Why, Yes … Yes it IS Me.

Finally! A chance to come up for AIR!

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long, beloved blogosphere. It’s been a really challenging couple of weeks. As most of you know we lost our Internet access a couple weeks ago and have been stealing bandwidth from unsuspecting victims in range. We only get a few megabytes of bandwidth, so there’s not a whole lotta updating the blog going on for me. In addition to that, the SSRLP was dominant in my life for that time. I got beat up good over that.

But you know what? The SSRLP is finally done. It’s finished. It’s in the hands of the people who wanted it.

And I know you want to know what it is, and all that jazz. A handful of you already know, but for those who don’t, the major announcement is coming soon. My wife was ready to break that news today, but I cried "foul" and told her I wanted to be the one to announce it.

So, here’s part one of that announcement: I’ve finished the SSRLP. I’ve turned it over to the owners. I will give you more as I have confidence I can say it.

I also want to tell everyone how sorry I am I haven’t been around to your blogs. Like I mentioned before, things are tough with a tiny bandwidth ribbon to use, and we’re lucky we have that … we don’t always. So I try to read your blog posts, I really do, but the last couple of weeks, I’ve not been able to. Forgive me. I hope to be back into a rotation soon.

I’m exhausted, and don’t have much else to say, so I’ll sign off. I’ll try and update more frequently now, but … you know. Bandwidth.

God bless everyone. We love ya.

-JDT-

Not a Lot to Report

Enjoy_the_Silence_by_WickedNox Well, I don’t have much to say today. All the teams I rooted for lost in the playoffs except one. Heh. Oh well. That’s sports for ya.

I’m still working on my super-secret, I-can’t-tell-you-about-it-yet project. I don’t know why I can’t tell you, honestly. It just seems I shouldn’t. I feel like I’m violating something, even if I’m not, so I just don’t say anything. Soon, though.

But, because of said super-secret thingy, I can’t find a lot of time to blog. Hence, no five-day-a-week posts. That’s fine, I suppose – I don’t guess many of you mind not having to choke down my daily drivel – but you’ve all been so great and supportive and left me nice comments. I don’t want to just leave you like that. So this is something to let you know I’m thinking about you, and I’ll try to at least read, if not comment, on your blogs.

Um … nothing else. Really. I just wrote this up quick so I’d have something posted. You’ve all been patient, and I really appreciate it. Hang in there with me, I’ll be back as soon as I’m able. Promise. (Unless that’s more a threat than a promise from your perspective. Heh.)

In the meantime, PLEASE – tell me how your weekend went.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Welcome to the Future

1984-sea-city-of-the-future Well, everyone, welcome back! Goodbye, holidays; hello, post-holiday blues.

Happens to me every year. Somehow I feel I missed the holidays no matter what’s going on. One day, I’ll be able to just set things aside, focus on appreciating them, and really enjoy them.

One day.

We did nothing for New Year this year, as is usual for us. future_city_downtownI don’t know if I’d do anything even if I could except maybe find some friends to celebrate with. I’m not a party guy.

What about you? What did you do for New Year’s eve? The comments are yours to sound off and let me know. I look forward to hearing about it, and once again, welcome to 2010 and I hope you’re all richly blessed this year.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Post Critique Syndrome

Hangover1 Okay, so most of you are probably aware of the discussion which occurred on my fiction blog over the weekend. I posted a bit of a novel I’ve been kicking around for a few months. It’s the opening. But I posted it as a piece of #fridayflash, which is limited to about a thousand words. I wrote the piece at about 3 a.m. on Friday morning, read it and trimmed to to under 1K, then posted.

And it promptly met with mixed reviews.

Most folks found it entertaining and emotive, but some questioned the direction I chose for the piece. New blog buddy Linda had some excellent things to say. Foremost among those was use of the term “post critique syndrome”. It’s very much like PTSD in some ways. I was shell-shocked, discouraged, a trifle depressed and in the end, just wished I hadn’t posted the piece at all.

But CalliopesPen showed up and offered me some outstanding, glowing words. I sat and basked in them for several hours before I could even realize I had no words to describe how she’d made me feel. Sherri was also encouraging, and my loving wife? Well, she’s always the most amazing and supportive of all. Those who enjoyed it really did. Those who thought it could’ve used a bit less had me on several counts – too much adjective-spicing, too abrupt an injection of the fantasy element (even though this was deliberate, the 1K limit made the couple of sentences I used for that portion of the story severely inadequate), should’ve said more with “less words” [sic].

Then, Linda went a step further. She emailed me a line-edit critique of the piece.

It was amazing how many mistakes I’d made. How much I’d been lazy about the writing portion. I tried to work the piece as both a study in character and a fantasy-western piece, and that just didn’t work, period. I did overuse adjectives. I made sentences more complex than they had to be. Some of the wording could’ve been smoothed out and solidified by just saying the plain, ordinary thing I intended. But no, I tried to get all literati and eloquent, and boing! – weak piece. Big surprise.hangover

In the end, what happened here can be boiled down to this: I tried too hard while not trying hard enough. I didn’t put enough effort into cleaning the prose, and I put too much effort into trying to “write”, like I think I’m supposed to write, like I’ve always told myself I write. Different pieces cry out for different voices to me. I’ve written some which were deliberately lyrical and lilting in tone. I’ve written them punchy and direct. I’ve written in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. I’ve written like King, and like Hemingway. In all of that, I never lost sight of the writing and the style.

In this short bit, I did absolutely lose sight of the writing. I blame those who came by and offered only accolades for previous works I’ve done. (Just kidding.) It inflated my ego to the point I thought I wouldn’t get anything but glowing reviews for this one too. (Not kidding there; my ego was out of control this time. I didn’t even imagine I’d get so many people calling out my flaws.)

Well, I’ve learned my lesson. I got over my PCS, and moved on to the point of being my usual, thick-skinned self (with a little more humble added, me hopes).

I’d love to do another character study, but this time I’m going to stay focused and remember my KISS principle. Finding the best way to say something with as few words as I can is the goal. One of the comments I received stated “I’d never suggest you eliminate adjectives from your writing.” That person is being honest, but for me, the best medicine is the harshest. Taking things to their extreme as much as I can helped me break my hangover2 addiction to, reliance on, adverbs. This part about the adjectives is the next step. Finding the best noun-verb combination to say what I want to convey is the best medicine for me. It’s just how I work best.

So next Friday, if I have time to do an entry, I promise to make it better, and pay attention to those things I didn’t pay attention to this time. I promise to apply the lessons I learned from all the wonderful people who challenged me to stop trying to pull a fast one, stop thinking more of myself than I ought. Most of all, I promise to apply the lesson of humility I learned. It was long overdue and desperately needed.

So, to Linda, CalliopesPen, Sherri, Louise, Al Bruno III, and every one of the great people who sounded off on the piece – thank you. I needed you this weekend and you delivered. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

So … how was your weekend? What did you all do? Have fun? Ready for Christmas yet?

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.