I do my very best to update my blog everyday.
I'm trying to include as much detail as possible to document my journey to a published novel.
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Autumn in Georgetown
With the fun I experienced completing the first book. I guess you could say I've got the bug. The writing bug that is. I suppose that's why I've been relatively quiet in documentating what I've been doing. I'm never convinced what I write is of any benefit to anyone. I really haven't got that big an ego. It's more for me to be able to look back and see progression and improvement.
"It's a process of continual growth."
With the self-publication of the first novel 'Flagpole'. It still annoys me just how long that took to complete. Best part of four years. It probably didn't help that I was pursuing the 'traditional' route to publication. Having to wait for responses, trying to be patient. For me, it distracted my focus from actually just writing. I'd become consumed with waiting, putting my own fate in the hands of strangers with an inbox.
"I'm not going down like that!"
It's more about taking control and responsibility for what you create. I'm pretty proud of what I've managed to do so far and I'll keep going. It's up to the world to catchup. Even if it's a small audience. I kowtow to your time and appreciate you reading. I can say I enjoyed every element of this book. I've mentioned a number of times before that 'Flagpole' went from approximately 190K words to just above 100K. It is a long book. I had fun writing it in the first person but it leads to rabbit hole introspection. I think with this second. Third person has been even more fun and it's allowed me not to fall face down, rabbling. Of course, I'm not saying 'Flagpole' rambles but including Dylan's observations and obsessions may have been exhausting. I didn't experience that whilst reading it again but 'Autumn in Georgetown' feels more episodic and faster. It flows.
"What would you do if you were omnipotent?"
"Probably kill myself!"
For 'Autumn in Georgetown' third person, allowed me to introduce more characters and tell their story. They started to come alive, they couldn't be ignored. I wanted both books to exist in the same 'world'. That's why there is that cross-over between the two. Namely, reoccuring characters like Dylan, Hazel and Lacey. But then the introduction of new ones too. You don't need to have read 'Flagpole' to enjoy 'Autumn in Georgetown'. Well, that's the hope anyway.
The story began as a song, titled the same. You can hear below if you wish. I wrote it a few years back on several scraps of paper. Those pieces of paper were then written up into 'nicer' pads. That nicer pad was filled, then they were transposed into a bigger 'nicer' pad and then if inspiration doth strike I'd put those nicer hand written words to music, add some strum strum chords, sing aloud, coughed and recorded in Reason, whatever iteration it was; probably 8. Think we're on 11 now. The result being my very own love letter song to Georgetown.
*I've never claimed to be a good singer. It was just something I enjoyed.
Anyway, if you desire to stream that song via Amazon music or Spotify. Please do. I will get 0.04 pence everytime it's played. I'll be rubbing my hands together soon and writing full time at this rate. Notice how I didn't add a link there. See, proof my ego remains egg shaped.
I digress....I revisited the story again almost daily in my head. After hitting setup and going through the many steps of uploading via KDP with 'Flagpole'. I threw myself head first and balls deep into writing this, my second difficult book. Now, if you don't understand the reference. Without appearing condescending that's what critics always say of a bands second album. Just so we're all on the same page.
"I smell it, baby!"
Consistently committing daily to early mornings, two hours at a time. As many hours in the evenings. 'Autumn in Georgetown' took shape. Then came with the editing, the formatting. The many reads. The first front cover which was grey and ambiguous. I changed that up. Adding some text. Still didn't like it! Went with a matt front cover instead of the glossy. The glossy kind of made it look cheap. 'Flagpole' is still available in Glossy but still to me, looks vibrant. Possibly because of the colours of the flag. I can always change it up. That's another reason for self-publishing. I control the cover art. I can make use of someone else or I can truly do it myself. I love the independence of indie writing. It truly does set you free.
"Power to the PEOPLE."
As the title suggests it is based in Georgetown, along with Virginia and other locations in and around DC. The book is based on September 11th 2001. Documentating Dylan's experiences of the day. Caught up in his own drama.
I wrote it using American English. As above, I had to consciously change my spelling from; for example grey and gray and refer to trainers as sneakers and sidewalks for pavements. That was fun too. It should make sense by the end of the book. As it isn't, unlike 'Flagpole' written from an English perspective. Maybe I've said too much, but ah well.
All of the images shared and created as 'marketing' material are all owned by me. All I will say is...I was there on September 11th, in Virginia. 'Autumn in Georgetown' remains a work of fiction.
If you're wondering why then Autumn instead of 'Fall'. If any of the above considerations for writing the book, making use of American English were true. The title then is the biggest Alanis Morrissette single. That maybe true, but it's OK. You can stop your palpitations. 'Fall in Georgetown' doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 'Autumn in Georgetown'. Plus, I wrote it and I can do what I like. Oh! There goes my ego again!
Sharing some snip snips of the books contents:
As you can see, the chapters include mentions of The Exorcist. You can't go to Georgetown and not visit it. It plays a part in 'Autumn in Georgetown' and rightly so.
I hope you enjoy this book. If it raises questions, that's good too.
Until next time...
Do Good Things!
It seems if you listen or even read any self help book or embrace a snippet of wisdom in the form of a Youtube video. Most, if not all of the guidance or call it advice, you could even consider them tips - the secrets of the gods, or put simply and to include a pun; The secret. Ways of living, practices published in bullet point, encapsulated in a magenta slogan, a two-line symbolic journery into metaphorical imagery. Could all these soapy words and phrases be a mere pseudo-science? Call me Ned Flanders because I don't believe in insurance.
If you choose to watch the 2020 film 'The Secret: Dare to Dream' with Katie Holmes, penned and based on the book by Rhonda Byrne. Well, firstly I wouldn't actually bother. It's almost as tripe as my wildest writing dreams. Watch it, make up your own judgement, ot quickly tear it back down. It's a far cry from anything you might expect and it will not change your life or offer any insight into your own challenges. Use your time more wisely.
Anyway, as I was saying: these self-help books, and other media forms, all mention 'lists':
"You gotta write shit down!" What is this mysterious and oh so powerful 'list'? I'm asking myself the same question. I've gone through the process, as we all have, of making note of aims and goals. That's all well and Johnny B. Goode, but with that list comes a responsibility. The call to arms, formulation of actual work and the gritty massage of your own creativity. I'm attempting to make a clear list and stick to it. I won't bore you with the intricacies of my own, other than to say and include: bullet pointed, I add parenthetically.
27th February 2020:
It can be hard. It can be so hard. It's never too hard. There should never be an excuse. I do my best not to make any excuses. You know, if a blustery storm blows down your fence. It's a task. It's a chore. It's something that life throws at you. Albeit trivial, it's still an unwelcome distraction from what you might want to be focusing on. Your aim, as is mine.... is to create and write on a daily basis. Yeah. I like you, have a full time job. We each have our own aims, things we want to achieve. It's about prioritising our endeavours.
It was my aim not only to write on a daily basis but also to update this blog in order to effectively provide ongoing documentary of this process. I think, although I've managed to maintain the habit of writing the novel each and every day....notwithstanding storms and foiled boundaries etc. It almost became unrealistic to complete two at the same time. I suppose you make a choice. Either you sit and watch Vikings on Amazon or whatever series is available on Netflix. Don't get me wrong, there's always time for a bit of 'The Staircase' - you do need and deserve your downtime. You never know it may even inspire you along the way in terms of characters, delivery or whatever else you can gleam from acted prose. You might even consider reading the book and gather even more inspiration. Who knows?
Whether it's a blog that one person reads, an instagram account that four people interact with you on or any other social media. Know that it doesn't define you. Be thankful for those that encourage. Remember your endgame. Embrace why you feel the need to have to write everyday. It should be a love. It should be enjoyable. It was either Aristole or Augustine ( I forget who ) that said, when you do something you become it. If you write, you're a writer. I may have completely fluffed that attempt at a quote, but who cares. You know what I mean and as I said - I can't even remember who said it. Obviously, a lot of effort has gone into fact checking this....
Whatever it is you want to do, don't berate yourself too much. It's not worth it. Just be happy knowing you're enjoying the process and creating something of your own.
I try to photograph my own process and goals in terms of word counts,drafts and notes I'm making.
It's a long journey, but my journey to a published novel will happen. Your aim will be achieved. Just implement your passion.
Until Next Time....
Do Good Things!
January 29th 2020:
On a day to day basis. I think about words. I think about the dictionary definition. I wrangle with the way it'll be heard. I wonder if it's even correct. If only for a second. I imagine its uses. Is that how I would say it? Is that the correct use of punctuation? What does that word even stir in me? What's the origin? What's the synonym? You can wrestle with a thesaurus, you actually can. For the good it'll do you. You may as well fold. It won't like you in any such literally way. Not one little idiliy bit. That book you considered more holy than thou. Look at it weeping. Look it at now. Instead of worrying about sounding like this one or that one or the other one championed. I'd sound like yourself. After all, it's you writing this stuff down.
So, when I consider and look at my words. The words on a monitor. The words from my head. It's a satisfying feeling and an obsession all the same. My goal isn't to write as many words as I can. Far from the object of the task at hand. I'm merely reading from page one, not counting the lines. I indulge in my written creation and rhymes. Chapter one, edit the meaning. In fact, switched it around. I start from a sequence in the heart of the character. Notwithstanding, it introduces the setting. It's not a secret. It'll be defined. Which in itself becomes a character and therefore it must be introduced earlier. I'm embracing true meaning in the alluded dark message. Writing it seems, becomes more and more fun. I can see the page count increasing and the words doing the same. By going back over from the start of the page. Page 242 of (at the moment) 398. I'm not aiming or working to 400 or even a set total number of words. What appears to be naturally evolving. I suppose evolution is natural in itself. The way in which I read what I've written and realise it needs depth. It needs slightly more of me. My personality. You need to feel me in the page. I don't mean feel the character. I want you to know that it's me that's written it. The only fear I then may have, is that... I'm trying too hard to be something profound or something I'm not.
All I can say is. It's taking some time. It's time I have to spare and it's time I wish to invest. It helps that I'm enjoying reading it for essentially the millionth time. I guess if you enjoy the story, it stays within you in all times. It's tangible in my mind and I want that on the page. As long as it takes is as long as it'll take. When I know it's right. I'll know. I'm not far off now. The page count isn't growing because the story isn't finished. It's finished. I'm adding in the life. That's what I mean when I say; I want you to feel me. I want to be gripped as the author. Being gripped in a way that you can't control the life and passion you place within the words. Editing this draft. Now the second, is breathing individuality into my writing. I wouldn't go so far as saying 'I've found my voice'. Sometimes, I have no clue what I'm saying, doing or pretending to be. Other days I'm awash with confidence, positivity and direction. It's the persistence I think that is key. It's really helped me focus and I.... at the moment ....can't stop.
It's making me feel proud and pride is not something I feel all the time.
Sometimes we're winners, sometimes we're at work.
Whatever the person you decide to play........ Play it with vigour. Get to know yourself.
Until Next time....
Do Good Things
November 13th 2019:
Well....I haven't finished!
I've finished the story, sure. That though, isn't the end.
In terms of words, I'm at 131,034 - this is already the second draft. Word count remains relatively insignificant to me personally. This keeps on increasing and decreasing, either are fine with me. Much of my time is being taken up with reading, editing and adding in everything that I feel necessary to move it forward.
I haven't been religious in the pursuit of updating this blog because well I'm trying to get the 'work' done. I'm not though referring to this as work. It's enjoyable but I don't want to be one of those people who 'just talks' about things. Usually, I will admit myself when I say I'm going to do something. I do it. Which I've kept up with thus far in my life.
It's been one hell of a journey so far. I said from the beginning that I hoped to get it completed by September this year. That would then be a year and 'done'. I've dedicated so much time to this and you certainly need to focus on nothing but what you're writing. That in itself is difficult when work and other such distractions surround you. Like trying to complete IT certs, and changing jobs AGAIN. Commuting. Maintaining the enigma. Singing songs that no one will hear. Writing words that will never be read. I keep coming home with notepads. I fill them. One by one. I fill them with words. Words that make no real sense. Just a flood of subconscious.
I often times, consider not writing this or updating it. I no longer have an Instagram account. It was originally my choice. I then attempted to log in and seems it's been removed altogether due to copyright material. I'm not entirely sure what that relates to! All of the material was mine. So, seems odd. I may return one day. Not sure what I got from it to be perfectly honest, it became just another distraction and I myself could feel as if I was becoming ever more vacuous. There's only so much sun drenched perfection, scenes of fake happiness and pretension that I can digest. That's a very sweeping comment, but one I'll stick to for the time being. I'm not one for spying unless it involves voyeurism.
I'm excited to start another one, I make notes on that one too. Should come relatively easy. I have my characters. I have the tone I have the narrative. It's ready but like I keep saying. I can't or won't start that one until this is all done.
Not sure first person on this one - I'll see how it feels.
The only part of me that thought I was alive is the part I search for within you. It's the part that I now know is missing. In life, it seems my indecision has paved the way toward my future. A simplified passenger in all and everything. I continue to hunt. With it brings fear. A concern. What if I have everything that I once thought was real. Reveal a decision, so many would find a surprise. I can continue with hope in my heart. Will hope turn to fiction or will I be the star of my own biopic? The end only known if I choose the conclusion. Act on my impulse. I like the romance in the definitive decision. No one can misinterpret your intentions. You could leave a note with empty pages laced with intricate details of all your offerings, your misgivings and regrets. Then again, choose to disappear to a tree on a hill, decorated only in darkness. Illuminate the leafless branches with the full beams of your headlights. Lay out a record player. Perhaps power it off your car battery. Delicately remove the soundtrack you wish to dance the last experience to. Inform the authorities of your location. By the time they reach, the record will crackle in perpetuity. Never mind, it won't be taken seriously anyway and rightly so.
For each and every day I check. I keep looking. The day I left. You should have come running. You didn't. How unhealthy. I can't help but be completely jealous and I clearly, obviously and evidently have no right at all to be the one to feel it. If I spend too much time considering jealousy, it loses it's purpose. I lose my own. I can't go on like this. I won't.
Can I be saved by irrelevance. Should I be considered in the same breath as ruminative. I only lean with a heavy elbow, supporting a glass of liquor, chiming with melting ice cubes. That I think. I hope supports my creativity. My expulsion of tranquility. For that matter, any words that end abruptly with 'ity'. Shall I not learn to be horrified?
If I playfully imagine my finger upon this glass. It's no longer a glass. I'm closer to you. Albeit through the gin we shared. I can nestle in heavy, my mouth in your neck. With the warmth of my exhalation, you have no choice but to tilt your neck away through panic that we will devour each other. It's our waiting, our nuances that will cause this passion to conflagrate. You can avert your eyes all you wish. I can hold back my kiss. You know this has been inevitable. You know it's our time. With a beat, our foreheads rest upon each others and with the feeling of righteousness. That we owe this to ourselves. We owe it to each other. This moment is yours and mine. I lose myself in you.
I won't make excuses.
This one too, will write itself. Whether you appear within is self evident. This story is yours.
Until Next Time...
Do Good Things!