Writer’s Log: 2250 Friend or Foe

I managed to log only fifteen hours of writing last month. It would seem sequestration induces the opposite reaction, that is, inaction, at least where writing is concerned.

“Son, it’s a beautiful day outside. Go pal around with your friends.”
“Naw, I’ll just hang out inside doing nuthin’.”

“Son, it’s raining and stormy, best you stay inside today.”
“Naw, I got dams to build, boats to float and puddles to stomp.”

Not that I idled away my scant free time. A few thousand words rose like fetid mushrooms in my various venues. Yet, their shallow, haphazard appearance feels as if they grew of their own accord. “Did you write this?” “Yeah, I guess I did. But I don’t remember the verve and swerve of the experience. Perhaps I penned them during a semi-lucid dream.”

That’s not how I’d like to remember my writing adventures.


Friend or Foe

I read an article recently that explored the concept of creating a personal enemy against which one battles. It didn’t matter what type of enemy, only that it represented an oppressive or offensive manifestation that must be fought. Today I’m going to fight societal bigotry with temperance and forbearance. They, who think I can’t finish this spreadsheet, are not going to beat me! Sure it hurts, but exercise pain is the adversary we must defeat—they thought I’d give up, well I’ll show them.

If you have an identifiable rival upon which you can focus your ire, then you can leverage your aggressions to spur advancement. Fight the good fight. Wrestle and win.

I wondered about this and imagined that I might not have a personal enemy, but perhaps a loved one or close friend needs defending or protection. I might not be in jeopardy, but I have someone close who is.

Bringing this home to writing, I consider protagonists often have either a friend whom they are defending or a foe against whom they personally struggle. There’s an enemy in either case. Something evil, insidious and threatening which must be confronted and defeated—even if the enemies are but one’s own demons.

Find an enemy and do everything in your power to destroy them while they do the same to you or yours. The better the villain the better the story. Of course it’s not that simple. Sometimes a character’s friend and foe switch roles. Still, the roles exist and must be fittingly characterized.

Creating compelling enemies would appear as incentive in life as well as writing. Who are your personal opponents and are you and they worthy?

From the article: “If we imagine a force working against us, we’re more likely to get fired up, resist our temptations, and work harder to achieve our goals.”

Writer’s Log: 2235

Indecision. Self doubt. Disgust. The admission of futility. And so, a little break. A little of this and that… A brief interlude.


Sensations of fractured glass tumbling through my veins.

Posed as a model, exposed and vulnerable, pale skin burning beneath false light.

Tiny claw marks, fresh in the dust, behind and above and within.

Ponderous steps through sickly tar, the stench of fermented gasses lifting as a miasma into my lungs.

Keys of plastic, bags of them, letters and numbers, a thousand monkeys shaking red cups of warm beer that smells like urine.

Whales of cumulus breach and explode scattering the froth of grey exhaust spewn from city buses.

Acres of withered milkweed poison orange and black monarchs that slow their wing beats, stop and tumble to the desiccated soil.

Granite seams, never friendly, stick and build the ire they hold for the fools at the surface.

A purple fungus tickles its mycelium along the nodules that have sprouted from my spine.

The penis of mighty Zeus hangs useless, spent and decrepit, having buried its head amongst the folds of a dying Gaea.



Writer’s Log: 2222 People v Plot

After months and months I’m actually back reading a novel. Previously, I’d limited myself to technical treatises on writing and such. It seemed every time I picked up a story (that is: read the Look Inside/Preview on amazon or google play) my internal editor would dismiss the offering.

Audrey Driscoll tenaciously slogged through my noobescent first novel and so I felt obligated to return the favor. Audrey’s The Friendship of Mortals is the story and her writing is levels above mine. I mentioned on her WP blog that I thought she seemed to have channeled Mary Shelley with her Victorian era descriptions and details. The characters are exquisitely developed and knowable. It’s told first person which helps in this regard.

But not much happens. I mean, there is story line, but not like I’m used to. Wham! Bam! Grab it and run!

And yet I’m enjoying it.

Which brings me to mention the quandary I continuously find myself in: I can’t write people. Not well anyway.

Audrey can. I see how she does it. She spends time with her people and they with each other—much more time than I can muster. Which means that somehow, in order to get my stories’ characters to feel more real, I’m going to have to spend time with them. Which is harder than you’d think…

Me: What do you want?
You: Well, there this coffee shop down on the corner which sells the most delicious…
Me: Get to the point.
You: You don’t have to be curt.
Me: Yeah? Hmm. Go away. I’m busy.

You see my problem. Oh, I can exchange written words just fine. But conversation? Reflection? Of/with people? Ugh.