• Tag Archives Missing
  • Doing Stuff

    Winter                                                               Seed Catalog Moon

    I have a ways to go before I get up to 7 or 8 verses in an hour.  There’s still too much to learn, too often.  This is not a bad thing, just the way it is.  But I’m pushing myself, trying to get faster and more accurate at the same time.

    P90X will be the same.  Right now I’m having to hit the pause button a lot.  The various exercise require precise movements and I’m not exactly quick at picking them up.  Even when I get the form right, I have to monitor myself.  Today, in the shoulder and back workout, there were a lot of moves I had never seen:  Congdon curls, for example.  Still, as with the first resistance day, I found this much easier than the plyometrics.  Much.

    Tomorrow is yoga.  Right now all these exercises are new and that makes the sessions take longer.  That will pass; the sequence uses twelve different workouts so the repetition’s a bit slower than I would like.  Still, I’ll get there.

    Tomorrow Missing shows up on the computer screen.  Looking at Bob’s work, making decisions.  Just as soon as I get it finished, it starts going out.

  • Missing Returned

    Winter                                                         Seed Catalog Moon

    Got my manuscript back today from the copy editor, Robert Klein, at quickproofs.  I haven’t looked at it, but I will, probably not seriously until I get back from Denver.  Some nervousness about it, because after I accept or reject his various edits then I have to get serious about submitting it to agents.  This is the point at which I’ve clenched over the years, a combination of perfectionism and self-doubt.  I’m determined to push through that this time.


  • At It

    Spring                                                             Bloodroot Moon

    Still reading through Missing, making notes, trying to integrate beta reader observations and questions.  It’s slower right now because I’m also trying to integrate lessons about description and pacing from Robert Jordan’s amazing The Eye of the World.

    The general plan for revision III has begun to take shape.  Some shifting of certain narrative threads to book II or to a book of their own, expanding the ending, putting the climax in earlier, making descriptions beefier, more lush and adding narrative in sections where what I wrote was, as Judy observed, outline like.

    How long will it take?  I have no idea.  As soon as I can finish it, but just how long that is, I don’t know.  Why?  Partly the removal of certain narrative lines will create disruption as well as clarification.  Partly because the climax I have doesn’t satisfy me and I’m not clear what it should be.  Partly because adding descriptive material is a whole manuscript task and a personal style changer, too, since I tend to be spare.  There will be a learning curve.

    Closing in on the last few verses of the Jason and Medea early story.  When I’m done with it, before Friday, and have checked and revised my work, also before Friday, I’m ready to go to Book I and begin the work I first decided I wanted to do back in 2008 or 2009.  That’s exciting.

    It’s exciting for more than the obvious reason; that is, that I can now do it.  It’s exciting in addition because it will feed a new work, one I will not start until all three of the Tailte novels are finished; but, a work I hope will utilize all I’m learning about writing and about mythology and Latin and Ovid and Rome.  Working title:  Changes.


  • A Solid Day

    Imbolc                                                                                 Bloodroot Moon

    Missing in the a.m.  About 1/6th done.  As I read, it’s hard not to jump in, start line editing, but getting the story and the transitions and the big picture clear is necessary.  I have to reenter the story when I begin this 3rd rewrite, reenter the story in order to change it.  Only by having it again in mind will I be able to do that.  I can already see the value of this approach.

    I have a list of characters, things and places that I’m writing down as I read.  The first time a character appears or a place gets mentioned or a thing like a particular sword gets used.  A long list and I’m only a little ways in.

    Translating today went well, two sentences, about 6 verses.

    The mechanical inspector came to examine our new furnace.  A cursory look.  “Fine.”  And he was on his way out.  To show though the things you do not know.  He stopped at Kate’s long arm quilter.  “My wife just died.  She was a quilter, left me with a lot of quilting things.”  Then, he buttoned up and left.

    Still reading the competition.  Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

    And, hey!  How about that Pope.  Argentina, eh?  But, from a good Italian family.  And a Jesuit?  Interesting though.  Look at a graphic  that shows Catholic strength by world region and you will see that it has bulged for some time in the Southern Hemisphere.  As the West has gotten more secular, Africa and Latin America have grown more Christian.  And more conservative.  It will be a while before we can see what this means.

  • Revising: A Process

    Imbolc                                                                  New (Bloodroot) Moon

    All morning reading Missing.  I’ve taken the Finding Your Writer’s Voice advice and decided to read through the whole thing, not revising, just taking in the story, marking spots where the pace/action sags, taking notes on characters and places, but mostly getting the story firmly in mind before I begin revising.

    As I read, I have the thoughts of my beta readers present to me and the ideas those thoughts have generated.  When I get to the end of the reading, it should be clear what I need to do for this third, and I hope final, revision.  Final before a line-editing one, I mean.

    Reading my own work is peculiar.  Sort of like a mechanic working on a car she built.  At each point I think, gee, I could have designed that differently, better.  The desire to tinker can get in the way of reviewing the overall design.  Feels good to make progress.

  • Getting My Kicks

    Imbolc                                                                             Valentine Moon

    Woke up, saw fluffy white snow outlining the trees, shrubs and fences.  A beautiful way to start my 66th year.  Spoke with brother Mark, Mary kept off by technical issues.  A new hard drive.  Always a good way to lose a program or two.  As they say in the Old Testament, blessings and curses.

    I’ve been motoring along this morning finishing up a lengthy session in Ovid.  Or, I should say, several one hour or one hour + sessions that equal a lengthy one.  I’ve translated 21 verses and I’m confident of most of what I’ve done.  There are still hitches in my git along, but at least for right now I seem to have a flow underway.

    Almost finished with the Eddas.  Then I’m going to put pencil to large format desk pad and start roughing out Loki’s Children.  I want to get it thought through to some extent before I start my revision of Missing.  That way, if I have to change things in Missing (and I think I will) I can do that in the upcoming 3rd revision.  I hope #3 is what will make me ready to start the search for an agent.

    As I said the other day, I’m cruising into the third phase of my life, which I count as having started with the arrival of my Medicare card, with clarity of purpose, emotional support from family and friends, and good health.  Here we go.  Charlie, the final chapter.

  • What Now?

    Spring                                                                Beltane Moon

    Now what?  First draft put to bed.  In Kate’s hands now.

    Kate asked how I was doing this morning during our business meeting.  I’m not an immediate answer to that sort of question kind of guy.  So, I paused, reflected.

    “I always knew I would mature late,” I said.

    Long ago I read a monograph on the development of people in various fields.  The longest was the philosopher/theologian, somewhere in the 50’s.  Since I’ve battered my through more than one field, I figured I’d be later.

    “With Greg (Latin tutor) asking me to collaborate on the commentary (Ovid’s Metamporphoses) and the completion of Missing’s first draft, I’m feeling like I may be hitting my maturity at last.”

    I’m beginning to feel grown up, as if I’ve retrieved my birthright from the convoluted labyrinth of my life.  This is not, interestingly, about achievement, but about individuation, about becoming who I am and who I will be.

    “So,” I told Kate, “I’m feeling pretty good.  Not jump up and down, yippee good, I’m too northern European for that, but pretty good.”

    That’s how I am this morning.

  • Novel Endings and Art

    Spring                                                   Beltane Moon

    Still reading Missing, catching up to the end, so I can write it.  That’s an amazing aspect of writing a novel.  I can read what I’ve written so far and I can decide how it resolves.  Of course, the entire corpus before the end represents limits on that ending, it’s not entirely open, yet there is a plasticity to it, a fungibility that is mine to shape.

    Then into the Minneapolis Convention center for two hours of volunteer training for my four shift on Sunday.  Some big museum association is in town and all us museum volunteer types were solicited to help out.  I said yes.  I’m still trying to recall just why.

    After that training, I drove the short distance to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts since I had a 7 pm Sports Show public tour.  As I approached the museum, the streets had cars parked everywhere.  There was a stream of people going in and out of the museum.  On a Thursday night?  Not a third Thursday.

    Then it hit me.  I’d taken a substitute tour on the opening Thursday night of Art in Bloom.  OMG!  There were no takers for the Sports Show tour, not a big surprise.  The people watching was great though.  Lots of women in very, very short skirts.  I mean practically non-buttock covering.  Men rolling their eyes as their wives exclaimed.  It was a sub-cultural moment.

    Glad to be home.

  • Go, Santorum

    Imbolc                                      Garden Planning Moon

    Hey, how about that Santorum?  Way to mix it up.  The longer the Republicans savage each other and the longer the nomination drags out without a clear victor the better.  If the  economy can right itself a bit more, unemployment come down and consumer spending go up (think those two are related?) the Democrats might look better in the fall.

    I’m working right here at home, filling up my day and working out at twilight, then reading.  A couple of tours tomorrow and I’m looking forward to them right now because I’ve been writing and doing Latin for 5 days in a row with a bit of a break on Monday.  The productivity feels great, but a change of pace will be welcome.

    Grandson Gabe has a bad cold or croup or something respiratory.  Grandma Kate got a chance to pass on some knowledge to Jon and Jen last night.  She’s a good one to have your corner if you have a kid.


  • Too Many Words

    Imbolc                                           Garden Planning Moon

    Still plugging away at 1,500 words a day.  The novel is sort of baggy right now.  Lots of words, probably, as the Emperor famously said to Mozart, too many words.  I’m not quite at the Mozart level where I can comfortably say every word is necessary.  I’m not even in the Salieri league.  Hell, I’m at best playing Legion ball, hoping for a look from the scouts.

    Which is not to say, however, that it will not improve.  This novel will receive much more attention after I finish the rough draft.  Much more.  It will reach a point where it contains as many words as I mean it to have, no more, no less.

    This time I’m eager to get to the rewriting.  Writing is in the rewriting.  Though this blog rarely gets rewritten.

    So, the superbowl.  Well, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  Haven’t had a football dog since the late, great now permanently retired Brett Favre returned for one season too many. I like having Sunday afternoons free in the winter.

    As to the weather.  Hell.