Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Titles, Those Tribulations

I should make a note - assuming I keep this job through another year - that the months of April and May are an absolute bear carrying a number of plagues to get any writing done in. Along with the extra workload that comes with the end of the academic year, I get called in to cover when everyone uses up the last of their vacation days. To be fair, I've taken days of this time period myself, and made constructive use of them, but it's not helping me keep an energy level that's anything above hibernating sloth.

With the complaining out of the way, I am happy to report that the short story is more or less done. Unless my readers come up with any notable errors I'm ready to put it away save ONE problem. I need a better title, and it turns out I'm crap with them. I thought it was just an attribute I was casting onto my villain but it's true for me as well. I'm hoping I can put it into the back of my mind while I'm working my day job, and while the monotony chips at my soul maybe something will come to me. Or I'll trick someone into making it up for me.

With that done, I can devote more time to a couple other things that're coming very close to something interesting.

First is Losing Yourself, the graphic novel script I will not let die. I have an artist that has talent, a sense of professionalism, some interest in the story, and a genuine interest in the medium. Assuming he comes through on this little litmus test I have him on, I can start going over the atrocious details that will eventually become a contract. That would be something very, very exciting, so much so that I'm not letting myself get excited about it.

Speaking of, another project that was almost a joke of mine caught the interest of a friend, so I'm hoping I can steal some time someplace to work on it a little more and have something concrete we can work with. If nothing else, this will be a good exercise at something I haven't done in years, and loved doing anyway, so I can't lose.

It's become a habit of mine to twist situations into a position where I come out ahead in some way. Everyone does this to some degree, but I'm wondering in my case if I'm trying to WIN or simply NOT LOSE. It's a world of difference, and the further I get with things the more I need to know which it is. Trying to win is a scary thing, with a lot more on the line and it calls for a huge investment, but the payoff is bigger, where trying to not lose is generally easier and safer, if not a little more dull. I feel like I've been trying to not lose recently, but the reason for that is that things are happening that feel much better than simply not losing. They're great feelings, but the only way to maintain or improve on them - and really the only thing to do with them - is to switch to a trying to win attitude, and that's more intimidating than I care to admit.

It's been said that the only way to succeed in life is to make everyone believe you've already succeeded and will only continue in the future. It's an art that, if you're either good or lucky enough, life will come to imitate. We'll see, I guess.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Broken Records

I could apologize for the lateness of my post, but I'd sound like... well, my blog entry title.

Last week I submitted a brand new short story in to a new contest. They're both new to me, and the story at least was new to many of the people I told it about. The bad news is that I don't think the story is actually DONE. IT has a beginning, an ending, and characters who - by the time they get to the end - aren't quite who they were at the beginning. Depsite this, I think it could be better. I thought about holding the story back and missing this contest, but I feel like I have to have something out there. I could easily stall forever on the pretense that "my work isn't perfect," so I figure it's worth the attempt at least.

This isn't the only development I've had recently. I'm in talks with an art student about illustrating Losing Yourself, and to date this is the closest I've come to actually locking an artist down! With some helpful albeit grounding advice from the uber-talented Stuart Sayger, this project is starting to look like a concrete book. Getting the material together and trying to be professional about vetting the guy out certainly feels like concrete.

I also had a wonderful surprise concerning a story I came up with at a bar one night in London. I shouldn't say anything about it, more for fear of jinxing it than disclosure liabilities, but it could be an amazing and fun opportunity.

To help fund any or all of these, I have invested in something called Powerball. Just a little investment, and true to the economy they've told me my money's gone. Grand.