Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Episode #102: Gluttony Is A Writer's Sin Of Major Proportions

Greetings and Salutations to one and all!

The picture of a star is in direct response to hearing Christmas music while grocery shopping this past Sunday {11/7}, as I needed something decidedly non-Christmas, IMO, to counteract this serious breach of holiday protocol.

Anyways, on to the topic of the day: gluttony.

The traditional sense of the word means, in very crass terms, porking out at the proverbial dinner table {something that I often did in my younger days, to my now adult dismay}. In the non-traditional sense of the word, it means consistently starting new projects while you have others in various stages of completion patiently waiting to cross that finish line.

I already have two manuscripts completed that have gone through two rounds of editing each and are waiting for me to make my next move. The next move for them probably won't happen until the Spring 2022. The next move for me was to find something to occupy my time again.

Don't know about you, but lately I've been feeling kind of rudderless when I'm in between projects, especially being retired and all that stuff. So I decided to revert back to when I had lots of energy and gumption for my writing. Back then, I used to do all kinds of writing because I had so much creative energy to burn.

But, like with all issues since early July '21, is trying to find projects to work on. Everything is all scattered helter skelter in our seriously deconstructed basement. I lucked out on the first project because everything got waterlogged and had to move everything to the dining room. I lucked out on the 2nd because the basement wasn't completely deconstructed yet.

The 3rd required some searching since everything was deconstructed, and after finding a couple of possibles, I was able to find a challenging suitable: 50% already re-written and 50% needing to be re-written, and all of it mind-numbingly cringey. Every. Single. Page.

And of course, it has no title and the bare military grade minimum for a dual plotline. So yeah, lots of fun with this one. And just to give you an idea on how long this was last touched, apparently the red ink I used for making editing notes back then has now turned to a light umber.


So yeah, fun times ahead, especially trying to figure out how to get plot #1 (which I think I still remember) to plot #2, which is a funeral. Not sure why I though writing about a funeral would be a solid plot line to work with, but this should be interesting read/work on.

So gluttony can be a good thing as a writer, especially if you have an unlimited amount of creative energy to burn off. Prepping can be good, but over prepping can eventually drive you sane.

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 18, 2021

Episode #101: When Having A Title Doesn't Work

<---This is what happens when you really don't care about respecting town property. 

Note: This was sand blasted a few years later and is now clean with reflectors screwed on to ensure safe driving.

I really couldn't think of a proper title for the post, which can be chalked up to the changing of the guard at the blog. Gone are the days of being in the 40 to 49 age bracket when one {with the help of being gainfully employed} could find humor in things and easily write about them with a heaping degree of confidence.

Instead, we are now residing in the mellowing upper end of the Medieval age bracket of 50 to 59, where one tries to make sense of things to a large degree, and often leans on the shoulders of their children for explanations when he doesn't understand something and needs clarification.

This is not one of those times, but simply circling back {see the memes about Psaki} to the previous paragraph about the changing of the guard {not Right, that is}. Today is simply a hodgepodge of bullet point updates about things going on. Plus, I need to keep on my minimum bi-monthly blog posting.

1} Writing: I've finished the first round of edits on my latest re-write project. Funnily enough, I was able to come up with a new tentative title of "My Soul Has Been Captured". I was also able to double the amount of chapters (17 from 8) and get the word count down to 43k+. So now the next step is applying those 116 pages of edits and reprinting the thing out again to go through yet another round of editing. Yay me!

2} Family: The family is doing quite well. Son is settling down to married life quite well, having just celebrated his two year anniversary. Daughter is somewhat back on a semi-skewered path of personal fulfillment. She has a good job in retail, a permanent boyfriend and has made concrete plans for restarting her college education, as well as moving out. The wife is doing good, as well as mother.

3} Me: In general, I'm doing good. Retirement is suiting me quite well presently. I'm still hitting my daily goal of 6k steps/2.5 miles, which is going on 507 consecutive days (basically started in earnest Memorial Day weekend 2020). As with the first update, I've been keeping myself busy with my writing, or rather, my re-writing, and basically my self quarantining with my walking and dealing as minimally as possible with the general public. I'm about as stress-free and relaxed as humanly possible these days and I'm enjoying every single minute of it.

So that's where things stand presently: enjoying retirement, my daily walks, being a small nuisance on FB from time to time, but not so much that I get put into FB jail for speaking things that they don't want to hear, and steadily working on my writing to the point where I'm getting actual enjoyment out of it.

And that is all you can want out of life, which is to enjoy it to the best of your ability.

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Episode #100: A Blogging Milestone And You Better Not Say That

Oh happy, happy days are upon us. The weather is starting to turn just a tiny bit cooler and we've settled down to a good routine of being alone while being together.

With that being said, today's post is a kind of two-fer, so we'll just begin at the beginning.

This is post #100. In blogging's heyday, this was really a nothing milestone, as people were hitting this sometime before the 2Q had gotten out of 2nd gear. Lately though, with blogging being on the downside of importance to those who casually blog, like myself, it actually does become a milestone of sorts.

Think about it, It has taken me until the very beginning of the 4Q to hit that milestone, while in years past, I would #100 for a given year in three to five months. But be that as it may, getting to 100 is a remarkably achievement for a blogger whose output is now down to roughly five to six posts per month. So three cheers and a yellow oversized frog for me.

Back in the day, I used to participate in a monthly blog hop sponsored by the IWSG, a phenomenal writer's group for anyone who is, or is thinking about  becoming, a writer. I say used to, because for the past year or so, my blogging has been erratic enough that participating wasn't a doable thing anymore. But I still stay subscribed to their wonderful newsletter.

For this month, their optional question, and I'm paraphrasing here, was to the effect of "are there any topics or language that you will simply not include in your writing at all?"

For me, this is a weird two part answer.

In regards to topic, the usual suspects that you see in most website's T&C are pretty much verboten in my stories (and blogging for that matter) as well. I do write about violence {mild to hardcore like you see on t.v. shows/movies} as it pertains to a given scene in a given story, but beyond that, common sense does dictate that you really don't write stuff like that. I do have a slushie manuscript about serial killers that will never, ever see the light of day, simply because I'm not that stupid to make that attempt.

Language is a bit more problematic. As most of you know, I am in my mid-50's, so a large portion of the woke/p.c. nonsense that permeates today's world simply did not exist while growing up. When I was a child, it was common sense in my household and in general that you simply didn't use racial epithets.

Also, hyphenated americanism, like you see in excess today, really didn't exist. If you proud of your heritage, you said so. No more and no less.

Certain words back them didn't really have the exaggerated "hurtfulness" that people like to assign to them today. In my day, one of the F words that was bandied about was used extensively w/o really knowing about the actual meaning of the word. The insulting version of the word superseded the known definitions {e.g. bundle of twigs, slang for a cigarette}. The "r" word that was backed then also was the musical term for slowing the tempo, a valid medical diagnoses that is sill used. and as a term to slow things down in general.

You get the basic idea.

So for the most part, most of those words don't make it into my writings because I have no need for them in my writings. Trust me, you can get eloquent with your insults without resorting to crass words, with very minimal effort.

The only issue that people seem to have that I can tell, is using certain descriptors to describe someone's ethnicity. In today's overly hyper vigilant/woke atmosphere, people can and do take offense at certain descriptors. What was acceptable and permissible back in my day, is apparently not acceptable nor permissible now. Which I find a bit hypocritical. I mean, if someone actually described themselves as such, would you personally get overly upset about it? Sadly, in today's world, some people do (see stories about North Korean defectors having issues at American collages for liking certain "unapproved" white authors) get extremely upset and not take in the whole picture.

Suffice to say, the preceding paragraph has resulted in a particularly long cooling off period in one of the groups I participate in. When I do come back, I will probably change the way I participate in the group. I'm not a fan of censorship, unless I apply it to myself (which I have on numerous occasions), and my usual response has been to go scorched earth. This time, we decided to walk away and cool off. Life is too short to get upset over words, and honestly, if you're getting upset over a word(s) what's that say about you as a person?

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 27, 2021

Episode #99: What Do I Say When It's All Been Said?

<---Amazing what you can find when you suddenly remember you have Google everything in your life.

I've been retired for almost a year now (November 1, 2020), and I've never realized just how hard it's been to come up with interesting snippets of my life to blog about. 

Considering how many posts I've written in the past 13+ years (about 1500 give or take), this says a lot. But ever since the man made you-know-what (no, this isn't a conspiracy but a fact of life that MSM does not want to admit), my life has become depressingly (at times) predictable.

It wasn't always like this. I actually had some worthwhile, time-consuming, soul enhancing (for me at least) projects lined up: writing, rearranging my den, moving my c.d.collection to my den from the bedroom and whatever else I could find to occupy my time. So I actually got to work on my writing at the end of 2020 (reworked a now unpublished e-book) with the goal of publishing it in 2021.

But as the new year rolled around, things began to change, so to speak. I made some tweaks to a few personal and cyber relationships. Decided to hardcore self-quarantine, and by doing that, fell into that self-sufficient/auntie social state of mind which never really went away. I did my twice daily walks, usually keeping to my end of town instead of exploring other sections (that is my intent for 2022 though); chilled on YT and FB (actually cut FB back to about twice a day for fifteen to twenty minutes a clip); ran an optional errand or two (usually banking); writing while listening to instrumental music (this was/is a very recent occurrence ever since I had to temporarily relocate to the dining room).

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The only real change to this routine was the fact that I wasn't really doing  any "original" writing, only massive re-writes of either previously published stuff or unpublished completed manuscripts (yes, I do have P.T. Barnum's Jumbo Elephant in my basement patiently waiting for me). So far, I have one completed rewrite, including a new title that actually makes sense. That was the one that was ruined by a mini-flood in the basement that was not caused by the great outdoors, but by massive plumbing leak in the kitchen (this was determined by the basement guy that we had come to visit the other day).

The other I've been chipping away at, writing about 500 words per day, give or take, with lots of breaks for hand fatigue. So far I have roughly 8 chapters completed (have been splitting the old chapters in two to make it more digestible), which I'm very happy about, and also came up with a brand new (albeit temporary) title, which I'm also happy about.

Basically though, this is my how my current life is: very rock steady and just a little bit redundant.

So, it looks like I'm going have to retool and give serious thought about what I need to change what my posts should now be about. Wish me luck.

{c} 2021 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved