Thursday, February 23, 2017

Writing: February 21st & 22nd

Words Written: 985
Total Words: 17,426

I finally made it to the library again today.  I had a bunch of overdue books, but the place was closed on both Sunday and Monday and I couldn't return them . . . though they still charged me for those two days, didn't they?  Anyhoo, I had forgotten my laptop and had to write in my notebook (which is fine, just less-efficient), and I thought I'd force myself to either write to "The End" or for a full hour, whichever came first.

But I found it difficult to concentrate.  I went to the second floor again, which is The Quiet Floor, you recall, where there are signs that say not to use your cellphone, not even to say, "Hey, I'm on the second floor of the library and people are giving me the stink-eye; can I call you back?"  I sat down, set my phone to Vibrate, and set the timer to go off in sixty minutes. 

I opened my notebook and tried to get the words flowing, but it just wasn't working.  There was a crying child somewhere on the floor (maybe in the vents or a trash can), and somebody's phone started to ring a couple cubicles away from mine.  They got to it after a couple rings, and were at least decent enough to head for the stairs when they took their call, but my concentration was broken.

A moment later, I tried to get back into the story, but boy, I got the feeling it was sucking and I'd be better off abandoning it and moving on to my next big project, which I believe I will be calling "Ten Thousand Coffins."*  But I forced myself to go on, figurin--

Nearby, somebody else's phone started to ring, and it took them five or six rings to get to it.  Angry heads were popping out of cubicles, and this guy at least apologized for the interruption.

I knew I only had a page or so more to go on the story, and my theory is that the worst completed story is better than the best forever-unfinished story, so I delved into it once again.  I had intended for the sucker to be a flash piece, and now it was getting to regular short story length, and it's just sad that I couldn't find a way to--

ANOTHER cellphone began to ring.  This was the third one in less than an hour, and it had some kind of Rock song as the ringtone (think it might have been Cradle of Filth's "Born in a Burial Gown," a favorite of my mother's).  Well, people made disgusted sounds, the guy answered it and said he couldn't talk right now, but the librarian had already slammed closed her copy of Mein Kampf to glare at him.

Now it was almost a Herculean task to get to the end of the story.  The constant interruptions were one thing, but my own apathy and laziness were neck and neck with them in an attempt to derail my productivity.  Suddenly, I wanted to look things up on Wikipedia, I wanted to check my email, I wanted to look around and see if any of the library patrons had brought breasts with them.  It was as if the powers that be did not want that awful short story to be finished.

But I put my head down, soldiering through despite the lack of inspiration, and got to the end of the story.  I was trying to decide whether to end it with dialogue or a line of description, when a horrendous beeping slapped me out of my daze, startling me and everyone around me.

It was the timer I'd set, blaring like a fire alarm, despite me having set my phone on Vibrate.  Well, I deserved the signs of the Evil Eye being sent my way, turned it off, and got the heck out of there.

After I wrote "The End," that is.

Words Written: 478
Total Words: 17,904

I didn't get much written on this day either.  I spent a bit of my writing time coming up with character names for my novella, deciding on Brooklyn Lisst, Karl Valencia, and Anton Supov, figuring that I'd try to have a bit of diversity in my Science Fiction.  I also wasted time doing math, trying to figure out how long it would take the ship to reach its destination (as long as something unforeseen doesn't happen, though here's a spoiler: it does), and how much the crew would age compared to the passengers (about twelve years).

I'm excited about the new project, and while that will inevitably fade, it's nice while it lasts.


*My Dog, that's a good title.  Even if the story turns out to be rubbish, at least I got the title right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rish Outcast 66: Expecto Patreon!

Wow, I created a Patreon account wherein my pals and/or supporters and pledge a dollar (or more!) for every episode of my podcast I release.  I should have done it years ago, when people first urged me to do so . . . but I guess it was too hard.
Listen on and find out why.

I thought it would be amusing to continually include the Spanish version of Exile's (Santino's) I Wanna Love You All Over all over this episode.  Not sure if it was the right call.

So, if you'd like to support me, and prove that negative review correct, head over to THIS LINK and pledge something.  Do it for Fake Sean.

Of course, if you want to download the show, feel free to Right-Click HERE.

Writing: February 19th & 20th

Sadly, February is almost over, and this little experiment will pass into history.  I have another novella idea in me that has been itching to come out, and if I had a developed sense of ambition, I'd do my best to get the whole thing written before March begins. 

Unfortunately, even though I am rather amped to work after the writers conference, both Sunday and Monday the library was closed, and I couldn't run over there and force myself to write with no distractions.

Words Written: 275
Total Words: 16,441

My numbers are going to be quite pathetic these two days, because I spent a lot of my writing time finishing up a Dunesteef story recorded back in June, reading a children's book I'm going to be producing in audio soon, and I also made some revisions to my most recent short story . . . which doesn't really count as written words (though it could, if I was really good about tracking it).

That reminds me, I spend a little time each day writing on this blog, and couldn't I technically count that too?  Or is that just accounting, like counting up the numbers, or adding them to the ones before?

Words Written: 601
Total Words: 17,041

One of the speakers at one of the panels at one of the days at one of the writers conferences I've been to said that one of the things that he does with one of his writer friends (okay, I'll stop now) is that when they get together to hang out/eat/talk, they go to a Starbucks and sit down and force themselves to write for an hour before they say anything.  It seemed like such a crazy idea I suggested Big and I try it tonight when we got together, but as there are no Starbucks, a lot of places were closed due to hour and holiday, and the local librarian was a vocal anti-Semite . . . we decided to try it at the local Wendy's. 

We tried to get our talking out of the way, then for thirty minutes, only silence and only writing.

Well, it worked and it didn't work.  Just like telling someone not to think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or when you take your fiancĂ©e to your parents place and they tell you absolutely cannot engage in any cunnilingus . . . well, that's the only thing you want to do.  I wasn't entirely productive, and I didn't finish my story as I intended to (in fact, I think I added six hundred words to it that got me no closer to the end), but hey, we both got our writing in.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Writing: February 17th & 18th

Well, it happened today: those blessed two words, perhaps the loveliest two words in the English language (besides "divorce finalized").  I finished my story "A Mark on the Sky," which may not end up the final title, but I'd bet dollars to donuts on it.

I'm at the writers conference, and darned if it hasn't been mostly stuff I've heard before (and before that, and before that), but perhaps its the ritual that's important.  Perhaps it's being around other like-minded folks, with similar priorities and desires and struggles, and that's what's beneficial.  Does it remind you of going to church in any way?  Well, it's supposed to.

Words Written: 857
Total Words: 15,818

So, I got very little sleep last night.  I still have to make money, even if I'm in a writers conference all day, so I didn't get to sleep until very late (around three), and when I set my alarm last night, I fully expected to turn it off and go back to bed, sleeping through the first couple of panels.  But when it went off, I remembered thinking I ought to go to them (or I wouldn't have set the alarm in the first place), so I just got up and went.

It did catch up to me around two pm, though, when I started being unable to focus on what the panelists were saying, and started to wonder if I shouldn't just duck out for a little while and get some soda and or crack into me, since I'm not really paying attention.  But I was recording the panels for Biggie, so I hung in there, knowing I could always listen to them later.

Now, though, it's hours later, and I can barely keep my head up.  Gonna call it a night, I guess.

At one of the panels was a guy who, upon losing a bet with the Devil, wrote a short story (a "flash" story) every day in 2016.  When he was done, his fingers had been worn down to the nubs, his buttocks were completely flat, and he had THREE short story collections filled with them to sell at conventions.  That kind of inspired me, but not enough to do anything about it.

Words Written: 348
Total Words: 16,166

Seems today might have been the lightest day so far this month.  But I was in the convention from morning till night, had my niece with me, and then got together with Big Ank to go to dinner after.  And then I was pretty darn sleepy when I made it home, but having been encouraged by stuff I heard on panels, decided to see if I couldn't punch up the most important scene in a 2011 story I was going to publish, which would piss off good ole Dean Wesley Smith, but bad ole Rish Benjamin Outfield likes it just fine . . . even if the voice of the narrator no longer matches during that scene.  Whoops.

Having finished that novella, I immediately started work on a short story that I came up with in 2010 or so on one of my patented "Come Up With A Story Idea On The Fly That's Never Going To Go Anywhere" activities I sometimes do while driving.  I intended to write it all in one sitting, but see-sawed between panels that totally grabbed my attention and boring ones I practically slept through.  Ah well, maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

DoG: Marshal, Renee, Big, and I Talk About Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher

The same group* that got together to talk about ROGUE ONE on my Star Wars: Delusions of Grandeur podcast did the same to remember Carrie Fisher and the role that made her famous.

I didn't edit this particular episode, so there are probably way more examples of me talking over the other participants, like a big orange political bully.  Even so, I hope the show was heartfelt and you get a sense of how big a deal Leia Organa was to our generation's children.

Check out the show at THIS LINK, wouldja?

*Marshal Latham, Rish Outfield, Renee Chambliss, and Biggie Anklevich.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Writing: February 15th & 16th

Words Written: 255
Total Words: 14,028

Not a great deal of writing on this day either.  I recorded the first Fake Sean Connery song for my Patreon supporters, and if there's a Zardoz in the heavens, it won't be the last.  I have gotten quite close to reaching the end of the novella, and if I had just forced myself to go to the library one more time (think I went on Tuesday, though I don't know if I blogged about it*), those blessed words woulda come and gone, and who knows what story I'd now be moving onto?

Words Written: 933
Total Words: 14,961

Today was the first day of the yearly writers conference that I've enjoyed going to since 2015 (the year I decided I'd write a novel), and I managed to get a few words in either before or during every panel.  Being around so many creative and/or passionate people has a positive effect on me, and I did wish a time or two that I could just sit down somewhere and write, especially in the couple of panels I got nothing out of.
But it's the first of three days, and if today was any indication, I will get close to eighteen grand or so by the end of this weekend.  That's pretty exciting, at least to me, even if half the people around me at the panels wrote that much THIS WEEK (or more).


*I sat down, mildly aware I had to use the restroom, and started typing (which is way easier, word count-wise than how I have been doing it), telling myself I'd write until I couldn't NOT go anymore, and then I'd hit the bathroom.
I always go up to the second floor now (ever since that day when the dude was screaming, "Stop fucking looking at me!" or whatever he was shouting), which is the Quiet Level, where people are told not to have conversations, not to talk on their phones (or even have them ring), and not to think about the Beastie Boys.  There are these little cubicles you can study in (or whatever else people do in libraries) and the guy next to me had headphones in, but they were turned up so loud, I not only could hear what songs he was listening to, but actually make out the lyrics.  Well, I found this extremely distracting, since the asshole listened to Lady Gaga, in addition to the more library acceptable Adele and Sia, and when I finally decided to bug out of there . . . I left him a parting gift in the form of a extremely nasty fart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Writing: February 13th & 14th

Hey, kids . . . it's the worst day of the year.  How is it treating you?

I saw this joke online yesterday:

It's sad when even your food has a Valentine's Day date and you don't.

It's funny 'cause it's true, right?

Eff Valentine's day.

Words Written: 1433
Total Words: 13,363

I went to the library today.  Really only spent an hour or so (and could have stayed longer, but I chose to take my sister's stepson to work instead).  I'm actually very close to the end on this.  Like, if I really wanted to, I could finish the story tomorrow.

I probably won't, though.

Words Written: 410
Total Words: 13,773

Didn't write much on this day, sort of out of protest.  Instead, I worked on my podcast, finished up the audio for a novelette I wrote (and will probably put on the Outcast sometime in summer), and recorded (and did a revision) of a short story that's already been podcast, but I figured could go in my next collection.  I briefly went out to the car and wrote a page in the notebook, just to say I did.

But under duress, you understand.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Writing: February 11th & 12th

Amazingly, I saw that Big is up over six thousand words this month, which has to double his productivity in the whole YEAR of 2016.  That's an accomplishment, one much more significant than my own nine thousand words.

Words Written: 1087
Total Words:10,309

Went to another basketball game today (which pales compared to last Saturday's three games), and got a couple of pages written there, then a bit more at lunch.  Getting close here.

Words Written: 1621
Total Words: 11,930

I spent most of my free time on this day editing the podcast, and finishing up the audio for "Varcolac."  I did duck out to the car to write for twenty minutes or so while waiting for dinnertime.  Then, instead of what I intended to do late that night, I wrote for a while on a "comedic" sketch I thought we'd do on the show, maybe get Renee to voice the wife.  I don't know if it's funny in the slightest, but it's certain to piss someone off.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rish Outcast 65: Dead Letter

I'm no fan of Valentine's Day, so let's not call this my V.D. episode.  But, please get your junk checked out anyhow.

So, today I'm presenting the last story by Rish Outfield Big Anklevich's wife ever heard (and maybe it was the first too), and if I'm not lucky, it'll be the last episode you ever listen to either.  It's called "Dead Letter," and you know exactly what I'm gonna say about it.

Still, I try.

NOTE: When I originally shared this episode, there was a problem with the file, and a third or so of the story got cut out.  Feel free to like it now . . . if you can.

Wanna download the episode?  Just Right-Click THIS LINK HERE and save it to your dee-vice.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rish Narrates "Awake" by Abigail Hilton

The first book I performed for Abbie Hilton was "Hunters Unlucky," a sprawling Epic Fantasy novel about the warring species of sentient animals on an island and their history.

I was happy to hear she had written a follow-up, "Awake," for her Patreon followers (did I mention I have a Patreon account now?  Oh . . . well, I will).  It takes place a year after "Hunters" ends and picks up with several of the characters' lives.

I must admit that I found it quite a challenge to a) remember the voices I gave to each of these characters and b) keep them straight in my narration, especially when they were speaking to one another.*  There were two new characters, so those voices were easy.

What's kind of remarkable about this story--actually, there's two things. The first is, that the main character of "Hunters Unlucky" doesn't appear in "Awake." He's referenced, but it focuses on other characters. The remarkable thing I wanted to mention, though, is that it deals, in bold terms, with lifelong enemies somehow not only becoming allies . . . but friends. The characters I initially took to be The Bad Guys when I first read "Hunters Unlucky" all have their own morality, their own positive qualities . . . their own heroic qualities, and this is on clear display here, where the main character of "Awake" is one of those beings I found most unknowable and alien in the larger book.

Hilton manages all this--as well as giving little updates as to what's going on with the other characters from the book--in very few words, and what seems to me to be effortlessness.

If that is a word.

Anyway, check it out, if ye like, at this link.

Someday soon, it'll be available on Audible . . . but it'll cost more.


*Abbie must have anticipated this, because along with the manuscript, she sent along portions of the audiobook where I voiced those characters, so I wouldn't have to guess what they sounded like (or worse, try and find my original notes somewhere on my hellishly cluttered desk).