I find that the greatest peril to me as a writer is getting distracted by life’s events. Meetings with friends, shopping (all kinds), household chores, the phone, the doorbell, the internet, and a list longer than my arm contribute to distract me from the partially filled pages before my eyes. Even maintaining this webpage, which I consider writing, takes me away from the job of placing the stories I have to tell on the page. This past week has been fraught with all manner of obstacles that managed to pull me away from the computer and thus slow my progression on book #2. There isn’t a lot you can do about it. Suffer in silence and hope that the next week will be better. Hope that hours of quiet and serenity at your desk will magically appear as words flow from your head, through your fingers, onto the keyboard and into the pages of your story.
I did manage to complete chapter 17 and edit it, plus make some progress on chapter 18. That was at the beginning of the week. The past four days I haven’t found time to even bring it up and look at it. Fortunately, the story plays in my head all the time. The problem with that is that it changes all the time, thus my perpetual editing. The good news in all this, I’ve made it to the gym on my schedule every day I had planned too. The loss of 7 pounds in the past two weeks has helped keep my spirits up. I’m working on losing the 10 pounds I gained when I returned to the US last year. Mainly so that I can gain it back again.
I had my regularly scheduled coffee and chat with Larry on Friday morning at the Patio. We talked a lot about writing, the horrible event in Colorado, Michelle Bachman (decided she really is an idiot), and books we are reading. I am just about to finish “Night Prey” by John Sanford. It’s an excellent crime/detective story that reminds me a bit of the old Mickey Spillane books. Larry has started on the three John Crowley books. Afterwards we walked up to Parque Kennedy and made reservations to go on a tour of the ancient ruins of Caral. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Naturally I will devote a post to the trip. We’re going August 12th and I believe my friend Mark Kennet will be joining us also.
I also met with Diego twice this past week for coffee and critique. Are you getting the idea that I drink a lot of coffee? Well, I do! Diego gave me and edited piece I had done before and a new screenplay he was working on. His screenplay was very good, great dialog and scene description for the cameraman. His other piece (for my tastes) contained too many passive sentences. I think he needs to work on using more active verbs and expand his use of adjectives while remembering the five senses. He gave me some excellent suggestions for improving a short story and provided helpful feedback on the first five chapters of my first book.
The most fun I had this week was joining my great friends Mona and Kelly Stevens for cocktails on their patio in Southern Illinois. We used Facetime (my iPod and Mona’s iPad) to see each other while we had snacks and some drinks. It wasn’t as good as being there but a lot of fun none-the-less. Five Peru Libres later (we started at 6:30 and ended at 9:15pm) I was ready for bed. I thought I might not feel too good today but I woke without any ill effects. I’m hoping to make it to the gym this afternoon. The photos are of my handsome grandnephews and beautiful grandniece on a family hike. I do miss being able to see them once in awhile.
It will always be true, “The mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Try to do something creative during your busy week, exercise that big muscle in your head.