Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I never get the fun jobs!

But then, I'm not a Canadian scientist.

Here's the headline plus lede, for those of you who aren't inclined to click on the above link (which now works) to the UK Telegraph story:

Zombies would most likely wipe out humanity if they really existed, claim scientists

Civilisation would most likely be finished in the event of a zombie outbreak, claim Canadian mathematicians who have calculated the possible devastation caused by an attack by the fictional monsters.

Put this in the "if my aunt had wheels, she'd be a tea tray" file....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Writing about writing...

...is, sadly, more interesting to me than the actual act of writing at the moment.

I do have some assignments that need to be done. Unfortunately, all are for the client is who rather cavalier about paying. We have discussed this issue, and the results have been, at best, inconclusive.

There were times when having a slow-pay client wasn't as unpleasant as it is today. I had others who were pretty speedy with the remuneration; they kept me afloat while I waited for these yobs to fork over the spondulix. Nowadays, the others are gone -- out of business, doing all work in-house or otherwise -- and the waiting gets intolerable, or worse. As it did during the past few hellish months.

But that's not the real issue on my mind right now. What bugs me is that I am singularly unenthusiastic about the articles I have agreed to write. For one reason or another, dredging up enthusiasm for them just isn't on.

That can be dealt with in two ways: You can just bash out the copy, hoping the editor won't notice or will be so desperate for words that they will push it on through. Or, you can do what I seem to do, which is to fret like crazy over the words, spending far too much time vetting your copy to make sure no one will know that you are totally unimpressed with the subject at hand.

Option Two is of course good for the work. Any traces of disgust, boredom or lack of attention to detail are weeded out, replaced with something more suitable. Then, it's time to make sure that the replacement words are still honest about the subject itself.

This happens to be a painful experience. It takes time, as I said; more than the eventual check will cover. It can cause a certain amount of inner-directed anger as well in which one beats oneself over the head for a) writing such swill in the first place and b) for giving a damn when it's possible no one else will.

It works, anyway. One editor was thrilled by the articles I sent in when I was just beginning to revive myself after the lowest point in my recent travails. Between them, they consumed more of my time than any four stories I enjoy doing, most of it spent rewriting and polishing. And polishing the polished bits again. If I hadn't been hurting for coin I would have turned both down.

Still, it's necessary to work, and writing these uninteresting (to me) pieces is not the worst thing that can happen. So I'm not really complaining. Much, anyway.

Mainly, it's another case of untrained writer never having been taught how to race through crap material and leave the impression that he cared without spending an ungodly amount of time at the task.

I'll smile when the checks arrive, though. Which had better be pretty soon.

And if/when I start getting back into the kinds of writing I genuinely enjoy, I will drop these hack articles like the proverbial hot potato. I keep reminding myself of that. It is one of the few things that helps me stay sane (or what passes for "sane" in my world) these days.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What to write?

That's my dilemma.

I don't want to write about what has happened in the last few months. Hell, I don't want to think about it. Too much pain there to relive when things have improved only slightly.

Don't have anything fun to write about, so can't share anything in the way of good times with y'all. Yes, I have enjoyed a few minutes talking with good friends, but those were either personal or, in the case of a long call from a musician friend yesterday, somewhat irrelevant to my current reality.

I have no intention of writing about politics. I have come to believe that the best thing for all of us would be to ship all active politicians, from the current resident at the White House right down to local city council members, off to some remote and inescapable desert island, give them piles of Monopoly money, and let them jabber at each other like parrots in palm trees. There, they can think they are doing something, while not hurting real people.

News? Don't make me laugh. Nothing to say there, either.

An online "Magic 8 Ball" told me I will get what my heart desires most. That's the most positive affirmation I've gotten in a long time.

So you can see it basically is no fun being me right now. I can barely maintain my optimistic, capable, strong facade for trying to increase my workload (and thus, income), and haven't enough in reserve to display it here.

Sic semper Scribbler, as John Wilkes Booth didn't say.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


...are pretty shaky here.

They have been worse. A lot worse. And I am talking about a matter of a few days/weeks ago.

Someday I might write about some of that. Or maybe not.

For now, I only have time to say I'm here, alive, in reasonable physical (if not mental) health, and for those of you who have my phone number, it's working and hasn't changed.

I appreciate the concern shown by my friends, believe me.

More later.