The following is heard from a dark stage.
RED: Hold on, Chip!
AL: Yeah, you can do it! Just another thirty seconds!
CHIP: [gasping] No way! I can’t do it!
RED: Yes, you can! Show us those muscles!
CHIP: God, it hurts!
T: Push through the burn! You’re almost there!
AL: 15 seconds!
CHIP: And then what? Start all over again? Hold up someone heavier?
T: No negative thoughts!
RED: That’s right, Chip! You can do it! You’ll get stronger and-
CHIP: -And they’ll finally getting around to fixing me? You really think so?
AL: 10 seconds!
T: Focus on your balance, you’ve got to-
CHIP: Shut up! What do you have to hold up, huh? Dishes! The second someone leans on you, they get yelled at!
RED: Chip, calm down. You’re almost-
CHIP: [Screaming] -Almost where, Red? Almost where? Almost fixed? Do you really think they’ll fix me if I hold out? They won’t replace me?
AL: [quietly] 5 seconds
CHIP: [Tired] Forget it.
There’s a horrible crash and then silence.
SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: “Silence is rest the. Thee follow I-”
CONSCIOUS MIND: -What the…? You ok?
SM: “I have not been well. I am confused by shadows.”
CM: Hamlet backwards… and is that from Man of la Mancha?
SM: “It is possible I knew you once. I do not remember.”
CM: You can stop now. I’m-
SM: “-a lumberjack, and I’m ok-”
SM: “No, no, no – no. I’m Jane.”
CM: No more quoting! I mean it!
SM: “Anybody want a peanut?”
One month down – I have officially kept up with this experiment for a whole month.
Wow! (Or should I say, “Whew!”?)
It feels very good to be writing more. I have been so focused on one series that I haven’t written much fiction outside of that. I think I’ve only written poetry once or twice in the last decade (I can’t believe I can say that truthfully), and I’ve never attempted some of these styles before. It’s good to be able to flex my mind and my writing skills and try new storylines and genres. I’m hoping to add some short stories or maybe a short story series and maybe some plays and… who knows? None of that may happen, or all of that may happen.
The main point is that it feels wonderful to be creating.
At the same time, it is very strange to publish projects as I write them. What I post is first-draft-level work, and anyone who looks will get to see it (aaaaaahhhh!). Also, the fact that some of them are novels is especially strange. The poems can stand alone, but putting a novel out there for people to read as I finish a section or a couple of paragraphs is both exciting and terrifying. I have been trying not to edit what has already been posted (except for typos and grammar mistakes), which means sometimes I have to think harder about what’s coming next. I can’t go back and change the past to make the future I want more plausible. The further I get into them, the harder it will be to obey this rule.
That said, I’m going to try. One of the reasons I’m going to do my best to follow this rule is that it is an excellent exercise for me to improve my plotting and overcome the urge to edit. I have always struggled with going back and editing as I write. Although I have gotten better, I admit that I had to fight myself every step of the way to finish my first novel. I still haven’t finished the first one I started working on. Every time I worked on it, I kept re-writing what I’d already written and changing directions at the same time. Even on my current book, I find myself making pretty big changes every few months. It’s a big step from where I was, but I think I can still do better.
This project is going to push me to do better. Some of it is going to be a major struggle (all the more so since people can see it). Knowing that it will improve my writing helps keep me going.
So does knowing that people are reading. Thank you for your interest! You have front-row seats as I ride this rollercoaster of a project. Welcome to Month 2. For all that it has been a month, this is only the beginning: the beginning of these stories, the beginning of this project. Where it’s going, I can’t say. I guess we’ll find out together.