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I don't know what possessed me, but I took Friday off from writing.  I just sort of happened...I'd thought of working on my Daily words and new Lidwells words....and didn't even try to get to them.  It was like a conscious choice to take the day off.  And I took Saturday off as well.   After all these years, I'm still not used to doing that.  The funny thing is when I do take a day off, everyone around me will invariably say "Good for you!  You should take a day off now and again."  Never fails. 

It's not that I actually needed it this time out.  I'm not exhausted or overworked.  I'm not feeling creatively drained at all.  It was just an 'I don't want to work today' couple of days.  

Which of course means that, like being in school again, it's Sunday and I probably should stop procrastinating and get some work done.


In sort of related news, I'm quite proud of myself for coming up with a possible idea for Secret Next Project while falling asleep on Friday and remembering it the following morning.  I have a few secondary characters that need a lot of fleshing out, and as I've pretty much got the four or five major ones nailed down, I needed to work on these people as well.  The neat thing is that this is the second time around where my world building work on one project has been in tandem with the main draft writing of the main project.  I just sort of fell into this new way of working, and it's working quite nicely, so I'm very happy about that.  I'm really looking forward to sharing SNP with you soon, but alas, I need to finish Lidwells first! :)


Hope everyone is having a good weekend!  Happy Pride! :D

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Oh, it's Monday again?  Our weekend kind of flew by, considering the two of us went on a road trip up north sort of as our little anniversary vacation (it's our 12th as of the 28th).  We drove up to the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area and had a lovely time.  It's a LOOOOONG drive -- 230 some odd miles round trip, per our odometer.  It was also stupidly hot at some of our destinations, which we're no longer used to.  Still...lots of picture taking, lots of drinks, lots of tasty food eaten.  And even a few good local radio stations found!

In other news, it's kind of sad yet amusing when an online troll ends the argument with a version of 'you make no sense you're stupid whatever bye have a nice life'.  It usually means I've not only won the argument, but I've also cut off all their avenues for clever comebacks.  FTW!

In other other news...during this weekend I also read what I have of Meet the Lidwells as well as the Secret Next Project outtakes and I'm glad to say I think both are coming along quite nicely.  Both need a bit of correction and revision work, but for the most part I'm really happy with what I've got so far.  I'm really looking forward to getting these out into the world.  MtL is (hopefully) going to drop in September or October, and Secret Next Project will most likely be released next summer the latest.  Suffice it to say, I am so not used to quick turnarounds like this (given that my last project took two decades...!!), but it looks like I can handle this speed and output without too much stress, which also makes me happy. :)

OKAY.  Time to get back to the boring ol' Day Job.  Woohoo. :p

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Wait, it's Saturday already?  When did that happen?  It was a fast week of Day Job stuff and catching up on writing, and not much else of import, so time seemed to fly by rather quickly this week.  Not that I'm complaining.  Midweek had some crappy weather as well, but currently there's no clouds in the sky so it looks like it's going to be a really nice weekend all around.

I'm still concerned that I might not make my autumn deadline for Meet the Lidwells but I think that's mainly because I'm having a bit of trouble at the moment.  The first act is done (creation of the band up to their initial success), and now I have to shift from that to act two (the highs and lows of success and creativity), and it's a bit harder than I expected.  If all else fails, I think I'll have to just make a hard shift there for now, and smooth it out in revision.  We shall see.

Secondary Project, aka The Apartment Complex story, is slowly evolving via the 750 Words site (much like I did with Lidwells a few years ago), and this one promises to be a lot of fun to write.  I'm coming up with some really fun characters and story ideas for it.  I don't think I'll be outlining this one as strictly as I did with Lidwells, but I should at least get the characters and places down. 

Related, I think this might end up being my writing process for a while.  I like the idea of working on new ideas in a playground atmosphere to let them grow and expand (thus letting me work on them during slow points of my day), while dedicating more serious writing time to the current project (which I'll have given a deadline for finishing).  This not only gives me a quicker turnaround, but also lets me work on and self-publish more projects.

Which of course brings up the question, do I want to keep self-publishing?  Well, funny thing about that:  yesterday I got a completely unexpected email response from an agent.  It was a rejection for a submission of A Division of Souls and I couldn't find the date of my original response...so I have no idea when I sent this.  This was before I ultimately decided to self-publish, so this must have been at least around 2015, possibly earlier.  I'll be honest, I'm amused and touched that they got back to me even after this long, even if it was a rejection!  But at the same time, it really put things into perspective: I simply don't want to spend all my time waiting for a yes/no from an agent or a publisher and not knowing either way until then.  I don't seek vindication...I just want to know if I'm Doing It Right or not, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to go that route.  Sure, self-publishing means a hell of a lot more work, but I've already proven to myself that I'm willing to do it all.

Anyhoo...going to have a relaxing weekend here, hope you have the same! :)

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Another sleepy Sunday arrives and I'm up with the sun as usual.  Sunday mornings I'm usually up around 6:30ish and head into the living room, check the internets, and watch some of the morning news.   And of course start the first pot of coffee.

This weekend has been less frenetic than the previous weekend, as our only plan was to go see Wonder Woman at the Alamo Drafthouse in the Mission.  And yes, it was indeed as excellent as everyone's making it out to be.  I only had one or two writing-related issues with it -- a couple of clunky bits and two underused characters -- but other than that, we loved it.  Would totally see it again and buy the DVD. ;)

Also:  the Drafthouse is indeed an awesome place to go see a film.  VERY comfy seats, really fun atmosphere, great sound and visibility, and good food that gets delivered straight to your seat during the film!  [And if you're concerned: the seats are all high-backed and the food servers are well trained in crouching, so you don't actually end up missing much of the movie at all.]  Extra points for having completely silly PSAs about safety, not talking during the movie, and so on.

This past week has been kind of an odd one in terms of productivity.  I've been dealing with some kind of allergy that's left me with an occasionally sore throat (although I think that may have been by cereal going down the wrong way last week, but that's another story entirely).  Allergies usually mean my sleeping habits get all wonky, leaving me exhausted during the day.  I did what I could to get my work done, but there were a few days where I felt I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted to.  It took enough energy for me just to get through the workday, so my word count was kind of low this past week.

I did try to turn it around, though, and I'm glad to say I did get a few thousands words across two different projects.  Yes, you heard me correctly...even though Meet the Lidwells is still my main project at the moment, I've been playing around with what will most likely be my next project after that.  It's sort of inspired by Studio Ghibli, a story about a teen growing up in a family-owned apartment complex that houses all kinds of beings -- monsters, angels, dragons, aliens, vampires, and so on.  [Yes, it was inspired by a dream I had.]  I posted a rough outtake on my Welcome to Bridgetown blog on Friday if you're interested in checking that out.  Anyhoo, I'm feeling a bit better this weekend, so I'm hoping to be back on the high horse come tomorrow.

Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend!

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This past week worked out pretty well, I think.  My original intent was to take the week off from blogging at my WordPress sites just as a mini-break, but in the process I ended up doing a lot more head-clearing than I'd expected.  A new way of approaching various things in my life (or as I'd been hinting, a return to an old way of approaching said things that makes a lot more sense to me).  This past week was a trial run to see if I could actively make it a real thing instead of yet another Best Laid Plan.

All in all, it went pretty well except for Wednesday night, in which A and I are woken up at almost exactly midnight by two young local policemen (about whom A commented that they looked young enough to be our kids).  Allegedly there had been a hit-and-run in the neighborhood in which a few local cars had been sideswiped by a possible DUI and the offending person may have entered our building.  Aside from not recognizing the car (which they'd shown A via their phone), life went on, and neither of us were able to get back to sleep until about 1am.  The both of us spent most of Thursday in a sleep-deprived loopy haze and multiple cups of coffee.  Thankfully we were back on the ball on Friday!

So what *did* I do creatively this past week?  Well, I'm glad to say that I've been consistent with getting some good solid words down for Meet the Lidwells, still averaging about 500-700 a day.  This is all first draft, pre-revision and pre-editing work, of course.  I'm a little nervous that I won't hit my hopeful deadline of mid-autumn for a release, but I think if I keep this up and not overwrite (an issue with the trilogy) I should be okay.  I'm already at 13k words and probably about 1/5 of the way done...this is going to be a short novel compared to my last three!

Also, I took the time to retune all my guitars -- the weather changes have detuned them all at least a half-step -- with the intention that I will pick up and play at least one of them once a day.   This is a change from my usual default, which is to pick up my electric and play it unplugged, which is all fine except that everything else is gathering dust.  I should also probably start using my little Danelectro HoneyTone mini-amp I bought recently at Tall Toad Music.

I may have even returned to the poetry, after deciding to drop it some six or seven months ago.  That may or may not have to do with the current administration, but it's also part of the creativity reboot I've been working on this week.

One last creative thing I must kickstart again:  the art.  I really need to start doodling and sketching again.  Finishing up the Trilogy Project really took a lot of time and energy out of me and it fell by the wayside for far too long.  I even got a nice case for all my art pens and pencils so they're not all hiding in forgotten nooks of my desk.  Really must make room for that again.

Thankfully, the weather has decided to turn gorgeous here in SF, with most of the morning fog burning off rather quickly and revealing lovely blue sky and warm temperatures.  We did our grocery shopping and went for a walk earlier (filling ourselves at the Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant for lunch).  We'll be going to the Symphony tonight to listen to some Mendelssohn and Schumann, and tomorrow I believe we'll be going to see a movie at the Vogue down the street.

Other than that, it's been a nice weekend so far.  Can't complain!

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I've been listening to stuff from 1991 all morning and am currently on Lenny Kravitz's Mama Said album from April of that year.  I've never been the biggest LK fan, but this particular album resonates with me.  I think it's because it's such a spot-on homage to 60s British psychedelia.  It's also that it was released during my sophomore year in college, which I think is probably when I was happiest during my college years.  Sure, I still had moments of being a miserable twat and still a bit of a naive idiot, but I'd also finally found a close and stable circle of friends (only two of whom I still have contact with at this time, but I digress...). 

Part of this optimism was because I'd really gotten sick of being that moody bastard that felt sorry for himself.  My long-distance relationship was kind of rocky at the time, very on-again off-again, and I'd gotten so exhausted by being the living embodiment of a Cure song that I needed to rectify that.  I was bored by the unrelenting pathos of my writing, and I was REALLY bored by my own irascibility, and I need a change, STAT.

A lot of that new energy was channeled into new writing projects.  The Infamous War Novel was set by the wayside for the time being so I could focus more on songwriting, practicing on my bass (and a dorm neighbor's acoustic guitar), smaller creative endeavors (mainly my Murph drawings and a hell of a lot of maps drawn in the margins of my notebooks), and my creative homework.  I was finally taking a few film production and writing classes, and though I would soon realize I was a better wielder of words than cameras, it was a blast to finally be experimenting with the visual medium.

Oh, and starting the summer of 1991, I'd stay in Boston instead of heading back home.  I'd be broke as fuck most of the time, but I still had my music and my writing!  And a really enjoyable day job at the school library that would keep me busy and entertained until I graduated.

This is the mood I'll be trying to mine while writing Meet the Lidwells.  I hope I can pull it off! :)

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...not that that's a problem.  Our local indie bookstore (Green Apple Books) is quite awesome and fun -- and they sell my e-books on their website! -- so it's quite worth it.  I bought this year's Bad Citizen Graffiti Stencil ("Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice" - Henry Louis Gates Jr), Michael Nesmith's new book (Infinite Tuesday) and the new Cory Doctorow (Walkaway), and A bought a number of things as well.

Lately I've been reading Peter Hook's Substance -- his book about being a part of New Order -- and it's quite an interesting read. Let's just say that I can summarize it into one sentence: Who the hell thought this was a good idea?  Between Hooky being "off his face" for most of the 80s (his phrase), the amount of illicit substances partaken by most of the people involved, and the fiances of both the band, the Hacienda night club they owned, and Factory Records (the label they were on), it's amazing how anything and anyone lasted as long as they did.  It's a hilariously told story, but it's also a story of what NOT to do businesswise, EVER.  Heh.

OH!  I finally officially started Meet the Lidwells the other night!  WOOT!  Yeah, I basically just did what I always do:  tell myself to STFU, stop finding ways to distract myself, and just WRITE THE DAMN THING.  Getting just a few hundred words the last few days, but hey, that's better than nothing. As long as it's going in the right direction, I'm happy with that.

Writing tunage lately has centered around the 1990-1991 era, aka my first couple of years in college and living in Boston.  A mix of latter post-punk, early Britpop, early grunge, and a bit of holdover 80s-style pop.  There's a lot fun music that came out around that time that gets pushed aside because of the bigger scenes that came before and after -- Jesus Jones and EMF, Dream Warriors and Naughty By Nature, 808 State and The Orb...not to mention Chris and I reviving the Flying Bohemians as a duo and writing some of our strongest songs at the time.  It's probably when I was the happiest during my college years as well.  That's the feel I want for The Lidwells' discography: full of positive energy, danceable and fun.


Hope everyone's having a good weekend! :)

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Yesterday A. and I went downtown to the March for Science.  This is the second time I've walked down a considerable length of Market Street from the Ferry Building down to City Hall.  Technically it's just over a mile, but it's up a very slight incline most of the way (going from the edge of the Bay inland) and at the speed of everyone else in front of me.  Not to mention a good hour standing at Justin Herman Plaza beforehand.  Or standing on a VERY slow and VERY packed N-Judah train.  And walking a few blocks to the bus stop to head home.  And that we got up and did our shopping today, at the speed of every other person in front of us (and leaving their cart dead center in the aisle, natch).  And walking over to Sakana Bune afterwards for a sushi lunch.

Suffice it to say, mah dogs is barkin' something fierce.  I'm even at the point where I don't want to do the laundry today, even though the machines are open at the moment.  [I usually do it Monday or Tuesday during Day Job hours anyway, when most everyone else in the building is out.]  I walked down the street for some coffee, and that's about as much as I'm doing physically for the rest of the day.

Writingwise, I've gotten caught up with outlining the original 750 outtakes for Meet the Lidwells and at this point I'm just filling in some gaps.  I had a lot of holes in the band's discography (which I'm using as the chronology anchor to the plot), not to mention the barest of endings in mind.  BUT!  I've gotten those squared away for the most part.  The only big thing I need to lay out is the timeline -- in particular, the ages of the band members, when the music was recorded, that sort of thing.  It's not set in stone, but it does make for better continuity.

In other writing stuff...as much as I'd love to pick up the 750 Daily Words again, now is not the right time.  At least not when I'm trying to get a new project off the ground.  It's annoying, yes, but I must be patient.  Once I get into the groove of the Lidwells project, then I'll be able to set aside some time and brainspace for it.  That doesn't mean I can't play around with some new ideas, though.  My hardback moleskine is starting to gather a bit of dust with the lack of stuff being put into it.  Again -- I just have to be patient.  Soon enough.

In the meantime, going to enjoy the lovely weather we've been having lately!  Slight breeze, but it's nice to be able to have the windows open to let in fresh air!  This is the time of the year when San Francisco has the nicest weather -- mid-60s, sunny and clear, slightly breezy.  Just how I like it. :)

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