Sunday, August 23, 2009

Okay, Here We Go

To everyone reading this: welcome. As I'm writing this, it's a little after ten o'clock on a Sunday night. I'm sitting in my office, having just taken my dog on her nightly walk. There's a diet soda on my desk, half-empty. There's also a copy of the first Sookie Stackhouse novel on my right, with a bookmark at the first page.

I'm feeling apprehensive about starting the novel. I'm a big fan of "True Blood", the HBO show based on the Sookie series, but I'm not sure how well that enjoyment is going to translate to the book. I've yet to get deeply into a supernatural romance, although I keep trying. I'm hoping I can get into this one without spoiling the show.

I'm also apprehensive because, for the third time, I'm starting a blog. I seem to get the urge to do this every couple of months, so far with no success beyond an initial posting, maybe two. This time, I'm determined, is going to be different; but didn't I say that the last time?


Hello again. My name is David Earle. I'm a writer. I haven't published any novels, so I still think of myself as an aspiring writer, even though I have gotten some smaller-format writings published once or twice. I suspect it's going to be a long time before I can drop that aspiring and feel comfortable with it. I don't even really like the word, come to think of it: struggling would be more appropriate for those nights when I'm fighting sleep deprivation just to make 500 words. But that's not fair to the really struggling writers, the ones who have trouble making rent from month to month. They don't need me trying to dilute the term's impact.

Would you mind if I call myself a minor writer? I think I can live with that. It's a little alliterative, a little fun, and it's more accurate than aspiring and its stinking italics.

So I'm a minor writer. I've got one short story that's pending publication, in an actual book, which still blows my mind. I've got a pitch in for another short story with the same company, and a third story that I'm polishing before I start sending it around. And I've got 50,000 words of a novel that I wrote during National Novel Writing Month in 2008. That one's getting dusty now, but I think it might, just might, end up on a bookshelf one day. (I certainly hope so: the characters are certainly vocal on the subject, and if they're on a bookshelf they won't be yammering in my head anymore, at least for awhile.)

So if I've got all that to work on, what the heck am I writing this for (you might ask)?

I'm writing this because it's good exercise, a way to build up the muscles for writing things that I might get paid for. I'm writing this because I don't get to talk about writing much, and I enjoy talking about it. I'm writing this so I'll have some place to put all those random thoughts that pop into my head every day, which might just be longer than 140 characters.

I'm writing this because over this last year, I've realized that I really like writing. So I write. And if you happen to read what I write, be it here or in print, then I hope you enjoy.


Author's Log

Ah, right. In keeping with the title, I'll be documenting my writing output. This will help keep me honest about how much I'm writing, let me brag a little bit on the good days, and shame me appropriately on those days where I don't get anything done. Word counts, works in progress read, pages edited: it all goes here.

Today, I wrote a 300 word critique of a short story submitted to the Critters Workshop, a website dedicated to letting authors seek critiques on their work in progress. The catch is, you have to give critiques to get critiques; but it's free to join, and you do get to read a nice selection of fantasy, horror, and science fiction stories.

Current Reading

Last but not least, anything I'm reading at the moment (that I feel like mentioning) will get listed here. To quote Stephen King, "If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write."

Today's reading included:

Why the Beatles Broke Up, in issue 1086 of Rolling Stone
Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris

I've only read the first page of Dead Until Dark, and I'm wondering how much of the TV show (which juggles a pretty large ensemble) came from the book (which uses a first-person point of view), and how much just got made up. And I'm looking forward to page two.

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