Had another great writing day yesterday. I’m hopeful for another repeat performance again today, but I’m not sure if it’ll happen or not. Why?
My favorite daughter had volley ball practice (two 2 hour sessions).
I’ll be doing an interview.
I have a major release for work tonight.
I need to get things ready for camping this weekend.
If I can squeeze in a little writing time, I’ll be happy. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Who knows. I do need to get a new Unorthodox Writing Tips written and up. I had written five weeks worth some time back and those have run out. I need to take a fiction break and write a few more so I don’t have to stress about those. I need to get a couple book reviews out. Speaking of reviews…
Recently I had listened to Rendezvous with Rama. It’s a great concept, but he story is told with large data dumps and paper cut-outs of characters. The only real substance is the actual concept. So I’m onto Rama II. I remember reading this book when I was younger (I think 15 or 16) and I had liked it at the time. I’m listening to it on audio now. I’m a couple hours in an… nothing has happened yet. When I say nothing I mean there was a nearly 45 minute data dump on the Earth’s history to get us to that point in the story. Based on my experience this is most likely what Clarke added to the story. He’s great at data dumps and huge amounts of ‘telling’ a story. So far I don’t like any of the characters. There seems to be a great attempt to make them more than what they are. I’m bored with it. Seriously bored. To the point where I most likely won’t finish the story and I doubt I’ll continue on into books 3 and 4.
If you’ve made it through Rama II and the subsequent books, am I giving up too soon? Should I skip ahead? Will the books get any better? I hate books that dump information and drag the story on. So far 100% of what I’ve gotten through so far has added nothing to the story so I feel I’ve wasted my time. This book is suffering from bloat.
Sorry, just had to rant there for a moment. I think I’ll move on to another book before this one lulls my brain to sleep and starts to affect my writing.
Little tangent there. Sorry about that.
Oh, some curious news. I saw I had gotten a couple of hits when I mentioned Jay Lake in a post. My post about censorship. To his post today over at (http://www.jlake.com/blog/) he mentions a post he might not put up or will be censoring. This after I noticed someone came to my page after searching on Jay Lake. Curiouser and curiouser. Did Mr. Lake find my post? The world may never know.
HEY! Quick maintenance question. I have everything set up so if you are subscribed to the blog via email and reply to the email you get it should be adding a comment to the blog. That doesn’t not seem to be happening. If you’re getting these posts via email and have replied, I’ve never seen it and it didn’t post a comment to the blog. If you know how to fix this, please get a hold of me and let me know. I’ve already looked online and everything suggested to have checked in the options I’ve done. So color me confused.
I’ve got work to do and duck pictures to download.
There comes a time when people need to learn about censorship. I’m not talking about networks bleeping out the naughty words on The Soup. I’m talking about people who “put it all out there” and will rant and rave ad nauseum. I know I have a tendency to ramble from time to time, but I’m not going into TMI mode and telling you about my bodily functions, the weird lump I found on my leg, or any number of ailments I might be suffering from. Sure I’ll tell you when I’ve a headache from my sinuses filling due to foul weather, but I’m not going to go on and on about what’s happening to me physically. That’s not where you’re here for.
You’re here for the ducks and I know it. (soon enough)
When I write, there are certain topics I won’t touch just because I’m not comfortable writing about those topics. That’s just how I’m wired. I might talk about these things with my friends, I might read about them, I might watch youtube videos about comedians talking about those topics, but it’s like roller coasters. Just because I enjoy them doesn’t mean I’m going to go and build one. I enjoy a lot of the media I take in, but when it comes to the work I produce I have an internal censor that won’t let me write certain things.
Am I afraid my mom would be embarrassed if her son wrote erotica? If you read my mother’s day post you know my mom can make sailors blush so no, that’s not a reason.
Am I shy? No, not really. If you’ve ever met me you know I’m not shy about going up and talking to almost anyone. That certainly isn’t my problem.
Am I a prude? Oh, if you saw my reading shelf you’d find Rigor Amortis on there. No, I’m not a prude. (I will review this book one day soon)
Am I just too weak to write about those topics? Heavens no. I don’t look at avoidance of a topic as being weak.
I think it boils down to having a different vision for my work as a whole and though some topics might entertain some people, I just have no desire to write them. When I’m done with a story I look at where it went and it tells the story I want to tell. It doesn’t plumb the depths of what I choose to avoid. My mind censors itself and only the story comes out. It’s nothing that I consciously avoid, it just doesn’t happen in my stories. I don’t have sex, I don’t have swearing. Those things, for me, just have no place in the stories I’m telling. If ever I felt a story I was working on needed something like that, I don’t know if I’d tell that story at all. Like I said, I do see a place for that, but not in my work.
When I write a story I like to think that anyone could read it and get something different from it. I try to add layers in there and when you read there’s more than just what you’re looking at on the top of it all. So if you’re a younger reader, you can enjoy the tale as told. If you’re an older reader and follow along with the many plot lines you’ll see certain threads that will lead you down a path and make you wonder where I’m going with all of this.
When it comes to what you read on these pages or in one of my short stories or even in my novels, my internal censor is busy at work making sure that I don’t produce something that can’t be consumed by anyone. V&A Shipping is about an inter-galactic beer run, yet has been calling “mini-van safe”. That’s just how I roll. I want you to be able to come here and be confident that I’m not going to suddenly have this rant that will make you wonder why you came here in the first place.
I had a point to all of this (and not just the on the top of my head). I guess I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts lately and some of them delve into topics I just wouldn’t delve into and others take on topics of controversy that I don’t feel I need on this site. John Skalzi did this with a post and eventually had to turn off the comments to his blog post because of all the internet trolls posting comments that he got tired of removing. Sure this brought in a lot of traffic to his site, but at what cost? Did he gain a new reader from all of that? To that end, had Jay Lake gained new readers with his in depth chronicling of his cancer?
I don’t know.
Will I gain new readers and followers when I don’t post topics that are overly personal or extreme in the controversy they could cause?
I don’t know.
Time will tell.
That is not to say that I won’t have a thought provoking post from time to time. I mean, ducks can really get the wheels turning.
Yesterday a couple of interesting things happened. If you’ve been on the web or follow those that I follow you’ll have seen the Tu-Pac holographic performance with Snoop Dogg. Now I’m not into Rap, hip-hop, Gangsta or anything like that, but seeing the video of Tu-Pac on stage years after his death fascinated me.
Then this morning Jay Lake put out his daily post talking about writing and comparing writing to learning to drive. I was going to be typing up an Unorthodox Writing Tip doing just that same. Great minds think alike I guess. I will still write up that UWT, but I will have a slightly different take on it.
Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. We’ll be heading over there and then off to my favorite daughter’s volleyball practice. Getting in my word count today will be a challenge. But it’ll be a great time. We used to live around the corner from them. Now it’s about a 20 minutes drive. It used to be that 20 minute drive to my favorite daughter’s school. Now we’re around the corner from her school, but further away from the in-laws. We’re saving a lot on gas, but there is less time at the in-laws’. My favorite daughter used to go over there every Wednesday after school to spend time with her Abuelos and her cousins.
Speaking of writing goals, I did hit my goal yesterday. I shifted my focus on my daily word count. Now my daily blog posts no longer count to my daily word goal. They will count toward my annual word count, but not the daily word count. For that I’m only going to count my fiction words. Yesterday I got in my 1200+ words and it felt great. I had been slacking on the word count numbers because I would see that I’d hit my goal and stop for the day. Last night I hit my goal and for the day I had over 2200 words, but that’s because I had a very long blog post.
I’m going to keep the word count spread sheet like this for the time being and see how it goes. This should help me focus more on fiction rather than these blog posts. I can type these up on auto drive. They’re easy to do, but I need to write more fiction. A lot more fiction. So expect to see many more words and works from me in the coming months. If I can help it, I’ll be even more productive than before.
I still have edits to do on Jack Kane, and I will be getting those hammered out as soon as I’m able. I have a couple pieces to finish and then I’ll get back into those. I’ve let them sit. Shame on me. That story needs to get cleaned up and sent out. I think it’ll do well once it gets into the real world.
Speaking of the real world…