Finding My Writing Place

I’ve got a perfectly good library at home from which to write, but I’ve also been on the look-out for a good place to get away and write. Even in my library there are distractions. David loves going in there to play and I’m only a shout away if Diane needs something.

I’ve got next week off from work and it’ll be a great time to get some serious work done on Le Corsaire, but there are a couple of days that Diane and David will be home, so that’s why I’m thinking about this right now.

Beau Smith interviewed Gail Simone once and she took him to her Writing Place, a non-pretentious diner where the waitresses know her and she has a Usual. I like the idea of that, but I haven’t found that place yet. There’s a hippie coffee shop not far from my house, but it’s as pretentious as you can get. They do have outlets to plug the laptop into though.

So, here I am, posting this from Barnes & Noble. The atmosphere is nice and it’s too popular to be pretentious, but the staff will never know my name or offer me the Usual. The real reason this could never be my Writing Place though is that there’s no outlet and I’ve only got as long as my battery lasts to get any writing done.

On Monday I’ll try out the hippie coffee shop and see how I like it. It won’t be as busy, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. I can drown out background noise and there’s something inspirational about having lots of different people — each one a potential character or story — wandering around you.

Maybe I’ll look around B&N for an outlet.


Salome: Conan and the Gates of Paradise

Forgot to mention that I’ve got a new Shake It, Salome up about Conan #3-6, much to the chagrin of some members of the Robert E. Howard Yahoo! group.

I actually support the second guy’s right to disrespect any Conan material not written by Howard. The guy’s a Howard fan and that’s cool. I’m a Conan fan, and — whether it’s cool with this fellow or not — that’s not going to change. The first Conan story I ever read was written by someone other than Howard, so I guess I’m tainted.

What’s funny though is the first dude’s assertion that I’ve been “co-opted” by Dark Horse. As if I’m somehow on their payroll because I like their comics. I wish.

Nice to Hear

I got a nice email today from Necromancer‘s writer Josh Ortega. I’ve been posting his email newsletters on Comic World News and he wrote to thank me. Apparently folks are reading because he’s been getting a lot of emails since then. In his last update he mentioned that he’s going to be working on a new Star Trek project and about a week after I posted it, the news was on all the Trek fan sites and Wikipedia.

I never feel like I’m writing in a vacuum on my blogs, but I don’t get a lot of feedback on CWN except for people asking to be removed from the weekly newsletter list, so stuff like that’s nice to hear.

Speaking of the newsletter, I recently subscribed to the Super Hero News group on Yahoo! and was pleasantly surprised to find out that my newsletters are redistributed to a bunch of other folks via that list.

Also nice is that Johanna Draper Carlson mentioned in her blog that David Lewis’s manga column on CWN is one of her must-reads.


I’ve passed by the opportunity to participate in National Novel Writing Month since I learned about it a couple of years ago. My friend Grant Gould is giving it a try though and that got me rethinking it. I’ve always passed on it because, given my writing speed, it seemed like an unattainable goal to finish a novel in a month. It still does.

But, my goal for this year was to get my first draft done and I’m only about 30% towards that. I might as well give it a concerted effort in November to see if I can get it finished. Learning not to edit as I go should hopefully speed me up. And I’ve got a head start. I’m not sure if a head start is cool with the Official Rules of NaNoWriMo (very fun to say out loud, by the way: “nanorimo”), but I’m not looking to win anything here, except the satisfaction of finishing.

Frankly, I’m not enthusiastic about my prospects of finishing in November, but I’m gonna give it a good shot.

"Completely Cold": Picking Up the Ball I Dropped

Forgot to mention last week that another comic came out with “Completely Cold” in it: Night Mary #3. Night Mary is a fantastic series anyway by Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer, so you should get it. It’s sort of like Dreamscape or The Cell in concept and the art is amazing.

Apparently, CSI: NY — Bloody Murder #4 comes out this week. That means that I completely missed the third issue, which had “Cold” in it.

This week, Land of the Dead #2 comes out and I’m in there too.

Making Mud

Another insight from Angela Booth’s Writing Journal. She talks about letting your first draft be messy and describes it as “making mud.” You can make something cool out the mud later.

I’m not as bad as I used to be when I would send each chapter out for criticism and try to perfect it before moving on to the next, but I still need to work on this. I’m more comfortable with the idea of mud, but I’m like a little girl in her Easter dress, just sort of poking and pushing it around without jumping in and playing.

Maybe I’m taking the analogy too far though. Her point is that you need to just write and not worry so much about perfection, which is advice I’ve gotten from other authors and am already forcing myself to implement by not going back and reading previous chapters. I still tend to edit as I write though.