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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Be It Resolved

So, I seem to have made it through 2010 basically unscathed, which made it a lot better year than some friends of mine, sad to say. I had the usual ups and downs of life -- met someone, fell in love, had a lot of drama, got my heart broken -- and as a result of working for the Census, I had a really awesome injury, which now means I can tell the story of how I almost cut off my thumb for years and years to come. (Speaking of which: the skin in the affected area is beginning to tingle, ever so slightly, in a pins-and-needles sensation whenever I touch something, and that means the nerve is not only regrowing/reattaching but also reconnecting to the surface.)

My only real New Year's Resolution is to aggressively carve out more quiet "me time" in which to write, or just be alone with my thoughts and imagination. So far, this is working well. I hope that as the days stretch longer and warmer, bringing with them new distractions, I will have ingrained this behavior as a habit.

2010 was, in many ways, my own personal Year of the Phoenix, which is what I had meant to accomplish back in 2009 but couldn't quite manage. Or, I suppose you could say it was a two-year project. Either way, I feel like I am about to reinvent myself as a successful writer, and it is a thrilling prospect.

My goals for the year:
  • Crank out chapters of Curse/Or at an increased rate. I'd prefer one chapter a month but that may prove unrealistic. 
  • Put out more content for Pellatarrum. This last one is practically guaranteed since in a few days I will submit an article about it to Unicorn Rampant for publishing in their Claw/Claw/Bite PDF e-magazine. If it proves popular (as I hope and pray it will), then writing about Pellatarrum could become a monthly, paying gig for me.
  • Devise an adventure outline for Raggi's LotFP WFRPG that he actually likes. This is harder than it sounds.
  • Get out of my slump and update this blog more often. 3 times a week seems lazy to me. 
  • Write more weird, silly, brain-breaking, or Discordian stuff. This blog has been too damn serious for too damn long. 
  • Continue to be awesome and mind-blowing, and keep showing that punk Sortelli who's boss.

I will conclude with The Penmonkey's Paean, written by the brilliant Chuck Wendig. I'd get this as a tattoo if I could. (I'm thinking seriously about getting the first line put someplace I can see, like on the inside of my left forearm.)

I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.

I will not whine. I will not blubber. I will not make mewling whimpering cryface pissypants boo-hoo noises. I will not sing lamentations to my weakness.

My confidence is hard and unyielding. Like a kidney stone lodged in the ureter of a stegosaurus.

These are my adult pants. The diapers have burned away in the fires of my phoenix-esque rising.

I will burn down the forest. As the conflagration rages, all my excuses shall come scurrying forth like syphilitic rats whose backs smolder with the smoky scent of my coming victory. When my excuses bound, shrieking and squealing, toward my feet, I shall use my mighty wordhammer to squash them all, ‘asploding each like a sausage stuffed with self-deception and disillusionment.

This book is not the boss of my shit.

These characters dance when I tell them to dance. They leap, cackle, fuck and punch because I jolly well told them to and if they don’t do as I say I will have them nibbled to death by marmots.

This plot is knotted tight in the configuration I demand. With it I shall tie a noose, and with that noose I shall hang my fears and uncertainties by the neck until they void their bowels and their legs quit kickin’.

These words march in the order I choose. They are my little bitches, cobbled together of letters and made to carry heavy notions and lofty ideas and character motivations and bad-ass non-stop mad ninja action. In this way they are like ants, carrying more than they should rightfully be able to carry.

They can even be forced into sentences that no one has ever written before. “Betty Scarpetti can take pictures with her robotic hoo-hah, and those pictures will steal your dreams and sell them to goblins working the Secret Carnival down in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly.” See? Nobody has ever written that before. Every word journey is a Journey West. I am Lewis, and I am Clark. I am not the Donner Party.

I recognize that writing a novel is hard. And I don’t give a lemur’s left foot. I don’t give a good goddamn. I don’t give two shits in a wicker basket. The best things in life are hard. Like hunting pterodactyls. Like getting married. Like climbing a mountain and building a ladder to the moon. Like raising children. Like raising robotic children. Like making a golem who will build a robot who will raise your robot children.

Writing a novel is hard because it needs to be hard. If it was easy, every jackalope with chalk dust on his fingers would write an epic masterpiece on his cave wall.

I am like a crazy mountain goat, clambering to heights no man should go.

I can almost see the top now. The pinnacle awaits.

I will sally forth until I have this book by the balls and by the throat.

I am the Commander of these words.

I am the King of this story.

I am the God of this place.

I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.

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