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Creative again

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"The story of each scar..."

One of the cool traditions Elizabeth and I have had in the almost 10 years we've known each other is the day-after-Thanksgiving tradition. After chowing down on turkey and stuffing and cranberries and various beverages of the adult variety, the following Friday we part ways for a half day. She goes off to weather the madness that is the first official day of xmas shopping with her mom and sometimes her sister, while I have the whole morning stretched out in front of me to WRITE.

It's funny thinking about those November Fridays in mid- to late-90s when I was struggling like crazy to finish up a story (most likely a mainstream story early on, then probably a genre tale or maybe even a novel chapter later on), and how much I've written (and accomplished) since then. Yet another thing to be thankful for -- along with a wonderful wife, great family and friends, and a nifty little fella named Drew soon to join us -- I've been fortunate in my life to find my passion in writing.

But I didn't actually work much on my baseball novel. I tweaked the opening a bit and thought about how to mess around with the chronology and structure (I decided to stick with what I've got, a more straightforward telling). And then I just wrote all my random thoughts in a Word file, the sort of thing I usually do in my paper journal (except my handwriting is so bad these days even I can't even read what I've written!).

I realized I've been rushing to finish when I should be enjoying the process of writing, and more specifically, I need to make every sentence count. Somewhere along the line I stopped writing cool sentences. I got rushed. Impatient. I want to write novels and stories that have lines that jump out at you, cool images and nifty metaphors that make you grin while reading. And most of all, I want to use that basic building block of fiction writers -- sentences -- to create a world for the reader that he or she can't easily escape. I want to trap you with words!

Sorry -- been reading too much Carter Beats the Devil with all their wild phrases and magician-speak.

What I ended up doing, after writing for a good three pages single-spaced, was starting up Dead Man's Rope again, picking up at the beginning again, with another character's point of view, something I've been wanting to do for a while now, but didn't know how. I'm hoping working on the voice in that "blog novel" will help me flex my writing muscles and allow me to find the voice for my baseball novel. I'm getting closer...

I also messed around with some ideas for future novels as well as made plans for fixing up some older novels. If I did my figuring right, I've got ideas for 6-7 more novels, all in a variety and combination of genres, after I finish my current projects. I figure if I keep flinging myself at this novel concept, one of these times I'll figure it out!

And I'm blathering on again. I'm a little slap-happy after working on about 150 feet of garland and white lights most of this afternoon as well as yesterday afternoon. Trying to get the house all decorated before Drew shows up, ya know. We just finished tonight, around 7 or so, and Lizzie's napping on the couch. She's feeling good and is convinced her stomach is growing bigger by the DAY. We're less than 2 weeks from his due date now. Very cool.

Oh, and today's journal entry title comes from a sentence from the latest entry in the rejuvenated novel blog: "I knew the story of each scar, and I never told you a single one of them."

I like that line. Later!

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