As you noticed, the website has gone to the short mode once again. I am currently working on a larger project, and when that happens, I have very little time to keep the website updated. I've added a couple of columns. The "Logbook" column will give you a bit of where I am in the current project. The interesting sites column are just interesting places I run across that you might like to look at too. I know there are always questions about any current project I'm working on. This is a personal project it's not a ghostwriting project. It is a novel, and I will say nothing more. You know how superstitious I am about talking about any writing project while I am doing it. I will keep my newsletter going and you can sign up for free here.
Before this website was begun: The current project started when I decided I would not do anymore ghost writing. I also decided to move away from all the other things I have done or was doing with the exception of the monthly newsletter.
I had a basic idea what I wanted to write about and the location. From the middle of September to the start of the holidays, I wrote little biographies from each characters perspective I wanted to use. Some characters refused to cooperate while others argued about their place in the novel. It is a tough crowd.
Over the holidays, I worked on the plot and subplots. I wanted the language to reflect Northern Minnesota, so I listed to discussions around town and even reread How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr. I did not listen to Garrison Keillor show A Prairie Home Companion because his show is about an area a few hundred miles south and west of my setting.
I started writing first drafts of chapters on the 28th of January. In February, I completed drafts for chapters one and two. These are not finished product, but I want to finish a draft of the novel before I work towards final editing.
3/25/2011 -- I had a couple of comments about the new website. One was to date the entries in this log. It was a real "boy am I dumb" moment. Obviously, I will do that. The second thing was a way to make it easier for you to respond. I am looking for a solution to that but have not arrived one.
3/27/2011 - the last two days were spent on adding a blog room to the website called The Glen and trying to get the contact page to work. The Glen is working, but not the contact link. I will keep working.
3/31/2011 - Everything on the website appears to be working now including the contact page. The picture of the lake at the top appears to be too large and is slow to load on some browsers. I will have to see if I can change formats or compress it so that it loads faster. However, writing must come first for a while. I did get back to writing and had a very productive day today. I never thought moving the site from one hosting company to another would require so much time and effort. It felt good to be back among old friends; i.e., the characters.
4/2/2011 - Sometimes writing can be harmful to your sleep. Last night it was approaching 3 AM before I fell asleep. Yesterday, I had worked on what I thought was a simple scene. It was meant to give information to you, the reader, and nothing more. I try to write the very best first draft I can, but I know the rule of writing is the best writing comes from rewriting. It means I try to forget what writing I have done during the day and think about the upcoming writing. Yesterday's scene would not let me alone. As I was trying to fall asleep, it became clear the scene provided the needed information but lacked humanity. It was like the information you would see on an interstate highway sign telling you what the next exit offered - just facts. I don't keep a notebook by my bed to jot down notes, but I did a little rewriting in my head. This morning I added just 14 words to the scene; it feels more human now.
4/7/2011 - I have completed another chapter. Progress is going well.
4/15/2011 - Writing a sex scene for this novel has proved to be a surprise. The characters are becoming like a group of my friends. Writing a sex scene feels like I am invading their privacy. To use an old expression, it has an "icky" feel. I don't think anyone would want to know the intimate details of their friend's sex lives. However for the purpose of the novel, it is necessary for the reader see a growing caring and a growing trust between two of the characters. I have added a bit of humor to blunt the titillating effect of the scene. It will be interesting to see how people react to the sex scene.
4/22/2011 -- The writing is going slower than I wish it would. I am having 200 and 300 word days. I am not sure what the problem is as I am working from an outline of the novel. This type of novel generally runs around 65,000 words. I had hoped to finish this rough draft in a little over 90 days. It's clear I'm not going to make that goal now. I call it a rough draft because from past experience I know I leave out needed things. For example, in this draft I might write he reached over and turned on the light. If I chose to write he reached over and turned on the antique lamp with a Tiffany shade, it would be very different from the sentence being written he reached over and turned on the hula dancer lamp. Those little details give you more information about the characters that does not need to be explained.
5/9/2011 - The writings going well again. I lost several days because I needed to travel to Omaha Nebraska about my upcoming spinal surgery. It is scheduled for the end of June. I don't see any other interruptions between now and then. Oh, spring is finally come here to northern Minnesota. I might just sneak outside and enjoy the spring air. [Grin]
6/6/2011 -- It is been a busy time outside of writing. Spring is arrived here in northern Minnesota and with the gardening season. It was time to get things planted for the harvest later in the year. I was just outside and in one area the sweet smell of Lily of the Valley makes me feel like a kid again. In another area, the smell of lilacs reminds me of the older women around my grandmothers. It is something from the past.
In writing, I was displeased by the fact that most of the scenes I have written are of similar length. I went back to my outline of the novel and have been figuring out places to add little short scenes that will help the flow of the novel. I will also miss some time later this month at the computer because of spinal surgery. I have been trying to get as much writing done as possible because I do not know how long it will be before I can be back here at the computer.
6/21/2011 -- My surgery is this Friday, June 24th. It will be in Omaha. Total recovery time is four months, but I should be home in a week. I will let you know how it went when I get home.
7/21/2011 -- My surgery was June 24th in Omaha, NE. They worked on my spine from vertebrae L2 to S1 - think from the middle of your back down into where your buttock divides into two and just a bit lower. They removed bone from each of those vertebrae in a five hour operation. After surgery, the pain was unbelievable, but they did get it under control. The pain is much less now and the old pain is gone. I came home in early July. Total recovery time is expected to be four months. I still tire quickly and have not yet attempted to write.
10/11/2011 -- I am finally writing again. It surprised how long it has taken to recover. They said four months, but I thought it would be quicker for me.
12/20/2011 -- I have been editing what has been written so far. I am pleased with the way things are going. I still have more writing to do next year. I want to wish you and yours the best of the holiday season.
1/27/2012 -- The writing is going well, but I struggled with a bar room scene.
4/12/2012 -- Things have slowed up dramatically. Nels Erickson, El, our hero did something he very much regrets. He sent a man to the hospital unnecessarily and now refuses to cooperate with storyline and wanders off in very unproductive directions. He's refusing to find Ben Johnson's killer. I hope one of these days when I sit down at the keyboard El will return to being a cooperative character.
6/4/2012 -- I took a bit over a month off and went to the East Coast to visit family. It was a very enjoyable time. I did take my laptop but I must admit I only spent perhaps part of a day each week I was out there writing. El seems to have settled down. Everything went smoother when I pointed out I was just working on a first draft. That a rewrite was going to be necessary and doing things such as adding details.
A quote about writing
"I try to leave out the parts that people skip."~Elmore Leonard