Finishing the first draft of my novel –Not

I’ve been trying to get the first draft of my great American novel finished, but nothing is going as planned.

I know there are supposed to be setbacks and the first draft is supposed to suck. But it’s one thing to expect problems, it’s quite another to deal with them in real life. So I keep getting frustrated and starting over, and over, and over. Which accomplishes exactly squat, and leaves me running in place pretending I’m getting someplace.

A friend is entering NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writers Month, where the object is to write a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words in one month. There’s no way in Hell I can beat that, but if they have a “most pages shredded” category I’m a shoo-in.

What the experts tell you to do is just type your first draft. No edits, no spell check, no nothing. Just type.

Shit, I never understood how OCD I was until I tried to take that advice. I can’t do it, it bugs the living piss out of me to leave a misspelled word or a singular/plural error uncorrected. And don’t get me started on sentence structure or dialog.

I’ve gone as far as to buy an ancient Neo2 word processor.
neo2 word processor
The NEO2 has a green screen with black letters that will display six, 16 character, lines of small text, five lines of medium text and four lines of large font text. That’s it.

I even bought a copy of Write or Die for twenty bucks. It’s a program that keeps track of certain word counts with warnings and penalties if you don’t meet your goals.

I especially like Kamikaze mode. “The wee little word monster that runs kamikaze mode has developed a more refined sensibility now. These days he only likes vowels. If you turn on kamikaze mode and allow consequences to ensue, your words will be systematically disemvoweled.” In other words, it removes every vowel from every word you’ve typed. How’s that for an incentive to keep up?

Bermuda Grass is pretty much unkillable

Bermuda grass growing up through the cracks and taking over the patio.
bermuda grass in patio

When I started the grass was a foot high in places, so I used a weed whacker to bring it down to a manageable height. I wouldn’t say there was a lot of grass, but I had to use a garden rake to pile it up because the broom just couldn’t cut it.

As you can see, I didn’t finish the cleanup because it started raining.

This was a typical desert thunderstorm, lots of wind, noise, lightning and pouring rain. A series of storms were blowing through so it gave me an excuse not to continue. –Like I need an excuse to stop working.

When I went inside the grass was scraped down to the level of the cement. So I was not a happy camper when I looked out this morning and saw this bright green grass showing me who was the boss.

I give up. Cutting Bermuda is just pissing into the wind. So I trotted down to the nursery looking for something to kill it.

At least they had the good manners not to laugh out loud, but the bottom line is that I’m going to have to give it multiple treatments, and then the best I can hope for is to control it.

I’ll give glyphosate a try, but plan B is swimming pool acid.

Unemployed and Trying to Adjust

Okay, so I’m not adjusting well to being unemployed. I really need the money, but I haven’t been looking. I guess I really did need a break.

The first week I did nothing except watch TV and re-read Anton Chekhov’s short stories. Which is odd, because I still maintain a handful of websites and I’m supposed to be writing for five blogs. Three blogs are mine, so I couldn’t care less, but I’m a guest blogger on the other two and that should matter. It doesn’t, but it should.

As I said, I haven’t done squat. Hell, I’ve been so lazy that I haven’t even gone online and applied for unemployment. (I guess I’ll do that in a few minutes.)

In spite of having some money in the bank –weird for me–, I need some more income. But the one job offer that’s still good is from a guy who doesn’t always pay on time. Everyone else who said they could get me a job were just wasting oxygen. All talk-talk, no go-go.

I have been cleaning house, but I’m still at the stage where the mess I’ve created is bigger than the one I was trying to clean up. I know it will work out in the long run, but the biggest pile is, “where the hell do I put this?”

I spent this morning researching blogging and writing, trying to find inspiration, or at least something I didn’t already know. It’s funny that everyone of the blogging sites I’ve visited says you need a “call to action.” How about “SEND MONEY NOW!!!” That’s what they all say. No? You say it’s overused. It’s been done to death? –Oh well, Fuck It.

As far as writing goes, I spend an awful lot of time on Pinterest saving things to my various writing boards. You know, it’s amazing how much “good advice” there is out there and how much it helps me avoid actually writing.

Am I the only one that finds strange that most of these pins lead to sites that offer to teach you all about writing, being written by authors who have nothing published except the occasional howto book on writing?

At any rate, they say my blog needs a theme. How about, “retirement, how not to do it.”

They also say I need pictures. Okay, here’s your picture. –Sorry. No naked women this time.

(The moon taken in daytime and processed with Adobe Photoshop.)

Moving Shit, Finding Gemological Stuff

I’ve been moving shit around, trying to get organized, but mostly making a huge mess, while I try to sort and organize everything.

I found this foam box buried under a bunch of canvas bags full of stuff I was saving. (I hadn’t looked in any of them in several years, but it was all “good stuff.” –Really it was.)
Hard foam box

 

At any rate, I pulled it out and put together the device inside.
desktop spectroscope

It’s a desktop gemological spectroscope, by the International School of Gemology that I bought but never used.

 

I found it on eBay, so I guess someone else started learning, got all excited about the toys, and never finished the course. Or, like me, bought a bunch of tools, and then found out that they didn’t need all this fancy equipment for day to day dealings.

Ah, well. Back to it. I’ve got a bunch more “good shit” to sort through, including more gemological tools that haven’t seen the light of day in years.

Blogging and Domain Names

Once again I found myself looking for a domain name for a friend, only this time he gets to pay for and maintain the bloody thing.

As you can see, I’ve collected a shit load of domain names over the years, most of which are sitting around gathering dust.

This is a list of my 18 current domains:

“DARKGATHERING.COM”
“GALACTICPOOLHALL.COM”
“GATHERDARKNESS.COM”
“INTERGALACTICPOOLHALL.COM”
“MADNESSBECKONS.COM”
“pioneerloan.info”
“pioneerloan.rocks”
“pioneerpawn.info”
“pioneerpawn.rocks”
“RAGHAND.COM”
“RCNEVADA.COM”
“RCNEVADA.NET”
“SELECTIVELYSOCIAL.COM”
“SHADOWSCALL.COM”
“SMOKINGPAN.COM”
“SOLITARYMIND.COM”
“SOMEOLDDUDE.COM”
“THESMOKINGPAN.COM”

I’ve had more, but I finally got smart and dumped them at the first sign they weren’t going to be used.

Let’s see:
Darkgathering, Gatherdarkness, and Shadowscall were for a young Goth chick and a couple of her friends who wanted to post their poetry, short stories, and art. That was right up until the primary decided she was unwilling to share anything “that personal.” The rest of the group bailed right after.

Raghand was for a poker player, who disappeared one day. He went back to Minnesota or someplace else where they have winter, because in Las Vegas we not only have serious summers, it’s where his ex lives.

The Pioneer group were for the place I used to work. Nobody asked me to do it, I just liked the dot rocks TLD.

Galacticpoolhall and Intergallacticpoolhall were going to be water cooler type sites for wannabe scifi authors.

Someolddude was for a friend who was cruising the Caribbean. I out lived him, and the two authors that followed.

Madnessbeckons I bought just because I liked the name. I don’t even know how I came up with it. –I guess it would make a good name for my biography.

Thesmokingpan was going to be a cooking site, now it’s a place for me to store my recipes.

Of course there’s RCNevada, which was my first domain.

If you are thinking about a domain to set up your blog, my advice is to pick a reasonable sounding domain, use WordPress, come up with a cool tagline and promote the hell out of the site. The actual domain name doesn’t matter nearly as much as the content. Or better yet, go with someplace like WordPress.Com to test the waters. It’s free.

So, unless you’re a collector, my advice is to only buy what you are going to use, and don’t pay for 10yrs unless you’re really sure about it.

As far as helping your friends with their domains; experience has taught me that you need to either make them pay for it, or only take it for a year or two. That way when they fail you don’t have to stare at it every time you need to check something with Godaddy.

This is unless you’re like me. I just look at the list and say to myself, that failed, and that failed, and I wonder what became of that guy? Oh, well. They’re mine, there are a couple of really cool names in there, and I may yet find a use for them.

Yeah, I’m a pack rat at heart and I hate to let go of any of my cool stuff.

And whatever you do; WRITE! I’ve gone from a few thousand hits to a few hundred, simply because I haven’t kept up with my posts.