On Suspension of Tension

Whimsically subtitled

Not Everything that Rhymes is Stupid (or at Least I Hope Not)

or, better yet

Other Poisonous Things that are Pumped into My System, Other than the Ones Depicted Above

Those poisonous things are, of course the ever-buoyant (a fancy way of saying never-sinking) doubts that I am doing everything I can to progress the story forward in the most naturally consumable way—and that means that I need to give the reader a break and stop escalating the tension for at least a few hours of the story’s timeline.

Even if that means restraining myself from killing or hurting people for a time.

Continue reading “On Suspension of Tension”

Part II is Finished!

Part II is finished (first draft of it, that is), bringing the tally of words to a staggering 473 thousand. Go me.

It was a difficult one, considering the fact that I had to deal with several characters, simultaneously climbing their individual arcs. Now, since I have dealt with it, I can move on to more fun stuff, like actually hunting—a dragon.

Continue reading “Part II is Finished!”

E.L.I.S.A.

The above abbreviation stands for Enforced Levity Increased Speed Authoring—which should be my new writing method—named after Elisa, Hans Christian Andersen‘s character from The Wild Swans.

the_wild_swans

One well-documented downside of this method is a possibility that one of my eleven turned-swan brothers might still end up with a wing instead of an arm, no matter how swiftly I knit the magical nettle shirts.

A. K. A. Scenes.

Have to hurry up. My doctor finally caved in and gave me the deadline.

If chemo does not work, I have months. About three. If it does, I have… well… months, still, but waaay more. Maybe even a year. So…

E.L.I.S.A to the rescue. Or so I hope.

The whole band (Verra, Venny, Torvenn, Marque, Ngale, Dae) is only a couple of hours away from reassembling at Stormhold for the first stand-off, and, perhaps—a sighting? Can barely wait to tap-type my way there.

A. T. T. On an irrelevant note (or, perhaps, rather relevant one?), just Skyped with my father.

If I had some guilt about not talking to the man for decades, no more. In about five minutes in the conversation I asked permission to be polite. Given one, I hung up.

He called back.

I hung up again.

Done.

Life is too short to deal with jerks.

A Status Update

Just saw the doc.

I was sooo hoping to go under the cleaver like, tomorrow, but apparently the hexed thing spread too wide (when did it find time?), and they have to start nuking me as soon as possible in an attempt to slow it down (I hope I will look half as handsome as the cat above, poor hairless creature).

Evidently, cutting me open would delay the aforementioned nuking and thus would be counterproductive to the whole process, unless we go for the whole-body transplant (my suggestion) which is, to put it lightly, not really a real option (doctors’s answer).

Luckily (if the word is even remotely applicable) I happened to have some magical marker* in my blood, which would allow them to nuke me 2.75 times harder and in a 2.145 times more efficient and a 1.0989 times more promising way. The very thought of that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. In the areas where it does not hurt yet.

Or perhaps not the thought, but the three happy hour cocktails, plate of wings and a fried ice cream at v{iv} Thai restaurant half a block away from the NYU Pearlmutter Cancer Center.

Highly recommended.

The cocktails are strong and the food is out of this world. Or on the way there. :-/

An awkward segue to the main purpose of this journal— let us talk about the deadline.

I have still not been given one (they have to nuke me first and keep doing that for a while to see the results), so I think I could continue going at the pace I was going so far, but just in case I might be facing a time limit in the unexpectedly near future, I should explore various avenues to take.

Finishing the First Draft by November and embark on a NaNoWriMo** experience to write the Prologue, two Interludes and Epilogue as a stand-alone piece, called The White World***, which could easily qualify for a novel length-wise, is hardly feasible.

So, I guess it is Christmas for the First Draft, and The White World interjections right after…

Decisions, distractions, decisions…
______

* I promise to learn the proper terminology soon. I do not think I have a choice.

** National Novel Writing Month. In November, when NBC anchors fight (ironically) cancer by not shaving. I will try that, but the imminent chemotherapy might make some adjustment to the plan.

*** Maybe, go for repetition instead of an alliteration—White Desert, White Sky, White Death? Sexy, no? :-/ Hm…

On Robots

This is to be sent to all my new subscribers with computer-generated usernames:

Dear Subscriber!

Hello and welcome to The Tally of Words!

I am genuinely thrilled to have you aboard and along for my little journey.
Before we proceed—one humble request:
Please, log into your account and update your profile with your first and last name (whether real or made-up), thus ensuring that you are not a robot (if you are not). While I do appreciate the avid interest my work has recently evoked within the Artificial Intelligence community, and do not wish to discriminate my AI readers, knowing the human-to-robot ratio of my fans would aid me tremendously in finding a writing voice for my audience.
Thank You!
Lew.

On Today

As much as I am reluctant to turn this journal into something it was never intended to be, I have to admit that the reality does somewhat affect my otherwise happy world of fantasy, or—as my wife disaffectionately calls it—Laloland. This morning in Laloland was a tad hectic—which would not be unusual after sleeping over the alarm clock after yesterday’s prolonged alcohol-soaked hearty discussion of how to handle my situation—and yet a tad different, because there was a distinct physical adjustment to the routine.
My breakfast—as simple as it was, just a piece of lean baked pork—decided not to stay in. Jumped out literally while I was still chewing. Bon Appetite.

As much as I enjoy logging less food into my calorie-tracking app, deleting the whole entry seems to be a tad overkill.

Anyway, back to my regular stream of uncounsiounceness: half-way through the pivotal chapter of the book—the last chapter of Part II, The Things That Matter.

There shall be more of those accidents now, I gather. It is only a little over a week since I was diagnosed with cancer.

The trick is not to loose the momentum.

Live and Learn: the proper order of adjectives

 

Source: Grammar Girl

OSASCOMP

1. Opinion (e.g., ugly, beautiful)
2. Size (e.g., big, little)
3. Age (e.g., young, old)
4. Shape (e.g., square, round)
5. Color (e.g., black, yellow)
6. Origin (e.g., British, American)
7. Material (e.g., polyester, Styrofoam)
8. Purpose (e.g., swimming, as in a swimming pool, sewing, as in a sewing machine)

On the Beginning

After listening to the archives of the Writing Excuses blog for two days in a row, I am now almost convinced that I need to modify the beginning of the book. As of now, it starts (and always had been starting) with a lengthy encyclopedic pseudo-quote:

The Great White Desert, Heart Of Lands, or, simply, the Flats, is a vast territory of thinnest silt dust, baked by the Sun into an immense ceramic plane, that spreads for thousands of miles in the very center of the Circle of Known Lands*.

Continue reading “On the Beginning”