretty easy to write. Three pages in about three hours. I wish I could get that kind of output from my fiction-writing. Hrm, there’s an interesting tactic. “Assign” myself a chapter or portion of a story, with a deadline and everything. Something to think about.

For now, I am taking a breath, so to speak. My next term starts on February 3rd. So, I have just over a week with no academic obligations. Whatever shall I do?

Write more, for certain. It’s not a lot of time, but it should be enough to finish the outline for the Sci-Fan book. Maybe even start some of the narrative. This one brings me to some familiar territory, but with a slightly different take. Basically, it involves a strong female character, much like the few I have done in some of my short stories. But this one is a bit more “masculine” in nature, according to modern standards. So, my quandary will be how to make her a strong, somewhat masculine woman, without making her a “man with tits.” Of course, it helps that she is an Orc, so there will be some racial leeway for the reader there.

I’m also going to step away from the xBox and Netflix a bit, and read more. I want to finish this L’Amour book (it’s getting pretty interesting now), at the very least. I really wish I read faster. But, I don’t. Which is probably why I shy away from doorstopper novels. It’s such an investment of time that I invariably forget plot points as I work my way through them. Fortunately, my “to read” shelves have a ton of shorter, one-shot novels. Including about 80 unread Mack Bolan novels, should the mood strike me.

As much as I want to step back from working on RPG material, I still find myself tinkering with the few things I have written. My most recent jaunt is an update of sorts for the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG from TSR (thank you Scott Oden for the wonderful gift of your old yellow boxed set!). Right now, it’s basically a playable game of about 20 pages. The focus has been moved from dice-rolling to narrative judgment calls, by both the players and the Referee. Anyways, I talk more about that kind of stuff on my gaming blog.

Speaking of super heroes, I find myself filling those short periods of not knowing what to watch, and not being able to work on anything else, with watching cartoons on Netflix. Right now I am working through the Ultimate Spider-Man series. It’s pretty fun. It draws (obviously) from the Ultimate Universe, so a lot of the characters are different than what I am used to from the comics. But the new takes are pretty cool. It’s a good super hero show, but with a touch of goofy kiddy-show thrown in for laughs (Peter Parker often breaks the fourth wall, and talks to the camera, ala Deadpool). Highly recommended for some fun breaks from more “serious” fare.

And finally, I am looking at some health and fitness changes. Right now I am concentrating on developing better eating habits, since exercise is difficult at best in a crowded house when it’s so cold outside. Once it warms up, I will be buying some cheap, makeshift exercise equipment (since my barbell and dumbells were stolen from my back porch a few months ago). I also plan to buy a punching bag stand. A friend gave me his old 90-lb bag, but I now have nowhere to hang it. Would love to have something to beat the crap out of. Since, ya know, they frown on doing that to your co-workers and kids.


Keith West said...

One chapter or 3k words, first draft due Monday, January 27.

Second draft of previous assignment plus additional chapter or 3k words due Wednesday, January 29.

Second draft of previous assignment plus additional chapter or 3k words due Friday, January 31.

Final draft or second draft of previous chapters plus detailed outline of remaining work due Monday, February 3.

Extra credit: Essay explaining the background and history of your world and/or the backstory of your character. Think "The Hyborean Age", only possibly with orcs. Minimum 3k words.


Tom Doolan said...


If you were my teacher, I would effing hate you. :P

Keith West said...


You said, and I quote, "Hrm, there’s an interesting tactic. “Assign” myself a chapter or portion of a story, with a deadline and everything."

Just trying to be helpful.

Good luck with whatever you end up working on and enjoy your break.

Charles Gramlich said...

Most of L'Amour's works were quick reads.