jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's almost September! How the hell did that happen?

So...what do I have planned for next month, anyway? Good question. I've been making a little bit of noise that I want to return to a more packed whiteboard schedule again, as my only major project focus at the moment is finishing off this manual line edit of The Balance of Light. [Okay, there is a non-as-major-but-still-important project of working off the galley edit for The Persistence of Memories and getting the tpb for that available for purchase, but that shouldn't take me long to do. A couple free weekends should do it.]

I'd like to return to the daily 750 Words once more. I'd like to return to my artwork on a more consistent basis. There's also a longhand project or two that I'd like to toy with in my spare time. More importantly, however, I'd like to get myself back in the habit of prepping my blog entries a day or two beforehand and giving myself a buffer. As I've said before, I can finally see the light at the end of this long-ass Trilogy tunnel, so I'd like to prepare myself ahead of time for the new projects.

Am I going to announce what these new projects are? Well, not as of yet. I'd like to make sure they've got a good strong hold before I start obsessing over them online. You've heard me talk about them before, I'll say that. I'm trying to stick with the JK Rowling quote: "I find that discussing an idea out loud is often the way to kill it stone dead." I've had this happen before, so I'd rather not jinx them this time.

That said...right now I'm just looking forward to new projects. It's been far too long and there's nothing more fun than coming up with new ideas from a completely new universe! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Oof. For possibly the first time ever, I have completely deleted a full chapter of a story. Chapter 1 of The Balance of Light needed to go, unfortunately. It served no real purpose other than to set a mood. This was after a week of trying to make it work somehow, but no matter what I tried, it wasn't working. Having Chapter 2 as the new Chapter 1 made more sense for multiple reasons: it's a much stronger, more immediate scene and sets the pace for the rest of the book. [In the process, deleting this scene will cause the deletion (or a massive rewrite) of a few scenes further on, eliminating a rather weak subplot.]

This editing job really is going to be brutal, quite possibly the harshest wielding of a red pen that I've ever had to do. This version is over 200k words -- MUCH too long. This is precisely why I didn't give myself a deadline for this one, because it's going to take quite some time to clean this one up. Wish me luck!

Meanwhile, my other writing projects seem to be coming along just fine. I'd been wanting to schedule my WordPress blog posts for some time now, and finally gave myself time to build up a backlog. I'm also jumping back into the daily 750 words...I may not be able to hit that on a consistent basis just yet, but I'm at least giving it a shot again. For the post part I'm staying with my current whiteboard schedule, so that's a good thing. As long as I'm working on something every day, I'm fine with that. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Every time I choose to do a bit of book purging, I find myself a bit fascinated by my decisions. It was another major 'will I ever read this/will I ever reread this' process, and this time I included not only my fiction but my music and my writing books as well.

What's this, you say? Getting rid of writing books??? *GASP!* Well, most of these were from the Writer's Digest Book Club (or whatever it was called then) where I'd ordered a handful of 'learn how to write' books. I used a handful of them, but for the most part, they've been getting more use as dust traps, so it was high time for them to go. And the good thing is that we've been donating all our books to the Friends of the SF Public Library, who run a twice-a-year Giant Book Sale down in Fort Mason, so they get to be bought and used by others who can get more use out of them. And the best part is that opened up a spot on the bookshelf near the window for Jonc's Officially Published Works. Which for now contains two titles and those two ZYZZYVA issues I was in, but hey, at least I know it'll expand over time!

As for the music books...many of these were bought between 2010 and 2012 when I started thinking about writing Walk in Silence. I did get some use out of them, but with a good handful of them, I doubt I'll pick them up again, so they too can go. Quite a few of those will probably be 'read and get rid of' as well.

But that's not all! The Spring Cleaning Bug seems to have bit hard, as I now have decided it's high time to get rid of some other things as well. I still have some old PC and laptop stuff from the last six or so years, and when I have the time, I will donate those to the local electronics recycling place down in SoMa that I usually go to. [They not only recycle the parts but for a fee will run the hard drives through the woodchipper (or whatever it is they use) to make sure they're completely destroyed.] I may have a few other things to get rid of in the next few months as well. Just one of those things where you just want to let go of things you don't need anymore and start fresh.

The downside to the book purge is that Spare Oom is once again getting a bit crowded with boxes. I'll try not to keep them here for months on end this time, though.


As for writing...new month, new writing schedule. I'd given myself most of April to relax and do some fun short-term projects (like the A to Z Challenge meme and build up a backlog of Walk in Silence entries), and so starting today and going forward, I'd like to get back to work on stuff I need to do. Primarily, starting the Epic Revision of The Balance of Light. I'm going to take my own time with this one, really...it needs a lot of work so I'd like to make sure it gets all the TLC it needs. I don't have a set date for the release of that one either...just a rough guess of late autumn.

I'd also like to return to the small exercises again as well, just to keep my writing muscles moving. Nothing big yet, just the usual 750 during the day, and also posting at the two WP blogs. I should (hopefully) have time to put up some short 500-700 words a few times a week. I still have the weekends open for catch-up and whatnot. Once Book 3 is out, I'll have much more time to spend on new projects. Speaking of which, I told a friend earlier that I'm curious as to what my turnaround time will be for my new projects...I'm not going to hazard a guess, considering I don't know what scale these new projects will be.

However, I do have some interesting writing-based plans in the works that I'm looking forward to...can't reveal them just yet, but hopefully soon!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This first week of 2016 has been noisy here. Our next door neighbor is laying down a hardwood floor in the living room. A simple overlay of pretreated bamboo flooring that he's dropping down over the carpet, so it's not as if he's doing any major renovation, but there have been a lot of wood cutting sounds (and a distinct woodchip smell in the hallway) all week long. Not complaining, though...he's keeping the noise to a minimum.

[I did see one person complain, though...someone had written "LOUD DICKHEAD" on a package downstairs that was going to said apartment. That certainly wasn't needed, but it was amusing in a way. Thankfully most of our neighbors have finally figured out that others in the building may not be interested in party noises at one in the morning.]

No, the irritating noise yesterday was the two guys doing some jackhammering right outside our window. They're doing something with the pipes under the sidewalk, I believe. Whatever they were working on, it's done now, and they're filling up the holes again. Lots of dirt shoveling going on. EDIT: Okay, there's a bit of tablesawing and more jackhammering going on now. Technically they can do this because it's past 7:30am, but really, this is San Francisco and no one is awake before 10 on the weekend unless they're joggers or have to walk the dog. :p


In writing news, things are going pretty well. I FINALLY released the physical copy of A Division of Souls out into the world! Yay! It's up at Amazon, ready for your perusal and purchasing! All that's left for that story now is to update the e-book and re-upload that version, and I can finally put that book to bed. As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about two thirds of the way through the edit. It's slow going, but I should hopefully be done by month end. It looks like it'll be ready to go in e-book form by early February.

I've been hitting the 750 this week, but I think I still have an issue with the procrastination. It's getting there, and once I make myself get those words out (I shut down all the other browser tabs and don't reopen them until I hit goal), they come quickly and fluidly. I also did not get to write a WiS blog post yesterday, but I'm okay with that because the first week of the year is usually kind of boring musicwise. [Okay, the new Bowie came out yesterday and I do quite enjoy it, but I'll have to listen to it some more to form an opinion on it.] But hey, that's what the weekends are for! I'm sure I can whip something up today or tomorrow.


Other than that, it's been a decent week. How's by you?
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
...or in this case, the pantry. At least a dozen or so out-of-date foodstuffs tossed (most of them over a year or so old, including a forgotten tiny bottle of some kind of spread with a sell-by date before we even moved to our present location!!), things re-arranged, other things to be put away elsewhere. Realized we have an insane amount of jams and preserves, and an even more insane amount of tea. Our snack situation is positive, considering we made a run to World Market today and found various tasty things like Coffee Crisps, Tim-Tams and chocolate bars, and followed it up with an assortment box of Jo-Jo's from Trader Joe's. Oh! And not one but two assortment boxes of Samuel Smith beers (the three-bottle gift box that comes with a pint glass, so now we have a matching set of four glasses). And earlier this week I boxed up the books that I should bring down to the SF Library store at Fort Mason. I should probably go through my clothes this weekend as well, and bring it to the local Goodwill. Maybe next weekend. The apartment laundry facilities are still on the fritz, so I've been heading over to the laundromat up the street on Sundays. [Why yes, as a matter of fact I have been writing longhand while waiting for the cycles to end, why do you ask?]

So yes, things are looking spiffy round these parts!

In other news, the daily 750 Words exercise is once again going to be put aside for the time being, for the simple reason that Emm has now finished reading A Division of Souls and offered suggestions and comments, so now I can go through my galley copy and make the final fix. Once they are complete, then I can put the physical book up for sale on Amazon, get a few comp copies for various people, and update the e-book version as well.

As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about a third of the way through the edit, so I'm hoping that I'll be finished by the end of the year. It looks like I should be on schedule to release it mid to late January, maybe even on my birthday. We shall see. I will most likely be doing the same thing with the physical copy--formatting it, getting a few galley copies made, editing it, and releasing that a slight bit later. I'll have a more solid date to announce as soon as it gets closer.

[On a side note...all this preparing for an official drop date has given me a bit of background on how it works when releasing a book or a record. This will definitely come in handy with a music-related fiction project I will be working on in the future.]

So all in all, things have been busy but creatively and positively so. Can't complain about that. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Oh hey there! Been busy the last few days with writing and other errands, so I'd temporarily forgotten to update here! Oops. Some updates:

ITEM: The daily 750 Words are working out quite nicely. There are days I'll just spit out random ideas that may or may not go anywhere, and then I'll come up with an idea that I'll riff on for a good number of days. The latest one concerns a family that used to be a band--sort of like the Osmonds in size and following, where their heyday was in the 80s--and what their lives are like now. This was another one of my ideas inspired by a snippet of a dream, and I've been playing around with it all week. I may or may not continue working on it, but we'll see.

ITEM: Related, it occurred to me last night that if I keep hitting the daily words in the form of this ongoing story idea, by six months I'll have a full novel. A roundabout NaNo project, if you will. I'm not going to call it a real thing, but the idea is out there. We'll see.

ITEM: Also related, I'm finding sneaking in the 750 in increments during the day works out nicely as well. I can log on multiple times, and in the process I've not only been hiting 750 a day, but more like 900 or 1000 words. This bodes well.

ITEM: Yes, this is including my regular writing work at night. [Noted: also good that I moved the 750 to earlier in the day, this gives me more flexibility for the main projects.] Blogging the Beatles and Walk in Silence are slow going, but they're going.

ITEM: Daily journaling is working out well too! Some days I'll write six short paragraphs, other days, like yesterday, I'll write a good two pages. Sometimes it'll be random bloviating, sometimes it'll be trying to figure stuff out. And art? Art still needs more love, but it's getting at least weekly dedication, so there's that. And music is still offline, but near-daily guitar noodling is at least counting as practice. Heh.

Not too much else to report here...doing a book store run later today, and we have the symphony tomorrow, so more busy weekend fun! Whee!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been a busy three days of 2015 so far, in a very good way. Keeping up with the daily words, prepared work for the Blogging the Beatles ebook project, posted at my WordPress blogs like a madman, and I even managed to get some guitar practice in there. Not a bad start, all told.

I already have my "this is due" whiteboard list--for instance, I have a Welcome to Bridgetown post due today--so I already have it hanging over my head. My instinctual response is "but I don't wanna". The trick for me for overcoming that? Doing it anyway, even if it's purely out of being a stubborn contrarian. Because I know for a fact that if I don't work on it and spend my evening goofing off on YouTube or something, I'll climb into bed feeling guilty and annoyed with myself for wasting time. In short: 'just STFU and do it already' seems to be my way of working on projects. Mind you, it's not the only way I'm getting myself to get things done, but I know enough to utilize it when necessary.

Been a relaxing and lazy weekend here...we did a bit of shopping yesterday, including heading over to the Haight to spend mumbletymumble dollars at Amoeba. Amanda found many sweet deals in the dvd section, and I made a significant dent in the dollar bins looking for (and finding!) exactly what I was looking for! Yay! Oh--and in the dvd section I found a used copy of the Space Above and Beyond box set--I've been meaning to pick that up for ages, so I'm quite happy that I finally own it! It's been ages since I've watched it, so I'll need to set aside time to rewatch.

Not too much on tap for today, other than my daily words, a WtBT post, and football games. Sushi down the street may be involved at some point, we'll see. Going to take it easy and enjoy the weekend while it's still here!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So yeah. I'd completely forgotten I had Monday off until about ten minutes before logging off last night, when a coworker reminded me. D'OH! So that means I have an extra day in which to do stuff! And I've already decided that it was high time to bring in our car for a maintenance check-up. There's a Honda garage on 9th in the Sunset, which works out perfectly, as I plan on hanging out in the Haight for some shopping at Amoeba and elsewhere. Woo, day off!

Meanwhile, writing has been going really well! I'm not exactly hitting stupidly high word count, but there's a lot of forward motion going, which is good. Two Thousand is going well, as I've just started Chapter 4 a few days ago. I'm also playing around with a story idea with my daily 750 Words--it's in the Mendaihu Universe, but quite early in the history. As for Walk in Silence, I'm still working on that on the weekends. That one's slow going, but it's getting there.

Writing-related, I had a very slow work day the other day, so I had a bit of fun with Photoshop and a great picture of foggy Dubai that I found online, and created a mock-up cover for A Division of Souls. It's not the official cover, of course--it's out in the wild at this time--just a made-up one. The back cover copy is a bit clunky and I may fix it, but I like how it came out. Check it out at my Welcome to Bridgetown blog and let me know what you think! :)

I'm also keeping up with the Inktober meme on Tumblr, creating various doodles and whatnot. I had a five-day theme going in which I showed how I draw my imagined maps, which seems to have gone over quite well with the cartography-minded (it's been reblogged a few times too!). Murph has been popping up, as have some fun caricatures that are coming out a hell of a lot better than I expected. Perhaps my art skills aren't nearly as rusty as I expected...?

So let's see...not too many other plans this weekend. We have shopping to do as we are out of pretty much everything right now. We have the Blue Angels WOOOOOOOOSHing over our neighborhood as they do their show later today. We may have a visit to Japantown as well. It's very up in the air at the moment, but that's okay. Weekends are for relaxing. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
For those of you who follow me over on my Tumblr site, you may have noticed I've decided to take part in Inktober, which I would describe as an artist's version of NaNoWriMo--draw something every day of the month and post it somewhere using the #inktober hashtag. The only rule being the end result has to be in ink (and again that leaves it wide open--I've used both my art pens and a ballpoint Bic from my back pocket). It's been fun so far, because I get to doodle something every day! I'm not going out of my way to make a masterpiece...just a caricature or a Murph drawing or something that usually takes no more than a half-hour tops to make, and post it using my phone.

This is on top of my ongoing attempt to ramp up the output. Per my last post, I did pretty good with hitting goal at 750Words.com 29 out of the 30 days. Some of those entries were just personal ramblings, but many of them ended up being exercises in figuring out who the characters in my latest project are. I'd have conversations with myself, asking 'what does [character] look like?' or 'what's their ultimate goal in the story?' and so on, and it really helped me figure out where it's going. The other goal of using 750Words is that it forces me to sit down and think about writing-related things for a bit--it's breaking the wall of procrastination that bites me in the ass so often. And ultimately, it's gotten me back to the 2001-2003 levels of dedication to my writing, which is what I've been aiming for. Those were the Trilogy years where I was down in the Belfry without fail, every single day, working on something...and this is exactly what I've been aiming for, and I'm quite happy about that.

Oh! And also, we have a new modem/router! Yay! Our 2Wire has been in the apartment for a few good years, and it was starting to crap out more than usual. It would drop at the most inopportune times, especially while we were working. I'll admit we were taxing it during the day, what with her terminal, my work router, and me streaming a radio station. This new one's a Pace and it's working a treat. Quite happy with it so far.

So. Today's goal, outside of writing? Ice cream! I heard tell that there's a nifty ice cream shop down in the Sunset on Noriega that we should check out. Has numerous flavors and they're made locally, and it's quite a find. We may just jump on the 29 today and check it out. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
The official return of Jonc' Whiteboard Writing Schedule worked out pretty well for September, all things considered. The output was a little lower than I wanted it to be, but on the other hand I am using the non-project exercises to a good extent. The numbers below give me a good idea where my strength is and where I need to adjust.

Numbers and Plans below this here cut )
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Okay, summer technically ends tomorrow, but Q4 is already here. School has already started, retail has started to ramp up their sales, and soon enough we'll start seeing holiday-themed things in the stores. And of course, it's time for the big-name bands to release their albums.

So what's in store for me this autumn? I mean, aside from me getting all wistful and thinking about 1988 (more than usual, I mean), and writing bad poetry and yet more nostalgic blog posts?

Well, Q4 pretty much kicked in at the start of September for me, and that's when I restarted the whiteboard schedule, and I'm happy to say I've been sticking to it pretty tightly. I've had a few days where I don't get to a poem, or I missed a day of writing my 750 Words, or some such...but I'm okay with that. In most cases (aside from the 750), I can make up for it a day or so later, and I'm okay with that. In fact, I may not get to the schedule today due to the fact that we have plans with the in-laws later today. But the point of the schedule is not to assign myself strict deadlines--it's to ensure I get off my duff and do these things.

So for the long-term goals? That's a good question. There are a few book-related things I have in mind that I won't go into here just yet. I'm still near the beginning of Two Thousand so I can't quite tell when that one's going to be finished. Walk in Silence will also take much longer than anticipated, but on the other hand that one's a lot further along than I expected it to be. And do I have any projects that I'll start after that? Well, good question. I'm not focusing on that too much just yet. I have a few vague ideas, but that's about it. I'm not looking at them for the moment because I want to devote as much time as I can on my present projects.

Other than that? Having a pretty relaxing weekend! Hope everyone's doing well!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

As mentioned earlier, I felt a need to return to the whiteboard writing schedule. Not because I was getting lazy, but because I'm once again feeling the need to kick it up a notch. Since I'm no longer balancing a major revision with other projects, I have quite a bit of time on my hands and I'd like to get more productive. This will give me more practice and experience in the process, which is always a good thing.

I'm okay with Two Thousand hitting on average around 500-600 words a day--that's actually pretty good for a project that just started last week...as you can see in the picture, I'm reserving work on that (abbreviated as 2K) for the weekdays, the primary writing sessions at the end of the day.

Most of this schedule is actually copied from my early 2013 schedule, with a few tweaks here and there. It worked quite well in the past, so I figure I'd try it again. This time I'm playing it a bit differently:

--Two days of writing poetry, which will be offline for the most part but may be posted here or elsewhere if I feel like it. I still have my Dreamwidth account, but I've chosen not to post there anymore (the main reasons being that I just don't use it all that much, and it rarely gets traffic).

--Taking and/or posting a picture midweek, most likely to my Tumblr. I can of course do this any time I like, but I'm choosing to use Wednesdays as a deadline for posting.

--Art! This I'm keeping up in the air...this could mean me playing around with my Wacom, or it could be drawing something in the art moleskine notebook I have. As long as it's something drawn, that's all that matters. Again, this will probably stay offline unless I feel like posting.

--Music: I left this one deliberately vague, as it means two things:
1) Guitar practice. I do this almost on a daily basis anyway, noodling around on one of my guitars for a few minutes a day, but this will be a dedicated time where I'll play one of my instruments here, be it the guitar, the bass, the ukulele, or the keyboard. As long as it's something.
2) The Walk in Silence WordPress blog. I find that I really enjoy writing the music-themed entries on the weekends, as I can take my own time to work on them, give them a quick edit and revision, and then post them at the end of the day. Sundays seem to be the best time for those.

The only things I did not add were:
--750 Words. I want to start this up again, it's been awhile. I still get the daily email reminder as I never turned it off, and it's a lot of fun using it as an infodump or a playground for ideas.
--Journaling. I still do this every weekday during my 9:30am break, so no reason to add it here.
--The Welcome to Bridgetown WordPress blog. At the moment I'm lumping that in with the "Music" header, as I tend to write those on the weekend anyway, but I may add those on Saturday.

This schedule is of course subject to change, but at this point in time, I'm happy with it.  It'll definitely keep me busy!


Looking forward to a creative Q4! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been quite the long week here in JoncWorld, busy all around. Work has been relatively calm-ish, not that many clients going off the rails, so I can't complain there. Nothing much to report, really.

We made it a point to get back to heading to the YMCA on a nearly daily basis, as I tend to sit on my duff here in Spare Oom for way too long. The first four days were well taken care of, and by Friday we were twitchy from work issues and decided a walk around the neighborhood was in order instead. We headed up California, cut over around 10th Avenue and walked around Mountain Lake before heading back. They've done a really good job at cleaning up the lake this past year--it was drained, dredged, decluttered, had goats eating the overgrowth (no lie--there's a company out this way that rents out goats for all your de-brushing and de-brambling needs!), and had a lot of the invasive species of plant, animal and fish taken away. Not to mention some serious filtration work, as it's right up against the stretch of Veterans Boulevard as it cuts through the Presidio, and the lake has seen its share of litter and toxic runoff through the years. It's nearly done, but they've done a beautiful job.

Today was a roadtrip up to Santa Rosa, which is always one of my favorite places to go here in the Bay Area. It's a large small city, so to speak, population around 160k, but it's spread out quite a bit. Downtown SR is a neat place as it has a large number of restaurants and shops. On Fourth Street there's Treehorn Books, a veritable Narnia of used tomes (it's good for "oh, I wasn't even looking for this, but I want this!" shopping) and up the street there's a really cool Barnes & Noble that's in a large building straight out of the 1920s, complete with a Jazz-Age style front. And just about a mile or two up the road is Copperfield's, a small local chain that saps our wallets every time we go into one of them. So yes, today was a mini-book crawl. :)

Tomorrow? We're not exactly sure. We may head to Q for brunch or we may go to Japantown, depending on what we're in the mood for. The problem with going to Q is the temptation to stop at Green Apple and buy EVEN MORE BOOKS.

There was, of course, a bit of a kerfuffle online about WorldCon this past week, but as I said on Twitter, I really have no horse in that race, so I'm choosing to not get publicly involved. I do of course have some thoughts about it, but I felt it was probably for the best not to add to everything that went on.

As for writing...? I'm happy in that I managed to get four out of seven days' worth of 750 Words done, considering. The "Townies" idea is expanding in unexpected and interesting directions, turning into some kind of pre- (very pre-) Bridgetown Trilogy story. I figured it would head in that direction eventually, but I wanted to let it expand organically rather than forcing it into a specific shape. That's why I let the 750 lag for a short while, so I could let the ideas simmer a bit. This may or may not expand into the next major project, but we'll see.

Chapter 5 of The Process of Belief was a big pain in the ass and most likely needs another go-through, but I finally got it done early in the week, and jumped in on Chapter 6. That too needed some tough love, but less in the prose and more in the editing department. There's still a lot of stage direction to get rid of, but not nearly as much as the previous chapter, and much easier to clean up. Book 3 kind of feels weird to revise, as it's pretty much Act III in a very long story arc. While it ties in with Books 1 and 2, the overall feeling of this one seems different. There's a hell of a lot more ongoing tension, and I think that's what I'm feeling with it. In a good way, of course.

I also FINALLY finished off the Blogging the Beatles series over at Walk in Silence! Yay! I admit I lapsed a bit on it, but I like how it ended, and that leaves me free to add new posts. Starting this week I'll be working on some new Walk in Silence stuff for your reading enjoyment. I should also be starting up on the Welcome to Bridgetown stuff as well, as I have a few ideas to work on there.

Which brings us to a few other web-related things:
--Will I ever update my Dreamwidth site again? Probably not; I'm thinking I'll copy the poetry posts to a document file and then shut it down, as I just don't use it anymore.
--Will I stay here at LJ? Of course--I have a permanent account. I still check it on a daily basis, maybe comment now and again, though I'm pretty much just at the weekend updates at this point. It'll remain the personal blog. I do have the other one, Scribble Diem, which I haven't updated since May of 2012, so that one I'll most likely close down at some point, as I just don't use it anymore. Maybe create one of those LJ Books and then ditch it.
--Tumblr. Yeah, I haven't posted there in some time, have I? I need to rectify that. Thing is, I haven't taken any pictures worth posting lately. Maybe that'll give me reason to start rescanning my stuff (and maybe photographing some of the larger or more colorful things) and posting those. One of my aims this year is to reignite my love for art, so why not?
--In cleaning up the Joncblogs, that'll mean that Walk in Silence and Welcome to Bridgetown will become my main go-to websites. I will endeavor to post links here and elsewhere so others are aware, of course. I have both connected to Twitter and Tumblr so they'll show up both places.

So yes...busy week. Busy, but productive! And that's what counts. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Not too much to report, really...I've mainly been busy working on revision of The Process of Belief...I just kicked off Chapter 4, so it's coming along relatively well. Like I said, the revision is not so much in the plot as it is in the prose, so I've just been doing a lot of editing and rewording. Lots of uncomfortably stilted sentences. Lots of stage direction ("Caren got up and walked over to the coffee machine. She picked up the carafe and poured herself a cup." GAAAH WHY DID I WRITE THIS CRAP). Nothing that can't be saved, though, so there's that.

The 750/"Townies" project hasn't so much stalled as I've been letting a few ideas stew in my head for a few days. I felt that making myself do the daily words for it would have been forcing it at this point. It's also made me think that perhaps it's time I can back away from the 750 Words site for the time being and focus the output elsewhere. That seems to be the issue...I can certainly do the morning words whenever needed or wanted, but I really shouldn't be forcing it if there's nothing to produce. We'll see where this goes.

In non-writing news, A and I are heading to a double-header movie date down the street at the Vogue! First up is The Spirit of'45, a documentary about Post-WWII Britain, and right after that is Good Ol' Freda, a doc about Freda Kelly, the Beatles' longtime friend and fan club secretary. Very typical choices for us, yes?

Other than that, not much planned for this weekend. We will of course need to head over to Safeway tomorrow for some grocery shopping, not to mention buying Girl Scout cookies! We were thinking of also heading down there relatively early so we could have brunch at Luis' Restaurant. That place fills up rather quickly, but we've learned over the years that no one wakes up early on the weekend her in the city (other than dog walkers, old people and joggers).

Hope everyone has a good long weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So yes, it looks like I'm going to be doing a weekly review here on the good ol' LJ, so I should probably mix up the subject lines now and again, shouldn't I? :)

February started off much better than January's finish. After a great start last month only to be derailed halfway through due to work issues, I figured it was a good a time as any to climb back on the horse and continue where I left off. I was able to find some spare minutes during the day where I can pick up my journal notebook to write what's on my mind. The 750 is working out well too--more on that in a moment--and though I'm still slogging through Chapter 2 of The Process of Belief, it is getting there.

We're also FINALLY getting rain here in these parts! So while that's a really good thing for California (we're in drought status at the moment), it's doing a number on my sinuses, and it seems to also be sending ants into various parts of our apartment. Neither are a high-level concern, more of an irritation and a fixable one at that. Unfortunately it's also turning us into hermits who don't want to venture outside lest we melt...that's our northern California winter, I guess.

So! What's been going on with the writing? An interesting and unexpected new idea came to me in the form of a random picture I saw on Facebook. It was of a woman who looked like a typical townie from the Pioneer Valley (that's midwestern Massachusetts following the Connecticut River, for those of you unfamiliar with that term). She reminded me of some of the women I used to work with at Yankee, and started thinking about what her untold story might be. For my daily 750 Words I started riffing on her backstory--who was she, really? She was a waitress at a restaurant and was seeing a truck driver, for starters, but there's MUCH more to her than people expect. She has a business degree and owns half of the restaurant, is a strong musician that makes extra money writing and selling songs, and is totally fine with not being a be-suited business careerist. She's someone who does her own thing, regardless of others' expectations. But she's still hiding something--she and her two older siblings share a secret she's been hinting at but won't reveal. I haven't quite decided what that secret might be yet, but it'll be the catalyst for whatever story comes out of this. I'm as curious as you are, believe me.

In other writing news...as said, slogging through Chapter 2 of The Process of Belief. My worries were well-founded here: plotwise everything seems to be working okay...but the prose is absolute CRAP. Good lord, what was I thinking here? I think my downfall on that book was that I was focusing too much on achieving word count and getting the project done in a year, that the prose suffered from weak word choice and too much stage direction. I've been tidying up and revising where necessary, but like the first book, I'm pretty sure I'll need to do a bit more tightening on another go-round. Ah well, the price of being a writer...

Last weekend I also FINALLY updated the next-to-last Blogging the Beatles entry in the series, so that gives me one more to go. I'm hoping I can get it done this weekend, and of course will update everyone once it's finally up.

OH! And I wrote a guest music blog post for one of my online friends--you can find it here. Just a short and fun post about bass playing. :)

Other than that, it's been a busy but productive week with other personal and entertaining things going on, so I'm happy about that. Onward and upward!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Not too bad of a start for 2014 so far.

--750 Words: Decided on the second day that I'm going to use my "morning words" as a playground for trying stuff out. Have a few days' worth of supershort dialogue-only stories and a day of me talking to my Spare Oom mascot (a blackbird finger puppet named Lon Dubh) as we debated what I should be writing about.

--Bridgetown Trilogy: Finished Chapter 41, started up on Chapter 42.

--Personal: Did a major e-recycling run to get rid of our old TV, my older external drives, and a boatload of wires and other bits and bobs. In the process moved a few things around in Spare Oom to open up more space. We're going through our books again to thin out the herd, so I was able to find more room for more of my music books. Lastly, picked up a new guitar riff that sounds a bit like Coldplay's "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" (one of my favorite tracks of theirs). Thinking I should probably plug in the PC mike and start recording some of these riffs as they come up. Will add them to my Drunken Owl folder of demos, see where they go. Alas, have not gone to the gym yet this year. Need to fix that.

On Tap:

--Hoping to work on the next Blogging the Beatles post some time today. This one should be relatively quick, as I'm only hitting two songs.

--Today's 750. Not sure where I'll go with it, we'll see.

--Boring errands: laundry, a bit of produce shopping around the corner. Also: FOOTBALL! Go Niners!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
For your reading enjoyment, today's writing experiment for my 750 Words was to write a short story using only dialogue. This was a lot of fun to write!

Read more... )
jon_chaisson: (Default)
No new project as of yet, and nothing of note, but I'm writing on a daily basis again. I've returned to 750 Words and I've been making myself hit a daily goal again, just to get back into practice. Most of it has been rambling and inconsequential, but it's something, at least. The main reason for doing it is to get myself back into the habit. I have the time to do it throughout the day, so I've been entering a little bit here and there.

I started doing this on a whim this past Monday and have been hitting goal every day since then, so I'm quite happy about that. I think the trick is that I'm not trying to get these words down in a finite amount of time--that is, during a specific writing session--which is helping them come more freely. I have the entries in locked status so they're not readable to the public, mainly because a lot of what I'm tying is semi-personal and not really something I want to share at this point. I'm considering this, though, as a sort of 'Roughdraftland' for possible future things to work on.

Another reason to do this is that I've never been one to be able to write stream-of-conscious style, unless I was playing with words in the style of John Lennon (which I've done many times and let me tell you it's a HELL of a lot of fun!). Playing on this site is curing me of that, however, because I'm laying a few ground rules:

1) No revising. Translation: No sweating and slaving over the correct words to use.
2) Slight editing is okay if I'm repeating myself or see a better direction in which to go.
3) No holding back. Feel free to get as personal or as extreme as possible.
4) 750 is just the finish line. Going over it is totally fine if you're on a roll.
5) Alternately, it's okay if you're short. Consider the goal-reaching filler as a fun extra credit.

These ground rules are put there basically because those are the biggest obstacles I have with my writing in general. I'm using this site as a way to break free of them. I'd like to think that it's worked pretty well so far.

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