2007 Resolutions

Yes, like every other blogger in the blogosphere, I’m going to post my resolutions for the new year. I did this once before, in a prior incarnation of the Lytspeed Communications site, back before the term “blog” existed. I did keep a few of those resolutions, namely dropping the weight (45 pounds, actually!), playing more live music, volunteering for Colorado Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, and learning more about coding HTML, but not in 1997.

Yes, my online home turns ten years old this year. And though I don’t have the popularity or visitation that mainstream bloggers have, I do feel pretty good about being ahead of the curve.

I think my resolutions for this year are quite a bit more reasonable than the ones I made in 1997. Maybe I’ll look back in another nine or ten years and see how many of them I accomplished this year.

Okay, enough stalling. Here are my resolutions for 2007:

Manage Finances Better – I have always had a hard time with finances, and I’m getting tired of always being behind the 8-ball. It’s time for me to get it together this year.

Take Care of My Health – My heart attack scare of a couple of years ago really woke me up, and I have made some changes to prevent that from happening again. However, there are some other concerns I need to address before they become Big Issues.

Write Every Day – Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make one better at what one practices, and I haven’t practiced writing enough. I need to write every day. What I write and which medium I use is immaterial; if I write every day, I will get back in the habit I used to have in college, when I was most prolific. Yes, that means more blog entries, too.

Publish Some Fiction – 2006 was a great year for me as far as writing goes. I published several articles at ComputorEdge, sold four poems to Romantic-Short-Love-Stories.com (now defunct, unfortunately), and actually managed to turn a meager profit for the year after deducting my writing-related expenses. However, I didn’t accomplish one of my main goals for last year, which was to publish some fiction. It’s time to complete the set this year.

Do My Taxes On Time – Last year, I was late — very late — in doing my taxes. I guess this could be part of managing my finances better.

Buy a Variax – Line 6 makes the ultimate geek guitar, and I want one so bad I can taste it. (Yum! Rosewood!) I have all kinds of ideas on how I could use it to make things easier in my gigs.

That’s it. Hopefully I’ll get somewhere with these goals this year, and if you’ve made resolutions, I hope you reach your goals as well.

Jammed

I’m jammed right now.

I’m sitting in front of my computer, trying to work on “Chesterfield Gray,” and Pig Won’t (as Bruce Holland Rogers calls the inertia we have to overcome in order to write) is doing everything he can to get me to stop. He’s distracting me with e-mails, sounds, thirst, games, and a sore butt. Some of these are easy to combat; the e-mails don’t come if Outlook isn’t open, the thirst trick works only once, and the sore butt is less sore after getting up to get the drink.

It pisses me off that I have lots of energy to spend on writing and thinking about writing except when I’m in front of the screen. Just opening Front Page to work on this journal entry was a battle of laziness vs. stubbornness. In this case, Pig Will won out, and I’m at least writing something. Maybe if I write enough of this, it will kick start the desire to move ahead on the story, the first draft of which I want to have done by the end of Wednesday night.

I don’t want to talk about the story itself too much in this blog. The parasitic nature of the ‘Net keeps me from wanting to say too much about the stories I’m writing. That probably comes across as a tease to those of you reading, and I apologize. However, this open journal is still, first and foremost, for my learning purposes. Its entertainment value for you, unfortunately, is a side benefit.

I suppose I can say that I’m at a point in the construction of the story where I need to figure out what the characters are going to do next. I need to figure out how the female character is going to crack the shell of the main male character. Then I need to justify his brusque behavior by getting a bit into his history. A central event will involve all the characters toward the end, and I will need to show their reactions to it, but I will only be able to get inside the head of one of the characters.

It’s interesting how this is coming out, because the overall viewpoint is limited omniscient; we get in the head of only one character — a sideline character, in fact — but we know what the other characters are doing. So far, that seems to be working, but I may need to revise it as the story progresses.

Okay, it feels like the juices are flowing a bit, so I’m going to switch gears and leave the journal entry for now. One quick note; I found out today that I won’t be able to attend Mile Hi Con like I was hoping to this year. I will be in Key West that weekend on business.

Later — I was able to get some work done on the story. I cleared up a few fuzzy areas and wrote three more pages. I’m glad I was able to beat back Pig Won’t this time. I’ll have to remember that directly addressing the issue by writing about it seems to take some of Pig Won’t’s power away. (Believe it or not, that’s a correct construction of a possessive proper noun, in this case!)

Off the Map

Sunday was a much more productive day for creativity. I got an e-mail about a flash fiction market at Wormhole Books, and after confirming that this limited e-mail solicitation was open to new writers, I wrote a piece called “To Be Human.” I revised it a couple of times that day, then read it to my wife and son. Based on their reactions, I tweaked the ending a bit and sent it off as an electronic submission. Hopefully something will come of that, but if it doesn’t, at least I sent it off.

I also wrote about 300 words of “Sphere of Success,” the next story in my Fear Spheres series. It’s funny how stories work sometimes; I had a vague outline in my head of where I wanted to go with that story, but when I started writing, the main character kind of took over and is sending the story in a different direction. It may wind up where I originally wanted it, but it’s taking a different road — one that’s not on my map!

“Half-Lives”

Today I read “Half-Lives” again and also read over the critiques I have gotten for that story. It needs work, but then again, I think everything needs work every time I read it. As I read through it, I could hear what needed to be fixed in my head, which is good. Perhaps it means I’m developing more of a talent for the flow of a story. It is odd, though, because I’ve read that story out loud at least twice before, and it didn’t sound that clunky then. I guess time and distance from a piece really do make a difference in objectivity.

I write today’s entry with mixed emotions; I’m glad I finally got out the story and dug through it, but I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get it done by the time I had wanted to (last Saturday.) I think I should be able to revise it easily by Father’s Day, though, despite my busy work and family schedule.

Mountain Down Time

Didn’t do anything creative per se, but I did go to Rocky Mountain National Park with the family, and that’s always refreshing. (I’m noticing that I’m using sentence fragments in this Creativity Journal. I need to get out of that habit.) I did read some of James P. Hogan’s The Legend that was Earth.