Remember When I Used to Post Daily?

Today I’m gong to write against the clock for 90 seconds at a time. I’ve not done this particular exercise in some time and am a little worried I will suck at it. That’s not the point though, so I will press forward.

I changed it to 60 seconds because the 90 was a bit longer than I was used to and I kept expecting the alarm to go off each time I came to the end of a word. It was disconcerting and made it difficult to write fast.

Mist smothered the Texas Panhandle like a killer embraces his victim. You could imagine an overpass was approaching for many seconds before…

…you realized it was never arriving. Cars speeding past you disappeared like memories into the road ahead, and everything was either milk-grey or an unremarkable yellow.

The hawk snatched the fence post like it might some edible prey but instead landed. She ruffled her feathers to stay warm.

Martin stood on the plains; he was a crumb on a grassy smooth table top. The horizon clipped the sky like a ruler set on its edge.

Somewhere in the dark—if one looked carefully—a boney lank of dog or coyote hunched among the crispy beige weeds and sage.

I seem to have developed a theme here today. I guess that’s good considering I wasn’t even certain I’d responde well at all. I fear though that my them may make it hard for me to continue because I feel compelled to stick with that theme. So I’ve written this palate cleansing picece which

The gunship sunk to a roaring hover. Mini-guns sproted from the top and rotated into position to guard the ship…

Abandoned and hungry, Allawashon rose to begin another day of walking. She’d make it to the outpost fort by evening, but not before eating a mouse raw and killing her twin…

Yikes! I don’t know what my plan with the young lady above was/is, but I want to take a moment to apologize to her sister and potentiall to the mouse. I don’t know if either had it coming, but I hope so at least.

“Snow,” Eric said. “But not snow carpetting the field and smashing out all the features. Snow like a reminder that sometimes God likes to change the color of the earth.”

The grueling pace here is always a blessing and a curse. This stumbling blurb is all I could come up withfor this particular 60 seconds.

Ring. Click. Clear. Start. Write… Shit, that’s a pain some of the time. Like now when I thought that lead off would actually take me some where but it didn’t. Maybe my next blurb ought…

SHe was hiding. It felt like she was always hiding fr some reason or another. Hiding to stay out of the cold. Hiding to stay out of the light. Hiding to stay out of the road. Today she was hiding to stay alive, and so far it was working.

But it wouldn’t work for very much longer, because she’d spotted a reason to move. A reason so compelling that it made her scalp itch. SHould she stay alive one more minute or die trying to get the thing which compelled her?

I think I’l end this exercise here. I think it went well enough and I apologize once again fro not spending more time with this exercise when I can clearly be so prolific in a short time. Rather than dumping crap out on you when I can’t make myself compose a better story on those rushed days.

595 words on day 873

Happy Birthday

Tonight is not the not we drag this bus out of the mud, but I will commit to a handful of one-minute drills:

She lay alone. Her arm draped across her naked chest poised to turn a page in a book she’d never finish read. A book that would come to remind her of what occurred next.

Leaves parted and branches snapped. A bull elk stamped out of the pines and into the wet dreary meadow. He snuffled…

“Son of a bitch.” She stared at the ungraded stack of papers slipping off the edge of her desk and clattering to the floor. Then she slapped a hand on the pile not yet betraying her. Maybe half the…

Ron tightened the knob on the tripod. The level said it was close enough to make his panoramic stitches near seamless. If only he could figured out how to get…

Gransa was taller than most of the island boys his age. His parents had come from the continent a year before he was born. They were tall. He was tall. It wasn’t good for them. It wasn….

Thom mounted the scaly beast with care. Right foot in the low stirrup. Left hand on the high stirrup then a step up. With his left foot int he high…

Wings beat down from all directions. Hummingbirds attacked Ken’s red hat and red hair. He swatted them but gently. Somehow killing a humming bird seemed bad.

Evening chill cycled with late afternoon warmth as Chris and Stacy road the convertible up and down the hills of northwest Arkansas. She liked the feeling of the…

That was more than five. And more refreshing than more bitching.

288 words on day 528

Inaugural One-minutes

The first thing I’ve written in 2010.

  1. Fog filled mornings seem to be the ones that inspire me to write but not enough to write more than these little speed drills. Hopfully I’ll wake up this year and get to writing before too long.
  2. Sebastian crept up the sunny side of the rock. He knew the shadow of his head as it crested the top might reveal his precense, but it was worth it if it didn’t. The…
  3. Water ran down the side of the mountain through roots and rocks and earth. It soaked the steep wall till they sagged with mucky moisture.
  4. Dorothy lay in the sun. In the grass. In a field just outside her Father’s house. The blades slowed the chill breeze…
  5. Trittles scurried toward the party along the crevices of the dungeon corridor. And then I slayed my inner dungeon master and wrote of it no more.
  6. Conjure, the floating city of Conjure, rested on the horizon like any distant cloud might: smudged and tinted with pink from the sunset. But it held intrigue…
  7. Then the phone rang and I ignored it. Then the phone rang and I ignored it. Then the phone rang and I answered it. It wasn’t a special call but it was a nice one. And then I hung up and wrote.
  8. Bradford skimmed the landmarks outside the cockpit. He’d picked up the habit early. Stare straight ahead into the coming fight with your eyes, but skim with your mind the…
  9. Metallic feet crunched into the meaty earth like something metalic and crunching would. The legs steadied and the gun whirled up to…

I couldn’t get to my normal twenty in the time I alloted.  Also these were generally horrid so it might have been best to stop anyhow.

More NaNoWriMo Prep

Discovering some things about Karen by doing a one-minute interview.  I’m hoping to discover where she met Malachi.  Why she’s attracted to him, what she’s looking for in the world of magic, how she got into magic, what she was doing before, how old she is, etc…

Karen met Malachi in a bar somewhere.  She was either a waitress or a bartender.

Let’s use real world places I’ve been to as the setting for each of their adventures within the real world: OKC, New Zealand, Colorado, New Mexico.  Anywhere else I might be able to come up with?

Back to Karen, she was working int he bar to put herself through college.  She was training to be an engineer but never could get into it despite her good grades.  Somehow this is a link for her to the structure of magic.

She’s mainly trying to get certified as an apprentice magician.  Her main tie tot he world is Malachi, but she’s met others in the cabal she recognizes may be able to help her more than he.  So to some degree she’s staying with him out of habit.

Namely she’s met his mentor ‘the doc’ and and the corporate dude who turns out to be the bad guy.  She’ gravitating to the corp guy because his methods seem cleaning and more precise than Malachi’s.

Magic’s ‘quality’ has something to do with it’s intentions.  Each work has a ghost of the workers’ intention.  So good magic with bad intentions will ultimately do bad things even if it does good things first.

The intention is not an overwhelming things just a characteristic.  Int his way each workers’ personality and mood are imprinted into an action.  Some people can read this signatures better than others.

That’s where Malachi is headed with the spider; to a reader.

So how old are you Karen?  I think by now she’s got to be kinda far along to not make the thing with Malachi too icky.  I don’t mind a little icky, but not too icky.

Speaking of icky, who’s going to illuminate that for me?  Karen’s non-mage friends or other in the cabal or both.  I suspect I may need a little of both.  One group to give Malachi shit and the other to give it to Karen.  Hmmm.  Or maybe one group is decidedly cool with it.

Or doesn’t know.

Regarding the plot, what’s Karen want out of it?  She insists the spider is good based on some very rudimentary principal she’s been taught.  One a veteran mage might know but have neglected or modified over the years.

Essentially she’s trying to convince Malachi of the pure intention of the spider but he’s not seeing it.  SO something must cloud his perception of it.  Either actively or just through his own bias toward the spider.

I’ve already put some scope on what clouds him, but what convinces her?  Just an instinct?  Or an innocence? Or has she had some other knowledge that might inform her in some subtle way.

I like the idea of some other knowledge informing her.  But I don’t know where she’d get that without it being too obvious.  At least too coincidental to the reader.  A book.  Reading.  The Doc. The Corp?

A Broken One-Minute Drill With My NaNoWriMo Prep

OK.  So everything I just wrote got deleted in a weird keystroke accident.  Which means that not only do I no longer have that material such that it was I also have no proof I had the material in the first place.  I suppose neither are really that big a deal.

I’d like to consider the murdered mage.  I used a word last night as I drove home that appealed to me: dispatched.  Obviously used int he past to mean killed but more accurately just sent on ahead with a message.  I think…

I’d like to pick up on that wording.  Mostly because I don’t want to have to have killed him.  But maybe I’m being a chicken here.  Dawned on me I should kill off Malachi too.  Don’t know why, but the do say kill off your darlings.  I suspect he’ll…

So Malachi was our dispatched mage’s apprentice and made the clockwork spider.  A long time ago.  Long enough ago that none of the gather mages would know this.  Though, of course, one suspects/does know.

Ok. DM was an academic mage.  He wasn’t as much of a practitioner and had no real protective experience.  Therefore when he began to play around in the darker arts he was easily susceptible to the the…

evil-ness or whatever.  The cabal figured this out or at least made up their minds it was true and had Malachi do the dirty work.  They always have him do the dirty work.  He’s just that kind of guy.  They stay clean.

Last one.  What’s Karen’s deal in all this?  She’s M’s lover, but what’s her real goal?  Just to become a promoted mage?  Accepted?  Allowed to perform magic on her own?  What does that even mean in a world such as ours?

Prayer For a Fast Friday

Today I’m resisting. Right now I’m resisting the urge to write about not writing. Strange and wonderful aren’t I? Later I’ll resist some other pointless distractions.
Additionally I’ll twist my 1-minute drill by firing up my collection of motivation notes collected from across the Internet and spin off a few lines from each.

  • We always called it the Ice City, but the alien metal structure buried in the glacier was no more than a power plant or industrial lab. Now that it came to the end of it’s epochal journey to the sea I don’t know what we should call it. Maybe just ruins or wreck.
  • At night, colored lights of shades and intensities we could never produce decried the Monastic Island’s superiority. During the day—many days not all of them—the smells of cooked meat spiced and smoked with woods we would never know drifted across the narrow river separating us from them.
  • The the Victorian lace of her tattoo-like trimmed felt caught the sun’s light around the edges of her nude body, but darkened to a deeper red in the flat. The way her brick-red feltish fur covered her body like a well upholstered divan it was difficult to think of her as truly naked.
  • You’d have thought it fake, a trick of some fine porcelain powder or alabaster mask, if you did not already know her absolute white skin were real. Vabastaline’s thoughtless stare at first ground you like meal under a millstone, but quickly eroded to more of a troublesome nuisance than a soul rending thing it began as.
  • The red circles and pale orange bursts scratched out by hand contrast with the ledger’s machine printed rule. A strange place to find such well made conjuring. A strange conjuring to be found.
  • With happy abandon or a level of worldly obviousness unattainable by most the crayon-yellow balloon drifted up past the shoulder of the iron robot soldier.

OK. I feel better now. Sorry about lying about the new weekly plan and all my motivational deadline plans. Ha.

Day 415

Today Fifteen Equals Twenty

Following the completion of Jack M. Bickham’s Scene and Structure book I’m so filled with the desire to do good writing all I can muster is half-baked argument that reading suitably replaces writing.  It does not.  And, it will not.

I’m going to tweak my 20 minute drill to accommodate Jack’s hammered in, bent over, straightened back out, and then hammered in again point of stimulus begets response.  This drill should read as couplets of such a concept.  The first part poking you in the eye the second part bleeding all over your clean white shirt.

  1. Drapell poked Snodgrass in the eye.  The spew of blood back at Drapel whetted his face and cause him to gasp in surprise.
  2. The author’s words dully parroted what he said they would.  Readers yawned in sleepy reply.  And then groaned.
  3. Caleb flinched forward like an attack or a joke.  Reese dropped his hand to the gun at his hip with the careful ease of a 20 notch gunslinger.
  4. Bresten fingered the buttonhole of his new tweed jacket nervously.  His Mother snatch his hand away and smoothed out his arms and shoulders.  She pushed hi hair back and smiled at her son.
  5. Rain slathered the streets and the cars running along those narrow slick ways.  Drivers’ ducked low above the wheel peering out from wipers set to high.
  6. The orange leaf marbled with still-green streaks lit on the still water.  Ripples circles out from the impact and grew toward the edge of the tiny mountain pool.
  7. The M1-R67 dropped low over the tall grass of the high mountain prairie.  Startled crows lifted to the sky not eager to leave not willing to be killed.
  8. Inside the machine Ronald shrugged back his shoulders slowly.  The mechanized armor he wore settled comfortably back on its center of gravity and waited for more violent instructions to follow.
  9. The the drawn back sword lodged solidly in the wooden post of the smokey church.  Both combatants, the priest and the thief, paused in amusement.
  10. Fireflies burned on then off then on again in Daphne’s backyard.  She readied her jar with a few expert twists: leftie loosey.
  11. Under the full moon’s blaze the blued snow of Mt Fronne something happened.  Because of that something happened.
  12. The blued snow of Mt Fronne shown weirdly with the blackened sky as a backdrop. Tesper paused from his chase, smelled the world, and thought fondly of the moon above.
  13. Our author snagged by the interesting beauty of the image he wanted to make hung up in the execution of making it.  Fortunately he recovered int he next round.  And kinda the one after that. And then wondered if he’d not set the timer.  But was afraid to got check.  Nope set.
  14. The campfire cracked out and ember that went straight up into the night sky.  Everyone jumped then oooo’d in quiet enjoyment.  NO one saw the one that didn’t go straight up.
  15. The door creaked.  Timmy, five, willed his heart to stop beating.  It was loud and the murderer at the door could easily hear it and then quickly find him.  If only he could stop the loud sweating of his brow.

Days 404