My Current Project – The Pirate Story

With the holidays just about over, I am on to my next project, which I have mentioned here before. I am currently working on a short story that I hope to submit to Shimmer magazine for their Pirate themed issue. Well, I finally have a pretty strong idea (in my mind) for my story and some decent notes about certain scenes I can see happening in the story. I even have a rough idea how I want it to end, which is more than I usually have before beginning a story. I’m even doing research on this one, though in my defense it is kinda tough to do much serious research on Santa’s elves. I’ve also been reading Treasure Island, which has been excellent so far and sparked a few ideas in my mind.

I will try to detail my struggles and hopefully successes on this blog as I come across them. If the story doesn’t get accepted by Shimmer, I will be sure to post it here. This one again will probably fall in the humor category, though I initially wanted to write a more serious piece. After reviewing their What we want page, I decided to stick with my strengths and make this one funny, but rest assured it won’t be as silly as We Are Santa’s Elves.

So, any resources you all can think of about Pirates would be appreciated (online resources preferable). Anyone else have an interesting work in progress?

Done with Travel

I’m finally done with my holiday travel today and should be back to posting here regularly soon.  I was able to see pretty much everybody from my family for the holidays, so that is nice.  It will be great to sleep in my own house tonight, though, and hopefully our daughter will sleep better.  She wakes almost every hour when we are away.

On the plus side, my wife got me the Delphi Roady XT XM Radio for Christmas and it is great.  It definitely makes the long trip to western PA more enjoyable.

Books for Christmas

I hope you all had a great Christmas and were able to do some relaxing.  My Christmas went very well, even if we didn’t get to sleep much Christmas night because of the baby.  Anyhow, I have a question for everyone.  Did anyone get any cool books for Christmas? I got a few books for Christmas.

At the top of the list was Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.  I have been itching to read this for quite some time, as Pratchett and Gaiman are currently two of my favorite authors.   I also received The Complete Peanuts: 1961-1962.  For those not aware, Fantagraphics is publishing every Peanuts comic strip ever created, in two year increments.  I have all the other years so far, so this was a nice gift.  Finally, I received Sidescrollers, a graphic novel I wanted since I read a preview online.

Anyhow, I’m always excited to get books for Christmas.  Now, I just have to find the time to read them. 🙂

Christmas Theme

I switched my theme to the new Christmas theme, as I’m sure you have noticed.  You will probably see quite a few blogs with this theme for the next several days, but I like it and think it fits with my Christmas short story.  I hope you can still find everything you are looking for here.  I will switch back some time after the holidays.

My Inner Critic is Killing Me

I have to admit that I am currently very frustrated with my writing and my inner critic seems to be winning. First of all, I am disappointed with yesterday’s post on this blog. I think the idea was good, but I felt all tongue-tied(keyboard-tied?) trying to write the thing and I’m afraid the whole post was uninspired. It could have been better.

Then, there is my current work-in-progress, the Christmas short story I have mentioned here before. To put it bluntly, I think it’s total crap and so does my inner critic. My original idea was funny, but I haven’t been able to put it together to form a coherent story. I keep editing and editing the story and feel like I keep moving further and further away from being finished. I don’t think I’m going to finish this one before Christmas and may just junk it and start on the story for Shimmer Magazine. I feel like I’m regressing as a writer.

With the short story, I’m not using an outline as usual. I think I may have to rethink this strategy. I like not working with an outline, because it’s exciting to discover the story as I go. However, I think this is contributing to the lack of a cohesive story. For my next project, I think I’m going to actually do some pre-writing planning, flesh out some characters, and figure out what I would like to happen in the story before I begin to write. A change can’t hurt, right?

Well, just for the heck of it, here are the first few paragraphs of the story I was working on, a story from the perspective of the Head Elf at the North Pole:

We Are Santa’s Elves

It’s not always Christmas at the North Pole. Obvious, I know. People seem to think it’s candy canes, hot cocoa, and songs about snow all the time. We work hard too, though, and sometimes things are rough,like the time Santa barged into my office and told me we had to let some of the elves go. Worst day of my life.

The problem was, people would rather buy their toys from Wal Mart or order them online than take the time to write a letter to Santa, not knowing if they were truly naughty or nice. We simply no longer needed so many workers.

It’s not like I didn’t try to improve our lot here in the North Pole. It was my idea to try Google adWords, to get people to consider us when they were searching the web for toys. Also, I figured it was time to pull back on the Santa’s Helpers program. When we first launched the program, it was important to get “Santa” out in the malls, to meet the kids and get their Christmas wishes directly. The Santa’s Helpers program, though clever at the time, was clearly no longer effective. And let’s be honest, Santa is an intimidating guy, more so when he is represented by a washed up alcoholic with a fake beard. Some screaming toddler peeing on some poor guy making minimum wage wasn’t helping anybody. We don’t need that type of publicity.