Thursday, September 23, 2010

Old, New, Different and Broken

Today I finished my latest revision of Blackheart Chapter 13 and sent it off to the Scribblerati for feedback. I’m excited because this marks my crossing over into the last half of my book both page and chapter-wise for this revision. Slightly over-half way there. Whew. I’m a happy guy.

I’m taking a six-week “book-in-a-month” workshop from the Loft
So far it is going well, so well it nearly brought me to tears today (well, almost. I can’t say why, it would be a “spoiler”). It’s a good workshop so far with lots of other interesting, talented fellow writers. I’m mostly happy about the volume of material I’m producing. 6500 words in the last 8 days. My goal for class is 50,000 words, or in the words of Ann Lamott, one shitty first draft.
(I’d even be happier yet if it’s a good first draft). We’ll see how it goes.
Here’s my rough premise of my second novel I’m calling SUNLIGHT (so far):
Job, a police officer, races to deliver a military secret across post-apocalyptic, rural Minnesota, avoiding the nocturnal, undead creatures that stole his family.

Another cool thing about this class is that it has reminded me of three things:
1) If you are going to write you need to allot some time and make it a priority
2) If you set a goal you might actually reach it, and—
3) It’s good to sometimes evaluate where you are wasting time. For the duration of this class I decided to give up online poker. Online poker is something I’m pretty good at. I’ve won a couple tournaments and have won over a million dollars in fake-chips. My official title is “Champion”—But—I’ve also wasted weeks of free time playing it (a few minutes at a time) for nothing other than fun. No more. I’ve gone cold turkey.

SEGWAY… or time to try something completely different
So this week my wife and I decided to go on a Segway tour. You know, Segway, the two-wheeled devices that were supposed to revolutionize all human transportation? Yeah. Right.
It was kinda fun, mostly, and something different—which I think is also an important part of being a writer—living, trying something new, avoiding ruts, trying to look for new perspectives. If I don’t live and experience new things, even in simple ways, how can I truly bring my characters alive in my writing?
The problem with trying something new is that sometimes you get hurt. That is an experience, too, I suppose. Now I will know how to write a character with a broken arm. I’ve also come to appreciate just how useful a second arm is for say, tying a pair of shoes.
For you see, when riding a Segway, that is based on following your body’s motions to decide which way to go, it is bad form to make a sudden movement southward on an eastbound Segway. What I learned, to make a long story short, is that if you do such a thing, gravity and cement, even at low speeds can be unforgiving. My left arm is now splinted and my typing speed has been cut in half for the immediate future.
The funny thing is that the day after I had this accident one of my co-workers told me, “You can’t fall off a Segway.” My arm and this video say otherwise:
(My accident is best recreated by the chimp. We had the same color helmet.)
Someone told me even Obama has fallen off a Segway and there have even been some deaths from falls off these harmless looking devices. That being said I’d do it again sometime—but I’d pay more attention and might bring my elbow-pads.
Now to mend…


Jon said...

I've always said Segways are bad... Feel better, Mark.

Can't wait to read the new book!

Anonymous said...

Yes, in life new choices and adventures can sometimes lead to unexpected events. I admire your spirit of discovery and promise to make a batch of get-well soup this weekend to speed your healing. Also I vow to not be a distracted Segway driver - thus causing other Segway drivers to crash in order to avoid hitting me.

As always, your biggest fan! :)

Lisa said...

This just in. Segway company owner apparently dies in a Segway accident.

Check it out: