Monday, Monkey Monday

Perhaps not as much monkey as we were led to beleive. So much the better.

Today is the first day in a very long time that I actually have something to do that is not sit/lie on the couch watching television before playing video games. Correspondingly, here I am awake at 3 AM, and then writing on this newly redesigned and resurrected web page.

On my couch, of course. iPod ownership continues to pay fantastic dividends.

I was “this close” to being tired enough to sleep. Then my stomach started growling a fair pace, which actually bodes well for the rest of the day. If I can maintain that “lean edge,” that old creative fervor may kick in.

It was going in spades yesterday, as I migrated the main site over to a new, more 21st century format. Oddly enough, it’s very much like what I wanted to do back in 2002 when I first started working on Just better, and not designed by me.

I do take no small amount of pride in saying that my original ’02 pages still hold up well. Almost all of the 04/05 non-blog content will need editing and revision, but the foundation on which my online empire is made is still strong.

So much so that those pages and their solid internal structure are proving remarkably stubborn to update to the spiffy new, looser and enhanced format. I may just cobble together a new style sheet for the legacy stuff with a nav bar similar to the site’s theme, and be done with it.

But that’s a project for much later. Before the digression into me, I was going to write about my characters, and their inability to let me be. Thinking about the new novel and the transitons taking place in the next 5k words or so is not very sleep friendly.

I blame my success for my failure. During November’s writing spree, I was writing sequentially through some pretty tight action when I realized that something was about to happen to one of the cast.

Something important. Something so big, in fact, that it ties together all the other stories into one blanketing whole. A completely unexpected plot element which not only gives me a good hook into the next book (this one is set in a science fiction universe in which I have written another treatment), but redefines and enhances all I’ve written in this one.

So I had to jump ahead. I needed to write the revelation, and in doing so, lost my focus on the action. Now knowing in more concrete terms–rather than my nebulous story point outline–where things are heading, I found it difficult to fill in the lines.

So much so that I in fact wrote the first chapters of an entirely different universe and book instead.

Four times. Each time I did so, the characters told me more and more about themselves, until I was left with something very much like my original story nugget, but far more compelling and publishable. Taking ten days off from one book to write another does not help the first one along.

Especially when the story for that one has been percolating since the final edit of the book currently out for consideration. The very same story that kept me from substantive progress on the sequel/second book/continuation of that soon to be rejected masterpiece this last summer.

I managed to come back to it while traveling in December, but it’s slow going at present. And the reason is very apparent to me.

Shiny things are shiny. Like rice in a gourd, they can trap a poor monkey writer unwilling to let the grains out of his grasp.

Time to shake things up a little. Perhaps the morsels will fall free from the wrist-sized hole, once my authorial fist no longer blocks it.

Plus, it’s 5 AM. Time for bed.

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