The human brain

What a day we had yesterday, huh?

Man!  That was some party!  You guys sure know how to shut up a traffic and comment whore, no two ways about it.  More than 200 hits on my post, more than fifty comments.  Yowzers!  You are the most incredible group of people I know.  You’re wonderful, really, and don’t let the fact that I don’t know any other group of people diminish that compliment, either.  You’re wonderful people, each one of you.  Yeah, you too, WIGSF.

So, while I bask in the afterglow of that euphoric, mind-numbing high — why bother trying to top or repeat that experience? – I’ll instead tell you all the boring stuff I’ve been up to this week.

Job hunting.  Priority one, all the time.  That’s a given.  No news to report, though.  Things are taut to say the least.  We’re doing okay, but the final clock is running.  We need a long-term solution soon.  If you’re the praying kind, we can sure use ‘em.

My kids’ computer is acting up.  The DVD/CD drive isn’t always working.  For some reason, it works when it comes out of sleep mode or when it’s first powered on.  On warm boot, though, it doesn’t read discs.  It just buzzes for a minute, acknowledges there is a disc in there, but you can’t see the contents at all.  So, I’m going to re-image the machine (which is IT speak for restoring it to factory condition) and see if this issue is the result of something I’ve done.  Wish me luck, ‘cause I can’t afford a new computer, let alone two of’ ‘em (if you don’t know, my beloved has been without her computer for months).

No matter how I try to think about horror stories and horrifying things, Mapelba’s post about drawing bunnies yesterday haunts me.  I drew a bunny with my new Sharpie pen.  It sucked.  So I drew another one.  Not good.  Another.  Better.  Kept drawing them.  Thanks, Mapelba.  I have a page full of bunnies where horror story ideas were supposed to go, and I see more bunnies in the future.  You’ve done something viral to my brain.  I need to figure out how to fix it.  (J/K.  Not your fault of course.  But hey, I can’t own up to bunnies, now can I?)  And, while I was at it, I drew WIGSF’s chickephant.  (Check out his post from Wednesday for more information about chickephants and how you can get one.)

Um … OH!  In the biggest news of all, I think I’ve finally, with your help, figured out the story planning and structure method which suits me to a tee.  It’s a system I learned about from this guy, who I found through this guyBryce, I can’t thank you enough brother.  You’re the man.  And Larry’s method looks like it’s really going to work for me.

How do I know?  Because I took my WIP and my finished manuscript and started analyzing them according to the structure proposed by Larry Brooks.  And what I found is, I was doing almost everything he suggested on instinct.  I followed his plan, his system as I think of it, almost to the letter.  So what’s the big deal then?  If I already knew how to do it, why is this so danged exciting?  What are you, a moron?

Well, yes, I am, but that’s beside the point.  The point is, there’s a system I can learn, adapt and work when I’m stuck.  I’ve been following it instinctively, but not completely.  Knowing a lot more about it now, I can actually address the problems I faced instead of just floundering around.  (The time I’ve spent floundering, by the way, wasn’t wasted at all; I did some terrific craft-learning during that time and it paid off big-time.)  I know what has to come next, or what can come next, or what possibilities exist.  And I know how to move forward.

That’s not saying I will.  That’s saying I can.  So that’s a major victory for me.  I feel more in control of my writing than I ever have before.  I feel like, for the first time in my writing journey, I have control over my writing, in ways I never did before.  I don’t have to outline; I can write organically if I choose.  This works with or without an outline, and folks, I hate outlines.  I’m going to try synopsizing my work and see how that goes, but no outlines.  Hated ‘em in school; hate ‘em now.  So they’re out, and I can move forward.  I can.  I can do this.  And for the first time ever, in my life, I am confident in my writing ability.  I am confident.  I was doing it right, all by my gut and wit.  Now, I have even clearer ideas what to do, and I feel unstoppable.  Move over Stephen King, here I come.

Well, soon anyway.  Heh.

That’s about it.  How’s it by you guys?  Big plans for the holiday weekend?


14 thoughts on “Yowzers.

  1. Wow! You are a busy man! The Sweet Corn Festival is in town (Columbus, OH) and the hubby and I are going to that. Have to get my fix on my festival food! And he is leaving Monday to go with his Aunt to a horse show in Kentucky. I will have the whole entire week next week to myself and hopefully will be able to sit and really focus on writing. I won’t have to stop every so often when he says, “Hey honey watch this!” As he crawls across the ceiling or over the walls to lob off some enemies head in his video game. Don’t get me wrong, I love lobbing off heads with the best of them. Just not when I’m in the middle of letting my mind be free. Ben and you have been such a big help to me in fine tuning my skills. I hope to make you both proud next week!

    Sounds like a great weekend ahead; have a good time!

  2. Stephen King? Who’s that? Been busy reading J. Dane Tyler’s books that I got at Costco last night. I’m going to savor them, because the new one won’t be out till June 2010. (are you listening up there?) Yowzers is right. I was going to leave another one and fell asleep.

    Aw, what a sweetie you are. No worries on missing the last of the party, apparently it’s still going.

  3. First off, my husband works all weekend, so our plans are small. Just hanging out at home.

    Nothing wrong with small plans! I’m sorry to hear he’ll have to work though. Working on a holiday weekend stinks. Hope your small plans are fun for you though.

    Second, I didn’t mean to infect you with bunnies. I don’t even know why I like them so much, but there you go… hope they don’t horrify you.

    Only marginally. I’ll be okay. 😉

    Third, glad you’ve worked out some writing issues. Hurray!

    Thank you so much! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. I want an excuse (or an idea even) just to practice the method!

  4. I have control over my writing, in ways I never did before.
    This is awesome, possum! Isn’t it great when things open up? And so many times the opening was there all the time, we just couldn’t see it. I guess that’s where faith comes in, huh? Congratulations on your opening. Pun intended. See my post today.

    Thanks, hon. It IS very liberating when I find that crack and realize I can get through. Very exciting time for me as a writer right now. Awesome possum indeed!

    Also: badly-drawn bunnies = horror.

    Hey, I’m not THAT bad. 😉 Okay, maybe.

  5. You’re welcome.

    You’re awesome.

    I have one meeting on Saturday. Other than that, no plans for the long weekend.

    No? No hanging out with Bob and the Wonder Twins? No game of Talisman on tap? Movie marathon? Nothing?

    But I am only working half a day today and half a day on Tuesday.

    Well, that’s something!

    So at least, I’ll be tempted to go to my favourite lady and have some of her legs. (For those of you who don’t know, there is a fried chicken chain in Canada called Mary Brown’s and she’s got the best damn legs in town.)

    Boy, that sounds all right to me. Fried chicken rules, man. Only steak cooked by fire is superior. Or burgers cooked with fire. But fried chicken? Rulez.

  6. And my comment putting-out on this blog yesterday helped my own blog. Who knew?

    Toldja. One of the great secrets of blogging is to comment elsewhere, and your blog hits and comments go up too. Go figure.

  7. Knowing that you can do something should be just the ticket to motivate you forward – AWESOME! I also like the realization that no time is wasted searching for our answers.

    Thanks, Jaymie! I know I haven’t always been able to say that. I believe the Lord did some work in my life lately and this is part of it. And I can tell it wasn’t just me working this because when I look back, I can see the time didn’t go wasted. That’s kind of rare for me. I’m glad it’s so this time!

    The weekend looks to be kind of exciting here…at least one portion of it. We are hosting a backyard sleep out for nephews, niece, and our friend’s two youngest children. The oldest child is 8 years old with my twin nephews book-ending at 22 months. Luckily we have six adults joining in with the six kids. This wonderful idea is the mastermind of my two grown boys. Chiminea for marshmallows, dogs on the grill, one huge tent, and a handful of silly stories. I plan to show them the flashlight trick where your skin looks like it is glowing. Maybe the flashlight under the chin too. It doesn’t get much better! This might even top getting a 71 year old grandma to roll down a grass hill with you. Any other campout activity suggestions are welcome!

    Beth has some suggestions below! It’s been sooo long since I did anything even remotely like camping, I’m an old stick-in-the-mud. How ’bout s’mores? Can’t have a good cook out without s’mores, and you’ve already got the marshmallow part happening. It sure sounds like a great time! Wish I could come! 😀

    • If you guys are able to and are having a campfire banana boats are always a big hit. Slice a banana on the inside of the curve, scoop out a little banana (not all of it) and stuff in mini marshmallows and chocolate chips (or anything else you like). Wrap in tinfoil and put on the coals for 5 minutes or less. Unwrap and you have a warm banana sundae type concoction. Kids love it.

  8. Love that you feel more confident in your ability. This is so HUGE. Ride the wave–write write write!

    Thank you! And I know, right? WRITE! Strike while the iron’s hot!

    We’re hosting a 1st birthday party for my niece tomorrow because my sister’s yard is currently being excavated to replace a pipeline. It should be fun. I wish my house wasn’t such an absolute disaster, but oh well. Such is life, and I’m a busy mom. I’ll clean it up the best I can and keep reminding myself that disorganization is a sign of genius. 😉

    That’s right. It’s a sign, to me, that you’re too busy living to clean. We have the same problem here. It’s not a top priority. We have other stuff more important. Like blog comment parties, for instance. 😉

    Sunday will be for sleeping, hopefully 🙂

    Yay, sleep! Woo! Have fun this weekend and get some rest!

  9. I feel a little left out because I was busy all day and all evening with a work function. I missed out on the gross and hilarious dirty-comments orgy. Boooo!

    Aw, sorry Sparky. But you can read ’em all now and catch the gist, and who knows? Maybe another party’s in the making. You could have one at your place. 🙂

    This weekend I’m looking forward to making up some of the social engagements I had to cancel when I was sick all last week. I’m going over to my best girlfriend’s place. She’s going to make me dinner from vegetables she’ll be picking at an organic farm that morning. What could be better?

    Steak would be better, but that’s me. 😉 Have a great weekend, and be safe!

  10. Getting ready for the Jamaica trip on the 14th and our daughter’s baby shower next Saturday so I have plenty of baby girl things to get and a new camera/camcorder for all those wonderful baby moments to capture.

    Other than that, probably a BBQ on Monday. Gotta have my burgers!

    MMMM, Burgers! LOVE it! Have a great time and congrats on the new grandbaby! 🙂

  11. My plans for the weekend?

    Video games, reading and movies, I’m pleased with the work I got done this week so I will indulge myself.

    Of course I am working Monday… gotta love that time and a half….

    Ah, well, the rest should make up for having to spend Labor Day in a cubicle farm, right? That and the money, of course.

  12. “Move over Stephen King, here I come.”
    The next best-selling author? I am inclined to believe so.

    Aw, thanks, Leafless! I really appreciate the vote of confidence. 🙂

    P.S. I have the weekend off. Have been enjoying it so far. Happy Labor Day!

    Same to you! 🙂

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