Now Serving #15 – And I’m Holding #137
But I have not been trying to juggle cats, cigar boxes, chainsaws or bowling balls. I have been trying to keep multiple writing projects in the air.
Flying in not so graceful arches I have three novels, several short stories, and a six day-a-week blog. Not bad for a guy with essentially one hand for typing. Some of these things have been flying around for years awaiting my attention and heckling me whenever I walk past the notebooks where most of them started out.
I know, I know – there are some writers who could do all of that before lunch and still have time to knock off a dozen book blurbs. That ain’t me.
I do try to write every day and I’m successful at that most of the time. I started doing this blog to get myself back in the daily habit. I used to stop before work and write for an hour every morning – longhand (cursive) and while simultaneously downing an apple fritter and coffee. At the end of a year I had 95% of a novel (first draft) finished and a serious weight problem. Dieting then delayed subsequent drafts for a couple of years. I refer to those as “The Atkins Drafts.”
My current dilemma is that I have all of these half-finished stories, a third-told, a quarter-edited, and not at all readable. And there are more ideas, concepts and snatches of dialogue wandering around in my head waiting their turn.
“Now serving number 15 – What number are you, Autobiographical Sketch?”
My brain is like the counter in a kosher deli at 2 o’clock on a Friday afternoon.
There are days I wish I had Writer’s Block so I could get some rest. I’ve never been cursed with that. Poor punctuation skills – yes, but not a lack of ideas about what to write next – no problem.
In college I had to write a paper for a class in Rhetorical Criticism. A real yawner of a class – no? We all met on the first day, got the instructions on what to do, and then we were turned loose. We were told to report back on the last day of class to turn in our papers.
Either the instructions were a bit vague or I just missed a line or two, but we were never told how long the papers were to be.
On the final day of the Quarter the class reconvened and we handed in our work. I was appalled when I saw everyone turning in nice, thin binders holding no more than 15 pages, including bibliography and notes. Everyone stared when my name was called and I handed Dr. Ross my 72 pages in a three-ring binder – with illustrated cover sheet.
When my paper was returned after grading it had a large red A+ at the top and a note, “Hang on to this. You’ve already done your Master’s Thesis.”
I still have that paper somewhere tucked away with other relics and detritus of my life. It’s a shame I never went on to Graduate School. That paper would have saved me a bunch of time and allowed me to get involved in things I never should. Maybe it was meant to be that way. A sort of a “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” kind of thing. I’m still waiting.
But, back to the problem at hand – seventy-two flaming Indian Clubs in the air, one handed typing and too many late nights for a dude my age.
I love doing the blog, I want to develop a couple of my short pieces right now, and the novels are getting downright rude from up there on the shelf.
I need to think on this. I’ll get back to you.