Writing is a solitary occupation requiring intense concentration, large blocks of time, and all of one’s mental capacities. The trouble is, there are frequent interruptions and constant distractions.
...which explains my lack of productivity!
I have started to paint the room where I sit at computers. One could argue that this is not necessary, but I needed a way to avoid re-writing my next novel. I have a difficult time starting on the task, so need something to keep me busy. I hate to sit around and do nothing useful. I don’t have writer’s block; I have writer’s sloth. Three novels are waiting to finalized...
Useful is a word I have come to consider, because this is a theme of the children’s television show Thomas and Friends. This is based upon an English children’s book and is full on “preaching” about values and behavior.
I started painting, and I don’t mean the art form, as a child. I grew up in a country where most houses are made of wood and covered with wooded shingles. These need painting every few years. Not having the money to waste on a painter, my father did this. Because he could not climb a ladder, my brother and I ended up doing everything above ground level. One house had three stories, which meant quite a climb with a bucket of paint and brush in hand.
When I worked in jobs that required dealing each day with stupid people and having to listen to much hot air, I enjoyed physical labor in the house and garden. German houses are built more sturdily, require painting every 20 or 30 years, and must be done by specialists. I limited my painting to inside walls as a form of therapy. Unlike with talk, one sees what one has accomplished. Painting in Germany is easier, because the paints are water-based. The thing I hated about painting in my youth was cleaning up the oil-based painted with turpentine.
Every time I enter a bookstore, I have the same thought: the last thing this world needs is another book. And then, I wonder why anyone would want to read mine (if anyone even knew of their existence).
But, people keep churning out books to fill the shelves of bookshops and computers of ebook publishers. At some point in human history, I imagine the number of books will equal the number of people.
Despite knowing that my books will have little demand (unless I spend money on advertising), I continue to write what many would label as Trash Novels. The objective is not sales: I enjoy the process and it keeps my brain chugging along at higher paces than watching reality television shows would. Some might call this “self-indulgence”, because my pleasure is more important than other people’s approval.
There have been many instances in which I have had an inkling about some trait, only to learn that scientific evidence concurs. This does not prove intelligence, merely thought.
The latest example deals with writing. I write best with pen or pencil on paper. I have found that thought does not flow as well with a keyboard. I attributed this to slowness, but a recent article explains that different parts of the brain are at work with each style of writing.
Today was not a day to write. Today was a day of labor.
Still, I will bore you with the facts.
The Dancing School is being renovated; the old bar area is being torn out and something more modern, more bright, and more expensive will be erected.
I do not contribute much to the dancing school, because my presence would have a negative impact on the business. My main contribution is opening the door early in the morning for workers...or, occasionally, toiling in the garden, when no customers are around, because the women in the family tend to sleep late. My dislike of dancing is useful to my wife, which she uses anecdotally to entertain customers. Men, who have been dragged to dance class by wives, girlfriends, or mothers enjoy stories about my repulsion and (feigned) ineptitude. This is not unlike Phillis Diller’s use of Fang and Dame Edna’s “husband”.
Today, I arose at around six to be present to open the door for the men dismantling the old bar, tearing out old electrical connections. re-routing water and heating pipes, and cooling technicians unhooking useful connections.
Because an acquaintances died yesterday of a heart attack, my wife and daughter refused to allow me to lift a finger (which I still did: my heart is fine). Mostly, I watched and discussed changes.
Tomorrow is another day of opening the door...
As I baked in the sauna, after an afternoon spent preparing the garden for winter and raking leaves, I thought of the first sentence I wrote in my initial attempt to write a novel (which ultimately became Flying's Easy, after many years, lots of neglect, and countless revisions).
The heat of the sauna felt good, after spending the afternoon raking leaves.
I wanted to introduce the narrator and provide background, so an old man reminisced about his life, with the focus on his years in Asia, time as a pilot in Vietnam, and how he had obtained his wealth.
I do not recall when that sentence was dropped. At some point, an old man’s memories seemed like an unworkable vehicle for the story I ultimately fabricated. Raking leaves made no sense. The novel became more about chance and choice, as well as the complex nature of each. Almost every aspect of the story had to be imagined, because nothing resembled anything I had experienced.
Free will might be a subject for philosophers, real writers, and priests, but I find this to be compelling and real. Most human laws are immutable, but that does not mean that one cannot avoid notice, consequences, or punishment. The hero has it easier, because he is not demanding institutions to change or laws be changed: he is merely avoiding confrontation. The only way for him to find out if he can get away with his crimes is to commit them. The stakes are high, but his risks are low. He does not realize this, but his greatest attribute are lack of excess soul-searching and sense of entitlement to undeserved enrichment and happiness. None of that needs a guy raking leaves...
If anyone missed me yesterday, I was clued to my computer finalizing the next novel. I know many can't hardly wait...
Having written and re-written the bloody thing so many times, I have almost memorized all 300 pages. Proof-reading is always difficult, because you do not notice minor mistakes. The only way to successfully (hopefully) complete this task is to read the damn thing from back to front. This process is slow, but that’s the purpose of the exercise: to focus on each word and every bit of punctuation.
Sorry, but I do not have time for this worthless blog...
Did anyone miss something about politics, politicians, or government—whether humorous or not?
I didn't think so. I certainly did not reading any of the garbage I usually share with unsuspecting readers. Even the funny bits can be depressing, because the best satire contains a bit (or a whole bunch) of truth. I prefer to stick my head in the sand and doubt that my life will change for not knowing. When the shooting starts, I will notice and keep my head down.
Unfortunately, several of the best writers touch on political topics. I enjoy their writing, even if I deplore the subject. One must take the bad with the good…if wants to find any good.
I have never read a book classed as erotica. I could not define this genre or name a single title (except maybe the latest sensation, Shades of Gray, which I think might be one, but am not sure, because I know only that many copies have been sold and many headlines have been featured).
Therefore, the headline of the following article caught my attention and piqued my interest. Perhaps, in reading this, I could learn something.
To my great surprise, I was entertained, because this provides information packed as satire. This is my kind of humor. Even if you do not care about erotica or erotics or whatever, this is a funny read. No erotic novel can be as entertaining.
NB. The two comments below the piece were written by very stupid people...which adds to the entertainment value.
I have no excuse for not writing something interesting, entertaining, or whatever, but I do have plenty of reasons.
Most of my "creative" juices were drained working in the next addition to my Best-Kept Secrets Collection. The title is Hell is Other People. I have started early this year, but still might not finish until Christmas. This will make a perfect gift to not give people.
I wrote the first draft one weekend in July 1998 and completed a rough copy during a trip to Japan. I have revisited this manuscript (almost) countless times since then. Instead of perfecting the novel, I often fear that I am revising it to death.
This was the first novel I ever wrote from beginning to end, so I feel a certain commitment. One does not set children into the world without raising them properly...or at least raising them.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.