Wednesday, April 02, 2014

So How's the Book Going, Part 4

I have not made any advances in my Sherlock Holmes book since I posted about my problems last month. (And, good golly, it wound up being the only blog post for March 2014.)

I did start reading Publishing Ebooks for Dummies, which I consider a good first step to get back on track, even if no one else does.

Problems have multiplied which has prevented me from continuing work on the manuscript, which include but unfortunately not limited to:

  • Deterioration of Mom's health. I'm spending more and more of my time needing to care for her -- which means I have less time to write. I have considered writing while she's asleep, but I have an unfortunate tendency to fall asleep at these times, too.
  • Deterioration of my mental health. Hey -- I spend my days watching my beloved mother fall apart. That plays hell with your headspace. Most days I just can't find a damn to give.
  • Deterioration of my bank account. The big problem is that when I write on the Sherlock Holmes manuscript, I am not writing for paying clients. Earlier this year, I devoted nearly two months to getting most of the first draft done. I still have been unable to make up for that time of not making any money.
I do intend to finish this book (someday) as my Muse seems to have returned from his winter break. For now, it's difficult to find the time to work on material that will not give me some moolah in less than a month's time. Unfortunately, that also means that I have less time to devote to this blog, since I do not make money off of it.

See you when I see you.

What About Peter Gabriel?

If you've come here looking for Peter Gabriel news, I apologize. PG is still planning on attending the ceremonies for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tickets are apparently still available for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in New York City, but I have not been able to find prices, so I assume they are out of the financial reach of 99.9% of humanity. He wanted to donate the original Genesis costumes to the Hall of Fame, but as he'd ignored them since 1982, it's not so surprising for fans to discover that the costumes rotted away.

PG has also cryptically said that something is being planned to celebrate the release of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, which was released in November of (gasp) 1974. Since PG cannot keep a promise to save his life, I really wouldn't bank on anything happening on this "celebration" except for a colorful post on PG's Facebook page.

The best way to find the latest PG news is to go to Google News and enter "peter gabriel" in the search bar.

In the meantime, here's a rather over the top trailer for the concert film of Back to Front:


Sunday, March 02, 2014

So, How's the Book Going, Part 3

How's the book going? Currently, it's not. Sometime in January I caught the flu and it just started to say bye-byes last week. In all of that time, I hadn't been able to take the dogs for a walk. (I can't remember how many storms we had in that time.) So, finally, last Monday, I got to take the dogs out on a walk.

It was great.  It was invigorating.  It was so gratifying to see the two wagging tails in front of me.

And then I hit the ice.  I thought it was slush. It was solid ice.  I fell flat on my back, skinned the palms of my hands and hit the back of my head.  Welcome to Concussionville.

So working on the book was put on the shelf for another week.

I did try to write a chapter while in the first throes of the flu.  Bad idea.  I've taken a peek at that and now realize that all of it will have to be rewritten.  Sherlock Holmes, the main character, suddenly turned into Hannibal Lecter (who is not a part of the book.)  I really want this book to stay true to Holmes' character.  This means lots of rewriting. Oh, joy.

Which I'm not looking forward to doing. And oh, hey -- there's yet another snowstorm on it's way, expected to hit late this afternoon.

Maybe I'll suddenly hear my Muse again in the spring. At the moment, I think he's in Cancun.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy 64th Birthday to Peter Gabriel!

I'd spend some time to write about this, but I'm still recovering from the flu. As always, here is the photo I stick up here on this blog every 13 Feb. And no, I didn't send a gift this year.  Hell, he's getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, so what else does he need?  Obviously nothing I could provide.



Saturday, January 25, 2014

So, How's the Book Going, Part 2

On Monday, I went to my primary care doctor for my annual checkup.  The waiting room was full of folks with the flu.  By Wednesday, I had the flu and still have it.  Apparently my muse fears that I am contagious and has stayed away most of the week.  I was able to rewrite problematic parts of 2 chapters, but other than that, nada.

And I do really miss having my muse take up my head space.  Life is definitely much better when I  can write in the book.  I do occasionally wonder if Sherlock  Holmes somehow  takes over  my personality as I write.  Actors sometimes get so deeply into their parts that their characters possess them.  This happened to the best actor to ever portray Sherlock  Holmes, Jeremy Brett.  He would look into a mirror and wondered aloud why Jeremy Brett was looking back at him.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't mind being possessed if means that I could get the bills paid on time.  It is possible that this book will never get published properly.  So far, it looks like the best I can do is get it published as an e-book (which means I have to fork out a substantial amount of my non-existent money) and then if it sells a few thousand copies, bring it to the attention of publishing houses specializing in Sherlockian novels, like Titan Books.

And then again, there's the notion that I'll wind up like Emily Dickinson.  Great poet -- but couldn't get a damn thing published until she was dead.

On that happy note, I wish you adieu until next time. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

So, How's the Book Going?

A month or so ago, I announced that I had started a book tentatively titled Not the New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  It's clawing it's way out of me bit by bit.  I'm losing weight which I assume is a good thing, since I was a fat cow before I started this book.  I  now have 13 chapters and a prologue, but I think the final chapter at the end of Part I is going to need a total rewrite. Oh, joy.

I've read so many books on how to write books that I thought I knew what I was doing.  Now I don't harbor such illusions.  I haven't a clue as to what I'm doing.  For example, successful authors like Stephen King advise that writers write their complete first draft as quickly as they can, stick it in a drawer for two weeks, and THEN go back to fix any mistakes.

I just can't do that.  Perhaps I'm too anal.  I don't know.  It's just that those mistakes get into my head and in front of my eyes and I can't write another damn word until I go back and fix the damn thing.  This puts me behind schedule.  I was hoping to finish the first draft by May, but that's probably not going to happen. 

And then there's my muse.  I've told you about my muse before.  He's a cranky bastard.  He hasn't a clue as to how a mystery book is to be written and he really doesn't give a damn.  He won't keep regular hours and when he does it's usually from about 10 pm to 3 in the morning.  Now, the way you are supposed to write a mystery book is to figure out the crime first (motive, whodunit and how he or she hides the facts) and then fill in the rest.  So, you really need to write the story backwards.

However, that approach ain't flying with my muse.  He wants to tell the story in the way he found out the facts.  I also tell him that I  need to somehow have time to write non-fiction articles and  promote them online in  order to make money so I afford to argue with my imaginary muse.

But if you start to argue, he goes away in a snit for three days.  You just can't argue with a muse because you never win.  No wonder I'm so damn tired all of the time.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes Demotival Posters Returns

Happy new year (almost.)  New year means new demotivational posters.  Enjoy and have a stress-free new year.




Monday, December 30, 2013

My Muse is a Stern Taskmaster

I'm 44 years old.  I've always wanted to have a book published.  I think I even wanted that when I was in the womb.  But wanting something and getting what you want are two entirely different things.  I've tried writing many manuscripts and something always went wrong with every single one.  My biological clock is ticking, except I want a book and not a baby.

The best part of writing is when you can hear the characters speak to you.  The words appear on the page and you have barely any concept of writing or typing them.  Hours fly by and you feel more and more awake as words go onto the page.

I have made money as a writer.  I basically get paid to summarize very long chunks of information for the general public.  Writing a novel is much different. 

But it's much easier when you have a Muse.  The Muse helps you complete the work.  Although I am an atheist, I do believe I have a Muse.  And he's a stern taskmaster.  He starts talking about 8pm and won't shut up for another 10 hours, whether I need to sleep or not.  He just talks and talks and if I'm sleepy enough I see him in my hypnagogic dreams.  He sends me brief flashes of his story, like mailing me snapshots.

My Muse is Sherlock Holmes, but I'm only allowed to call him Mr. Holmes -- well, his parents named him Sherlock Holmes.  This  photo of Jeremy Brett is what my Muse looks like.  He's a very hard man to ignore.  He does, however, fall abruptly silent when something urgent happens in the house -- the dog needs to go outside, Mom needs her dinner or someone knocks at the door.

I've now completed a prologue and seven chapters.  I'm doing it on Microsoft Word for now because that's the program I'm most used to.  Right now, all of the chapters are in separate documents stored in a folder with the novel's working title, Not the New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  I suppose I'll have to format the whole thing differently if I want to publish it as an e-book or submit it to a traditional publishing house.

I just wish he'd change his working hours so I can work in the day and sleep at night.  Oh well -- I guess no Muse is perfect.