next draft

Fourth time’s the charm, is that it?

I suspect I have five or six iterations to go.

It might be eleventh time’s the charm.

Or twentieth.

Or nine hundred and seventh.

I suspect I am a poor scribe. I am in progress.

Aren’t we all?

Target: 700 words
Written: 200 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way
Comics: Danger Girl: Revolver 2-4, Danger Girl/Army Of Darkness 5
Music: Open Your Eyes, Goldfinger (so underrated)

bite sizes

I know it probably looks like I’ve completely checked out on writing, but I’m just in a lull.

My overall total of written words and time spent on The Mungk still exceeds its target by about twenty thousand words, so if I take a few days to regroup before the draft, I have the leeway. It’s one of the reasons why I keep a daily target and a total target.

That way, if there’s days where things go off the rails and the demands on my team leave me with barely time to take a piss, let alone crank out a few hundred words, I have the room.

And this past week?

I’m near to bursting from holding it.

This can’t be healthy.

Target: 700 words
Written: 54 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Hans Christian Anderson's Fairy Tales
Comics: Danger Girl 0-3
Music: One Foot In The Grave, Beck

oh god that poor child

That’s what I think when I hear super rich people are having children, especially when they’re known to have been shitty little people themselves.

That poor fucking child.

And here I am, writing the length of a tweet for the thing I love.

Poor fucking child.

Target: 600 words
Written: 140 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Yellow Birds, Karen Green
Comics: Aphrodite IX v2 4-7
Music: Odelay, Beck (the jet fresh flow... wait... get fresh?  I like jet fresh better)

second draft

Hey, chipper self.

I don’t know if it was waking up to finding out the Leafs actually won in OT and live to play another day, or finishing the second draft of The Mungk, but I feel marginally better today.

The deck is shuffled, time to re-deal.

My body is still “depressed”, but I’m going to fight the cognitive dissonance of a body and mind telling me I should snuff it and focus on focus.

Get things done. Try new things. Use the mind. Let things go. It’s good for the soul.

Move, maybe a little. Enjoy my cats and dogs.

Are you buying this? I’m certainly trying to.

Target: 600 words
Written: 538 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Gate Of Ivrel, C.J. Cherryh
Comics: Monstress 47-50
Music: Oasis Essentials, Oasis

i go through all this

Beeefooore you wake up.

Sorry. Bjork phase. I do like to get up early. I like the quiet. The alone time. If I can get that, and get enough things I want to get done before I engage with the world, the world and me are both infinitely better off for it.

I don’t go in rushed and angry, upset and falling behind. Frustrated and distracted.

And, the sense of peace is palpable.

That, of course, is not today.

Target: 600 words
Written: 797 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: People Of The Deer, Farley Mowat
Comics: Monstress 31-34
Music: Vs., Pearl Jam (one of my all time favourites, I cannot believe it's been so long since I listened to it.  Indifference is my spirit animal.)

the science of trauma

It’s the science of impact, not influence, but impact, IMPACT, something smashing into you so hard, like a monster asteroid that slams you off course, out of your steady elliptical orbit, to plummet out into space, away from your neighbours, away from the source of your light and heat, away from where you’re supposed to be, out into the endless void, where it is dark and frozen and immensely lonely and the only hope is that somehow, there’s something close enough, large enough, with enough gravity to suck you in and put you back on your axis, but the void is so big, and so empty, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be close enough to centre in your new rotation, that you’ll be in that sweet spot where life can bloom, but instead you’re cold, cold, cold, shivering without relent, or on fire, burning, bleeding, blisters bursting in poison gas…

This is the nature of trauma, and it pays to remember: there’s a hell of a lot more void than stars.

Target: 600 words
Written: 269 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: People Of The Deer, Farley Mowat
Comics: Monstress 17-20
Music: Volumen 1993-2003, Bjork (I don't know what it is about her, but there is no female artist on the planet I connect with more; something about it - there's an innate empathy, an honesty, an innocence that's somehow all mixed up with sex and love, but in the sweetest way... Maybe it's youthful memory, but there's love in them there words)

and immediately, fallen on my face

Metaphorically speaking.

It’s a Sunday. I don’t know how it got so far away from me. Being completely caught up yesterday, doing all the things I’ve wanted to, in order to get where I need to be and now, here I am; back behind again.

My face is bruised, blood spews from a cut over my eyebrow; I think my orbital bone is broken.

Metaphorically speaking.

My face swells, my brain too, inside my skull. I swirl, lurch and stagger.

The tasks are piling up.

This is the thing I didn’t want.

This is the pressure I was trying to avoid.

I don’t want to reevaluate.

I want to push through.

I want to make it all mean something.

But it means nothing, like a Wes Anderson film, without the whimsy and quirk, and Scarlett Johansson flashing her naked body.

Yeah, we watched Asteroid City, so I guess, technically, it does include that last thing.

Literally speaking.

So, it’s not all bad, I guess.

Target: 600 words
Written: 498 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: People Of The Deer, Farley Mowat
Comics: Monstress 9-12
Music: Plea For Peace/Taken Action, Volume 2, Various

alone in a room

I’d like to spend most of my days that way. An empty room with nothing but me and a good book, a laptop for writing, maybe a corkboard for plotting and visualization. Access to a beautiful woman for companionship. The ability to leave whenever, but the ability to get lost entirely in whatever I’m doing, without interruption.

The ability to be fully and completely present within my little empty box, with the option to go outside on occasion and visit the good parts of the world, and leave the shitbags behind.

Target: 500 words
Written: 127 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 33-36
Music: Vitalogy, Pearl Jam (still an all-time favourite - every word floods back like total recall)

cigarillo #1

I think I’ve earned it – a first draft complete, writing up my notes for the second run? That’s not a small thing; completion is an elusive, moving target in art, particularly when you’re one of those nervous, depressed artists like myself. It’s very easy to scrap the lot and go back to scratch.

I’m saving the Gran Corona for the publication date, but I believe in the art of the small reward. Plus, The Mungk is a novella, a tiny project, and therefore, its rewards should be appropriately sized.

I don’t smoke as a matter of course – I quit cigarettes years ago, but I love the smell of a good cigar, so a cigarillo every couple of months probably isn’t going to hurt me.

My liver or my heart will give out far before my lungs, after all.

Clean livin’, y’all.

To the next one.

Target: 500 words
Written: 256 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Comics: Y The Last Man 29-32
Music: Virus 100, L7, Vision Valley, The Vines

first drafts

I finished my first draft of The Mungk a few days ago.

It’s an outline, glorified and in extreme detail, which is what all good first drafts should be, in my opinion.

You can write character studies and scene settings and world build all you want. You can play connect-the-dots, map out plot matrixes and timelines and motivations and whatever, but at the end of the day, all you have is a blueprint. At some point, you have to start laying foundation and raising beams and running wires.

And unless you’re building something entirely formulaic, that never truly goes as planned, not in a work of art.

So, we write a first draft. And in the draft, our characters begin to tell us who they are, what direction they want to go. Motivations and reactions you didn’t expect rear their ugly heads. Plot holes you didn’t catch in the outline sideswipe you, throwing the whole thing off track.

It’s rather like birthing a child and living a life; you have a plan for it, but you can’t control other people or whatever circumstances the world likes to throw at us. You can’t break the laws of the universe, whatever that universe may be.

In the end, a first draft is nothing more than a prototype; a raw, unfinished thing with quirks and bugs and massive failures that need correction.

A outline/novel hybrid, bleeding, organs in places they shouldn’t be, begging to be put out of its misery, or repaired in mercy.

Target: 500 words
Written: 433 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: High Hunt, David Eddings
Comics: Y The Last Man 13-16
Music: Vessel, Bjork