Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

So How's The Class Going, You Ask

Or maybe you don't, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  It has gotten a lot better since I got my mitts on this portable keyboard here, which now clicks into my tablet and basically means I no longer have to haul my laptop around.  Except maybe for meetings.  The keyboard is by Arteck and it was all of about $20 bucks from Amazon and I can't even tell you how much easier it's made everything.  I'm typing on it now, in fact, in my favorite restaurant, Afrah, in the 20 or so minutes I have before I take off for my Meditation Group (TM).  (It's like church. Only quieter.)  

Anyway, I'm in what should be the third week but is actually the second week of the writing exercises in the book, "90 Days To Your Novel" by Sarah Domet (accept no imitations.) You're probably going to be mildly appalled to hear this, but the actual novel writing hasn't even started yet. We've been doing writing exercises this whole time. Now, I am no big fan of exercise of any kind (except for swimming and lifting weights and bicycling and once in a while I'll walk somewhere), but I'm actually really enjoying it.  Sitting down at the keyboard and being unable to write anything positively sucks. Sitting down at the keyboard and realizing I have something to do because I have to knock off the writing exercises on page 105 and 106 is actually kind of awesome.  One thing I was Not Doing before all this started was making time to sit down and write.  And I mean, yes, there's the Very Demanding Job and the Chauffer Duties and the Household that I'm supposed to keep running and two Cats that I need to make happy, but I just wasn't using my spare minutes very well.  I blame baseball season.  Luckily, the Rangers are tanking.  

The class meets in the basement of somebody's apartment building, which happens to be right across the street from where Joan works. So she Rollators over there and meets me, and does cross stitch while the rest of us (there are, I think, about nine people; we'll see how many show up this Friday) talk literary things. And writing exercises.  And one of the things I've figured out is that I might only think I know what I'm doing.  Seriously.  It's entirely possible I've been writing stuff for close on thirty years without the foggiest idea how any of it actually works.  

So I'm not sure when the writing exercises end and the manuscript writing actually starts, but it's completely untrue we're writing this thing in 90 days. It sounds like it's going to be a lot closer to 60 days or maybe even less than that.  Now, I did the National Novel Writing Month thing, which involved 50,000 words in November, and that, for the record, is crazy talk.  Of course, I once wrote fifty pages of Spellbinder in eighteen hours.  (And yes, I was manic as hell at the time, but That's Not The Point.)  So it can be done.  And hopefully, once we finally charge in there, I will have enough background put together to do a good job, or at least a passable job. (First drafts can suck. That's perfectly okay. Ask anybody.)  

In fact, so far my biggest problem has been which of the various works in progress I have strewn around my brain is going to be the winner of the Great 90 Day Novel Experiment.  Because I always have works in progress strewn around my brain, from a wild romp through alternative Dallas with Loki, Thor and living statues to the fifth part of the increasingly-inaccurately-named Mindbender trilogy.  But I think I've finally settled on one, and I think you're going to like it, and it's not my fault it's going to get lumped into that vague, nebulous category of YA fiction.  These days, you have a protagonist that's under thirty and the whole novel is suddenly YA fiction, even if it features blood, gore, gratuitous torture scenes and wild sex with men/women/fantasy critters.  After The Hunger Games, all bets were just off.  Kids killing kids was the last taboo in YA fiction, and Katniss Everdeen didn't just cross that line, she plowed right through that sucker with guns (oh, okay, arrows) blazing.  So anything goes.  Really.  Absolutely anything.  Next thing you know they'll have YA books about how to do your taxes and the finer points of the Microsoft Office suite. 

Anyway, I've settled on a project and I've done a bunch of exercises and I think I'm starting to write an outline, though the way these exercises work, they kind of sneak up on whatever thing it is you're doing, so you may not know you're writing an outline until you're halfway through it.  Now the only thing I need is for people to keep showing up to this class.  Every week we have a few less.  Of course, that's true of any school-type situation; I started paralegal school with 13 other wide-eyed and eager legal eagles to be, and there were only nine left when we graduated nine months later.  But it's also, I think, a function of the class not costing anything. Seriously, it should cost something.  If you pay money for a thing, you're a lot more likely to show up and see it through.  Or so some researchers said once, and I believe them.  Not, by the way, that I'm arguing for this particular class to cost something because the orange guy is still in the White House and the moon still goes through all its phases every twenty-eight days and I'm still broke, thank you very much. But it's something to think about.  

Anyway, that's the State of the Class.  Everything else kind of sucks at the moment, and I don't know if that's me, or the orange guy in the White House.  But hey, Memorial Day Weekend is coming. And so's my sister. So that's cool.  

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