How my writing is like a supercarrier

It’s all about momentum.

Before I can even start writing a big project like a novel I have to do research and build the back story. That’s like fueling the carrier, getting the crew, marines, and air wings aboard.

Once that is done I can set sail with my outline acting as crude navigation to steer me to my far away port, a finished novel.

If the novel goes well, I start gather real speed in the writing and it takes a life of it own. Pages start flying by and the words just flow from me to the page. It takes  awhile for this to occur. The first ten or twenty pages are usually me fumbling about trying to find the voice and the path I need to take.

Lately I’ve been churning out nearly 8 pages a day on Cawdor. This has been a really productive time and its made me quite happy.

Monday the crippling headaches brought all progress to a rapid halt. I got nothing done, yesterday the headaches and the exhaustion from a bad nights sleep reduced me to less than two pages of text completed. I was really depressed today when at my first break at my day job the headache had returned and robbed me of even more writing time. I managed just 30 minutes of writing during my hour lunch.

Luckily i seemed to have found the steam again and finished up with about five pages completed, but it’s been tough getting that momentum back up.


A general catch-up post

Sorry I’ve been off-libe for a few days, but this past weekend had quite a few headaches in it and they sort of slowed me down.

I did learn the key number from my sleep study and they very much concern me.

My AHI, which is the number of time I stop breathing  in an hour , on average, is 36.5. My Oxygen saturation levels apparently fall to 82%, in a normal health non-smoker they should not fall below 95% so I’m quite a way from here I should be. I also have leg spasms with an average number of spasms of 10/hour and they occur in conjunction with the apneas.

Put all together it means I have sever sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea is a risk factor for a number of heart disease issues and I was already a risk factor for heart disease as my father suffered from it. Though I will find sleeping with any kind of mask uncomfortable and difficult I will adjust because I know its best for my health.

Due to my frequent headaches — also a side effect of sleep apnea — I had no Sunday Night Movie this weekend and I missed work yesterday.

All in all I am looking forward to get this damn condition treated.



No time for a big post, it’s late and I am tired.

But I have no completed 38,000 words on Cawdor and I hope to bring it in around 90,000. This book is just flying along.

At times I look at it and I just love it and think it my best work, but then I look at it and I still love it but I feel that no one is going to like it.

le sigh


I’m back

So Monday night I went in for my sleep study. It was not the most pleasant of experiences nor was it the hell that I know some have endured.

First there was the rush to get the hospital with the sleep lab. I got off work at five and I need to eat and get to the hospital by six-thirty. They were clear that I needed to eat first and get there by six-thirty. That meant I wolfed down a burger and nothing more for my dinner.

My sweetie-wife dropped me off at just after six and I checked in. Then I waited. Finally the tech showed up and I was taken up to the sleep lab. Since I was first — I could have had a much more relaxed meal — I got my pick of rooms and beds. There was a short dvd video explaining the process and then I was left to my own devices until it was time to get wired.

Sadly while I had brought my laptop I had not brought my powercord. I got some writing done but not as much as I had hoped. I spent most of my evening watching the History Channel and it had a sad lack of history to it. (Mostly it was the show American Pickers.)

Near ten the tech came in and wired me up. Electrodes everywhere until I looked like a hi-fi nut’s nightmare. Unlike other sleep studies I have been told about, I was allowed to sleep anyway I wanted. I sleep on my stomach and I thrash, it’s what I do.

It was rough falling asleep with the wires on my face but I did and slept in my regular fashion. (Lots of periods whereI wake up.)

The worst part was the next morning when I showered and there was no shampoo. The electrodes in my hair had used goop and that goop remained in my hair most of the day. (At lunch I went for a haircut and shampoo and that fixed that.)

Now it’s just waiting for my doctor to call and set up the follow-up appointment.


Not the best of weekends

So this weekend had its ups and its downs. There was fun had at board and card gaming on Friday night. My friend Ray ran his D&D game on Saturday and though we had one player die it was a really fun game and a very exciting combat.

On the down side I have had a headache for more than 24 hours. That has made life less than fun.

Later in the week I will review Clash Of The Titan which I saw today.


Michelle Malkin Loves Communists.

So if you follow political columnist at all then you should already be familiar with Michelle Malkin. Ms. Malkin  is a very conservative opinion writer. She’s known for fiery opinions defended aggressively with a penchant for name-calling.  Ms. Malkin’s frequent posting are aggressive, and in-your-face which has earned her plenty of die-hard supporters and an equal number of die hard critics.

I am in neither camp. I do not care for name calling and I feel whenever you you do so in an argument you do nothing but weaken your case. I find her blog to be depressing. There is very little joy in her posts and nearly every post is about something that has offended, enraged, or irritated her. That’s fine if that is what she wants. It’s her blog and she can put up anything she likes, but it make for a repetitive and angry tone. I seriously can not think of a post that was truly just happy or joyous.

I frequent her site because it is a very good reflection of where conservative thought and feelings are for a number of subjects.

For a woman who like to call people to the left or her Socialists and Communists I have been surprised lately with her love affair for Communism. Thought I am sure it is one born out of ignorance.

Recently she’s been posting that Conservatives need to have an “I am Spartacus” moment of resistance to the health care reform, base on the stunning scene from the movie “Spartacus“.

Here’s the scene:

Spartacus is one of my favorite films and I will be so happy in a few months when I have it on DVD, but the film is a communist allegory.
The film was based on the novel Spartacus written by Howard Fast, who was a communist. I don’t mean that in the current Republican way of anyone left of me is a communist, Mr. Fast was a member of the American Communist Party. He was so hot politically no publisher would touch the novel Spartacus and he was forced to self-publish it. On the audio commentary to the Laserdisc of Spartacus Mr. Fast made it clear that the story was a communist allegory about the rich and the workers.

The film screenplay was adapted by Dalton Trumbo, another Communist.  Trumbo spent 11 years in prison for contempt of congress for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  Spartacus was the first film he was credited with writing after the blacklist. (Thoigh he had written many just denied credit.) He was proud of having killed films in Hollywood that were deemed anti-communist.

I have no doubt that if either man was still alive today they would happy tell Ms. Malkin that in their view she and her fellow conservatives are more aligned with Marcus Licinius Crassus than with the workers uprising symbolized by the slave revolt in Spartacus. (To be clear I am not a communists and I ignore the communist allegory of Spartacus, but then I am not trying to lift the film for my own political ends either.)

I am deeply amused by the irony that a communist hater is aligning herself with communist writers and with what they saw as communist characters.


Making good progress

So if I continue at my present pace I will reach the halfway point in the rough draft of Cawdor about April 15.. That’s tax day or the anniversary of the Titanic’s disaster depending on where your head is at I suppose.

I am really quite happy with the rate of progress and the ease by which the plot and the characters are unfolding. the six months of prep work has really paid off for this novel. I’m also finding more and more idea floating around in the background for the books that follow this one. Yeah, it looks like Cawdor will be followed by Exodus From Cawdor and Return To Cawdor.

Tomorrow I will post and explain how conservative sweetheart Michelle Malkin luvs Commies.