Archive for the ‘Neurotic Griping’ Category

Ambition, why hast thou left me?

Hey, remember when I was a writer, and I would get totally distracted by this completely made up universe in my head to the point where I would have to compulsively write down the intricate plots of said universe in order to purge my brain and get on with my life, conveniently entertaining you at the same time?

Yeah, it’s been a while, a good month actually. Don’t get me wrong. There’s been outlining. I wrote two whole paragraphs today. But that’s as far as I’ve been able to get. I should be doing all these important things, including my writing (some of you out there have mentioned that I seem to have a knack for it). Life is short. But, damn, I’m tired.

Where do others get their motivation from? I want to be motivated. I want to do right, eat right, exercise, get all these important tasks accomplished, and still find the time to look and act like a human being. It all just seems overwhelming. Hell, some days, just putting pants on seems overwhelming (Oh, how I do enjoy my pantless days).

Flattery does seem to help. One fan told me I “outdid myself” with Blonde in the Backwaters. That felt good to hear. Another told me she liked it so much she immediately gave me a 5 star review online and told a close friend she had to buy the whole series, which the friend did, so that was nice. I love it when I get the “I read it in two days because I just couldn’t put it down. When’s the next one coming out?” And so it goes.

I left Bernice and Evan’s lives in just enough upheaval to get book six off to a running start. The stage is set. New characters are shaping up, and the plot is bursting with intrigue. Come on, Chris, just start writing. You don’t even need pants for that.


“I just don’t get you.”

That’s okay, sometimes I don’t get me either.

Creating unlikable people in your head who wreak havoc and cause human suffering is not normal. Asking your sister to stop the car on the side of the road on your way back from vacation so you can work your way down the ditch to get a photo of a swamp with your camera phone is not normal. Having to google how to spell “Dahmer” so you can reference the notorious serial killer in a story line is not normal. Choreographing in your head two people having sex is probably very normal, but writing it down and presenting it to the world is not.

But this is how I am. It’s taken me decades to even come close to accepting that; some days I fall short. But to be honest, I’m not sure I could tolerate not having that active imagination running all the time. What does a person do with a brain that’s quiet and orderly. Is it peaceful, or just boring? What do you fill it with when you are lacking other worlds that need tending to? Lots of schedules and to-do lists? Itineraries and life goals? Important dates? Do you practice what you’re going to say to people with all that free time not spent absorbing their personalities and cherry picking the memorable aspects for future characters?

I too have goals, but most of them are pretty short term. My to-do lists are usually half written and more of a guideline than a hard fast rule. The things most people take for granted to get through life, I have to make room for around the twists and turns of murders, kidnappings, and love-hate relationships that only exist between the electrical impulses of my hard working neurons. I don’t expect you to get it. I just hope you like it.

Riding the Waves

Yes, I wish that title meant I was body surfing in some magnificent ocean right now, but it doesn’t. The title refers to the ever-existent and ever-changing waves of life. I work really hard to maintain the simple details, while at the same time keep cognizant of the bigger picture at the heart of it all.

It’s not easy. Focus becomes lost in the compulsion to escape into delusions of what could be. That’s what the writing used to be for, but as I start to garner some modicum of success (thank you emerging fans!), my knee jerk reaction is to hide. Success requires expectations. I’m not great with expectations. Being lost in ambiguity means never having to live up to expectations. That feels safer. And so it goes…

For the rest of May,  I’m focusing on my script. I worked on more of the outline for Book 5, Blonde in the Backwater, Copyright 2013. It’s always in the back of my mind. But I think it will help to get this script accomplished.

Giving myself a break from the book will allow me let some of the several plot strands ruminate in my head and give them a chance to make more sense together. A script is quick, only 60 pages. It forces me to sharpen my focus. And I think I really need that right now.

Life is never really stagnant. It’s always moving. That movement can feel more abrupt at some times than others. I feel like it’s looming over me right now. I need to maintain my balance. I need to just ride it out. Drowning is not an option.