I messed up my gmail account by trying to become more efficient. I deleted some stuff (like Sent Mail) that I wish I hadn't. So … apologies in advance if I haven't responded to your e-mails. Or if I've answered more than once.
Sorry, but not sorrowful,
P. S. A couple of readers told me how to check the downloads on each individual chapter. That number keeps going down. Pretty steadily. Is that the natural course in here? Or is my writing getting weaker? I'm not fishing for compliments, so please don't write to tell me I'm grand. I know I'm not, but I am curious.
I've finished "Winter's Wonderland" and will post the last few chapters a day at a time. I'll probably continue to fiddle with them, trying to fine-tune a recalcitrant narrative.
In this, my first outing, I'm finishing a little earlier than I had originally estimated. That's because I'm going to write a second Winter story and will use some of my already-written material in the new story.
Story # 2 isn't coming about because legions of adoring fans are clamoring for more. Hardly. I just had so damn much fun writing "Winter's Wonderland."
That, and the fact that my son (Walker in here) is so exuberantly positive. Understandably so, since he enjoys reading about this fictionalized version of himself. And about his story-enhanced sexual activities. Some of which are with me. Mostly exaggerated of course.
Boys. Adolescents. Adolescent Boys. A tribe apart.
How do I change Hear's to Here's in a blog headline?
Several of you good people, many of you better scriveners than I am, have asked me what my writing methodology is. I've always been a fiction reader, mysteries especially. So that's a pleasant after-dinner evening for me. I sip wine and read.
Every once in a while a plot or character idea occurs to me and I jot it down in a standard College Rule notebook. Random notes, unorganized, uncoordinated.
Then, when I have time, it's laptop time. I look at my notebook - - arrows, cross-outs, a phrase that I can't remember what it's about. And try to organize, prioritize, work the stuff into the general mental outline that I'm trying to follow.
It pleases me when a character goes off track, when a measured plot line meanders away from me. But I try to eventually corral it all into the original story profile. When I simply can't, I adjust. What was that movie line … "Print the legend."
One embarrassing aside. I'm such a terrible speller that Spell Check often can't save me. And sometimes I can't even stumble close enough to find the word in Dictionary. It's rather sad, isn't it, that I have to use Google to find the correct spelling.
I have a clear, well fairly clear, mental outline of where "Winter's Wonderland" will go. But oddly, this makes me a little uncomfortable. I'll tell you why.
Some of my characters and plot lines are based on books I've read by authors I admire. But other characters, the important ones anyway, are lightly disguised portraits of people I love.
So, seeing the end of this story - - and I know how silly this seems - - is sort of like seeing the ends of our lives.
Is this irrational? Of course it is. But somehow I've boxed myself into where I'm identifying so closely with Walker, Vanessa and Daddy, that I'm a little scared to let them go.
Maybe that's the point. I'm far from a professional writer.
I was pleased that Robert Coover has written a new novel, "Huck Out West." If a professional author can 'steal' one of America's most iconic characters, Huckleberry Finn, I don't feel too bad about 'borrowing' from my favorite mystery writers!
Some e-mailers who wait until a story is finished before taking it up, have asked me for an estimate. My guess … "Winter's Wonderland" will come to an end this month or early in April.