Writing and Baseball

Got three pages into the novel and one into the story.  So, novel, page 96 and 20,409 words. Story, page 4 and 584 words.

Just finished watching the USA-Venezuela game. It’s hard to root for USA when two of my favorite MLB players are playing for Venezuela. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. But at least we have Jim Leyland and Ian Kinsler on team USA.

USA got in some runs in the bottom of the 8th. The game ended with Venezuela 2 and USA 4.

 

 

Just a writing update

Been slow going on the projects. I’m 86 pages into the novel now and 18,072 words. I also started a new short story today. Got 134 words into that. The new short will be a contemporary political-suspense.

I spent most of the day at mom and dad’s. We ordered Chinese. My fortune says “You are careful and systematic in your business arrangements.”

After the Burn

I know some people are offended by my last blog entry. But a lot of people are sharing  stuff that gets under my skin. I try to ignore it, but sometimes it gets to me. I don’t expect anyone is going to stop sharing things I don’t like. I think it’s reasonable that I might respond in a way they don’t like. I shouldn’t have to sit quiet while others spout things that bother me.

That last entry is not directed at anyone in particular. I posted it on my website and crossposted it to Facebook and JAD. I want to get it out to as many people as possible. Even so,  I reckon some people are taking it personally. That’s understandable. I take a lot of their stuff personally, even when it’s not directed at me.

What a Bunch of Chickens

I give up. I can’t sit quiet. I tried to avoid these topics, for my own peace and because I have issues controlling my temper. Plus, no one listens to me, so why bother? But, I can’t ignore these things either, so I’m going to say what I will when I feel the need to, instead of trying to hold it in.

A lot of people are trying their damnedest to convince you that Muslims want nothing more than to destroy everyone who does not follow Islam. There are Muslims who would love to see all non-Muslims dead. You bet your ass, there are.

And you know what? Just like Christians, there are a lot of Islamic bigots in the world who are probably not what you would call extremists, but who have a fear and dislike of Christians and other non-Muslim people. That doesn’t mean they will attack you, but they might have offensive things to say about you. It’s no different than how a lot of Christian bigots have such things to say about Muslims.

It’s that way with every religion (or non-religious group) on the planet. There are people everywhere who dislike other groups for whatever reason. These people are cowards. They live in fear of what they don’t understand. They want to keep the unfamiliar away because they think the unfamiliar is a threat. In other words, they’re paranoid.

But at the same time, there are just as many brave people in every group, whether religious or not, who are willing to meet with the unfamiliar and friend it. Be one of the brave people. Cowardice is generally frowned on. Don’t be a small-minded simplistic. Explore beyond your usual propaganda and find the good people in whatever group it is you fear.

Any document, article, video or whatever that tries to make you fear an entire group is propaganda. The purpose of this propaganda is to fuel your fear and hatred for whatever group you don’t understand.

There was a time when I thought Muslims were evil, but then I saw how wrong I was. It’s ridiculous to make blanket statements that cover entire religions.

On Writing, by Stephen King

I read Stephen King‘s On Writing twice before. The first time was probably in 2003 and the second time would have been in 2006. Now that I have more experience in the business of writing and have a better understanding of the things King talks about in On Writing , I decided to give it another read.

I approach my writing projects pretty much the same way Stephen King approaches his. Like King, I usually don’t draw up an outline before I begin work on a project. I like to start the story and let it go wherever it wants.

King repeats a few times in On Writing, “the story is the boss.” I agree with that. It works for me. Other writers might use outlines and steer their characters like cars, and it probably works fantastic for them. That’s fine. Whatever works for you is great.

There are other things that King and I agree on, like story morals (Sometimes there’s a moral, sometimes there’s not, and so what?) and symbols (If there happens to be symbols, they might be lifted, but if not, that’s fine.). Stories do not require morals and symbols to be good stories. Stephen King and I would agree, anyway.

I don’t agree with everything King says in this book, but a lot of it is pretty similar to my own practices and believes about writing. Unlike some other writers you might meet, King admits that he screws up sometimes and I appreciate that honesty.

On Writing is a good read and I recommend it to anyone who is struggling as a writer. There are many useful tips.

Okay, so that’s another book knocked off my to-read list. I had three more nonfiction titles lined up before I got to read some fiction again. But I’m tired of nonfiction and I want a break from it, so I moved Gustavo Bondoni’s Siege to the top of the list. I’ll start on that tomorrow.

A Blank Wall

This is the back of my office. There used to be a small desk and an end table with a lamp on it. But it felt pretty crowded with that stuff in here, so I moved it all out a few weeks ago.  So, now there’s just a wall.

I want to hang a picture there. I’m thinking the picture would be five feet long and three feet high. But not just any picture. I want a picture that would give the impress that you’re looking out the window of a tall building (not necessarily a skyscraper) in an urban area. The view would be of the streets and buildings, even houses, restaurants and gas stations, things like that.

I guess I’m looking for a picture that would show more of a community/residential area and less of a downtown commercial area. And something that’s not really artistic, but just a simple view.

I haven’t found the right picture yet.

ETA
Maybe “urban” isn’t the right word for it, but I’m not sure “suburban” is either, or maybe it’s a combination of both, “urban” and “suburban”.