Sunday, August 29, 2010

After a long day work

I've been revising the "Chick" story. (It's about a ravenous little chicken)

I corrected a many spelling and syntax error, I can now honestly say it reads much better. Story wise I added a little here and there making it a bit more fleshed out and the story now flows a bit better.

The story is now ready for my wife to proof read and detect the missed spelling and syntax errors. After she is finished I will go over the work once more, before I allow my daughter to read it.

In the meantime I had planned to continue writing a short story for a contest, but I noticed I am past the admission date. I may still finish the story later and try get it published. I really feel bad forgetting about the due date, it should not have happened.

Besides the short story I will continue with another story I started writing during my vacation time. I got the first chapter finished and it's begging me to finish the rest. If I keep my current writing speed and actually write every day, I will have a first draft finished by November 22nd. I work best if I put a deadline out for my self, off course this only works as long I remember the deadline.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Me, my car and my wandering mind

I want to start with telling that yesterday I finished typing my "Chick" (A little chicken not a little woman) story. Besides typing I had also done some rewriting including corrections, it was ready for my beloved wife start proofreading.

I said "...was ready...", because now I don't feel it's ready anymore. What happened? Me and my mind happened. I sometimes have moments I get lost in my mind while driving to work and back. In those moments I think and fantasize about a lot of things, including about stories I am writing or plan to write. Sometimes I have whole dialogs happening in my head, stuff I often put on paper later.

Today it happened again, this time I thought about many things. I began thinking about my doubts if the "Chick" story was suitable for kids and if so for what age. After concluding I still had no answer, I thought about some other story in my head about a Vampire and a Werewolf and sixteen year old maidens. A story I intend to write in the near future. My mind being a jumble as it is went from thinking about that story back to the "Chick" story.

I thought that in my current story the "Chick" is a total evil creature with no redeeming qualities, just pure evil. I thought that's not the way the story is supposed to be. Indeed he needs to be a monster but not by free will, at least not in the beginning. I got a picture of a scene in my mind and almost simultaneously the story of the sequel loomed in my head.

After my mind wandering moment passed I made an earnest attempt to singalong with the music playing out my radio speakers. My singing is horrible, it really is, believe me you would not want to hear me, though horrible it may be I love to sing in the privacy of my car.

Once at home sitting at my desk while searching for information online about publishers, the idea my story was not complete kept gnawing on me. I realized at that moment, that the story was not ready yet to be published, that I should rewrite it and make it be what it's supposed to be. I'm certain the story will be better after doing so.

This decision jumbled up my planning for this year, I'll have to make do.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I finished the first draft of a children book I'm writing. I'm now busy typing it from longhand onto digital file.

My typing speed is deplorable compared to my longhand, my longhand skill is as bad as my typing. I'm going at a crawl having to figure out what I wrote, fix the errors within and do a bit of rewriting at the same time.

I've always found editing to be boring I much prefer creating and fantasizing new stories. Writing a new story flows more easier and faster than correcting and fixing it. One day in the future, I hope a near one, I will improve my writing in such a way that I need less fixing. It would be a great day however that day isn't today.

I'm now struggling and crawling at it, thank God it is just about 15k words that I need typed and corrected and I'm midways. After finishing I will do another round of correcting.

The children story is written in Dutch. My wife having excellent dutch grammar and spelling will churn out the last mistakes. I'm very optimistic she will do so because she is great and smart, she can do everything, even fixing all my horrendous errors and bad writing. (I'm sucking up to my wife so she does the work, please don't tell her.)

English is not my native language, still my grammar and spelling is much better than my Dutch. I've noticed the way I write Dutch sometimes it is a direct translation from English. It makes it a bit more difficult for me to write and it's weird.

In my daily life I talk more Dutch than English, though I write and read more English than Dutch. From time to time I also talk, read and listen in many other languages. I am afraid that because of the multitude of languages I was/am exposed to, that I've lost having a native tongue. (or I just suck at all languages)

I used to think in just one language, though a few years ago I noticed I stop doing that. When writing I now think in English, when at work I think in Dutch, when at home it's a mix of a plethora of languages but mainly Dutch, sometimes for odd reasons I even exclaim some French. My French skill being the worst, I've gotten many a mean look the few times I tried talk to a Parisian. It's a beautiful language but oh so difficult for me to learn. (nah reality is I've become too lazy to learn proper French.)

My point is that I am a jack of all trades and master of none in languages and actually in everything I do. I may be good and maybe even great in most things I do, but I will never reach that point I can call myself a master. This could possibly make writing a bit more difficult for me.

Writing is hard and often times difficult work, but I know from experience that if I make the effort my work will be good to great. I may sound arrogant, but it's just my experience with knowing myself. I am above average in anything I do and when I put some effort in it I may be good to great. (Maybe it's indeed arrogance.)

About the children book, it's about a chick born from within a black egg. He's born with a never satisfied hunger, he wants to eat and eat and eat. A children horror story about a chick and his food, with toned down violence and gore. I'm not even sure about the age group it would fall into, I suspect it to be between 8-10.

I started writing the story at request of my daughter. Being the kind dad that I am, I complied. When finished I'll try get it published. I even might do a sequel and an English translation.

Besides writing for my daughter I started with another story. I just finished the first chapter last weekend. Like I previously said editing is boring so I need the diversion of creating. If all goes well this year I may finish the first draft of the new story by years end.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My neglect

I've neglected this blog for almost a month now. Not long after my last post before this one, I finished the first draft of my second manuscript and started on a third manuscript.

My time in June and July I spend watching the world cup 2010 in South Africa and working on my front yard. By the way the world cup final was the most horrendous match I ever saw and Spain won.

I chopped down and uprooted a dying tree that stood on my front yard. I do not like ending a life be it an animal, insect or plant, it felt like chipping off a the innocence from my soul with every chop I dealt to the tree. (I may be over dramatizing.)The tree was down within a hour the uprooting took more time.

To get the root out required a lot of digging and chopping and yet more digging and much more chopping, on and on till my shovel broke. Lucky for me I was almost finished, the last bit I did bare handed, it took me about two hours to get the root out the ground.

A few weeks after I planted some buxus at the border of my front yard. It's still a work in progress just the start of something that one day will be beautiful the same like the stories I try to put on paper.

Besides watching sport and trying my hand at gardening I've been writing, albeit less frequent. I am finishing a children story at the time, I've just got a few chapters left. I put a deadline for myself for august 17th and I'm well within my schedule.

I've taken two weeks off work, my free time I'll use to garden, spend time with my family and write.